Friday, March 13, 2009

Rick Telander Has the Only Opinion That Matters (according to him)

I opened up my laptop this morning to read a bit about what is going on with the Cubs and sports in general, and found myself getting slapped around by Rick Telander. In his Sun-Times column this morning, Telander decided to put athlete twitterers and bloggers in their place by making sure everyone knew that the items that come across celebrity blogs and tweets are generally self-serving hype, spin, or combination thereof.

But in the midst of taking down such an influential cele-blogger like Maurice Clarett - or in Clarett's case, cell-e-blogger (rimshot) - Telander decides to open up his attack to slam down anyone on the internet who has the audacity to express their opinions about sports in blog form:

"Clarett has lots of time on his hands -- a function of being incarcerated -- and he has the ability to type, as do seals and small donkeys. And he does, indeed, understand our new, connected, self-publishing world perhaps better than any sports blogger I have read -- or snoozed to."

Oh, snap! Take that, you amateur, piece-of-crap, how-dare-you-contribute-to-the-downfall-of-my-profession-with-your-exercising-of-freedom-of-expression bloggers!

"I find it interesting that the Internet comments I get at the bottom of many of my columns are of the ''You suck! What a waste of time!'' variety."

Hey Rick, I know you are pre-emptively trying to spin any response to this assault on the non-professional sportswriters as childish and petty, but I would like to point out for the record that I have not resorted to any such usage of that phrase at any time in this response. So bite me.

"But I can tell you this: I have studied writing and reporting and the sciences of each for virtually my entire life, been diligent and passionate in my subservience to them. If you think you can do better at writing nearly 200 research-driven, hopefully informative and entertaining sports columns a year, welcome to it."

Remember when he was criticizing bloggers for being self-servient just a few paragraphs before this one? We're all very impressed with your dedication and diligence you have shown to a job you are paid to do, when most of us who are sullying your profession with our self-published opinions do it out of nothing but love of whatever it is we are blogging about.

So yes, there is plenty of crap out there that is worthy of a hearty "You suck," but there is plenty of stuff out there that I would rather read on a regular basis than Mr. Telander's "research-driven" columns. (In this case, his research involved looking at a couple of blogs and deciding that all blogs everywhere are useless.)

While I may not have dedicated my life to the advancement of journalism in accepted formats, I nevertheless have found some very worthwhile Cubs-oriented blogs that blow Rick Telander and others over at the Sun-Times out of the water.

Cubs f/x is not for those of you who did not like me throwing out statistical information in each sentence. Harry Pavlidis provides some fantastic pitching breakdowns as well as other insights that are, frankly, out of my league. However, if you want to see breakdowns and analysis of pitch trajectories, release points, pitch sequences, and pitch locations, this is the place for you.

Meanwhile, another very smart and enjoyable read is over at waxpaperbeercup. Apparently one of the contributors of the now defunct 1060west blog has started a blog of his own. If you are looking for some takes on the Cubs, the city, or baseball business items like Cubs ticket sales, other teams' stadium deals, and the on-going sale of the Cubs, wbpc has provided some great material. Otherwise, if you just like beer and the Cubs, he has a portion of the site dedicated to his Beer of the Week that one can enjoy while watching the Cubs (probably not at Wrigley though).

If you are looking for some humorous takes on the Cubs and Cub fan culture, I have enjoyed Hire Jim Essian and Goat Riders of the Apocalypse. They skewer everyone from ex-Cubs, current Cubs, the bandwagon-jumping fans, and the lemmings in the "acceptable" media.

There are plenty of others (see links to your right), but I think I have made my point that not all bloggers can be thrown into the same heap, much as I would never defame all newspaper sports columnists by suggesting they are all as smug and self-righteous as Rick Telander.

3 comments:

T.J. said...

I have a blogger for Rick: Bernie Lincicome. http://bernielincicome.com

Rick's lost quite a bit of a zip off of his fastball, but he was better suited for longer pieces than a 600-word column anyway. Bernie is still chucking at 95 mph.

Anonymous said...

Telander's is the typical crap from what is struggling to remain the "main-stream" media. Its the usual "throw it at the wall and see if it will stick" mentality that worked when journalism had no competition. They do the least amount of work possible, spin it into a 600 word column and cover their laziness with a that holier-than-thou "we're Godlike because we protect the People's right to know" attitude. There is a reason why Bernie Lincicome and others like him are blogging. Its because the public has determined that they and their ilk are full of garbage and are no longer reading their now-defunct newspapers (like the 150 year old Rocky Mountain Times, where Bernie worked until it went under last week.) The vail is off now that the public has access to people who are just as thoughtful (and often more so), really do their research and can produce better pieces for free than the newspapers do. Nobody cares if they work for a newspaper. The most telling thing about Telendar's piece is that he is so far behind the times. He says, "If you think you can do better at writing nearly 200 research-driven, hopefully informative and entertaining sports columns a year, welcome to it." The dissolution of so many newspapers in America should tell him that most of us are way ahead of him and have made ourselves "welcome to it". The saddest part is that I thought that Telendar was better than such self-indulgence. Looking back, I can see that I was wrong. The fun thing will be sticking his comments up his backside when the Sun Times goes under and his only outlet is a blog. -- Seat 106

chester said...

He has a lot of nerve criticizing bloggers who write for the shear enjoyment of it while he's getting paid to do the same.

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