Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Sports Guy vs. Sportsbloggers?

I read the Bill Simmons/Chuck Klosterman column that's getting some heat from sportsbloggers who think the writers took some cheap shots. I didn't feel anything when I read it (I actually was pissed that they were taking themselves seriously instead of referencing 24 or talking about Kill Reality, more than anything).

I'm not sure they were even referring to sportsbloggers in particular. Klosterman's offending passage was, "They just write, 'Oh, look at this terribly archaic New York Times story. Isn't it pathetic?' But that sentiment is being expressed by someone who's never done an interview and has no tangible relationship to journalism." Simmons follows up with, "What's the point of writing about people who write about sports/movies/politics/music if you're not backing up your words with your own columns or features? How do you have credibility then? I could write for a living, I just choose to rip everyone else. What? How does that make sense?"

Again, I just kind of breezed through this part of the column, looking forward to the promised Gheorge Muresan dialogue. That's what I go to the Sports Guy for, not state-of-new-media addresses. But some sportsbloggers, especially the Mighty MJD, took offense.

MJD says, "I think Klosterman misunderstands the intent of sports bloggers. I don't want to do interviews. I have no interest in engaging in journalism. I have my opinions, they're new, they're mine, they're individual, and I present them." I get that and respect that.

But MJD doesn't speak for all of us. Blez at Athletics Nation has secured interviews with Billy Beane and a number of players. Dave at The City said he's gotten clearance to attend Warriors practices. Henry at TrueHoop has a journalism background and writes features for his blog pretty consistently.

It's easy to generalize blogs and bloggers as talk-radio-in-print. Lord knows I've bashed Mark Kreidler and Grant Napear and the Bee and KHTK. But why shouldn't I be able to, along with posting sentient thoughts, reaction to others thoughts and new ideas about the game? Remember, we don't get paid for this.


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Tom Ziller

The Sacramento Kings are a tough act to follow, literally.

SKB does the dirty work so you can forget about the blood, sweat and tears.

Oh, you'll still need the tears in April, though.

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