October 30, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

World champs, not worldwide coverage

Newspaper editors in the mid-Atlantic region had a field day with their front pages after the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-3, last night to win baseball’s World Series.

Devoting its cover to a staff photograph of the closing pitcher and catcher in an exuberant bear hug, the Philadelphia Daily News exclaimed: “FROM CURSED TO FIRST … SEND IN THE CROWN!”

The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa., and the Burlington County Times in Willingboro, N.J., dedicated the entire page to the event. The layout was different, the headline the same: “Phinally!” (Props to The Morning Call for using the team’s signature script.)

“WORLD CHAMPS!” declared The Philadelphia Inquirer, which gave the top two-thirds of Page One to the victory and one spectacular photograph capturing pitcher Brad Lidge’s and catcher Carlos Ruiz’s joy at winning. The subhead: “28 years later, Phillies again are baseball’s best.”

Nearby, the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, N.J., announced: “WE DID IT!” — saving the particulars for six pages of game coverage inside.

The Press in Atlantic City, N.J., The News Journal in Wilmington, Del., and The Times-Tribune in Scranton, Pa., made the news their daily centerpiece. The Press incorporated a story and photo of celebrating fans, who apparently braved the cold and riots — yikes! — outside the ballpark. The News Journal smartly included a celebratory photograph from the Phillies’ last World Series win in 1980. It’s been a long time, boys.

Of course, there’s another side to the story. Interestingly, The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune and competitor St. Petersburg Times provided similar coverage of their team’s loss by pairing a single front-page photograph and sports column.

“MAGIC ENDS,” reads the Times headline about the amazing worst-to-first team. “Rays’ miracle season is now just great memories.” Not to mention a few front pages.

Bridget Gutierrez is an exhibits writer at the Newseum.

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