So Hockey Night In Canada had a segment on hockey bloggers and, somehow, they left me out. I know, I know, its shocking! But seriously, in a five minute piece and three minute two-way (interview), they pretty much brushed over the entire segment of hockey bloggers who are, in fact, diehard fans. They concentrate on detailing the Caps bloggers and other writers who are either serious journalists or play them at night. If you want to concentrate on that portion of the blogosphere, fine, but don't ignore and even belittle the fan writers - which they did, and even did so sounding like old farts describing this whole new world on that there inter-web.
Is it any wonder that the talking heads appreciate the news-based blogs like Mirtle's and Kukla's? No, not at all as those blogs - which are affiliated with the Globe&Mail and NHL.com - are an easy, professional way they can get the biggest stories in the shortest time, which is great, but what about all of the good writers who are out-and-out fans? I think that they gave them (us) a very bad name, saying how they have no bosses and, thus, no ethics. They briefly mentioned the Isles blog box but essentially berated it because it allows bloggers who wear team jerseys. Those bloggers aren't there as journalists trying to sell newspapers! They are hardcore fans who have a passion for their team and want to share that passion. Most do not pass themselves off as Edward R. Murrow, they speak from the heart. What's wrong with that?
I'll answer: Not a damn thing!
Grantland Rice, one of the most respected and well known sports writers of all time (the Notre Dame 'Four Horseman' guy), had to have been a fanatical sports fan to write such lucid, passionate pieces. Professional writers today are so wrapped up in keeping their underpaying jobs and alleged ethics that most game stories are droll and boring (is it any wonder the newspaper is a dying medium?). Most columns are outrageous just for the sake of being outrageous and because the columnists are trying to outdo each other to get big money gigs yelling at other people on television. As for the aforementioned 'ethics', I have never, ever seen a sports writer turn down a free meal or even swag from a team. Ever. How is that ethical?
CBC asks Brian Pothier (was he the only player they could find??) about bloggers and he says they ask some inappropriate questions. So? They ask something that may get an answer that isn't the same boring cliche about losing that he spouted yesterday or the day before or the day before. If you don't like the question, don't answer it. Maybe if the bloggers wore the replica jersey that they paid for with their hard earned money, then he would be more willing to answer the questions, as he knew they helped pay his salary. Who knows?
As a fan blogger I don't make any illusions of impartiality. I am a diehard fan and I want my team to do well. I admittedly take it a bit far but at least I am honest (and colourful). Watching that feature, I thought it sounded like some bloggers (as long as they are well trained members of the media) are ok, but fan bloggers like myself are evil, illiterate fools who only write baseless lies and any 'respectable' journalist/player/whatever would do well to ignore.
What do you think?