Getting it covered

Sports coverage then and then. The second stack from my shelves was that of only sports sections, and I made certain they were in date order. Because the shelving was needed elsewhere, and my other shelves are in use (for now), it’s good to go through these sections now as they are put into a box. Warning: this is a long post because this stack was huge.

Detroit Free Press

My copies of the Detroit Free Press starts with Sunday, Oct. 7, 1984. Its coverage starts with Michigan State’s victory against Michigan. It’s an eight-page section that includes briefs, a story on NASCAR, a page on the Lions for a preview, horse racing and a recap of high school football from Mick McCabe, a page on the Red Wings for a preview, two pages on college football – from national Top 25 coverage to the Big Ten, MAC and state schools, and an outdoors page.

The first flash forward is to Friday, February 20, 2004. A good 20-year move. The header is slightly interrupted by a Detroit Tigers story and the header also has a promo and index. The dominant story was on the Pistons’ trade for Rasheed Wallace. There’s a good amount of preps coverage over two pages, and there remain summaries and box scores for NBA and NHL games. The staples are still there. Not much had changed by Thursday, February 17, 2005.

More big changes, though, happened by the time the Wednesday, November 23, 2005, editions came out. The sports section header was much smaller. Things were much more compact, the familiar fonts for the headlines and body copy were the same. Much was the same on Friday, December 30, 2005. The section header changed again by Thursdsay, January 19, 2006, and it included a partial index and promos above the section header in skyboxes. I saw it again on November 12, 2006, and November 19, 2006, as I was getting Detroit Tigers’ World Series coverage. More from that brief time period included November 26, 2006; December 24, 2006; December 27, 2007; December1 2, 2009.

The Detroit News

The copies of The Detroit News starts with Sunday, March 20, 1994. It is coverage of the NCAA Tournament, and it included Michigan’s run in it. There are game stories on the Detroit Red Wings and the CCHA Tournament. Baseball spring training was underway, and there was NBA and NHL roundups, more on the NCAA Tournament for four pages, a page of sports columns, coverage of high school volleyball, hockey and boys basketball, outdoors and a page of agate.

Another edition is nearly 10 years younger, Sunday, February 1, 2004. The left column again on the front is a columnist. No bastard columns, now that I look closer. A callback to the past, or no changes from previous layouts. Then again, is a seven-column paper and sometimes six. The logos in a Friday, February 20, 2004, edition were ovals. The same for the September 12, 2004, edition.

Like the Free Press in 2005, the News went through some changes. My next copy was from 2006. The headline and body copy fonts remained relatively unchanged. However, the section header was a bit smaller. Unlike the Free Press, the News did have a promo that was a part of the section head on Jaunary 12, 2006. The ovals for logos remained, too. And it stayed the same November 24, 2006. More editions from that time were November 25, 2006; December 1, 2006; December 7, 2006; January 1, 2007; January 3, 2007; January 8, 2007; January 31, 2007.

My stack picked up the Free Press on July 19, 2009. What is called the “Hot L” makes a show with the Sports flag anchoring it. To the right is a promo with some scores and below the flag is promos. All that was left was a huge photo and story on the Pistons coach in a 12-page Sunday section.

The Oakland Press

The Oakland Press starts also on Sunday, March 20, 1994. This edition, like The Detroit News, shares the same coverages on the front – Michigan in the NCAA Tournament. Unlike the News, the Oakland Press is color on the front and back. Unlike the News, there isn’t a columnist down the left-hand rail as is tradition in so many newspapers. The right-hand rail is with scores, briefs, TV and what’s inside. This rail, actually, still survives in many newspapers around the country. There are NHL and NBA roundups, spring training for MLB, the NCAA tournament both men’s and women’s as well as the CCHA Tournament, briefs, high schools, figure skating and soccer. There is an agate page and and outdoors.

I have additional copies of The Oakland Press from 1994 where the design isn’t much different: April 3 (Baseball ’94 preview), April 24 (NFL Draft 94), June 30 (Pistons draft Grant Hill), Sept. 11 (No. 6 Michigan defeats No. 3 Notre Dame), Sept. 25 (No. 7 Colorado defeats No. 4 Michigan) and Oct. 16 (No. 3 Penn State defeats No. 5 Michigan).

