Monday, November 10, 2008

Aspiring Sports Writers, Rejoice! Now, Your Very Own Lions Beat Writer Kit!

I know there are many folks out there who are blog readers, and have absolutely no interest in writing. Even in this day and age of blogs being added by the thousands every hour, there are still those who are perfectly content to limit their editorializing to the water cooler at work, or the bar afterward.

But there may also be people out there who've wanted to try their hand at sports writing, yet are reluctant. Either that, or they're too smart to try; one or the other. So for those fans out there, today I will provide a service at Out of Bounds.

You might want to cut-and-paste this and then print it for future reference.

It's a Detroit Lions beat writer starter kit!

Here's how it works: simply fill in the blanks after every Lions game. That's all. In some cases you'll be presented with multiple choices in italics; when that occurs, simply rotate the choices with every game you write about so as to properly spread the credit. When you're done initially, you'll have written your very first sports article! Then you'll be on your way to chronicling the rest of the Lions season. OK -- it's sort of like paint-by-numbers, but it'll still be yours!

Ready? Here we go!


The ______________________, led by quarterback/running back/wide receiver __________________, kept the Detroit Lions winless yesterday, rolling/cruising/marching to a ___-___ victory before __,____ happy/disgusted fans at _________/Ford Field.

The Lions were simply unable to control ______________, who enjoyed a career day with ______ yards passing/rushing/receiving. The loss was the Lions' _____ in a row and makes their record 1-___ since beating the Kansas City Chiefs in December 2007.

"This one's on me/We didn't get it done/We got our butts kicked and I accept that," said Lions head coach Rod Marinelli, whose record dropped to 10-___ with the loss. "I have to look at the tape/We just go back to work/We failed to do some things," Marinelli said, "but I'm not a quitter/I'm not embarrassed/I only know how to do things one way."

Lions quarterback Daunte Culpepper/Drew Stanton/Vinny Testaverde was under siege all afternoon, being sacked ___ times for ___ yards and hurried countless times by the _______ pass rush, which coming into the game had struggled to get to the passer. In addition to that, the Lions running game was again feeble/ineffective/a joke, gaining only ____ yards on the day.

"I don't know what the problem is/I don't know what to do/I don't know, man," said Lions running back/offensive lineman/defensive lineman/linebacker/tight end/defensive back/punter/kicker/quarterback/safety/long snapper ____________. "We practice well/we look good in practice/we're not a bad football team."

Marinelli said the Lions were just a couple/a few/six or seven plays away from getting the job done.

"It's just a matter of making those plays/We're a tad slow off the ball/We slipped off some tackles," the coach said. When asked what he can do to correct the problem, Marinelli said, "Get back to work/Look at film/I won't quit."

The Lions had trouble finding prized receiver Calvin Johnson/Calvin Johnson/Calvin Johnson all day, throwing to him just ___ times. He finished with a/an paltry/pathetic/unacceptable ____ catches for only ____ yards.

"They took some things away/We tried to go to Calvin/We'll look at film," said Lions offensive coordinator Jim Colletto about Johnson's ineffective day.

The Lions were never really in the game, falling behind ___-___ by midway through the second quarter. It was the ___ time in ___ games that the Lions have dug themselves a big hole this season.

Once again/As usual/As has been the case too often, kicker Jason Hanson was the Lions' most effective offensive weapon, connecting on ___ field goals, including one from ___ yards at the end of the first half, when the Lions mismanaged/bungled/wasted clock despite ending the half with one/two/all three timeouts remaining.

The Lions staged a mini-comeback in the second half, when the ______ were in prevent defense. But the comeback was thwarted/hampered/derailed when the Lions were left with just one timeout late in the game, thanks to a replay challenge that Marinelli lost/wasted timeout to avoid a delay penalty/replay challenge that Marinelli lost.

Despite the lopsided/embarrassing/blowout loss, Marinelli remained steadfast after the game.

"I won't quit/I never quit/I've never quit before," he said.

As for the leaky/horrible/porous defense, coordinator Joe Barry said, "We tried to take some things out/We tried to simplify things/We pared the defense down." But _______ had a field day anyway, setting a career high in passer rating/rushing yards/receiving yards.

The Lions now travel to/host ________ in a bid to avoid being the first team in NFL history to finish a season 0-16.

"We'll definitely win/It'll happen/We practice so good," said Lions running back/offensive lineman/defensive lineman/linebacker/tight end/defensive back/punter/kicker/quarterback/safety/long snapper ____________. "I think we're the best 0-___ team that ever played. We really could be __-__ or __-__. We're that close."

Marinelli vowed after the game to look at film/look at film/look at film.

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