A major announcement from Court Street Stories

Greetings, Court Street Stories enthusiast! Welcome back to the website that brings you all your favorite quirks of Athens, Ohio from the minds of the future of journalism!

As we continue to explore the future mediums of journalism, we have noticed that we are under utilizing our resources in one of the dominant mediums in the field today: podcasts.

Podcasts are commonly known as audible feature stories. Media consumers have shown in recent years that they find hearing stories told audibly much more accessible than reading a daunting, 2,000 word feature.

Podcasts are also a useful analytical tool for complicated matters that require a lot of explanation. It’s easier to explain what you mean in a free form conversation than it is within the constraints of the written word, AP style etc.

Podcasts have been a prominent part of our sports staff’s repertoire for a few years now, but we are looking to expand our podcast network as well as improve the quality of our existing audio content. To lead us in our endeavor, we will be making the regular host and producer of our sports podcasts, James Watkins, the head of our podcast expansion efforts.

Watkins has been a hard-working contributor to our written content in his three years with the publication, but he came to our higher-ups with a vision of what our audio product could and should be, and we are going to give him a chance to make his visions a reality.

The exact details will be revealed when we release the detailed plan to our consumers, but in overarching terms, major changes will be as follows:

Expanded network: Essentially, sports has been the only staff consistently producing podcasts over the past few years. Even then, most of those podcasts have been related to interests unrelated to our product. We will touch on that below, but every staff is capable of producing a podcast.

There are tidbits that don’t make the final version of every story. New information comes to light that can add to a story from the previous day but doesn’t constitute writing a new story. Podcasts are a perfect medium to fill in the blanks and add further context to even the most basic stories.

You can dive into the process of how you wrote your 2,000 word Magnum Opus internship portfolio piece, hold a forum among friends about how to approach The Number Fest safely, interview a source about a pressing topic related to your beat, and everything in between.

Watkins comes from the sports angle, but he will not control everyone’s content. No one knows news better than news, culture better than culture, and so on and so forth. But, he understands how to approach a podcast, and he can help our staffers understand as well.

Improved current product: This is the primary motivation behind Watkins’ proposal. Between writing and podcasting about his beat, hosting and producing the leisurely podcasts on the side, and school work, he has spread himself too thin. He believes that with his energy focused solely on the audio product, our podcasts will be more frequent, more related to what we actually cover, and better researched and produced. The sum of all these things will make our audio product sound infinitely more professional, which could open other avenues for the medium in our future (sponsors, better guests, etc.)

Increase in hirability: This would be the product of all these changes. Journalism students are constantly being told how much they should be diversifying their skills in the industry to make themselves more attractive job candidates. Here at Court Street Stories, we see the writing, and we see the videography. Adding a podcast to every staff would only further raise the eyebrows of every employer who gets a resume from one of our staffers. It’s likely that at some point in our careers, we will be juggling multiple journalistic skills at the same time, and the best way to prepare is to practice.

Stumblin’ bumblin’ and fumblin’: The weekend in review of ugly football

Baseball might be America’s pastime, but football has become its favorite sport in recent years. The reason for the sport’s ascension through the ranks of America’s culture is usually attributed to the unique gladiator-esque action. Although sometimes, as we saw this past weekend, football can provide us with some real stinkers just like every other sport.

The weekend of ugly football began in our own backyard with Athens High School. The Bulldogs took on Vinton County and the outcome was apparent quickly. Athens scored the first three touchdowns of the game, and it never got much better from there. The 63-14 final was mercifully expedited by a running clock in the second half. It can be fun to watch a great team hit its stride, but when the sides are as mismatched as they were Friday night, the line between impressive and ugly gets thinner the longer the game goes on.

Fans who watched LSU play Auburn Saturday night may have wondered if they were watching the right kind of football. Eight field goals were kicked in the game, including the six that made up the entirety of Auburn’s 18 points. There were no “act like you’ve been there before” type comments in this game because, well, these teams didn’t get “there.” This game was so ugly that the losing coach got fired the next day, and the most exciting part of the game was the play that didn’t count.

