Article Profiles for FishDuck
An advantage that FishDuck has is the variety of articles that we can pursue as writers for fun, while these are highly entertaining to the reader. Most of what you see below has been BIG winners for the site, with descriptions and links for examples from current and past writers.
Do click on the links and take a look at how each of these article-types have been written, and done well.
1. Recruiting Strategy: (every two weeks) you do more than just cover the names but look at the big picture of what is happening with Oregon Football and Basketball recruiting. Covering other sports in their recruiting is fun once in awhile as well. Note: you must have a passion for recruiting, and be a real recruiting junkie this one and the next Article Profile.
2. Recruiting Update: (every week) Fans want know who Oregon is offering scholarships to for football and basketball, and who is visiting and when. Report who has committed to Oregon and we want videos and Twitter of them! You will have free access to two subscription sites that we have an agreement with to recycle their recruiting information that is at least 48 hours old, thus you will get information to our readers that most have not seen about recruiting.
3. Talent Evaluation of Signed Recruit-Redshirting Freshman-Offered Recruit This is a breakdown of the strengths and weaknesses of a current, signed, or offered recruit of Oregon. You must know the techniques of the position well to be able to view videos and make an assessment for the readers.
4. Classic Op-Ed (Opinion-Editorial three times a week)
5. Op-Eds of Mens Basketball (in season) once a week. These can be editorials or commentary about current recruiting for Oregon Basketball, about the current players, and new recruits that come on board. Or simply the direction of the program, the schedule, upcoming games, etc. Have fun with it!
6. Coach’s Opinion Fans know that coaches know more than them, hence the opinions of coaches carry more weight with all of us. Even if the coaches writing are not always right? They give us a ton to ponder and learn, and this article profile has become a big one as people put more trust in FishDuck.com coaches over the typical Sportswriter.
7. Football News around the country, (Games to watch in other conferences that could impact us) humorous items in other conferences to note as you cover the nation except for the West Coast where Oregon fans are already keeping up. We don’t want this primarily being an update of scores as we had too much of that in the past. Have fun with this one…
Go check this former writer’s work and go a long ways back….
8. History of Oregon Sports, (primarily football) once a week with one big one a month and three “Subject Expansions” the other three weeks from the Mighty Oregon DVD, BenzDuck.com, and Brian Libby’s books. (See me for info on them)
9. Analysis articles: (every week) of Charles and his line-up of guest coaches produce these “Fish Reports.”
10. Conference Update: every week (when in season) as you cover for the seasons sports looking at where we stand within conference and pondering our post-season play while examining our schedule and our competitors.
11. BRoS: (Bleacher Report on Steroids) (“The List” style of format) Once a week! A joke about how the Bleacher Report uses the “List” format five times a day, inspired FD.com to run the same format, but we actually do provide information and entertain. It has been a VERY popular type article with the readers. “The Three Reasons why Oregon will return to the Playoffs,” “The Five Surprises to Emerge this Fall,”…etc.
12. Humor: Every week on Saturdays as Kim Hastings keeps cracking me up.
13. Duck Family Day: get the public involved! Every week on Saturday we will have articles from fans and from among us writers and editors about how being an Oregon fan has been part of our family life. We encourage family pictures and stories and certainly want to read yours.
14. Former Player Interviews: Every week we will have one of these articles and there is so much potential in hearing the stories of these former Oregon players and what they are doing now.
15. Current Player or Coach Interviews: Every week we will feature an in-depth interview with a coach or players where we call the high school coach, the parents and relatives, as well as the player. I’ve learned that I can learn a TON more from the relatives than from the player himself.
16. Grantland Style Op-Ed: (once a week) we are just beginning this new type of Op-Ed where it IS appropriate to insert the writer into the article for a bit of pondering. Bill Simmons at Grantland made this popular, and we will have our own version!
17. Player Profile: You look at redshirting freshmen, freshmen who did not play much, and recruits coming in. (These can be done better now than these examples show) You tell their story again since it has been a year or so since we read about them. Add more quotes…make it an interview if you can! Writers have emailed the coach from the high school website and set up a phone interview and received some superb quotes for the article.
