I missed the news about The Sporting News laying off its baseball correspondents.
I grew up with TSN.
If I had heard the news sooner, I might have written something like this:
If you’re a sports fan, say, 32 or older, I don’t need to tell you what The Sporting News used to mean. It was our sports magazine. Sports Illustrated had all those literary stories about dog fighting and sumo wrestling and stuff like that. Inside Sports and Sport magazine were often beautifully written too, but as a kid who cared about that? Plus, they came out only once a month, and they would have NFL Previews in May and stories with odd headlines like “Why Kurt Rambis is better than Magic Johnson.”
The Sporting News was for us. For real sports fans. It was based in St. Louis, and it had real stuff in it. There was no place else to get stuff then. Every week, The Sporting News gave us rumors, statistics, opinions, interviews, analysis and those great team-by-team notes (each team’s notes had a wonderfully goofy headline related to the team nickname. I seem to recall the Cleveland Indians notes were called “Smoke Signals.”).
You didn’t read The Sporting News cover-to-cover. No, you wildly flipped pages to find out what was happening to your teams. Then you flipped to the league reports to see if there were any good trade rumors. Then you flipped to your favorite columnists to see what they were talking about. Then, only then, did you read the rest.
Of course, there was also Baseball Digest. I haven’t seen a copy in years, but I guess it’s still in business, though I don’t see how — it’s never on any newsstands I frequent.