Thursday, May 1, 2008

Will and Buzz agree on something

Writers and bloggers both hate me. Actually, writers is a misnomer, it's not like a blogger poops out posts. So let me rephrase, bloggers and members of the traditional written media hate me.

The traditional media... Notice I said traditional, not “mainstream media” which is the catch-all phrase that’s floated by everyone from Will Leitch to Bill O’Reilly, used to convey disdain with the established practices of people who are paid to tell the stories of others that evolved since we stopped giving those in power the ability to determine what stories were fit for consumption. (Wonder if Leitch has ever been compared to O’Reilly before…)...hates me for the same reason that they hate bloggers.

They feel that I have a voice that I didn't earn through years of dues paying. They hate me because my career arc didn't have me spending a year spell checking obituaries. Writers generally hate me, because while they spent years toiling in obscurity writing 200 words about what neighborhoods are first up for repaving, I earned my voice in under a decade.

I am a sports radio host.

To writers, I'm the kid who got the BMW for his 16th birthday while they worked the night shift at Burger King. The guy who walks out of college without a student loan payment (which is true).

I'm Sue Ellen Mischke, recipient of large breasts who cares not that the gawking of people on the street may effect the Oh Henry candy bar fortune (where the candy bar fortune is some kind of public trust.... it's a stretch, I know). I'm Spider-Man at the wrestling match, who uses his abilities for capitalist gain. Still unaware that with great power comes great responsibility.

It's essentially the same argument they have against bloggers.

Sure, some of the anti-blogger sentiment is rooted in fear. Fear that their future earning potential is being limited.

There's no doubt a jealousy that also exists. It's not that they hate bloggers because they aren't scrutinized and are free from the fear of recourse. They hate bloggers because the subjects they cover for a living can take action against them, denying access, and making it near impossible to make a living.

When Buzz calls it "shit," he means to say "shit I wish I could say." He made his name uncovering corruption in courts, and he expects me to believe that there's some sanctity in Matt Leinart beer-bonging and Jeff Reed doing whatever the fuck it is Jeff Reed does that can only be disseminate after asking Matt Leinart for a comment and getting the expressed written consent of Major League Baseball? How the hell is that belief derived? An earned public trust? My ass, his name is Buzz! "Big Daddy Balls" is a more trustworthy name than Buzz, no matter how many books he sells.

Buzz wishes he could watch the game as a release, like bloggers can. It's hard to keep the fan experience in a professional endeavor. Hard as hell. I fight to do so, Buzz gave up. It's not fun for Buzz.

That's half the story, because Bloggers hate me, too. Please note, by the way, that I use "bloggers" to mean the authors here, not the commenters which have become a pseudonym in this argument due to a fundamental lack of understanding at the basis of the writer argument...hate isn't strong enough to explain commenters feelings.

Strangely enough, on the wider scale, they hate me for the same reason that the writers hate them. Sure, they hate Colin Cowherd for being a dick. They hate Paul Finebaum for being a dick. Tim Brando...dick. Jim Rome...dick. Mike and Mike... dick and dick (Though, in some cases it's not a false belief.)

But more so, when I make a mistake on my show, it shows my lack of qualification. When I provide cursory analysis of a game I didn't watch, it shows my lack of understanding. A lack of depth, a lack of preparation. I don't understand that with the bully pulpit that I stand behind for three hours, I have the obligation to talk about whatever they want me to at the depth with which they think it should be talked about. They think I'm paid by the hyperbolic thought and dogmatic diatribe.

Radio hosts are hated because we don't understand the charmed lives we live, with increased access, a paycheck and the endless stream of free meals. We don't grasp that our biases affect their experiences of sports. Because we DON'T have the same fun with sports as they do.

Oh, and because Cowherd plagiarized from a blog, we all do.

They hate me because I'm Spider-Man at the wrestling match, who uses his abilities for capitalist gain. Still unaware that with great power comes great responsibility. (I really wish I had come up with a better metaphor).

Again, this isn't the only thing they hate, as each blogger has a more diverse experience and different biases than your run of the mill journo, so they hate us all for different reasons.

But each side is damned to their convictions, considering the other parasitic, leeching the life from the experience. Yet somehow, radio tries to be symbiotic. I've heard Will Leitch on SNR, Mike Florio talk to Todd Wright, and Jay Busbee from Sports Gone South has been my most frequent guest over the last year. I comment on Awful Announcing. Tony Kornheiser, SAS, and Finebaum are among the many writers quick to capitalize on their newspaper fame to branch into radio.

There's a place for us all. A need. A demand. But hatred is an easier relationship to foster, especially when we're so passionate. So I'll keep reading deadspin and renewing my subscription to SI, all the while wondering how many more people we could bring into our fraternity of sports fans if we only helped them experience the game in a way that bred our passions.


Jay Busbee said...

You suck, talk show host!

Hey, am I on the air? HI, MOM! BRAVES RULE! WHOOOOOOO--

Adam said...'re lucky I don't ever read this blog!