SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL writer Ethan Skolnick has his perspective on the UNDFTED “sports blogs vs. main media vs. athletes” thing - at MSNBC.com today. His piece on blogs, which features SbB prominently, is a part of a MSNBC web package examining how sports media coverage is evolving (de-?).
Skolnick gives extensive treatment to sports blogs - and for that you also have to credit editors and producers at MSNBC.com. Of course, you still aren’t likely to see a substantive, somewhat even-handed piece on sports blogs on a newspaper site. The dinosaurs (management, not editorial) running those operations are too busy cutting buyout checks and overseeing outright layoffs to recognize the influence SbB, DSpin, WL, TBL, and other sites wield.
I’ll clarify some of my comments from the piece momentarily, but I have to first observe this funny from the piece’s obligatory academic:
“I read Deadspin and The Big Lead every day,” said Sandy Padwe, an associate professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. “But both of them are unbelievably misogynistic. It’s OK to scour the Internet and link to other things, some of which are obviously true. But then what is it with all the pictures of the women on there, half of them don’t relate to anything going on in sports?”
Now, I was thinking the same thing last time I saw body-painted, a$$-cracked models on SI.com. And the Hooters Girls on FOXSports.com. And the Fantasy Sports Girls on AOL Fanhouse. And NFL cheerleaders warming adolescents in the front row with their eco-friendly ends. And the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER selling photos of Allison Stokke. And …
As some of you know, we can’t publish “edgy” SbB Girls photos that feature implied nudes, a$$ cracks, thongs, see-thru, etc., if we expect to land Madison Avenue advertisers. That practice is reserved for 75-year-old brands or billion-dollar internet ops.
While I know that running a blog with millions of visitors each month is a significant responsibility, I may have undersold to Skolnick what we do on SbB day-to-day. The material that we post is usually not original reporting, but the presentation and additional analysis is unique, and often brilliant. That showcasing of a story gives it legs, and sometimes nudges it into the mainstream.
So to characterize what we do as only “2%” original, as I did, was selling our writers and overall content short. Anyone who has written for SbB also know how much we put into selecting stories and the overall editorial process (see: Brooks is a pain in the a$$). That is serious business for us, finding the absolute most compelling, fresh content for daily consumption.
In Skolnick’s article, I also likened SbB to a “clipping service.” That’s obviously an oversimplification of what we do. The true meaning behind the characterization is that the main media swoops in every day and uses our oft-obscure finds for their own purposes. Now, if the MSM merely cites the original reporting, from the source, then I have no beef. But as many of you know, some main media members tend to “borrow” lines, or images, from our posts. (SbB is far from alone on this, I know.)
But to be fair, that’s happening less and less. The ladies & gents at places like ESPN often cite where they were tipped off to bizarro, sports-angled stories. Many MSM’ers now understand that their relationship with blogs is best off symbiotic. And they also know that most of their colleagues traffic in the same sports blogs, so they can now longer pilfer from their own cache of “secret” sites.
Guys like SVP, who goes out of his way to credit blogs, are becoming more of the rule.
Skip Caray will be missed. I was saddened by hearing his on-air condition earlier this season, so I wrote about it. With his passing, you really wonder why the Braves kept him on if his condition was anything approaching grave.
That said, I know Skip would probably have rather died in the booth than be let go by the club, so I’m in no way blaming the Braves for his demise.
Longtime Brewers announcer Jim Powell, who grew up listening to Skip in Atlanta, has all you need to read about Caray today in his blog. Great stuff.
I think we’re going to do a L.A. Bloggers meetup again tomorrow night. VERY late notice, but contact me if you want details. Everyone is welcome.
Speaking of tomorrow night, I also received a recent email invite from Hollywood P.R. hotshot Jeff Freedman about a Tuesday screening of a yet-to-be-completed sports movie called, “Longshots.”
Email excerpt: “THE LONGSHOTS Starring Ice Cube and Keke Palmer Directed by Fred Durst From Ice Cube, the star of such hits as Are We There Yet?, Are We Done Yet? and First Sunday, comes a feel-good family comedy, THE LONGSHOTS — a hilarious and heartwarming story of the the first and only girl quarterback in Pop Warner football history.”
Yes, ex-Limp Bizkit frontman Durst is making his directorial debut with the film. “Hilarious” and “heartwarming” are not usually words I associate with him, but I’ll suspend disbelief until it comes out on DVD.
The folks at trading card company Topps announced with much fanfare today that they’ve acquired exclusive rights to produce the trading cards of Babe Ruth. From SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY: “The deal includes game-used memorabilia cards and all other insert cards.”
Babe Ruth “game-used memorabilia cards?” Who knew 70-year-old mustard stains and coaster creases were marketable?
BIZJournals.com reports that construction has commenced on a new basketball arena at Auburn University, with an estimated price tag of $60M.
That amount for a major college basketball arena seems pretty low.
Now, I haven’t confirmed this, but the facility was supposed to be state-of-the-art - until AU alum Charles Barkley’s last trip to the tables at The Tropicana.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell, on if the IOC will scrub Oly event schedules in Beijing over pollution concerns, but not because of humidity or other forces of nature: “They’ve only said they would do something (in the case of) pollution, but when do you make the call? How do you know if this is pollution, or haze, or just overcast?”
The Chinese won Round One with the IOC, by refusing to relent on censoring the media’s access in Beijing to certain websites. Round Two will be deciding which events will be postponed/canceled because of the looming pollution. I think it’s safe to assume Jacques & C0. will remain impotent when it comes to the well-being of the Olympic-based population.
The pollution at these Olympics will be the biggest sports story of the year. Maybe the decade. And like McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!
I wish I would’ve thought of this: “America Offers Chris Mortensen $20 Million to Retire.”
On the subject of the Brett Favre coverage, why is the media continuing to report a training camp “competition” between Favre and Aaron Rodgers as fact? Are the frontal lobe-engaged really buying that?
Favre will either be starting for the Packers in Game 1 or be traded. And believe me, there’s a lot of Green Bay players, coaches and front office types who would love to see #4 in a Bears jersey.
What I haven’t seen reported in this whole thing is the most important overriding fact: Favre has never had the respect of his teammates. He’s never been a popular guy inside the organization. Yes, the retirement announcement was a debacle, but the real reason the team wants him to pack it in is they can’t stand having him around. Someone, anyone, please report that!*
* I know, you don’t want to lose access to Bus.