Sunday, July 30, 2006

Now That's More Like It!

Today I want to tell you about a wonderful article I came across in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Web site, written by D. Orlando Ledbetter.

You can read it in its entirety at:

Let me share the first part of the article with you:

How the Packers can make the playoffs
By D. Orlando Ledbetter
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 07/09/06

With Carolina, Seattle and Tampa Bay attracting early attention as the top teams in the NFC, Green Bay needs a few things to happen for them to become relevant again — the return of Brett Favre was central to any title aspirations. An injury-plagued 4-12 season led to the departure of Mike Sherman and the hiring of Mike McCarthy.

"I'm glad for Mike (McCarthy) that Brett is coming back," NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci said. "They signed Charles Woodson. They lost some players, but anytime that you've got No. 4 taking snaps you're going to have a chance."

Here's a look at 10 things that must go right for the Green Bay Packers to reach the playoffs.

1. The return of Favre

(article continues)

The Packers Literary Corner wishes to congratulate Mr. Ledbetter for all he accomplished in just these mere 128 words. If he keeps this kind of terrific writing going throughout the 2006 season, he will certainly be one of the favorites for our Literary Award we will be presenting each month beginning in August. Let’s examine all the things he did correctly from a technical standpoint:

Begin With A Brilliant Title: Sadly, many of his less-skilled fellow journalists can’t seem to use “Packers” and “Playoffs” in the same sentence these days. But here, Mr. Ledbetter starts right out with a positive, forward looking statement that captures our imagination and causes us to want to read more.

Address a large audience: You might be asking why a writer for an Atlanta newspaper would pen an article about Green Bay. The answer is quite simple, actually. The Packers have more fans throughout the United States than any other NFL Team. And you don’t have to take my word for this. Just read the Harris Polls done each year in October that confirm this fact. The author understands this basic premise of journalism and has targeted his article to reach the largest audience possible.

Don’t Live In The Past: He spends only one sentence bringing the reader up to speed on what happened last year, the one that begins, “An injury-plagued 4-12 season.”

Why focus on the dead past when we can concentrate on the bright future instead...

Many of us have a short attention span anyway. Who was it that won the NFC North last year? I can’t seem to recall.

Include Opinions from Experts: The author asked for Steve Mariucci’s comments and put them near the top of the article. Mooch is an authority on the Packers for several key reasons. He was Quarterback Coach with Green Bay in the early years of Brett Favre’s career, and was instrumental in his development, for which Packer Fans will always be grateful. And later on, when Steve coached the 49ers and then the Lions, he got to observe Brett and the Packers up close as they regularly put a whup-ass on his teams.

I employed this same technique of interviewing experts when I co-authored a recent book about the publishing industry, THE MAKING OF A BESTSELLER. Since authors such as Dan Brown and Nicholas Sparks have sold millions of books and I haven’t, I concluded that readers were probably more interested in what authors like these had to say about the publishing industry, rather than 80,000 words about what I thought. It turned out to be a smart move on my part.

Put The Most Important Factor At The Top of Your List: Writer Ledbetter has a list of ten things necessary to propel the Packers to the playoffs, each expressed in a snappy, memorable way such as: “Put Bears in hibernation,” and “Rally around new regime.”

But, #1 on his list is THE RETURN OF FAVRE.

I would argue he could have concluded the article right there.


As you know, The Packers Literary Corner’s highest award in journalism is a
6-pack of Johnsonville Bratwurst and an autographed copy of the Green Bay Packer themed novel, OVER TIME.

For this fine work of sports journalism, Mr. D. Orlando Ledbetter receives:

4 ½ Brats, With Buns, and Gourmet Mustard

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