That's the question now posed with the launch of Bleacher Report, a user-generated sports writing site.
It's yet another no-brainer of a concept that newspapers didn't already think of: Why not open your sports section up to fans? Isn't that half the point of sports anyway, the fan involvement and excitement?
Sports sections are expensive to produce and generate little ad revenue. Back when papers were selling, they helped to sell them, for sure, but now with superior (at least superior in quantity and immediacy) coverage of sports on the web, how does a paper compete?
It again comes down to the question of whether papers still need to be the end-all-be-all for their town when the monopolies of geography no longer apply. One way to still function in that role is to allow the town in, instead of keeping at a distance.
Letting them in through sports--where you have a large number of engaged, vocal people at a local level--seems like an obvious choice. Too bad someone else beat the local paper to it.