sports blogs

Blogs With Balls Video- Jonathan Tannenwald, Philly.com

Another member of the mainstream media at the Blogs with Balls conference was Jonathan Tannenwald of Philly.com.  Here is our conversation on what he hoped to get out of the conference…

Tannenwald had quite a bit more to say about the conference at Philly.com.  Here is his review of the conference.  Here are Q&A’s with organizers Chris Lucas and Dan Poiva of HHR Media.  And one with Deadspin editor AJ Daulerio.

That’s all the video we have from Blogs with Balls.  Overall it was a wonderful opportunity to network with other bloggers and to learn from those who have been successful in making writing online their passion and profession.  It was well worth the trip.

Blogs With Balls Video- Eric Angevine, Storming the Floor

Here is our interview from the Blogs With Balls Conference with Eric Angevine of the college basketball blog, Storming the Floor

Blogs With Balls Video- Neil Best, Newsday

Members of the mainstream media did have a presence at the Blogs with Ball conference. One of the columnists who understands the role of sports bloggers is Neil Best, sports media columnist for Newsday. Here’s our talk…

It’s apparent that Neil understands the evolving trends in technology and sports reporting and has done his best to adapt to them. He’s one of the good guys. Thanks again Neil!

Blogs With Balls Video- Ken Fang, Fang’s Bites

Here is my interview from the Blogs with Balls Conference with Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites…

In terms of the lighting issues we faced, this interview was the best of the bunch. Thanks go out to the Blogs with Balls television crew who happened to be filming in the area and added the extra light.

Ken has become a good friend of SMJ. And what I said at the top of the clip is true. We both live in Rhode Island, less that 25 miles from each other. It’s probably not a stretch to say that the Ocean State has the highest number of sports media bloggers in relation to the size of their home state than anywhere in the country. Thanks again Ken!

Blogs With Balls Video- Peter King Opening

The organizers at the Blogs with Balls conference promoted the event by telling attendees that their opening speaker would be someone of note.  That lead speaker proved to be none other than Sports Illustrated’s Peter King.  He wasn’t at the event, but did pre-tape a greeting.

Here is my video of King’s prepared remarks…

Say what you want about Peter King, but give him credit for recognizing the work sports bloggers put forth.

Costas on the Ball

I know we are all tired of the Costas NOW program and the assertions of Buzz Bissinger and others about the state of sports media.   But please indulge me one more reference.

I happened to be listening to the radio early Saturday morning when I came upon Costas on the Radio, Bob Costas’ weekly radio venture.  He began the show by once again bringing up some points that he’s stated both on his HBO program and in other publications.  And the more I hear what he has to say the more I wholeheartedly agree.

He began by talking about how he was tuned into sports radio in St. Louis and the callers were viciously attacking Cardinals’ releiver Jason Isringhausen, to the point that the host said he was ashamed of the medium of sports talk radio.  That’s when Costas said the following:

“It’s not about the Internet or new technology or new media, it’s about this tone, and this approach wherever it’s found.  And it’s the tone of mindless, mean-spirited, ad homonym attacks and abuse, which more and more are part of general culture.  Politics we’ll talk about another time.  But in this case we’re talking about sports in particular.  You almost get the feeling with each passing day that sports is more and more the province of louts, bullies, cretins and creeps…that you can’t be a reasonable person and still be a sports fan.”

Costas then proceeded to talk about how youngsters, who become entrenched in team rivalries, get caught up in perpetrating the negative tone…

“It’s this atmosphere…you find it on sports talk radio, you find it, regrettably, along with all the good stuff, you find it regrettably on the blogs. You find it more and more in print because it’s seeped into the mainstream media.  This attitude not just of smarminess, but of flat-out abuse.  Where what’s fair or what’s true or what a reasonable person ought to want to say, either publically or privately, is right out the window.  And we just say anything we want… anyway we want… about anybody or anything.”  

Costas finally talked about the Sports Illustrated article dealing with abusive fans at sporting events and the comments about such by Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo.  He then finished his remarks…

“Is this really what we became sports fans for?  Is this really what it has to be?  Is it really just for louts, and creeps, and bullies and cretins?  I hope not.”

I could not have said it better myself.  And for those of you ready to jump down Costas’ throat, he did not say anything about infinging on people’s Freedom of Specch or that we should get rid of all blogs. 

As I have said already, despite Bissinger’s irrational tone, his point about how this type of content is the future of sports journalism troubles me…and possibly Costas, greatly.

You can hear Costas’ yourself from his May 24th-25th radio broadcast here.

More Buzz…Less Angry…Still Half Misguided

In case you missed it, Buzz Bissinger talked about blogs again yesterday durng an interview on NPR.

He was a lot more calm in this interview, which was part of a larger discussion focusing on his work chronicling the life of Barbaro.  He said he regretted his tone on the Costas NOW program but is still passionate in his oppositon to blogs.

He mentions on a couple of occasions that not all sports blogs are bad.  That’s a good first step.  He still, however, seems to not understand the purpose of blogs.  He also continues to be confused as to the difference between a post and a comment.

I still agree with Bissinger in that the unintended goal of some sports blogs is to dumb down the level of discourse and to cater to the lowest common denominator.  And sometimes these blogs get the greatest number of hits.  There is a level of “gotcha” reporting on some blogs which can be seen as entertaining, yet damaging to athletes.  Bissenger says these stories sometimes impacts an athlete’s relationship with ALL reporters.

There is an audience for this content.  I don’t want to see it curtailed.  It’s disappointing that many of today’s youth take the juvenile behavior of some of blogs as to be the authority in sports coverage.  Many of us can see the difference.  Many others do not.  It’s this credibility that Bissenger, and I, feel is of concern when it comes to the future of sports journalism.