Talk to the parents and get some quotes; between the combination of the articles and the quotes—it can be a rich and interesting article.
18. Article-Expansion pieces are unlike anything at other sites, where we take the juicy part of an article not seen by many Oregon fans yet, and write about it without republishing the article. We add our slant to it, offer some quotes from other sources and generally make our article interesting, but shorter than the original article.
We always cite the original writer, the website, and provide a link to the article being expanded upon. (This is required)
Mike Merrell and Darren Perkins did article expansions about the same article! Both had great discussion and different views about the referred article.
Mike’s article above had 87 comments!
Darren’s article above had 59 comments-superb!
The article above by yours-truly was one of the biggest hit articles of the entire year of 2016!
Another example above from Jordan Ingram with 44 comments during a slow time…
This one had over a 100 comments, although the final title was more appropriate than the URL suggests. These work!
So we have five examples above, but I’ll bet there have been a couple of hundred written at FishDuck.com over the last eight years. And it is OK to do your own perspective on an article—even if someone else already has–provided your take on the topic is fresh and unique. More perspectives for discussion and that is great for all….
I love this type of article because with some articles I can be indignant, (like above…how dare they say that about Oregon!) and it doesn’t have to be an article, but can just be quotes from elsewhere as I did above.
It is OK to be snarly or snarky toward the author if it is not one of FishDuck writers, but keep it within reason. It is fine to question judgment, knowledge, but not intelligence and you get the idea. The examples above have an “air” of being a bit swarmy, but we don’t violate the site rules too badly. All restraint is off however, if it is a Husky writer, or promoting the Huskies over Oregon. (Go for it!)
Frankly….you could do this category of article almost every time as there are so many articles out there every day about Oregon football. Take the other side of John Canzano’s article and you will never go wrong!
19. “Video-Expansion or “What are they SAYING about us?” articles do extremely well as readers don’t have time to watch all the videos out there and fans like to know what the “experts” are saying about Oregon. Use screenshots of the video for pictures and do find a HD version of the video for better screenshots.
Again you cite the sources of the video and provide a link.
What opponents, fans, and national pundits are saying about Oregon is INTERESTING to Oregon fans, and we eat this stuff up. The first example is me being indignant about a prediction against us, while the others deal with quotes from pundits on ESPN.
These articles are BIG hits, and to get them you have to search through our video consoles, and you have to watch for quotes from the Pac-12 channel, or in particular ESPN. Get the quotes right, and add your commentary and if you can provide factual proof to refute? Do it.
Look on YouTube for recent videos about Oregon and go to the ESPN site during obvious days where commentary will take place. (Before and after big games of football and basketball) Go to the sites of our opponent and look/listen to recent interview videos concerning their upcoming game with our beloved Ducks.
Note the titles of the articles; if you have a sizzling title—even including part of a quote, then readers will run to read it! Do get your Feature Photo from the video if possible!
20. Potential “Article-Expansion” articles from subscription sites such as Reg-Grd, DSA, where we do not republish but take the juicy part out, discuss it, add some more, and then provide link, writer, and site. Provides advertising on the outside of the other site to promote their work, and we take the juicy part out that the majority of Oregon fans will not see due to the subscription.
We have not made the arrangements yet with the Register-Guard, thus we’ll wait on this one for now.
21. Game recaps of other-than-football sports per season with a Beat Writer assigned to the sport. Fall: Soccer and Volleyball, Winter: Mens Basketball, Womens Basketball, Indoor Track, Spring: Baseball, Softball, Track.
We have to do this to satisfy AD and be able to get our football credentials. We will look at sport schedules and create a Game Recap publishing schedule. We need a writer and a photographer for all home contests.
22. Writer’s choice: this is generally about football but could be about any other sport—effectively of whatever you can come up and does not have to be an opinion piece.
