Sports Illustrated and Instagram team up on NFL Preseason Camp Photos

Peter King interviews Andrew Luck

Ever wonder what a preseason NFL camp looks like? There are always plenty of reports on the players but if a photographer accompanies a reporter there may be two photos, at most, to accompany the article.

Now Sports Illustrated has taken a step in providing a better image for fans by promoting images, 20 in all, along with columnist Peter King’s report from the camps in the Aug. 20 issue according to a piece in Mashable.

The interesting thing about the idea is its origin. The magazine noticed all of the great shots that reporters down at the camps were posting to their personal pages, and apparently the little light bulb went off at corporate headquarters.

I am surprised that this type of idea has not occurred earlier, I imagine that professional photographers must take hundreds of photos at camps and very few ever see the light of day in SI or anywhere else. Instagram is an image viewing venue that is increasingly well known and so a n

atural place to display this type of work.

NFL fans are avid for news about their teams including individual players, and a host of photos on them would be a magnet to many fans, increasing traffic to the web site as well as sating fans needs.

Sports Illustrated’s official Instagram page is a great place to stop, particularly if you are an older sports fans. It has a number of new images from the camps as well as baseball and other current sporting events. But it also runs some of its iconic older covers and older articles.

MLB has had something Instagram going for its teams and you can visit sites that have team supplied photos and while not all of the teams are on-board the program, the plan is to have them do so in the near future.

Athletes themselves have realized the power of the platform as well with a shining example of the use of both Instagram and other social media coming from the recent Summer Olympics. Kevin Love gave a great insider’s view of the US basketball team. Hopefully this is just the start and we see this as a standard operating procedure for all teams and many athletes.


The 2012 NFL Draft is in the Books-Did Your Team Win or Lose?

There is a nice piece in Sports Illustrated by Richard Deitsch that quite clearly shows the difference between ESPN and the NFL Network’s approach to covering last weekend’s NFL draft. It breaks down to one with a relatively minimalist approach (ESPN) and the other went with ‘kitchen sink” approach.

Of course over the course of three days the cast of characters changed a bit and the dynamics of the broadcasts changed with them. I tend to favor a smaller group because I find I learn more and hear more interesting bits of information when there are fewer people vying to be heard.

An interesting side note is that while the two networks had a gentleman’s agreement not to tip picks prior to the announcements, but that did not include Twitter. While the reporters for the respective networks did not tweet all of the picks, they did so on a number of them.

We found that following twitter was much better than following the broadcasts for the most part, not only because the information came fast and furious, but also you could much more easily cut out the noise from announcers filling air time.

There are of course a number of post draft appraisals available for fans to peruse but it is worth listing a few here. Bleacher Report did a nice job, I believe in rating the draft team by team. USA Today had very different impressions on a number of teams compared to the BR ratings so it is interesting to see why they differed and where they agreed.

In the past I have read a few, not from BR, that seemed to give everybody an A or B grade. Sorry, I don’t buy it. Some picks are just strange, and some teams seem like they went too far in breaking from group thinking. Of course it is hard to tell until a few years have gone by, for the most part, but you can make some informed statements based on what is already know about the players, and the teams they are going to.

For a general view of the draft I could point you back to Sports Illustrated and Peter King’s Monday Morning QB column where he talks about how there were a great many stories in the NFL draft. I would have never guessed. As a counterpoint you could always read Kissing Suzy Kolber’s rude interpretation of Peter King’s column instead.

I usually watch the draft switching between the two networks while looking at twitter. A buddy has two TVs going, using his computer to watch his favorite team’s war room and watching twitter feeds on his phone while scratching names off a list he keeps. Wonder what he will do until next year? Well now that the draft is over how long until training camp officially opens?