This was the classic “neither team wants to win this one” game. The Ravens and Jaguars combined for 5 interceptions, two fumbles, a blocked kick, and three touchdowns as opposed to five field goals (and one missed field goal). Someone had to win this game, but the 3-0 Ravens didn’t look too superior to the 0-3 Jaguars.

While this game also had a hint of “neither team wants to win this one” it was ugly for all sorts of other reasons. For one, the Browns were playing. The same Browns that inspired someone at Bleacher Report to write an article legitimately asking if they were the least talented team of all time. If that wasn’t enough, the Browns started their third-string quarterback and were missing their two best wide receivers due to suspension and injury. The worst part is, the game was still close. The Dolphins couldn’t even beat down a depleted version of one of the most depleted teams in NFL history. Oh, and the only reason they won was because the Browns new kicker shanked three field goals, including one that would have won the game as time expired in regulation.

This one is a little more personal for me. Yes, the score was lopsided. Yes, the Steelers scored three points. But it was my connection to them that hurt the most. Growing up in LA without an NFL team and a father from Pittsburgh, I adopted the Steelers as my favorite team. This year’s iteration of the team is supposed to be one of the best versions in quite some time. The defense looked improved during the first two weeks of the season and the Steelers looked like a Super Bowl contender. I don’t want to overreact, but the lack of tackling ability in the secondary and the concept of a head-scratching loss to a less talented team brought my infinite optimism back down to earth. This team is super talented but still falls back into the same mistakes that can make them so frustrating to watch sometimes.

Maybe football can be more fun again next week.


(via memegenerator.com)







The calming simplicity of feeling at home

There’s one room in my house that stands out above all the others. It’s by far the biggest, it’s the first room you enter when you come in the front door and it’s where 90% of my indoor entertainment occurs.
My living room is where I start and end my weekends. When I wake up on Saturday morning, I sit in my favorite chair that my parents somehow let me bring from home and watch “College Gameday.” When I get home from a long night of debauchery, it’s where my roommates and I fire up Netflix to cap off the night. Sometimes, it’s where I wake up the next morning.

    When I come home with my feet aching from a long night of pick up basketball at Ping, my living room is where I sit to get off my feet for the first time in hours. It’s even where I eat my meals. When I have friends over, whether we’re watching TV, listening to music or just talking, we’re in the living room.
I know this seems obvious–doesn’t everyone hangout in their living room? The name speaks for itself. But I believe having a place where you feel a home-like comfort is essential to navigating through the constant stresses of life.
So maybe everyone does hangout in their living room, but there’s a good reason for it.

Five bad NBA players that are fun to watch

The NBA is a spectator’s event. The league’s athletes achieve incredible athletic heights every night. However, just because a player plays with flash doesn’t mean they are necessarily the best. Here are five of the NBA’s most entertaining below average players.
1. Nick “Swaggy P” Young


(via Google Images)

Swaggy P can stroke it as well as anyone… when he’s feeling it. When he’s not, that doesn’t stop him from hogging the ball like he is. There has yet to be a coach able to get him to commit on defense, and he frustrates some of his more competitive teammates. But man is he fun to watch when he is feeling it.

2. Javale McGee


(via Google Images)
Javale McGee is as athletic of a seven-footer as you’re  ever likely to see. He blocks shots by grabbing them out of the air and never saw a poster he didn’t think he could emulate. However, part of his entertaining quality is how spacey he can be on the court at times.

3. Marcelo Huertas


(via Google Images)

Huertas is an electrifying maestro of the pick and roll off the Lakers’ bench. He makes passes most players wouldn’t think of attempting, and if they did they’d be benched for turning the ball over. The problem is that pesky other side of the court. He can’t stay in front of a parked car and often ends up on the wrong ends of highlight reels himself.

4. Brian Scalabrine


via (Google Images)

An honorable mention. Scalabrine, aka the “Red Mamba” was a lifetime NBA benchwarmer that warmed the heart of every fan of every team he played for. Scalabrine will live on forever.

5. Gerald Green


(via Google Images)

Gerald Green is maybe the greatest in game dunker of all time. He sports a highlight reel unlike any other. He never developed into much of an NBA player, however. He’s been a role player most of his career and his jump shot has been come-and-go. Like most people on this list, he cannot guard a soul, but you better stay out of his way in transition.