The musical maestro of the sports blogosphere, Ryan Parker, e-mailed me a link to his latest creation Sunday. It's a song that tackles the hot-button issue of sports bloggers vs. journalists.
I have been both, having worked as an editor and reporter for 20 years, and it is a topic I usually stay away from discussing. I would rather stick to the football I cover at Big Blue View and the baseball I write about at Bugs & Cranks .
Yet, with Buzz Bissinger's vicious attack on the blogosphere still fresh, I feel a need to weigh in. Parker's song gives me a good excuse. I'm posting this in both places, and I hope the powers that be in both groups will forgive me. But, I felt I needed to write it for both audiences. By the way, Bugs & Cranks readers will get a kick out of Parker's B&C screenshot.
The debate between the blogosphere and mainstream sports media is getting old, but Bissinger was particularly vehement in his hatred of bloggers.
Speaking to Will Leitch, editor of Deadspin during a Bob Costas special, Bissinger was bitter.
"I really think you're full of [expletive]. I think that blogs are dedicated to cruelty, dedicated to journalistic dishonesty."
Bissinger completely misses the spirit of what the blogosphere is all about.
Bloggers are NOT journalists. We are fans. We are SUPPOSED to be emotional. We are NOT supposed to be objective. And, despite what some in the mainstream media still want to believe, we ARE entitled to our opinions.
Bissinger and others who have blasted the blogosphere -- like Rick Reilly, Costas and Michael Wilbon -- cling to the old belief that they decide what is important. They tell us what they think we need to know. They know more because they get to talk to the players. That makes them the EXPERTS.
Hogwash! Tell me Tony Kornheiser knows more football than I do and I'll laugh in your face. Yet, he is on Monday Night Football so his opinion is supposed to be valid and mine isn't? That's nonsense.
There are writers in the mainstream media who are extremely good at what they do. There are others who are just idiots with an agenda. These days, I'd put Mike Lupica in that category. I wonder when the last time was that he actually went anywhere near a lockerroom.
The same holds true with bloggers. There is good and there is bad. I'll be honest, I'm a little older than most bloggers and some of what I see in the blogosphere offends me. So, I choose to ignore it. Just like I choose to ignore writers or columnists whose work I don't like.
When it comes to reporting facts, that has always been and will continue to be the job of the mainstream reporters.
When it comes to opinion, mine is just as valid as any mainstream columnist, talking head on the radio, or reader who chooses to comment.
It's opinion. I watch the games. I read the accounts. I see the quotes. I know the Yankees and Giants inside and out. I don't need a press pass to figure out that Ian Kennedy is pitching terribly and deserves to be back in AAA. Or, that Jerry Reese has done a brilliant job in his short tenure as Giants' general manager.
Why is my opinion less valid than Mark Feinsand's or Peter Abraham's? Reality is, it isn't. And, there is nothing wrong with me having a place to share my opinion.
These mainstream guys who are complaining are threatened by bloggers. Sports news has become more a discussion instead of a one-sided lecture, and they don't like it. Quite simply, they are less important than they used to be.
Get used to it, fellas. Blogs aren't going away.