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This Week's Top 10 WaPo Sports Stories

This week's most popular WaPo sports subject. (By Erik S. Lesser For The Washington Post)

Since there seems to be some amount of interest in the Washington Post's coverage decisions and click rates in these parts, I'm going to introduce a new Friday feature: the Top 10 most viewed WaPo sports stories of the previous seven days (i.e., Friday through Thursday). I believe official newspaper policy is still that our coverage decisions are not governed by click counts, but for the merry gang of Internet media critics, it's at least grist for snarky anonymous comments about other sports. (And needless to say, if I were in charge, clicks would be king and the entire sports section would have nothing but Redskins news, down to 1,500-word profiles of the dude who washes the team socks.)

Sadly, my list will not include page view numbers; only the rankings. Happily, sports columns will be included, when applicable. This week, no columns made the cut. Also, this list does not include blog posts. And many thanks to Sports Editor Jon DeNunzio for doing the actual labor here.

The list:

1. A 'Cleaner' of Athletes' Dirty Laundry, by Les Carpenter. NFL feature about sports attorney David Cornwell.

2. New Life at the Plate, by Dave Sheinin. MLB feature about Josh Hamilton, from Feb., 2007. Yeah, it was a slow week.

3. Five Years After the ACC's Expansion, Is Bigger Really Better?, by Steve Yanda. Part I of two-part college series analyzing the impact of ACC expansion, on and off the playing fields.

4. Tied Together By a Tragic Bond, by Adam Kilgore. Feature on Nick Gaines, the younger brother of former star wide receiver Billy.

5. Course of Recovery, by Katie Carrera. Action sports feature on injured BMX rider Stephen Murray.

6. ACC's Forward Progress Limited, by Steve Yanda. Part II of two-part college series analyzing the impact of ACC expansion, on and off the playing fields.

7. Redskins Score a Legal And Financial Victory, by Del Quentin Wilber. Metro news story on the rejected legal challenge to the Redskins team name. Not quite sure why this showed up here.

8. QB Brennan Agrees to A Deal With Redskins, by Jason Reid and Jason La Canfora. Redskins news story about the team signing its presumptive third-string QB. In the paper, this was a 250-word brief on page 2 of sports.

9. Redskins Have Deals With Kelly, Brooks, by Jason Reid. Redskins news story about the team signing a wide receiver and a punter. In the paper, this ran on page E8.

10. AL Run Continues With Marathon, by Dave Sheinin. MLB gamer, in this case about the extra-long all-star game.

By Dan Steinberg  |  July 18, 2008; 4:41 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , D.C. United , Media , Nats , Redskins , Wizards  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Durant Goes Off, and Rhyming Ovechkin
Next: Redskins Football Has Returned


Shorter Steinz: "Hail to the Red$kin$."

Posted by: EdTheRed | July 18, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

This is a great feature and a great idea. I can't wait for all the Nats fans to start questioning why none of their stories are on the list. Same with DC United. I'm sure they will demand an investigation on the veracity of these numbers!

Posted by: UMD's Burning Couch | July 18, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

No DC United stories on the list because they're playing in a made-up tournament right now, and not regular matches. Plus, they are losing in said made-up tournament. I never bother reading the match reports after a loss. Just too depressing, even if the tournament *is* made up...

...stupid grapes are probably sour, anyways.

Posted by: EdTheRed | July 18, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Weird. Where are the swimming stories???

Posted by: Chris | July 18, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse


Of course we have to keep our snarky comments anonymous. Otherwise, our bosses would know what we do all day :-)

Posted by: anonymous | July 18, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Hmm Steinz. What have we learned in week 1.

The top 6 stories were all features.

The next 3 were "news stories".

The last was a gamer, though of an All-star game giving it feature-esqe qualities.

Moral of the story: get rookies to write gamers, have vets write more features, and kill the agate!

Posted by: WebberDC | July 18, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Of course, the rankings for this week should be skewed in some way, especially because there were hardly any sports this week, and thus little news. The actual information rankings should start during a week when actual games are played.

Posted by: Max Wass | July 18, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

The Cornwell story is probably inflated due to his being a DC local and lots of family/friends clicking to read the story.

Plus, there's the Mayor McCheese connection.

Posted by: odessa steps magazine | July 18, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Now you have your answer: more BMX!

