The entire text of the piece by Time Inc Sports editor Terry McDonell doesn't appear to be online now (just silly, me thinks), but Sport In America is posted as an abridged version. The story introduces a future HBO series of the same name that Sports Illustrated will be co-producing.
Overall concept of the series and introductory story is described on this Inside Sports Illustrated blog post and around the question of what sport means to individual people... with this question still quite relevant in today's environment of large money and high level cynicism around sport.
The piece by McDonell was interesting (if only the whole text could be provided here) and got me thinking more about sports journalism and what it does. There's certainly recapping of with scores and game summaries, but also much more. The narrative recreation of fan memories is a huge offering that sports journalism can provide and another aspect of journalism around sports is the revealing of information.
This can be around things like player profiles a well as supremely important topics like Jerry Sandusky and the Penn State child sex abuse case (with my blog post last month on writing about the scandal). This case provided another example of how sports journalism can play a much more important than score and game notes role with this NBC interview with Sandusky where noted sports journalist Bob Costas let Sandusky eviscerate himself in relation to the accusations made and charges filed.
Very important stuff to be sure... and this revealing, recreating and recapping that can be provided by sports journalism doesn't even fully cover the entertainment value that solid media coverage can add to the (financially very valuable) total fan experience.