BSMW Awards Recap – Best/Worst Basketball/Hockey Beat Writers

We’re knocking off two categories today, the basketball and hockey beat writers.

First, we’ll look at the writers who cover the beat of the Boston Celtics. It’s been a mostly rough 20 year stretch for the Celtics, yet they still have a couple writers on the beat who were around for the glory days of Larry Bird. Steve Bulpett and Mike Fine are among the few writers still working in Boston who witnessed the Legend in person. We did have a omission from the list as Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette was overlooked when the lists were put together.

We had 1327 votes cast for the “best” category and 1304 in the “worst” category.

Here’s how it broke out:

2005_basketball_beat_writers.png

This was one of the tighter races in the balloting. Veteran scribe Steve Bulpett came out ahead of the industrious Shira Springer with the former getting 437 votes for 33% of the total and Springer bringing in 27% with 353 votes. The infamous came in third with 26%. I was a little disappointed in that total, as I feel some of the other writers are very good as well. Mike Fine, who was mentioned earlier is the only media member to appear on the ballot as a beat writer for two different sports. He turns in solid, consistent work. Michael Muldoon of the Eagle Tribune and Tim Weisberg of the Standard-Times may not be with the team day in and day out as many of the others, but provide some pretty solid analysis of the club when they’re covering the team.

In the “worst” category “no one” received 842 votes for 65% of the total. Springer, who had finished second in the best category, got 17% of the worst vote as well, which I think can be attributed to voters recalling some of her early work, which was jeered in some corners. I think she’s done a really good job the last few seasons as a reporter.

Reader Comments:

Went with Bulpett [best]. Shira's gotten a lot better, but he's still tops, and not everyone that's listed can win…There is no worst, although I think in general that the writers as a group can be too easy on this team…

Now to the hockey beat writers:

2005_hockey_beat_writers.png

It seems the disgust for the Bruins around these parts and the terrible season they had translated to the coverage as well. 509 out of 1266 voters believed that no one deserved the label of best hockey beat writer. That came to 40% of the vote. I don’t necessarily think that the hockey writers are bad, but instead this is a reflection of the team that they cover.

That point seems punctuated by the fact that 932 out of 1254 voters (74%) felt that no one should be called the “worst” either. I believe this category comes down to apathy for the product. Some of these writers are very good and have been on the beat for a long time, but because the team and organization is an object of scorn among fans, it’s hard to anoint a “best” hockey beat writer, or “worst” for that matter.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell was the high vote getter for both best and worst once you got past the “no one” vote in each category.