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Sports Blogs Are The New Elvis

In case you missed it, earlier this week on the Costas show on HBO, Buzz Bissinger - a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist - put on quite a display. The setting was a panel discussion on sports blogs and society and featured Bissinger, the editor of Dead Spin and Braylon Edwards (naturally). What transpired was Bissinger not only throwing an inappropriate tantrum, but also showing why newspapers are in the position that they are - i.e. the brink of distinction.

Here's a link to the clip - it's long but worth watching.

His basic beef is that people write stuff on the internet that (a) he doesn't like and (b) other people can see/ read. His parting quip that he "feared for the future" made me laugh. People were predicting the end of society when Elvis Presley shook his hips on TV, the Beatles wore mop-tops and countless other things. The more things change the more they stay the same.

If he's really this upset about the online world, he should do something about it other than ranting on TV. He should go out and produce a site that has a what he considers to be a palatable online experience and go sell it. In other words go out and compete and try to put your competitors out of business. That's what every other business does. He has the same access to distribution that Deadspin does. Nobody is stopping him. Go change the world.

What journlaists and newspapers have yet to figure out is that news is a product. It needs to be produced and packaged in a way that elicits demand. If nobody wants what your making, re-tool it, re-think it, re-market it or come up with something new. Whining about it, while easy, is not the answer....

Last thought here - I actually find the whole idea of sports journalism to be kind of ridiculous now. People being paid to go to a game and write it up when the stadium is full of people who actually paid money to be there and can go home and write it up for free. Its absurd. Worried about the quality of their work? Great. Go fix that - i.e. see the previous two paragraphs.

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Comments (2)

Blair:

A sad reality to paint that the news that is supposed to inform our growingly ignorant society should be re-tooled, re-thought and re-marketed if not read...

Dave:

Mike, just getting to this one. I thought Buzz came across as a lunatic, and as is usually the case, he likely ended up giving more exposure to the thing that he's trying to stop. Like the folks that protest obscure books and movies that people would otherwise never hear about.

Also, I thought it was funny how both he and Costas jumped on sports blogs by claiming its just dorks writing negative, unsubstantiated reports about players or teams. As Buzz himself said, "Most of it isn't even true, but the readers don't know that!!".

Hmmm . . . I wonder if Buzz and Costas have since stopped reading the Boston Herald for the same reasons.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 1, 2008 11:42 AM.

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