Monthly Archives: January 2011

For Mizzou fans, senior forward Justin Safford a model of consistency

Justin Safford at Mizzou Arena, aghast at the foul call.

Senior Missouri Forward Justin Safford. (Nick Gerhardt)

Justin Safford, the lone senior on the 2010-2011 Mizzou basketball team, has been the most consistent player on the team in his four years.

Though his play has at times been irregular, a throng of black and gold clad Mizzou fans, students and families alike, await his arrival patiently after home games with hooded sweatshirts, sneakers and other memorabilia primed for autographs.

“You see the crowds we’re starting to get here, you know, it’s the support everyone gives us night in and night out. I feel like we owe it to them as players to sign for them,” Safford said.

Safford has built a reputation for perennial post-game appearances beginning in that first year when a rebuilding Mizzou basketball team struggled to .500 at home. Fan loyalty and the reciprocal player outreach, as well as the 2010-2011 team’s flawless non-conference home record, means more fans stay late and more players make the effort to connect. But the die-hards have always been there.

Continue reading


Weekly Report: Photography for a radio station?! (PHOTOS: Missouri defeats Kansas State)

Back to the baseline! Photography returns to the forefront of my priorities as I officially begin work for KBIA Sports Extra.

View the slideshow and gallery.

KBIA broadcasts to the Columbia, Mo. community on 91.3 FM locally. That’s right, pictures for a radio station. Thank you, internet and multimedia journalism, for creating jobs that never existed back when people only used radio stations to listen to radio broadcasts.

Multimedia this! In the past eight months, I have written a feature story and opinion piece in The Carnation magazine out of Indianapolis, created graphics and scribed short pieces for the Columbia Missourian newspaper, shot football and written game-day stories for the KCTV television station in Kansas City, Kansas, and now shoot photos and video for KBIA. God damn right, I’m a backpack journalist.

Now, onto the photography! I begin my independent study with professor Karen Mitchell, a very talented photographer turned convergence (read: multimedia) professor, this week. With her tutelage, hopefully these photographs continue to improve. Visit her blog and check out the great work she did with the same basic equipment I have been using.

PHOTO SLIDESHOW, GALLERY: Missouri defeats Kansas State.

PLEASE follow the link. Until the semester ends, I will avoid duplicating our published content here in order to generate page hits for KBIA Sports Extra. Because the sports coverage at KBIA is still in its infantile stages, having just completed an experimental first six months and expected to continue through the first half of 2011, we are relegated to blog format. The publication comes under the umbrella for an accredited journalistic institution–but again, KBIA is a radio station, and we do not broadcast over the airwaves, so the only way to track our progress is via analytics. Make me look good!

Independent study: The importance of cropping

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The first major lesson for me in improving my photography has been an achilles heel for me from the beginning. I knew to crop tight, and avoid phantom arms and legs. Aside from that, I really had no idea what I was doing.

With Karen Mitchell’s tutelage, maybe one day my photos can look a little more like her proofs from Saturday’s game between Missouri and Iowa State.

So this week, I took my final proofs from Mizzou-K State on KBIA Sports Extra and tried to re-edit them, where possible.

For originals, please refer to the KBIA Sports Extra gallery. Photos are in the same order.

John Elway and the evolving use of twitter

Vice president of football operations John Elway and the Denver Broncos have taken to a new PR model with heavy utilization of multimedia, as mentioned here on M-I-Z 303 earlier, and now, just as much use of social media.

John Elway has taken to twitter with an information flurry, for better and worse.

John Elway: “Meeting with Rick Dennison and Dirk Koetter later today. We’ve got our questions, but what’s the one thing you’d ask?”

Whether or not Broncos’ brass actually uses anything some twit tweets, the face of Denver sports in its heyday seemingly reaches out to fans directly. Will that kind of trick work on all these pissed off Denver fans? If not, it’s certainly starting to roll publiciity. That’s worth something in and of itself. I wonder if this outreach will be remembered down the line, assuming the the practice trends at all.

The strategy does carry potential for backfire if, say, a coach declines the team’s interview request following Elway’s confident assumption.

John Elway: “We also received permission to interview Saints DC Gregg Williams… He’ll be at Dove Valley on Wednesday.”

And, of course, it gives the organization the ability to quash any trade rumors about endorsement machine Tim Tebow.

