Wednesday, May 18, 2011

In "Online Pickup", Bloggers Need to Separate Selves

Few things in life give a basketball player more of a release and more joy than pickup basketball. But for every great run and competitive game, another is ruined by that guy in jeans and boots who thinks his crossover is God's gift to hoops. (If you don't know that are that guy, and I invite you on behalf of all players in the world to twist an ankle.)

I recently used this argument to defend the industry I know and love. When a couple friends who know BDL well believe, sports bloggers are often brushed aside or viewed as "trashy" compared to more mainstream media. I quickly pointed out that "mainstream" now includes bloggers in a big way, but their objection to sports bloggers remained, drawn from some irrational beliefs:

"Sports bloggers are all terrible writers."

"Sports bloggers just repurpose news from ESPN."

"Sports bloggers rant and rave but have no real points to make."

My response was this: it's unfair to write off a basketball court for pickup because of one or two garbage players.

Don't misunderstand: I realize it's very easy for those on the sidelines to take the stance of my friends. Pickup lets amateurs participate in a game otherwise reserved for organized teams or professionals. Unwritten rules created by the players preserve some semblance of order, while each individual plays under an honor system, responsible for calling foul when he or she thinks it appropriate. 

And that doesn't always work out so well. As soon as one loud, obnoxious, over-confident bozo wearing jeans and boots tries to call next, many people walk away.

It's those "jeans and boots" bloggers that tarnish the credibility of the bloggers that take time to work on their craft, lace up some fresh new posts and actually do justice to their industry.

It's those very same "jeans and boots" bloggers that are terrible writers, repurpose ESPN, and rant and rave without any real points to make.

As a basketball fan and former player, I've walked into enough pickup games to know that the players jacking shots off the side of the backboard or bragging about a cross-over would break The Answer are hard to tolerate.

But there's plenty of great basketball being played, and plenty of great blogging being done every day. 
In this giant, online pickup game, I argued to my friends, it's tempting but ultimately incorrect to let the jeans and boots distract you from the more talented players.

I therefore challenge readers to look beyond them and bloggers to not tolerate those "jeans and boots" blogs in this, our beautiful game, our beautiful industry of sports blogging.


  1. Sportsglutton was kind enough to direct me to this post after a recent one I made questioning how "far" we've come in sports and news blog comment sections in the last four years or so (not "far"...if anything, we've regressed). Great post here and you've given me some thoughts for future "takes."