Readers of ‘Sports section’ do branch out

Just a few days ago, I thought that sports readers only read the Sports section. I was wrong. Sports readers: this is an apology to you.

It all started when I was sitting in class listening to a guest speaker talk about The Guilfordian’s Sports section. Slouched in my seat, I listened to the speaker go over the basics: find a source, interview them and report out. Nothing I had not heard before.

But then something caught my ear.

“The problem with writing for the Sports section is that sports readers usually only read the Sports section and vice versa,” said the guest speaker. “We don’t really know why, but that’s the way it is.”

I sat up straight.

How could this be? Do sports readers really only read the Sports section?

Class dismissed and I approached the guest speaker. As a result of our brief encounter, I had a new story to write. I was going to get to the bottom of why sports readers only read the Sports section.

I was quickly made aware that sports readers do, in fact, read the other sections.

“I make it a point to get a copy of the paper,” said Director of Sports Information and Assistant Director of Athletics Dave Walters. “I flip through it and stop at articles that grab my attention. Sometimes articles are in World & Nation, sometimes they’re in Features and sometimes they’re in Sports.”

Walters continued, revealing what makes a story attractive.

“The stories that capture my attention most frequently are articles relevant to current Guilford events and students,” said Walters.

Rugby player and junior Rich Adamson had a similar view.

“When something grabs my attention, it’s about someone I know,” said Adamson.

First-year Iain Parrott also prefers articles related to students.

“I’d like to see more articles about changes that affect students,” said Parrott.

Unlike Walters, however, Parrott also appreciates articles that cover off-campus events.

“Guilford is a bubble,” said Parrott. “I like articles covering Greensboro and the surrounding area.”

First-year lacrosse player Austin Huddle agreed.

“While I do look at the Sports section first, I go on to read the whole issue,” said Huddle. “I like war and politics. I like how world events are mixed in with campus news.”

On the other hand, some readers are more concerned about the mood of a story rather than its subject.

“I’m looking for positive stories,” said football coach Chris Rusciewicz. “I’ll read any story that is positive.”

Rusciewicz also gave insight on what he would like to see more of.

“I like stories of people saving somebody or giving back to the community,” said Rusciewicz. “I like to read up on what other people are doing.”

And community involvement is exactly what first-year Darion Bayles wants the Sports section to focus on.

“We need more health related articles,” said Bayles. “An article on eating disorder awareness would be great, as many students suffer in silence.”

Sports readers like senior Lawrence Blake are not so concerned with a story’s content. For Blake, only a visually appealing story will catch his eye.

“I look for a nice picture or a good title,” said Blake.

While all of these readers have different reasons for reading certain articles, it was made clear to me that they do not favor the Sports section above other sections.

“I am certainly not drawn to the Sports section,” said Walters.

Adamson also admitted to not being drawn to Sports when he said that he mainly reads other sections.

While Sports readers’ reasons for exploring the other sections differ, they all made it clear that they do branch out.

Yes, Sports readers read sports, but they are not calling timeout after doing so.