My next copy was from Saturday, September 27, 2003 and subbing in the rail on the right was a column. There’s more on the Tigers’ woes and prewrites of Michigan and Michigan State over local high school stuff, a given because of being in suburban Detroit. A lot of the rail stuff was moved inside.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

My earliest edition of a Milwaukee daily newspaper is the November 20, 1994, edition of The Milwaukee Journal. It’s a Sunday edition, and it’s college football on the front with Wisconsin being the primary focus. It is a 16-page section with two pages of college football coverage, two pages of Green Bay Packers coverage, some NBA coverage, a page of high school coverage, a page of agate, a page on baseball, and then two pages of outdoors.

Fast forward 22 or so years to February 4, 2007, and the combination of the Journal and Sentinel. It is an 18-page Sunday section with Super Bowl XLI the main story. Promos are with the section head. The section is pretty aired out, and clean. Makes sense with a big paper. More from that time period: May 13, 2007; September 27, 2007; May 9, 2010; October 3, 2009; October 25, 2009; November 1, 2009; March 21, 2010.

The Orlando Sentinel

My first trek to Florida and Disney World was in 2000 during spring break, and thus I picked up a copy of The Orlando Sentinel. My first was of Monday, March 6, 2000. Skyboxes are above the section head. The dominant item was a Orlando Magic game story (with Ben Wallace). The second page is a column and notes. The third page was NASCAR with the fourth page being college basketball. There was more golf on page 5, along with some other small roundups. There was a two-page spread on spring training – a big deal in Florida at that time of the year. An agate page was inside as well as more NBA coverage. The last of the 10-page section was more on the Magic. Pretty solid section.

The New York Times

I cam across my first copy of a Times sports section is from Sunday, May 11, 2003. The Times, typically, is a standard of its own. The first section builds on great in-depth story-telling, but it also has some nuggets here and there.The simple scoreline is something that jumps out. It’s small but it stands out. The sport headers also pop. Just is a clean newspaper.

There was a copy of the Sunday, May 2, 2004, edition. Like many other newspapers buttons are showing up with logos, but there wasn’t one for the Kentucky Derby. There was one for the NBA. There is also a cutout and even a Yankee-covered rabbit’s foot.

I saved the June 23, 2008, edition. A small logo was with a Wimbledon story over a tennis ball, with a shadow. There also were some promos on the right below a story. Much of what was there from years before was there again. Much was the same in September 14, 2008.

The Times Herald

Because The Times Herald in Port Huron covered Thumb teams, I picked it up from time to time to see how teams and schools to my east were doing. The first copy I have was from Saturday, September 27, 2003, a high school football day. There weren’t roundup stories on the high school games, but capsule looks. I do like the scoreboard on the front. The front-page design was OK.

A year later, on Saturday, October 16, 2003, I picked up the paper again, and a front page design things I saw before came up again. On the far left is a column. The next column has a vertical story, but it wasn’t high school football. That was packaged again to the right of that. Looking at it now, it doesn’t really look sharp. In fact, it feels a bit crammed. Otherwise, it is roughly the same.

The Bay City Times

One of the earlier editions of the sports sections of The Bay City Times was from Sunday, April 25, 2004. The Times, at the time, had playoff stories for the Red Wings and Pistons above the sports page header. It was a practice that hails back to generations before. I’ve seen it in newspapers in the 1980s, 1970s and even 1960s. The word “Sports” is huge, and red, while the NFL Draft coverage looks well put-together. There were four pages, with recreation highlights in the agate page.

On July 25, 2004, the move from a wide web format to a smaller one looked like it was on its way. The section header has a small index and some contact info. Much of what was done previously, especially on the agate page with TV and briefs remains largely the same. The web width shrank for the September 25, 2004, edition when the paper went to a newer press. I had more editions from 2004, including Nov. 13, Nov. 14, Nov. 28, as well as 2005, Jan. 30, Feb. 6, March 20.

