The Pulitzer Prize winners for 2008 were announced today. The journalism categories include Public Service, Breaking News Reporting, Investigative Reporting, Explanatory Reporting, Local Reporting, National Reporting, International Reporting, Feature Writing, Commentary, Criticism, Editorial Writing, Editorial Cartooning, Breaking News Photography and Feature Photography.
Something is missing. Why aren't Pulitzers awarded for sports?
Surely there's plenty of writing on the sports pages worthy of Pulitzers, and I assume that Pulitzers have been awarded for sports-related stories under existing categories. But the award for Criticism went to a Boston Globe writer "for his penetrating and versatile command of the visual arts, from film and photography to painting." The other two finalists were cited for movie reviews and essays and for architecture critiques. If there's a special category for art and movie critics separate from feature writing, why shouldn't there be a specific award for sports commentary?
I'd guess one argument would be that sports aren't "important." (And movie reviews are?) Try telling that to the many millions of us piling into stadiums and arenas large and small for everything from Arena Football to the NCAA Final Four (men's and women's) to the Stanley Cup playoffs to major and minor league baseball -- or watching sports on TV, or participating in sports, or discussing sports online. -- Joe Guckin