Mitch Albom—We're here and we're not leaving any time soon!

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Mitch Albom—We’re here and we’re not leaving any time soon!

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By Bill Smith

Let me say that generally I think Mitch Albom is one of the better sports journalists around. I like his work and appreciate his insight into the sports world. That aside, Thursday he was on ESPN radio talking about us—sports bloggers and editorialists like myself. He was complaining that he had a masters in journalism and he was worthy of readership while the blogosphere was characterized as a bunch of kids in Sponge Bob pajamas hacking away in their parents basements.

Mitch—not so much! I am over 60 and have been watching sports since Otto Graham was winning championships for the Browns. I have coached, refereed, and been the GM of teams in multiple sports. I have also done radio for both high school and college games. I am also a published author of both fiction and non-fiction. Many of the bloggers have similar backgrounds. We write because we care and we are not seeing our opinions expressed anywhere else.

I am not defending those that make personal attacks against players or others. But if that is what you think the majority of bloggers are doing, particularly sports bloggers, you are not doing your homework. Your paper and most other outlets in the antique media seems to have no problem with MoveOn.org or the Huffington Post. Those sites regularly are much more interested in personal destruction than they are in making a point. They even celebrated Tony Snow’s death from cancer and wished the same disease on other conservatives.

If you wonder how good bloggers can be, take a look at The Sporting News blog sites. The vast majority of those writers are serious sports fans with a very intense interest in their teams and the sports industry in general. The good blogs develop readership because they are interesting and worth our time. There are some unique views and insight not found anywhere else on the net. That provides a diversity that is certainly not found in the “antique media” that Albom defends with such fervor.

The antique media surrendered their journalist integrity a long time ago when they stopped covering all sides of issues and began to editorialize on the front page of the paper. A thimble full of people determined what was the truth and how much of that truth the public would be allowed to see. Those decisions were based on what was best for the political agenda of the publishers and not the interests of the readers. “Professional” writers look down on their readers like you look down on the bloggers.

A lot of us, including myself, have taken journalism courses in college. Frankly, I was not impressed at all. The people I found in class including the professors were there to change the world into something that resembled what they believed it should be. They seemed to have very little interest in keeping the people informed about what was happening in a fair and balanced way.

That goes not only for politics, government, and higher education but sports as well. When the monopoly of the antique media is challenged by someone with a different point of view, those media leaders cry to Congress to implement the “fairness doctrine” to get the offending voice and any other that might detract from the party line off the air.

So Mitch, get use to it. We are here and we are not going anywhere anytime soon. Try to impress us with your work because your list of degrees from pinhead universities does not mean much to us. You can have your opinion about bloggers. Just don’t complain when we express our own opinions about the teams we care about.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]


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  1. Success Coach
    on Feb 14th, 2009
    @ 2:39 am

    Well let’s be honest – guys like him are SCARED. They are legitimitly scared of bloggers.

    I mean each team can have a hometown blogger, bloggers that are dedicated to one team even. How can traditional journalists compete with that? Bloggers might not have the access of these top ESPN guys, but they can watch one team day in and day out, Albom can NOT do that.

    Sports reporters are scared that one day, they won’t have a job, because people will turn to their local bloggers.

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  2. Steve
    on Feb 14th, 2009
    @ 7:51 pm

    I agree. It’s like the national commentators who don’t really know a team but are brought in to do the broadcast. The local radio guys always give you a lot more information about the team and the players on the court/field.

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