For years, Cnnsi.com was an afterthought on the Web compared with the more muscular ESPN.com and Sportsline.com. But, thanks to its new Scorecard Daily section at cnnsi.com/scorecard, it now may be worth a click or two.
Like the Scorecard section in Sports Illustrated, the magazine, the Web version offers quick-hit bits (by the numbers), a swimsuit model of the day (for those of you who somehow didn't get enough women's beach volleyball from the Olympics) and a stab at irreverence. But unlike the dreadful jokes in Bill Scheft's "The Show" in the magazine (easily its most skippable part each week), there's a fairly good chance that the ones in Pete McEntegart's "The 10 Spot" on the Web will actually be at least somewhat amusing.
Scorecard also kind of steals a page from Howard Kurtz's playbook with its "Truth and Rumors" section, which presents one or two lines verbatim from stories in big-city newspapers. There's no commentary, like what Kurtz does in his "Media Notes" page on Washingtonpost.com, but it's still a nice little feature with everything presented on one page, and divided into individual sports.
But Scorecard's best feature may be blogs by the magazine's writers.
Whether you agree or disagree with what Stephen Cannella, Michael Silver, Josh Silver, et al, have to say, it's nice to see fresh commentary on a daily basis, and to see writers be able to flesh out their magazine pieces a little bit more (Silver's blog entry that was posted Friday delved more into LaTorsha Tomlinson, wife of LaDainian, the subject of Silver's story in SI's NFL preview that just came out).
As with many new Web ventures, there are still a few kinks to work out. A click on the link to Arash Markazi's archived blogs brings you to archived articles by Dan Boyle, not Markazi. And, well, of course, some people are going to have a problem with the swimsuit model feature. But they're quibbles when considering Cnnsi.com's major improvement.
-- Matt Bonesteel