So you want to be one of them internet bloggers now, huh? What, did your mother remodel the basement? Well, whatever the reasoning is, you need to know the first rule of being a writer: come with hard, emotional takes right off the bat. And what 's the easiest way to do that? Aim for the low-hanging fruit that has already been devoured fifty times over by everyone with a twitter handle. We all know that players like Ndamukong Suh are scumbags. I mean, why else would ESPN devote all that time to telling us. Surely they would never waste our time with inaccurate, idiotic takes. But how should you cover the story? Need some help? I, again, got your back.
Step one: Exaggerate the facts
Let's face it, no matter what your opinion is, there are going to be facts the stand in the way between you and victory. So, CHANGE THE FACTS! So Suh was only 5 yards behind the play on his illegal block. Well that isn't true if you say he WAS 15 YARDS BEHIND THE PLAY. See how that works? No one will bother to look it up because why would you lie about something so insignificant (shhh...don't tell them)?
Step two: Use a photograph of the player that makes him look guilty or vulnerable
The most important part of journalism is the pictures. Words are too much work. I mean, a picture is worth a thousand words, so why write anything! Believe me, I've tried to write nothing, but Sean keeps yelling at me.
Anyway, be sure to lead your article with a less-than-flattering picture of the guy you're about to skewer, so that the reader gets the message without reading a single word. This guy, who happens to be one of my favorite writers, did this perfectly yesterday in a story about Suh.
Step three: Sum up the article with a strong, opinionated title
If your article doesn't have the word "hate" "thug" or "idiot", you're doing something wrong. I went with "scumbags" here because I'm a trend-setter.
Step four: Make a bold claim without any evidence
This one will take some creativity, but chances are, if you followed steps two and three correctly, the gist of argument won't really matter. But here's where the ordinary blogger can become future First Take co-host. Take Mike Freeman for example:
Ndamukong Suh is a punk. He was a punk yesterday. He will be a punk tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after that.
Look up "dirty" in the dictionary and there's a picture of Suh, kicking a guy in the groin, while punching another guy in the throat, while denying everything.
The Detroit Lions won't win anything as long as Suh is a team leader. Sloppiness, mistakes and uncontrolled aggression are contagious. The Lions have had massive talent but have failed to win because of mental errors, and those errors start with Suh.
First off, strong use of the word punk right off the bat. Really gets the point across with minimal reading. Then he retells two events: kicking a guy in the groin -- which kinda happened -- and "punching a guy in the throat -- which totally didn't happen. See how he fit that in there! Lying works!
But then he claims the Lions won't win anything with Suh as captain. That's a brilliant line because it sound so true, yet there is no proof of this, and he provides zero examples. But it sounds like it makes sense, SO IT MUST! Any mention of how the Lions won 10 games with Suh as a major contributor? Or the fact that his "sloppiness" resulted in just one personal foul penalty last year? Why bother? Just say that his play behavior is contagious, that way when anyone else commits a foul, IT'S SUH'S FAULT!
Again, I must warn you, this is just a beginner's guide. To become a (non-paid) professional like me, it takes years of practice and you must develop your own ways to alter the facts in your favor.
...can we all be friends again?