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[LONG RANT] Lousy Sportswriting and Sports Talk Radio?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by dharocks, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. dharocks

    dharocks Contributing Member

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    Why do we choose to consume this junk?

    (note: This post is directed less towards casual fans, and more for the die-hards who follow the game closely, who I think make up most of the population of a BBS like this).

    I'm not judging anyone who does; I can be as guilty of it as anyone else. But reading crap on BleacherReport or the "Yahoo! Contributor Network", or even just puff pieces by sportswriters that we know are basically hacks (don't get me started on shows like First Take), I can't help but wonder, what's even the point?

    Even most beat-writers, who I know work really hard and are generally very good writers, most of the articles they power out on a daily basis are just regurgitations of previous articles that they (or someone else) has written in the past when the exact same situation came up (e.g., the yearly "he's in best shape of his life!" and "maybe this is the year such-and-such underachiever breaks out!" articles in training camp, or the "Here are some promising bright spots that could surely be harbingers of things to come next season!" at the end of a disappointing season). Frankly, for at least the NBA and Baseball it's usually bloggers who tend to produce WAY more original, thought-provoking material.

    Even more perplexing to me is most sports radio, particularly the shock-jock types who basically make a living by being provocateurs. It's painfully obvious that these guys know only slightly more about sports than the average joe you chat up while watching a game in a bar, and yet millions tune in to listen.

    Obviously there ARE plenty of guys like Zach Lowe, Kelly Dwyer, our own Clutch or Bima, who consistently produce content that's worth reading. In others sports you have writers like Joe Posnanski, or the Fangraphs and Football Outsiders guys. Hell, at least Charley Rosen, biased and grouchy old coot that he is, does have a deeper understanding of the game than the vast majority of fans. And even a guy like Simmons, who would himself admit that he's far more a fan than an expert, is at least a very good writer who's funny and has genuine passion for the NBA and knowledge of the it's history. And there are certainly plenty of quality podcasts out there worth listening to.

    So why do we eat the crap up? I mean, that's a pretty apt metaphor, right? Most of this stuff is like the fast food of sports-related media. It'll basically give you your fix, but you won't be experiencing anything new or interesting or exciting. Where the comparison ends is that with a few exceptions, the high-quality stuff is just as free as the garbage.

    So why such high demand for it? Just so we can get angry when someone who's already proven himself to be a dope says something crappy about our team? Or to get pumped when a similar dope says something positive? Why give a crap about their opinion if we already know their opinion carries no more weight than yours or the average joe?

    Why am I searching 'Dwight Howard James Harden' in Google News when I know from the GARM that there's no actual news, and thus know that any article I read will either leave me annoyed or at best, underwhelmed?
     
  2. A_3PO

    A_3PO Member

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    Seems like your beef is primarily about needing a daily fix of solid NBA news during the offseason. Ain't gonna happen. Just the way it is. The NBA and diehard fans like us want to believe it's a 12-month sport, but the period after summer league & free agency up to training camp is a dead zone. I don't see that ever changing in odd number years where there are no Olympics or World Games.

    Continue following solid national writers and good beat writers and enjoy what is available. Regarding sportsradio, just forget it. Radio has never been kind to the NBA during the offseason and never will be. For that matter, it falls short DURING the season because the NFL is such a dominant king.

    For about 2 years, NBA.com used to have a page that consolidated links of all daily NBA articles around the web. There were 3-4 new links every day for each NBA team. Sources were local newspapers, national writers and a few blogs. It was AWESOME but they discontinued it after about 18 months. I was crushed!

    Training camps start up soon and the NBA grind begins October 29th. It's getting close. :)
     
  3. Jugdish

    Jugdish Member

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  4. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    I generally listen to about ten minutes of sports talk radio a week before just giving up...unless there is an interview with a GM or coach.

    Don't watch ESPN unless there is a game on.

    Basically quit reading the chronicle sports section. I do sometimes read the beat writers updates that are just quick blurbs on things like injury status, but avoid most opinion pieces.

    Don't read bleacher report stuff. Yahoo Contributor Network annoys me as people put [Yahoo] instead of [YCN]....stupid Yahoo for putting your brand on it.

    Between Clutchfans and doses of RocketsCast, I get my Rockets fix during the season. Crawfish boxes and Tellitlikeitis give me my Astros fix. I am more a Texans fan than anything else, but don't really have a site that I feel puts out consistently good material.
     
  5. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    Because global politics and international trade are too boring to talk or read about for most. Talk radio in particular has maybe eight hours of airtime where viewers could be sufficiently detained and bored to the point that television or internet aren't viable alternatives, and can't really risk overly diverse or complex programming.
     
