"Steve Zadig’s auto racing career had never been higher, but his passion for the sport had never been lower."
"But the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department’s massive budget deficit soon will leave Cadwell with one fewer crewmember to care for the trees—with more layoffs likely in the future."
When I was reading these articles, I was very confused as to why we were reading them because they looked like profile pieces, which we've already covered. They definitely didn't feel like they were about "events," but people. It was only when I skimmed through the articles again that I found the parts that mentioned a specific event where the reporter was. So it seems to me like these articles are only technically "on-the-spot" articles; the reporter going to an actual place seems more like an excuse to find out about larger situations. That's probably the most interesting way to do on-the-spot assignments; if you could find a really specific and person-centered way to write about a sports event, that's way better than writing about the game in a general, abstract way. That's why the auto racing article was especially interesting; I hardly noticed that the writer went to an actual race because the story about Zadig was so much more engrossing. The contradiction in the lead is fantastic and really sums up what the article's going to be about in a way that draws the reader in instead of telling them exactly what's coming so they don't feel the need to read further. I don't know if I'll be able to take such a personal approach to my coverage of an event, but it sure would be cool if I did. I think you need to be lucky enough to find people who want to talk and have an interesting story to tell.