1:25 pm Oct. 22, 2012
Each day, the New York tabloids vie to sell readers at the newsstands on outrageous headlines, dramatic photography, and, occasionally, great reporting. Who is today's winner?
MOVING ON: Last year, when the Yankees ended their postseason with an Alex Rodriguez strikeout against the Detroit Tigers, the tabloids registered their exit by running stories vilifying A-Rod and then moving on decisively to football.
Not that we haven't had our share of football fronts these days, but expect them to be regular Monday fare. The lingering baseball coverage will be all about getting rid of the "bums" in the Yankees roster.
Witness today's Daily News. At the bottom of the page, the paper extends its weekend campaign to fire pretty much all of the Yankees' most expensive players by giving cover to Yankees management, who are responding happily to the clamor. "FOR SALE" reads the big, knockout-white text over a black field, next to a picture of A-Rod in civilian clothes (sweat jacket, jeans, sunglasses), looking like it's just as well for him that the season ended early.
"Yanks say: A-Rod's no 'superstar,' he's aging ... and we're open to best offer!" reads the small text.
But the A-Rod dis only takes up about a third of the page. Watch now as Monday mornings, always a problem for newsrooms whose regular reporters work Monday through Friday as a rule, leaving little to populate the Monday paper but the work of the weekend shift, become regularly predictable high-octant football pictograms. "VICTOR-Y!" reads some blue text over a picture of Giant Victor Cruz, whose touchdown delivered a win for the Giants. "Cruz's clutch TD lifts Giants; Jets fall in OT."
Yes, the Jets, who are now 3-4. The news actually is that they almost won up in New England, since their three wins this year have come against poor opposition and their three losses going into the weekend had been against teams that, like the Patriots (despite their 3-3 record prior to the game), are good.
The News just gives a small inset to the Jets; the Giants' win is bigger news, mostly because we need some success stories now to keep sports interesting, right? That's something the Post knows well—and the reason, I think, they banished baseball from the front page entirely, and gave the whole thing to Cruz. "TAKE THAT" read the giant white letters over a photo of Cruz's big moment. "Jints stun Skins on Cruz's TD." (Once again, with that sext great Anglo-Saxon tabloid curtness!) An even smaller inset goes to the Jets here than on the News, and it's just a helmet with the logo and the text, "OT fumble sinks Jets."
Observations: I know the "clear the bench" Yankees stories look provocative, but the fact of the matter is that for the regular general interest reader, baseball is dead for a while. It's time to brush off and move on. We don't need a transition period of covers that spend half their time on team management for the Yankees, who are out, and the other half on football. If it's going to be a sports cover, make it a football cover, for Pete's sake.
Winner: New York Post.