Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I Still Love FNL

We here at IBT have been blogging for roughly seven months now. Depending on your reasoning for stopping by (read: your level of boredom), you may or may not think we do a good job. In all likelihood, it is probably the latter. In no way are we trained to write or report news in a logical manner. Fortunately, none of that matters. Instead, we put together posts that we hope will entertain anyone looking for such entertainment, but most of all, we just enjoy the process. Best of all, no one is paying us for our services and in no way is our work imposed upon those not interested, yet it remains easily accessible to all.

So why am I putting together an incoherent rant about the independence of our little blogspot here? Look no further than the premium channel television series, "Costas Now." Depending upon your interest in the blogosphere, you may have heard that last night, Bob Costas conducted a live, Town Hall Edition of his show, with a roundtable "discussion" of the sports media landscape. During this panel, many forms of media were discussed: radio, TV, athletes/media, race, and of course, the internet. For the discussion of the internet, Bob invited Deadspin governor, Will Leitch, author Buzz Bissinger, and Cleveland Browns WR Braylon Edwards. This is what ensued.

If you don't feel like watching a video or are constrained due to work computer censoring, here's the jist of it…

Bob Costas: There are some criticisms about blogs. How do you respond?

Will Leitch: Well, I think some of them are valid--

Buzz Bissinger: I have to interrupt here. (to Leitch) Fuck you and everything you stand for.

Braylon Edwards: (to himself) I am going to kill my agent.

Between Deadspin, The Big Lead, FJM, EDSBS and countless other blogs, plenty has already been written in response to this desultory rant by Bissinger. And to be certain, all of it has been much more poignant and intelligent than anything we could put together. Nevertheless, as a blogger who relies a great deal on newspapers, television, radio and human contact for a breadth of the information I convey, I felt like it was worthwhile to pose the obvious question to Bissinger (and the like), "Is there any reason that blogs and newspapers can't coexist?"

Answer 1A) Yes. They already do.

Answer 1B) Yes. Despite their utilization of a blog medium, the contributors to Fire Joe Morgan consistently humiliate newspaper writers when they happen to publish a completely nonsensical article. Given that they only put out a few of these a week, it's reasonable to surmise that they also enjoy articles occasionally. A perfect fit!

Answer 1C) Yes. If these newspaper writers that are continually outraged by the lack of respect they are afforded by the inferior blogosphere would instead take the time to remember their own roots of beat reporting, perhaps they would not be so frightened. Very few blogs, in fact, attempt to do any sort of news reporting. Instead, they are constructed in hopes of entertaining the public, or as we here at IBT call it, our friends and families. Newspapers, on the other hand have a plethora of beat reporters hoping to be the first to get a quote from a player or to dig up a lawsuit filed against a player. This is the news portion. On account of their seniority, columnists and editors then poach this information from these entry level beat writers and attempt to pen columns that provide the entertainment portion of the newspaper. Generally, bloggers only care about the latter.

I've already written more on this than I had planned, and for that, I apologize. But before we go, in case you want proof of how much more informed members of the main stream media are, I present to you: the draft performance of Todd McShay and Mel Kiper. That's right, out of the first three rounds, McShay displayed roughly a 6.67% accuracy rate, or in other words, he correctly predicted exactly 9 out of the first 135 picks. Hell, the # 1 pick was already done for him. Sadly, Kiper was even worse, predicting only 8 correctly. Even meteorologists can't get away with being that bad at their job. But have no fear, McShay has now put out his 2009 mock draft. Never mind that he has no idea what the draft order will be, how the college players will perform, who will get injured or who will even declare. I mean, it's not like he had all of that information this year when he put up the statistics mentioned above. Oh wait.

In addition to those gems linked above, here are a few more posts that have gone up today in response to Buzz...

More from Deadspin (Daulerio)

More from The Big Lead (CRM)

Here's one from Awful Announcing

And Scott's Shots

To be sure, I guess if blogging is only for the uninformed and unintelligent, that would explain why Stephen A had to convert. That doesn't explain why he's still on television, though. And it certainly makes me wonder if he's living in his mother's basement? I should also mention that I didn't even watch this show live because I was at Wrigley Field enjoying 35 degree weather on April 29. But as soon as I read a few reviews and especially after watching a video, I felt a post was warranted. Sorry.


GingerBalls said...

But there's a kind of sportswriting out in Blogfrica now that also has value to me, as a fan, specifically because the people writing are non-credentialed jackasses, just as I am. They experience sports the same way I do, so I'm more apt to connect with what THEY'RE saying than with the dude who gets to hang out with Phil Mickelson at the pitch and putt.
-Big Daddy Drew from Deadspin

Don't get me wrong, I am not near the level the guys on Fire Joe Morgan, Deadspin, Cousins of Ron Mexico, The Big Lead and so on, but I just don't get why sports writers are so afraid and derogatory to this "new" medium of blogging.

I guess I would be scared too if the internet(the tubes) made it easier to disprove a sports journalists asinine stance on Tony Pena Jr. being the second coming of Ryne Sandberg(fake and blasphemous example). It is simple for the real writers, compose well thought out, statistic enforced, compelling articles and no worries. Blogs will still be there to praise(Joe Posnanski) or bash(you know who you are...Bill Mayer), but there is still a need/want for both.

I am glad you brought this up Hiphopotamus, it really is starting to seem like sour grapes/pettiness from these rich ass, privileged sports writers...just do your fucking JOB.

Hiphopopotamus said...

I remember that post by BDD - very well said.

Plus, Julian has a blog now, so they must be cool...

Anonymous said...

Fuck you.



Anonymous said...

Well, predicting the actual NFL Draft may be tough, because you never know what teams will do, like that there were a run on o-linemen or no wide receivers were picked in the first round. I know a friend of mine who actually predicted the Terrell Thomas pick in the second round for the Giants, but that may be aside the point. (However, that person got the rest of the second round picks wrong as well.)
i think it's perhaps analysts usually project what a team should do, not what they would do. however, it's the logic that counts, and maybe an idea should be that analysts should regrade a team's past drafts, and analyze things like roster makeup and so forth.