Two Things We Learned From Articles Reviewing Sporting Events with Numbered Paragraphs

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Now that European soccer is alive and well, the cybersphere floods with game recaps and opening weekend recollections. I’ve noticed an unusual pattern that spans across websites, media companies, and the great journalist/blogger divide. It is a practice which is important and essential. It is….the number.

1) Everybody knows that paragraphs are always better when they start with a number (Aside from intro paragraphs). Humans created numbers to quantify the universe, to instill order and create a sense of security. A paragraph without numbers is just a collection of words. Even if those words involve a familiar and well-known subject, words can sometimes be a mess. Words sometimes confuse. Numbers, though, are golden. You can’t dispute numbers (just the use of them). When you write about sports, please use numbers before paragraphs.

2) Numbers are super important, but so is writing more than one paragraph. In fact, lots of folks like to write “five things” or sometimes “three things.” Other sites like to use slideshows and lists. The most important thing is to have more than one paragraph. Now, obviously, sometimes you’re brain is fried and you’re tapped for ideas. Well don’t worry – just have the second paragraph be a throwaway or a tweaked version of the first idea in the first paragraph. For example, in a Clint Dempsey returns list, you could say “Deuce may dip in form” in the first paragraph and then elaborate in the second paragraph that his “speed of thought” on the field may suffer.

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