Posted by: Ride Free | July 18, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Once again how to lie with statistics. When the Nats gamers are not linked - AT ALL - to the front page, or are linked under the sub-heading "more local news" there are less hits. Be sure to do a front page feature on these rock-solid numbers. It's becoming a tradition. Put Ronnie Belliard's walk-off against the O's in the bottom of the 12th on the front page with a color photo instead of b+w on E7 and there would be a massive number of hits. But you don't care so your readers don't care. And it has become a point of honor with you, an argument you must win, Steinster, that no one cares about the Nats. So just keep those eyes shut tight at the 100,00+ that showed up for the O's series. Affect an attitude of glib ennui. You make the Times Sports section look better every day.

Posted by: flynnie | July 19, 2008 1:32 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: littles | July 19, 2008 3:57 AM | Report abuse

The United fans are furiously clicking all of Goff's articles 2,000x each in order to skew the numbers for next week. This ranking better only counts unique hits or the wackos will take over.

Posted by: PB | July 19, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

This ranking better only counts unique hits or the wackos will take over.

Posted by: PB | July 19, 2008 9:04 AM


Posted by: Pot meet kettle | July 19, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Steinbog: Your Olympic coverage can't come soon enough - please move forward to writing about cheese & beer, and how fast a melon falls from the top of a stadium in China. Outside of the NBA season, your blog should be relegated to a section listed under "Other".

Posted by: BIM | July 19, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

If clicks do not govern coverage, then what exactly is the point of this exercise?

Posted by: the sound of one hand clicking | July 19, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

What happened to the old, fun steinbog? Can you go back to doing what you used to do and not bother responding to the griping of certain teams' fans? Please.

Posted by: Less meta | July 19, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Alternatively, not a slow news week but a revisiting of an excellent Sheinin profile in light of Hamilton's inspiring performance in this week's home run derby (which you probably didn't see because it wasn't football).

Posted by: Josh Hamilton's fake mom | July 19, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Wow, and I thought that my posts were boring.

Posted by: Everett W. | July 19, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Of course, I read most of the Post's sports content in the dead-tree newspaper. You know, the profitable one. But my opinions don't matter in this specific horse race, even though the medium in which I consume the Post's coverage is pretty much the lifeblood of the news organization now and into the future. (I also purchased Kaplan exam-preparation materials back when that was a concern for me.)

FWIW, I read almost every one of the Nats gamers in the dead-tree edition, but I don't read the Sports Bog extracts, because I've already read them here.

Posted by: Lindemann | July 19, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I'd be more interested in seeing the 10 LEAST clicked articles on the site.

Posted by: FS | July 20, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Like Lindemann, I read the gamers in the dead-tree edition, to which I subscribe (my husband not being ready to break the print habit just yet).

On a related note (and originally posted to the Nats Journal), I found this article on how Google and the Internet have changed the way that we read interesting. A particularly relevant snippet in light of recent bog items:

"The idea that our minds should operate as high-speed data-processing machines is not only built into the workings of the Internet, it is the network's reigning business model as well. The faster we surf across the Web--the more links we click and pages we view--the more opportunities Google and other companies gain to collect information about us and to feed us advertisements. Most of the proprietors of the commercial Internet have a financial stake in collecting the crumbs of data we leave behind as we flit from link to link--the more crumbs, the better. The last thing these companies want is to encourage leisurely reading or slow, concentrated thought. It's in their economic interest to drive us to distraction."

Full article here:

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 20, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I'd even go further than that article and say that the Internet is the current technological apothoesis of the capitalist technique of creating dissatisfaction and promising that said satisfaction is just around the corner. The next link, the next RSS feed, the next e-mailed article will provide that satisfaction that whatever you're reading right now has failed to give you. You read with the itchy mouse-clickin' finger because the Internet promises that the ultimate page is somewhere around here. Meanwhile, read our ads!

Posted by: Lindemann | July 20, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Fine, fine, less meta.

And "Josh Hamilton's fake mom," I certainly wasn't trying to say Sheinin's story wasn't great, nor that it was strange some people would want to re-read it this week. But as a newsgathering organization, it feels a little funny when your second most popular item in a given week is a year old. No?

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | July 20, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Point taken, Mr. S. Thanks.

Posted by: Josh Hamilton's fake mom | July 21, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

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