First Mark Cuban decided that he was banning blog writers from the Dallas Mavericks locker room. Yawn. Then Bob Costas put in his two cents:
“It’s just a high-tech place for idiots to do what they used to do on bar stools or in school yards, if they were school-yard bullies, or on men’s-room walls in gas stations. That doesn’t mean that anyone with half a brain should respect it.”
Okay, time to chime in. I will be as idiotic as I can possibly be!
1) Blogging works because the content is strong. Ultimatenyg was a guest blogger on the New York Times Fifth Down (its very first one, I might add) and it was so successful that they now have had a number of guest bloggers on the site.
2) There is demand for information and discussion of the NFL and peoples’ favorite teams beyond the regular season. Ultimatenyg started as an email group of friends and was getting a few hits per day in the 2006 regular season and now gets hundreds of hits per day in the OFFSEASON. The mainstream media drops offseason sports like a pariah and with the exception of a week of free agency and a week of the draft it effectively disappears until training camp.
3) If blogging was stupid and a waste of peoples’ time, people would not visit the sites. Yet they do. Why? Because the blogs provide something that the mainstream media cannot do: honest commentary. It is the nature of the beast. The beat writers need access and they must ‘behave’ in order to maintain that relationship. Francesa and Russo will comment negatively on a player or coach but as soon as they get on the air with that person they kiss his a** for fear of offending him and not getting him on the air ever again.
4) Fans demand respect. They are smarter than you think and if you think you are fooling them they will walk. Are there going to be idiotic bloggers? Yes. But at least here on this site we strive to respect the opinions of others and we admit when we are wrong. Opinions will be wrong from time to time. This site does not make predictions on every game, but when it does it has a very decent track record. Everything said is a matter of record, and the good AND the bad do not get changed after the fact.
5) Ever notice how the blogs have links to other information, other media and other bloggers?!! Bloggers understand that the internet is a tremendous village of content and information. They are happy you stopped here to visit this article and are just as happy to pass you along to another site that they think you might find helpful or interesting. When was the last time you opened the NY Post and they told you to buy the Star Ledger because Garafolo scooped us?!!
6) Cuban and Costas could not have done a better job for bloggers. It is always amazing how (IDIOTIC!) critics of free speech end up aiding their enemies more by opening their mouths than by keeping them shut. It is the classic story of how the (frivolous) lawsuit is filed against a new book coming out, the media reports on the lawsuit so heavily that book sales for this hitherto unknown publication explode, the lawsuit is later thrown out of court for being… idiotic!… and the author lives happily ever after.