Last Sunday, I was up, nice and early, at 5 a.m. Surprisingly, I did not snooze my alarm even once, and “ugh!” wasn’t the usual first word of the day. Instead, I rolled out of bed, grabbed my laptop and glasses, and rolled right back in. It was the Formula One Turkish Grand Prix, and I wasn’t going to miss the start of it for the world.
I won’t go into the details (although I really want to and already did), but it was an incredible race – one for the history books. While I have made it routine to read the Guardian’s race coverage soon after, I thought I’d try the Washington Post for a change. Maybe they’re doing something better.
But it turns out their sports coverage is quite comparable to some of the racing in the Turkish Grand Prix.
The Guardian would be Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, a 7-time World Champion and the Post, Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas – zero championships and six spins in the race.
In simple words, the Washington Post’s sports coverage is terrible.
And if you’re a fan of any other sport apart from the NFL and the NBA, you’re better off getting your sports fix from any other news website.
While some might call the Post’s page layout for sport simple, I think it errs on the edge of shoddy. With columns of reportage, only sorted based on the type of sport, it’s almost uncharacteristic of the Post’s usually snazzy and visual-driven style.
The only article that demands any kind of attention is the Football Pass Coverage by Richard Johnson. It makes use of animations and graphics to bring an element of interactivity to football strategy. But apart from it, it’s hard to pick any other.
The Post’s eye for visual design based on data would be an excellent match for its sports coverage, and I mean that for all sports, not just football. There are more, you know! The page screams of underutilized potential, and a revamp of it could attract newer readers.
When the joy and atmosphere of enjoying a sports event live––being one among the noisy crowd––is no longer an option, it is inevitable readers will look for content that satisfies at least a part of that void. Add in a few more photos, make the writing more descriptive, and bring the sport as near to the fans as you can – the Post does all of those things with other topics, and they do it well; now they just need to do the same for their sports coverage.
I’ll be sure to cheer on Bottas in 2021, and you can bet that I’ll be keeping an eye on the Post’s sports coverage too!