23. Turning Points: plays that turned a game and maybe the season? This is a new suggested category with no examples yet. (In the forming stages)
During Football Season:
24. Football Opponent analysis on Thursdays of Game Weeks during the football season.
25. Humor articles on Game week Thursdays to spoof the opposing team.
26. “Opponents Reaction to the Game” We go to the opponent Press Conference and get juicy quotes of what the opposing coach and players say about Oregon. (Sunday publish) Try to juice up the title, and using a quote from the opposing coach or player can make the article a hit.
27. A “teams to cheer for/against this week” type article? Those are usually pretty heated conversations with me and my friends (fellow Duck fanatics), so could be a cool idea to bring to the site. (New idea) Or….
“Who do you want to lose this weekend and why?” (USC plays Washington and I want BOTH to lose, although USC losing would help us better…..)
28. “Coaches’ Opinion” is a new article that Charles Fischer will focus upon that has already proven to be very popular. People know they don’t have the knowledge of a high school coach, thus quotes and opinions from these coaches are very interesting to Oregon sports readers.
This type article continues to establish our credibility in analysis, or offering commentary that is not seen on other sites.
29. “Video of the Day” or “Video Highlights!” This is utilizing our video sources to provide a review of an upcoming game, or provide highlights from a recent game. You must write up enough text to get Google’s attention for searching, so I’m thinking that it needs to be 300 words or more.
Note also at times it is sizzling to include quotes from high-profile sportscasters such as Bill Walton, and include reference to them in the title.
We will also be doing “VODs” of historical clips showing a touchdown with Joey Harrington, or an interception by Alex Molden for example. The text will need to introduce the opponents, date, setting, and explain what has been happening in the game, and how this play made an impact.
30. Ducks in the Pros, as any article about former Ducks in the NFL or NBA is welcome. Go to YouTube and pull up recent interview articles concerning this player and get quotes and screenshots for the article. TONS of these could be done and are interesting to Oregon fans.
Find the player’s fan website and request a phone interview or work with the agent to set this up.
31. “Recruiting in Other Sports” This article profile follows the recruiting and gives announcements, quotes, videos, etc. like the other recruiting articles, only this profile covers all other sports other than Mens Football and Basketball.
32. “Statistical Analysis of Football or Basketball” These articles break down interesting areas for fans and help inform them in areas they may not have thought of. The key is weaving the stats into more interesting text and make it readable and interesting. Real writing skills are needed to keep it from being boring.
33. Coaching the Coaches” This is advice given by experienced coaches to younger coaches or young “men looking to get into coaching football. What to do and not do—what to learn, where to go—all the things that they had someone tell them when they were young.
What is in it for the fans? We get to be in the conference room listening to the advice given which also makes us more knowledgeable when making judgments about other coaches.
34. “Ponder-Points” These articles are the answer to what the site has become, and that almost a message board in the comments. The discussion among professional people in the comments has become a high-point of the site, and the fact that “No-Trolls” are allowed and strictly enforced adds to the attraction.
We are the only Oregon site that rigorously deletes comments and blacklists multiple offenders from ever commenting again. The result is a high-brow conversation that we all treasure. The “Ponder-Point” articles are simply meant to begin the conversation on a topic; it is not meant as a longer usual type of Op-Ed, but the writer simply introduces the topic, gives her/his opinion and invites feedback. We like these articles on Sundays, and on any day that a writer misses a deadline.
Above is an example that got the conversation going…
Sometimes you serve to simply introduce the topic, offer your opinion and invite further discussion. This “Ponder-Point” is a perfect example as it was about 500 words, and generated over 100 comments!
Sometimes it could simply be a sports new event for the Ducks, such as what you see above. Below the 500 words is fine, with minimum three paragraphs to get the conversation started.
35. “Opinion/Analysis articles” This is a new profile that has come from those who like to do analysis, but instead of stating something for certain–they posit their opinion and back it up with videos and screenshots. Yet the topics can be still be concluded in several ways, thus the discussion is interesting. Is his interpretation correct?
Above is an example of one done by a fan and writer at FishDuck.com, and it has incredible discussion below the article in the comments.
Resources and Sports Information for Writers to turn to: