04
Feb
08

Heads up

Headlines, headlinesThe Cut is nothing if not a bastion of knowledge and journalistic information (about once every couple months).

And today, you’re in for a lesson.

Super Bowls (and other championships) are a great chance for daily newspapers to “show you what they’re workin’ wit” – as the kids say.

Being in the newsroom after such a big game is nerve-racking. You’ve got probably 30 minutes (maybe less) to come up with something catchy, punchy and original.

But, it’s also what sports editors live for.

Not all editors are up to the challenge (see left). That being said, let’s see who made the Cut after New York’s Giant Upset! of the Patriots.

Best Headline: BabyJ and I agreed that there was definitely a tie at the top. Both “The Perfect Crime” from The Chicago Tribune and “18 and Uh-oh!” from the The Sun (Lowell, Mass.) garnered our 1st-place votes.

Most worn-out: By far (and I mean far), “Giant Upset” was the most popular headline. And by popular, I don’t mean that people liked it. This award is also known as the “laziest headline” award. Usually, taking the name of the team/person/coach who won and placing it in a catch phrase is a no-no. And as you might have guessed, publications who went with “Giant Upset,” didn’t really stand out.

Worst headline: “Giant Upset” had to be immediately thrown out of contention for this award, because it required no effort. The worst headline award goes to someone who actually tried before failing miserably. (Drumroll please) And by far the most lackluster headline was “Super Manning” from the RedEye (ironically, owned by the Tribune).

Not only does this require no thought, it was also used for LAST YEAR’S SUPER BOWL! However, in all fairness, this publication frequently publishes Britney Spears updates.

Honorable mention: This may be up for some debate, but personally “Nobody’s Perfect” was just below a first-tier headline for me. Yes, it’s a phrase, but would require more intelligent newsroom discourse than Giant _____.

The other interesting thing about headlines is the way they are pointed. In the New England area, almost all the headlines revolved around the Patriots losing, where as NY papers and national pubs focused on the Giants winning.

Basically, you could read a headline blind and figure out what region the paper was from. (Bored? Try playing this game with yourself, Google an event, read the headlines that pop up and see if you can locate the publication. Did you do it?! Loser)

And now you know how to write a great headline. Let’s see your suggestions in the comments:

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2 Responses to “Heads up”


  1. 1 MileHigh
    February 5, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    The Rocky Mountain News had “Super Manning II”
    The Denver Post had “Giant Upset”

  2. 2 Wilson
    February 5, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Emmitt Smith: “Patriots Debacled”


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