Monday, January 24, 2011

The flaws of sports bloggers

In so many instances, the sports media or press, while doing their best to report the information given them by sporting teams, are simply inadequate when it comes to sating the desires of passionate fans. In many cases, such as Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger, and Darren Pang, most if not all of what they say is credible and can be, for the most part, taken as gospel given the hard work they've obviously put in to get the information and made sure it is reliable.

Then, we have sports bloggers.

I feel that blogging was born out of a couple of things.

1. The internet and it's unfailing ability to let people think that they can voice whatever they want whenever they want and it should be taken as true. Prime example: Me. :)

2. The aforementioned inadequacy of sports reporters not being able to sate the savage needs of the fanatical public.

3. People think others actually care about what they think. Prime example: Me. Again. :)

Now, with bloggers, there is quite a wide range of quality. Some bloggers, such as Dee Karl, The New York Islanders 7th Woman, is an incredible sports blogger who wastes her talents outside of the sports world. I've said it once and I'll say it again, the Islanders need to hire this woman. Chris Botta is another great sports blogger that, while he tends to let his opinions lead him a little too much, does manage to provide competent material that is generally a good read.

On the other hand, we have the swath of bloggers who have their articles littered with useless drivel. "The team should do this, the team should do that! What was he thinking??? What about playing "X" player more? Why didn't he do this??" Essentially a fanatical fan who feels he knows better and thinks that what he feels is right and should be done.

First of all, let me say, I do applaud even these bloggers for putting their opinions out there. It's hard to stand up and shout, even if it isn't necessarily the right thing to do. But all the same, a little professional courtesy is really needed for any of these "I know better bloggers" to ever be considered more than the run of the mill fanatical fan with a voice and the will to use it.

To read a example of what a proper sports blog should be, always check out Bob McKenzie over on Thoughtful and insightful, yet he more reports on the news rather than churning out what he thinks. Between the small sprinkle of opinion he does share plus following his twitter feed @tsnbobmckenzie, which he doesn't stick to such strict standards, and you do get a sense of what he is saying a little more without the "this GM sucks" foolishness you sadly see in so many other blogs.

When I think like this, it makes me understand why Chris Botta was "Botta'ed" by the New York Islanders. Near the end of his reign (he's since converted to fluff pieces and streaming media) his articles were rife with what can almost be misconstrued as angry shots at an organization that simply wasn't doing what he thought was right for it's young players and at young players not performing to what he thought they should be doing. What makes it worse is that his work for his main job on NHL Fanhouse is impeccable and quite a good read.

There are so many bloggers out there who talk like they know what they are saying. When reading any sort of materials on the net, do realize your source before you take it seriously. Some sites talk about prospect roundups, about what a team SHOULD do with a player, what a GM SHOULD do come trade deadline, etc. It is all just opinion. I don't claim to be a reporter, I just blog. Many of these bloggers fancy themselves to be sports reporters. They are not. They are passionate fans, just like you and I. They are just a little misguided.

Suggested reads:

Dee Karl the Islanders 7th Woman
Bob McKenzie
Darren Dreger
Pierre Lebrun
Lighthouse Hockey


PS: I also hate it when a sports reporter says "we" as if he/she were on the team. Yes, earlier last year i put up the post "we are all islanders", but there is a HUGE difference to saying you are an Islanders fan (for which the post was meant) and actually being a part of the team. When you are on the payroll, you get to say "we", and not until.

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