Editor's note: This article is part of a special series celebrating National Newspaper Week Oct. 6-12. The Week was designated in 1940 as a way to recognize the importance of newspapers to their communities.
In the world of sports journalism, Twitter reigns as the king of breaking news.
While posting a breaking news story to the Web takes only a few minutes today, Twitter is always the first to record the latest trade, injury or rumor, and the game result goes up almost instantly, followed quickly by a celebratory fan post or a snarky rebuttal by the losing fan base.
Like our competitors, our veteran sports writers, columnists and editors hustle to post stories and commentary online via Twitter, Facebook and our own website so you can get the news quickly via your tablet, computer or cellphone. But while we live in a 24/7 news cycle, there's still another deadline competition on the print side that remains formidable.
The nightly chase to get the latest scores, analysis and results into our print editions represents an incredible example of teamwork. That game-winning photograph and story you have in your hand at 6:30 a.m. may have still been in the hands of our editors at 12:15 a.m., with another update to follow as late as 1 a.m. on some days.
Our internal deadlines for home delivery, especially on weekends, allow us to deliver the latest stories, columns, scores and images among our competitors. Whether it's a late West Coast score, a night game no-hitter on the East Coast, or a triple overtime Stanley Cup game in Chicago, we update our print editions throughout the night to bring you the latest news. Judging by how many times our competitors must tell readers "this game ended too late for print editions," our track record is the best around.
Remember June 8, when the Blackhawks earned a thrilling 4-3 double-overtime victory over the Los Angeles Kings, the defending Stanley Cup champions? That Western Conference Finals win took 91 minutes and 40 seconds of hockey before the Blackhawks could claim their place in the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals against Boston.
When Patrick Kane recorded his hat-trick winning goal at the United Center just after 11 p.m., the race was on for Tim Sassone, our veteran hockey writer, columnist Barry Rozner and our staff. For Associate Sports Editor Don Friske's staff, working with our photographers, news desk and print center crews, it was just another nightly exercise of producing multiple pages over the next 45 minutes for our first editions.
And that was just a prelude to a more demanding effort a few days later in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, which lasted three overtimes. Despite the lateness of the hour, we were able to deliver the final result and celebratory photo in all of our home editions.
While we're proud that our Page 1 design landed us on the Newseum's list of Top Ten Front Pages that morning, we're just as proud it was delivered to you.
And one side note to the Blackhawks: With seven of your 23 playoff games requiring overtime, thanks for scoring two goals in 17 seconds to win the Cup in regulation.
Like you, we excel in overtime, but it's nice to avoid it.