John Elway: “Any speculation that the Denver Broncos are looking to move Tim is completely false.”

Two thumbs up–he avoided a common grammatical misstep by not pluralizing the last verb like boneheaded agents always do, and he also launched Tim Tebow into first name only status.

“This one’s for John.”

“Any speculation that…Tim…”

alright, John could use some help in the impact-through-brevity department. Still, if someone sees a dramatic shortfall in this strategy, please say so. Do you believe this could somehow hurt the team, public image or otherwise?

Denver Broncos’ search for new head coach utilizes brilliant strategy

In their search for a new head coach, the Denver Broncos will keep fans updated via a multimedia effort unheard of in today’s NFL. Complete with video inside the “war room” and candid in-car interviews with candidates as they presumably drive to the team’s head quarters in Dove Valley, the reach out effort represents ownership’s desire to rekindle fans’ trust in what critics label a lost franchise.

Fox 31 local news puttered away unnoticed in the living room corner, the Green Bay Packers’ NFC wild card victory over MikeVick and the Eagles already just a memory as we busied ourselves with needless conversation. Then John Elway’s face flickered on screen, and I turned up the volume.

The segment showed video clips of New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell answering questions candidly from the passenger seat, shots of John Elway, vice president of football operations, meeting the candidate and the inside of the interview room, decked out in framed jerseys–Atwater, Sharpe, you know, the big names.

In the brief video interview, Fewell said:

“First class,” referring to the Broncos organization in the interview with the team’s website.

“Mr. Bowlen, first class. The Denver way of how they did things, you would always ask questions, those guys were so successful. How did they do this? How did they practice on Friday? How did they conduct themselves when they went on trips?”

“Everything seemed like it was geared towards winning,” Fewell continued from the car en route presumably to the interview.

“Championships start at the top and it starts with Mr. Bowlen. He knows how to compete, and that makes it more fun for you as a coach. He understands competition and knows what it takes. It just trickles down the food chain. I see that in the Denver Broncos organization. I see that in how they play and how they’ve prepared and I want to be a part of something like that.”

This kind of transparency is the smartest thing ownership has done in the past five years, a brilliant PR move that I expect to catch on throughout the NFL as the proletariat continue to thirst for more and more information digestible through multimedia.

Before anyone stops to accuse me of an orange tint to my lenses, hear me out. The Denver Broncos, after a tumultuous year and a half under Coach McDaniels; amid out-of-bounds questions about owner Pat Bowlen’s state of mind; having not reached the playoffs since 2005; and following the team’s hire of John Elway, made immediate steps to distance themselves from their past by emphasizing transparency in their search for a new head coach.

The move makes sense, given the fans’ reaction to Josh McDaniels totalitarian, opaque operations. Mike Shanahan was similarly non-transparent, but he won two Super Bowls before coaching through nearly a decade of disappointment.

Now fans have a chance to observe and evaluate these candidates on their own–though they don’t have any capability to vote on a favorite through, for obvious reasons. Expect that question to come down via the Denver Post soon.

Don’t just take my word for it. Check out the multimedia content on the website. As it relates to the evolving role of journalism, I love what the the organization and their official website are doing here.

Alec Burks scores 36, leads Colorado past No. 8 Missouri 89-76

CU guard Alec Burks put on an absolute show in Boulder. With 36 points, he put the Buffs on his back and carried them to their first victory in a Big 12 opener since 1997.

Missouri made a valiant comeback effort, pulling within seven before Alec Burks exploded at the end of the second half. Laurence Bowers came within a breath of a triple-double–15 points, nine boards, and an incredible nine blocks–in defeat. Guard Michael Dixon led Mizzou with 17 points. Continue reading

MIZ303 Marquee Game- Mizzou @ Colorado (Men’s Basketball)

The University of Missouri basketball team traveled to Boulder, CO today to take on the CU Buffs. Can you think of a better match-up for this blog, devoted to Missouri and Colorado sports?

This post will be a live glimpse into my note-taking procedure for reporting on games. Maybe there’s some help out there for me–what I seem to miss, what I should emphasize, what seems needless. Seeing others’ tactics for note taking always fascinates me, but I could be the weird one here.

I have to say I’ve always loved the not-white home jerseys, and the Buffs gray home threads score high on my personal list of favorites. Continue reading