When I got to the June 27, 2007, edition of the newspaper, many of the stories had small sport heads, which helps to say what the story and photos are about. They’re not huge, either. A screened box also sets off the main stories from the others surrounding it. While the headline fonts have changed, the body copy is still easy to read. And many of the staples are still where readers knew them to be.

The paper morphed again by December 22, 2008, with shaded/raised headlines. Some of the rail on the scoreboard changed, and the agate was in a shaded box. There were three pages on sports on a Monday in an 8-page section.

The Saginaw News

The first issue of The Saginaw News in my stack is from Friday, September 24, 2004. I had read the newspaper from the mid-1990s, so I definitely knew of the paper prior to its first edition in my stack. The Saginaw News from this edition has a rail down the left, breakout boxes for game stories with logos (something seen in my paper at times today). The agate is a full page, and there is a page dedicated to high school sports. Another page is on college football, including stories on a pair of Division II schools, Saginaw Valley State and Northwood.

The changes to the Booth Newspapers in Michigan with a new press took a hold of The Saginaw News, to a degree, on October 2, 2004. The rail remained the same, and the header was a bit smaller. The breakout boxes saw a slight change, but not a huge change. This was an edition on a Saturday, so high school football was on the back page with another page of coverage inside the back cover. It is an impressive 8-page section but with very little ads. The Tuesday, October 5, 2004, edition was on the new press, making the photos and more much more sharper. More from 2004 included Nov. 13 and Nov. 28. Not much had changed on October 22, 2005; June 25, 2006; October 14, 2006; October 21, 2006; November 11, 2006; and May 13, 2007.

There was a slight change by December 22, 2008. The right-hand rail by this time was shaded. And the breakout stories were shaded.

The Grand Rapids Press

I didn’t get on the west side of Michigan much, and so my first copy in the stack was from Sunday, September 26, 2004. A Michigan football game story is above a massive sports header. The newspaper has a rail, with promos in it, and buttons with logos. It’s a massive 18-page section with tons of college football coverage. The agate is a full page, one and a half pages of MLB, and two pages for the NFL.

My next copy of the Press was less than two years later, August 3, 2006, and it had a marked difference. There were briefs/promos on the left side in a rail with that day’s pro schedule at the bottom. Breakout boxes had screens to call attention to them, although the screens were shades of gray. There was even a promo below the header, but the header itself was pretty clean. Less than a year later, on July 1, 2007, the schedule became a scoreboard with many scores in “late.” The Wednesday, September 26, 2007, edition was a schedule and not a scoreboard.

St. Paul Pioneer Press

When my family and I moved to the Chippewa Valley, I began to pick up a lot of the newspapers around me, including from the Twin Cities. The first sports section from that region in the stack is from Sunday, July 13, 2006. A nice promo was with the section header, and a column was in the normal left-hand spot. Another promo was on the bottom, but for the front-page of the newspaper. It was a 12-page section with baseball, a nice agate package, plenty of baseball and outdoors.

A year later, or so, on July 8, 2007, there were no promos, but Justin Morneau’s cap cutout went over the double line. The Sunday edition had 10 pages with plenty on Wimbledon and baseball. But on Wednesday, February 27, 2008, things changed. The sports head is over on the left with a promo dominating. It’s an 8-page section without any rails. The changes held for May 20, 2008; June 13, 2008; November 3, 2008; November 6, 2008; November 16, 2008; February 3, 2009; April 12, 2009.

I’m stopping at the April 26, 2009, edition as the section is a move to cutouts and illustrations by the newspaper. But much of the same in terms of section heads and promos.

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

My first Star-Tribune copy is from Sunday, May 28, 2006, and I’ve always liked the airy design there is there. It doesn’t feel cramped. The logos are buttons with shadows and there’s promos at the bottom of the page. In all, there are 18 pages, and it just is put together so well.

