Sports fans are the new citizen journalists

Sports journalism has an intrinsic fan base, so it only makes sense to parlay that readership into online sports communities.

Takkle, an offshoot of Sports Illustrated, is hooking them while they’re young. The site has an active network of high school athletes and fans who can submit photos and video of their favorite teams or participate in throwdowns on just about any topic.

Impressively, the site ranks the top 25 basketball players and top 100 football players from high schools across the country. Takkle users can rate each player as over or underrated, view stats and debate the player’s cred in the comments section.

Elsewhere on the site,’s College Football’s Greatest Rivalries video series is well-packaged and is sure to get football fans talking. All the greats are there including University of Florida v Florida State, USC v UCLA and Army v Navy. The opportunity to debate the prowess of one’s home team exists elsewhere on the site at FanNation, but it would have been nice to have a comment section or direct link to each rivalry’s discussion board to make the debate more immediate.

Bleacher Report is perhaps the best citizen journalism sports site not tied to a mainstream media outlet. In the vein of Associated Content, users can register and write their own sports-related articles, which, when posted, can be reviewed and rated by other users. Writers are free to speak their minds and throw unbiasedness out the window (especially today’s front page story “ESPN: The Ultimate Hypocrite”. Totally valid argument, but wow what a headline.) Bleacher Report covers most of the major sports, including football, basketball and soccer and its thriving community is making it one of the best on the web.

And because no post is complete without a good map, takes soccer league tables and plots them on a user-friendly map. The site is Europe-centric, but is very comprehensive and is RSS-enabled for news on any specific league. The site’s stats can even be embedded as a widget on any webpage.

Read more about tackling the online sports section in this previous post.