from The City Game
December 12, 2005
"City Game" is the city of Pittsburgh's annual basketball
showdown between two local universities with a long tradition.
Duquesne University was once a national power but now struggles near
the bottom of the Atlantic 10.
The University of Pittsburgh is a contender each season for the
conference title in the Big East.
their December non-conference meeting, the two schools draw a lot of
press locally, although their programs seem to be going in opposite
directions and Pitt is usually heavily favored to win.
Pittsburgh televised the 74th edition of the City Game on December
7, 2005, from Duquesne's A.J. Palumbo Center. Pitt won, but not
by the complete blowout that some expected; the final score was
71-60. I was there. So were dozens of my TV and radio colleagues.
the print side, some newspapers assigned two reporters to this
game: one who normally covers the Pitt "beat" and one
who normally covers Duquesne. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
also sent a columnist.
the next day in the P-G there were three articles: a
"gamer" by Pitt beat writer Ray
"notes" by Duquesne beat writer Phil
and a column by Gene
And on page C-8 all three of them quoted the same post-game
statement. They were reporting what Duquesne coach Danny Nee
said about Pitt's Carl Krauser. Last spring Krauser considered
turning professional, but he's returned for his senior season with
noticed that all three quotes agreed in principle, but there were
major differences in wording and order.
"He looked like a man among boys. Carl Krauser is the
real deal. He's hard to guard. He attacks the
basket. He's just a warrior. I really wish he went to the
pros. That would have made my job a lot easier."
"Krauser makes everybody on his team better. He's the real
deal. He's relentless on getting to the rim. He looked
like a man playing with boys at times."
"He's the real deal. He makes everybody on the floor
better. He was awfully good today. I wish he'd gone to
the NBA. He could help the [New York] Knicks, or somebody."
decided to dig a little deeper, and I found even more variations
from other reporters, such as Dave Mackall
of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Eric
of the Beaver County Times, and Stephen
of the Uniontown Herald-Standard.
"Carl Krauser is the real deal. He's tough to guard and
makes everyone else on the floor better. He's just relentless
on getting to the rim."
"I really wish he went to the pros. He could help the
Knicks or somebody. It would make my life a hell of a lot
easier. He's like a man playing with boys."
"Krauser is the real deal, he causes mismatches, he plays with
tremendous heart. I wish he would have went to the pros, he
looked like a man playing with boys sometimes. He makes all the
other players better, he's relentless to getting to the rim, and he's
a warrior, who just keeps attacking, so I don't know what the NBA was
thinking about, but I felt he could have helped the Knicks this year."
perhaps each of these six reporters talked individually with Nee,
who expressed the same thoughts in a slightly different way each time.
with that many media on hand, I'm sure that the reporters gathered
as a group to hear what Nee had to say. The assembled scribes
each scribbled notes. Afterwards, each came up with a different
set of reconstructions and paraphrases.
probably wouldn't want to read a perfectly accurate transcript
anyway. It would contain clutter like "you know" and
"uh" and "I mean." And it would contain
comments that might be taken the wrong way, like "a man playing
with boys." Fittipaldo used his sportswriter's license to
change this to "a man among boys.")
are some more examples from the same game, including stories written
by an unnamed reporter for the Associated
and by the Tribune-Review's
on his team's field goal shooting
"I think it boils down to we have to shoot the ball
better. If we want to be competitive and have a chance to win,
you can't shoot  percent in the first half."
"We've got to shoot better if we're going to be competitive or
have a chance to win. We had a lot of makeable shots and Pitt's
defense a lot of times got us to hurry and take some poor shots."
"We have to shoot the ball better to be competitive. We
had some shots that were makeable."
"Some shots my players had were makable."
on Pitt's Aaron Gray (17 rebounds)
"Mr. Gray really has improved. He's really a work in
progress. The coaches have done a good job with him. He's
slimmed down. Everybody is going to have trouble with him."
"Gray is much improved. He's very good. He is going
to be a force. Everyone is going to have trouble with that size."
"We couldn't do anything with him. We have trouble with
that kind of size."
"We wanted to get the ball to Gray down low. We wanted
the inside presence, and feed off him."
"We wanted to get the ball inside to Aaron. He's doing a
great job. We just wanted that inside presence and to feed off him."
"We knew we had to raise our energy level. We were flat
at times in the first half. They were staying close longer than
we wanted them to. Carl fired us up, and our team defense got a
"We came out and started to play with a lot more energy."
"We knew we had to raise our energy level. We came out a
little slow and allowed them to stay with us longer than we wanted
"We let them stay with us a little longer than we wanted."
senior Bryant McAllister
"We matched the intensity, but we couldn't match their
experience. They were a little mentally tougher than some of
our young guys."
"I think we matched their intensity. It's just some of the
experience that their guys have, and they were a little bit more
mentally tougher than some of the young guys we've got."
"They were a little bit mentally tougher than some of our young
guys we've got."
"We played hard, but they're just mentally tougher."
on failing to score
"I think a lot of our problem is, guys are playing with a lot of
effort and passion, but we go on these scoring droughts."
"A lot of our problem, even though we play with a lot of effort
and passion, is that we go into these scoring droughts. We call
these plays and then we start to run them, and somebody forgets the
play. We've got to be a lot more mentally tough."
"We go on scoring droughts. We would call out a
play. Somebody forgets the play, and then we scramble and come
up with a forced shot."
"We kept going on scoring droughts. We'd call the play
out and somebody would forget the play. Our offense would break
down and now we've got to scramble. It kind of forces us into a
bad shot. A lot of it is that mentally we have to be tougher in
running our sets and do it correctly so we get the shot that we want."
coach Jamie Dixon
"You're not going to blow guys out in this place. It's
just not going to happen."
"A game like this brings out the best in both teams.
. . . You're not going to blow out a team in a game like this."
"There was more to this than a normal game. This game
brings out the best in both teams."
Although reporters are good at conveying what their sources intended
to say, the words that appear in print aren't necessarily
word-for-word what was actually said. Caveat lector.