The Sunday sports sections are pretty massive. I have a 24-pager from Sunday, September 10, 2006; the second part to a Monday, October 9, 2006, section; and a 12-page Tuesday, October 10, 2006, edition. Not many changes were there on March 10, 2007; May 10, 2007; September 6, 2007; October 26, 2007; November 16, 2007; December 3, 2007; December 11, 2007; December 29, 2007; January 3, 2008; January 31, 2008; February 15, 2008; February 27, 2008; March 25, 2008; September 14, 2008.

I’m bringing up the October 19, 2008, edition only because much of what I kept from the Star-Tribune through these months (and these years) had wonderful photo illustrations by the staff. And so it went with January 4, 2009; January 18, 2009; February 3, 2009; March 12, 2009; May 10, 2009; June 7, 2009; June 21, 2009.

Wisconsin State Journal

This is The first time the Madison newspaper shows up is April 10, 2007. Common sights include a left-hand column, promos in the sports header, button logos and shaded breakout boxes. It is a 10-page section, with seven of them dedicated to sports. Another section like this was March 1, 2007.

The January 23, 2008 edition was vastly different with the sports head as it shrunk and continued to have a promo. Same for January 29, 2008; February 3, 2008; February 24, 2008; February 3, 2009.

The June 4, 2009, edition saw some more refining. The newspaper changed its red section header to one that has a red line that helped to promo the newspaper’s University of Wisconsin coverage. But much of the same that was seen before remained. More editions are of June 13, 2009; October 1, 2009.


