Stories That Are Like Trick Plays in Football

By Jack Limpert

One of my mentors was an admirer of Vince Lombardi, the tough coach who had made the Green Bay Packers the best team in football. He said the mistake a lot of publications make when trying to get better is to keep trying to think up the equivalent of trick plays.

“You win by doing great blocking and tackling,” he’d say. “That’s how Lombardi did it. He didn’t try to get cute. He focused on blocking and tackling better than anyone else. That’s how he built winners.”

That meant editors shouldn’t try to think up stories that were the equivalent trick plays but focus on great reporting and great writing.

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