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CYBER : SPORTSJONES JUST WON'T QUIT.

Byline: Tom Hoffarth

When University of Iowa grad Royce Webb and his buddies decided they were tired of the mainstream sports journalism and wanted to start their own on-line site called SportsJones (http://www.sportsjones.com), they wrote and posted a mission statement that included the following:

``We want you to join us as we take sports back from the loudmouthed, cynical, corporate sports media. We're tired of letting the media tell the same stories they've told 6,000 times before, give meaningless stats and offer flash over substance. We're sick of letting the media giants hound and tear down athletes and sports in general. We deserve better.''

So has the 33-year-old from Nashville backed it up?

Updated several times daily since its June launch, SportsJones has kept alive its fresh, alternative slant on sports issues without sounding too high-falootin' to the common schlub who probably doesn't get it anyway.

Webb's Web labor of love isn't just an outlet to rant like some drooling cybergeek sports fan who just needs to see his opinions in print; it's a site with substance, with depth and, as he described in an interview with Online Journalism Review, a leader in the ``shift toward a more sensitive, progressive, humane perspective.''

That said, a currently posted SportsJones ``exclusive'' detailing how Kenneth Starr's investigation of President Clinton has spread to activities of New York Yankees coach Don ``The Gerbil'' Zimmer and his questionable relationship with former Yankees pitcher Kenny Rodgers is more of the kind of stuff you'd read in the on-again, off-again Spy magazine if it were all about sports.

So is the weekly NFL-picks section by Diane Chambers (the barkeep from ``Cheers,'') whose system of mascot-vs.-mascot makes as much sense as any.

Some readers will see through it as sharp-witted parody. Others will simply be baffled. This isn't meant for the latter.
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Title Annotation:SPORTS
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 2, 1998
Words:309
Previous Article:THE WRITING ON (AND OFF) THE WALL : WHERE'S THE VOTE OF CONFIDENCE?
Next Article:A SIDEWAYS GLANCE : DOG HAS MORE BITE THAN SPORTS STARS.


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