  • Sandusky Register. Editions include July 15, 2000; Impressions: Had all of the box scores from MLB in 2000 as the online stuff continued. Good amount of local golf notes and local baseball results.
  • St. Petersburg Times. Editions include August 22, 2001; August 24, 2001; July 16, 2004. Impressions: this was from my week-long conference at the Poynter Institute. The rail is there along the left with refers and briefs.
  • Reno Gazette-Journal. Edition was October, 23, 2001. There were logos used quite a bit, including helmets for high schools. I’m a big fan of logo use, and it is used pretty well. And again, more rail. The rail was used more of a refer to inside stories.
  • The Daily Herald of suburban Chicago. Edition was June 14, 2002. White Sox vs. Cubs was the main deal. Section head included two skybox refers and an index.
  • Jackson Citizen Patriot. Edition was July 10, 2002. Very basic. Feels like the newspaper I currently oversee with familiar agate and briefs on the second page and a few stories on the third page. This was a five-page section on a summer Wednesday. Another edition was June 19, 2004.
  • The Pioneer of Big Rapids. Edition was November 23 & 24, 2002. This had a lot of local. The only AP content was on an inside page.
  • The Washington Post. Edition was January 4, 2004. Clean look, which I love. A bottom refer box on the front, which I also love. The button logos are OK, and one of the earliest uses I’ve seen.
  • The Flint Journal. Edition was April 6, 2004. This was produced shortly after the Journal shrunk its size and was printed by a different press. The screened infoboxes with logos is what jumps off the page as they are with game stories. It’s a pretty good six-page section. Telling thing: one ad, a two-column by four or five inch ad. It also was a preview of a future Flint Journal. An April 18, 2004, edition was on the old press, and a lot of what is there works pretty well today, too. Except the newer one had a tighter agate page. Other editions: July 4, 2004; August 25, 2004; September 11, 2004; October 16, 2004.
  • National Post of Canada. Edition was May 29, 2004. It’s hockey season. Big-time. Actually, it was the Stanley Cup Finals, so that got huge play in a nationally available newspaper in Canada. Very clean design, and the columnists have the Wall Street Journal line drawing effect. Other editions: July 11, 2005, with this one having a left side teaser rail.
  • The Toronto Star. Edition was May 29, 2004. A feature on Canadian baseball players looking to play in the Olympics was dominant. There were two pages of agate, with briefs mixed in.
  • The London Free-Press. Edition was May 29, 2004. Boxes instead of lines separate stories. That makes sense. But what doesn’t make sense is the lines to separate stories are on the inside pages.
  • The Kalamazoo Gazette. Edition was June 18, 2004. The sports section banner isn’t cluttered. And there’s a rail that includes normal stuff like quotes, but also refers and scores. The June 10, 2007, edition doesn’t have a rail but promos along the bottom instead. This edition also had a short and not very tall section front. Good photo use on the front, too. The July 27, 2008, edition again more big changes. A promo with the sports banner and promos on the bottom. Every page of the 8-page section is color.
  • The Battle Creek Enquirer. Edition was June 19, 2004. There are some boxes, but very open and clean design. No rail, no promos.
  • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Edition was July 16, 2004. Skybox promos and bottom-of-page promos.
  • The Villages Daily Sun. Edition was July 16, 2004. Index is a part of the sports header, along with a promo. A column on the traditional left. Briefs at the bottom with a scoreboard.
  • The Daily Journal Daily Messenger of Seneca, S.C. Edition was September 25, 2004. High school football was huge. Football is, in general, a big deal with it also serving as a preview of college football for nearby Clemson. Other editions: October 2, 2004; October 16, 2004.
  • The Daily Press of Escanaba, Mich. Edition was Sat.-Sun., October 2-3, 2004. Very clean design with the left-hand rail used for scores and briefs.
  • The Mining Journal of Marquette, Mich. Edition was October 2, 2004. Three sports pages with the second page being agate. The front page was almost all local high school football. The third page is a lot of state and national stories. Nothing stands out, other than it being black and white.
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Edition was April 10, 2005. An 18-page Sunday section with the big art on the Masters. There was several pages on MLB and two more on golf. A page for the NBA and a page on high school sports. There were two outdoors pages.
  • The Tribune-Review of Pittsburgh. Edition was April 10, 2005. A 12-page Sunday section, and the layout is pretty clean. Promos line the bottom. Plenty of agate, with a little less coverage of baseball and golf than the competition that day. Have to have that with six less pages.
  • The Blade of Toledo. Edition was June 19, 2005. It was a 12-page section from a Sunday. Plenty of baseball, some U.S. Open and NASCAR at Michigan International Speedway were covered.
  • The Plain Dealer of Cleveland. Edition was June 19, 2005. Another Sunday section, coming at 16 pages. There is plenty of baseball to go with golf, the NBA and racing.
  • The Windsor Star. My first sports copy is from June 23, 2005. With the city and newspaper across the Detroit River from Michigan, the Pistons run in the NBA Finals is big. There is a sports header promo, and another on the bottom of the page with an ad. It is an 8-page section with baseball and several local features. I also have a July 11, 2005, edition, again there is a quarter-page ad on the front of the 8-page section.
  • The La Crosse Tribune. Edition was June 2, 2006. The state track meet, which is over two days, gets a great treatment in the 8-page section. Basically, four pages are on the track meet for all divisions while the remaining four pages covers the rest of the sports. The sports section had a rail with briefs and promos on the left. Other editions: June 3, 2006; June 4, 2006; November 9, 2008. Sweeping changes came by December 28, 2008 with no rail and one promo in the header. The bottom portion had some fun stuff. There was more on March 22, 2009; October 18, 2009.