  6. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    I don't bother with Sports Talk radio anymore. During the season, BBJ podcast and Rockets.com podcasts are sufficient. For articles, you can use Truehoop or something similar to find worthwhile reads around the web.
     
  7. bob0601

    bob0601 Member

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    Speaking of Sports Talk Radio:

    Has anyone heard that national guy Scott Ferrall on SportsRadio610 from 10:30pm-12am? His voice sounds like he smokes a carton of Cigarrettes a day!!! Its rediculous. Worst sounding voice i've ever heard on the radio. He's pretty knowledgeable but his voice is just unbearable. In fact I almost wrote an email to 610am to let them know how bothersome it is!!
     
  8. HR Dept

    HR Dept Contributing Member

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    Lol yes, I was a little tipsy and probably laughed a little harder than was warrented.

    And about Bleacher Report and YCN - Stop griping about this already. Personally, I think that they are a pretty cool outlet for aspiring writers to get thier thoughts out. If you don't like or agree with them then don't read it. If you're going to be pissed at someone, single out the people who take the articles from there as gospel or get all up in arms over someone else's opinions.
     
  9. Fyreball

    Fyreball Contributing Member

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    Not a fan of Battle Red Blog? I think those guys do a fantastic job of putting out some pretty good daily material on the Texans.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

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    I'm on full on boycott of Bleacher Report and Yahoo Contributor. They suck.
     
  11. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    I read some of their stuff, but never got hooked. I do read Steph's blog on the chronicle website.
     
  12. Buck Turgidson

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    Peter King
    Mike Florio
    Pancakes
    Justice
    Kirk Bohls
    Who else? I'm on an NFL kick nowadays.
     
  13. M.G.

    M.G. Contributing Member

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    I agree. Of course their material isn't going to be up to the par of quality websites, the majority of writers are amateurs, just getting started in the business. The key to those sites is finding guys who know their stuff and follow them and not get caught up with the articles where the writers clearly don't know what they're talking about.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Member

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    As someone that owns a web site, writes for it and makes good money out of it, I can probably explain a few issues that have been brought up.

    First of all, I'm NOT a journalist. I'm just a bloke that writes about sport. I like sport, I'd write about it of no one was reading it....it just so happens thousands of people like reading my site every day.

    My catch is that I try to look at certain angles you don't get from the mainstream media. I have the freedom to go into topics that the mainstream media doesn't go into or considers not worth going into.

    The repetition of articles is interesting because it's something I've been thinking about recently. If you write for long enough you're going to find similar situations happen with different teams and different players. That's just life! Sometimes I find I will write about a player moving clubs or an off field incident and yeah, you feel like you've been here before. It's hard to avoid and this is where my golden rule kicks in...

    If I don't feel strongly about something, I don't write. It costs me money when I don't write, but I'm not about to start pushing out average articles just to get mediocre traffic because my readers will pick up on it and stop coming back for the type of articles they actually enjoy.

    I write my best articles when I'm p*ssed off about something. So I avoid writing about subjects I don't care about.

    Personally I've found a market just on word of mouth. Over the lifetime of my site which has been going for 9 years my entire marketing budget has remained $0.

    I write and people can like it or hate it. It's up to them. Sometimes I write things that people REALLY hate, other times I write things that people love. I get people who have been reading my site for years, I have professional players and commentators who have got in touch and told me they enjoy the site.

    The main thing I stress though is that I'm just a bloke that writes about sport. You can enjoy it, or move on, it's up to you.

    If you don't like reading crappy articles or listening to rotten sports talk radio, then stop reading and listening. You can get into a pattern of reading and listening to the same crap, that is when you have to go out and try to find something interesting.

    Im not affiliated with any media outlet, I'm completely independent and in control of my site, it's content, the money it generates....it's a great position to be in. I have no drive to get into the mainstream media because I don't want to put my content into the nice little box I know they require. I've never had a drive to try and hook a job writing for a magazine or a newspaper. I'm just happy to be a bloke that writes about sport.

    If you don't like what's out there, give it a go. Start writing your own content. Start your own web site. You never know, you might enjoy it and make money from it. :)
     
  15. Shroopy2

    Shroopy2 Contributing Member

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    Its what I say about all of broadcasts, internet, social media...all info streams.

    Remember its all TOOLS. YOU CONTROL the TOOLS. It does NOT control YOU.

    No matter what kind of HYPE there is to it, and the threat of getting "left behind"...its bull. There's only SO much that REALLY happens. All the rest is just space filler BS to fill quotas and bottom lines

    Then there's only SO much that a person can take in. Admit that there's limitations on focus, especially on substandard quality, and deal with it.

    Choose accordingly and wisely. Or un-chose it altogether. And find other things to do.
     

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