  • The Post-Crescent of Appleton. Edition was July 30, 2006. This Sunday edition had a rail and a big spread on Prince Fielder. A 12-page section. A Wednesday, August 23, 2006, edition was about the same. I found a stark difference on Thursday, August 2, 2007: a 12-page tab on sports. Very different. Ditto for December 15, 2007. Then it switched at some point to a broadsheet by June 17, 2009. Promos were along the bottom. Four pages of the 14-page section for sports.
  • St. Cloud Times. Edition was December 18, 2006. A six-page Monday edition with pretty much all NFL coverage.
  • Billings Gazette. Edition was June 21, 2007. There is a promo with the sports header, but what stood out to me was the number of headlines and subheadlines. There are several of them. There are four-plus pages of sports on a summer Thursday. Other editions: June 22, 2007.
  • Lansing State Journal. Edition was July 1, 2007. A Sunday 8-page edition with a column on the left and what feels like competing things elsewhere. There was a lot going on with the front page. The same could be said with July 19, 2009.
  • Duluth News Tribune. Edition was October 6, 2007. A Saturday edition with an 8-page section. Plenty of high school football and a preview of college football. Also, October 7, 2007.
  • Green Bay Press-Gazette. Edition was December 15, 2007. Promos line the bottom, but the rail is a big different. There is a score for junior hockey and a brief on the summer college baseball team. The other parts to rail, though, has some fun highlights. Plenty of preps in the 6-page section and the back page is youth sports. The rail had some changes for the May 16, 2008 edition except for the bottom half. Another edition from July 19, 2008.
  • Rapid City Journal. Edition was July 6, 2008. There is a slight teaser in the header, but the promos are huge on the bottom of the page. American Legion baseball was so big in the 6-page section that one of those schedule boxes were done for four different teams. Another edition was July 11, 2008.
  • Argus Leader of Sioux Falls. Edition was July 12, 2008. Felt like promos gallore. Top, sides, in stories and out, and on the bottom.
  • Marshfield News-Herald. Edition was August 20, 2008. I’ll get into design stuff that this reflects, to a degree, at another time. The rail had some briefs and there were five pages of sports on a Wednesday.
  • Chicago Tribune. Edition was June 13, 2009. The sports header was actually in a photo, and below the dateline info. A Stanley Cup Finals game story was above the header. Parts of seven pages were about sports on a Saturday. The June 16, 2009, edition was a tab, a big difference from previous Chicago Tribunes I had purchased before. Why? Because the Chicago Sun-Times is the best-known Chicago tab. The June 20, 2009, edition, though, is a broadsheet. And on June 21, 2009; August 16, 2009; September 20, 2009; September 27, 2009;
  • Chicago Sun-Times. Edition was June 20, 2009. The Sun-Times is the standard-bearer for tabs in the Midwest – notice I didn’t say the country because of New York. The cover does what it is supposed to do: promo stories on the inside with photographs. Another edition from June 21, 2009; June 11, 2010.
  • The Cincinnati Enquirer. Edition was June 20, 2009. The Enquirer is something I picked up before the Civil Rights Game. There are promos at the section top, but it clearly states sports. It’s a 6-page Saturday section without any rails otherwise.
  • The Pantagraph of Bloomington, Ill. Edition was June 20, 2009. More from my journey to Cincinnati. The design was clean and there were no rails or promos in the 6-page section.
  • The Indianapolis Star. Edition was June 21, 2009. Promos with the sports header. Good breakdown of the U.S. Open. As expected, another clean newspaper from a big market.
  • Post-Tribune of Gary, Ind. Edition was June 21, 2009. Customary column on the left hand side, which considering the publication date, I didn’t see much from other newspapers the same way. But, the main art was a giant promo and the U.S. Open received a promo in coverage.
  • The Washington Times. Edition was August 26, 2009. Not sure where I received this, but I have it. It’s a Wednesday edition with eight pages in the section, seven for sports. It covers the pro and college scene very well.
  • The Gazette of Cedar Rapids. Edition was October 4, 2009. This is one of the newspapers that I got when I took a drive along the Mississippi River south of La Crosse, Wis. It was a weekend and this is a Sunday edition with several pages of Iowa coverage as well as Iowa State, Dubuque and Northern Iowa. There was some preps in 10 of the 16-page section.
  • The Telegraph Herald of Dubuque. Edition was October 4, 2009. Another from Iowa, with coverage of Iowa and Wisconsin along with Packers at Vikings. It’s an 8-page section with NASCAR, baseball, outdoors and something on the 2016 Olympics and Chicago. Reflects well considering it’s so close to Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.
  • The Post-Bulletin of Rochester, Minn. Edition was October 3, 2009. It starts off with local high school football in the 12-page section and leads to briefs and outdoors. Feels odd considering the fourth and fifth pages are state sports followed by four pages of local sports.
  • The Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier. Edition was October 4, 2009. The right side has promos with the left-side having college football and USHL hockey. Baseball, NASCAR and college football was next for the next few pages, while local stuff was at the back. The back page highlighted preps. Similar to what I’ve seen from The Saginaw News.
  • Des Moines Register. Edition was October 4, 2009. Lots of college football. Ads with promos in the banner. It’s a 12-page section with plenty on Iowa.

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