Friday, May 15, 2009

The Bigger They Are the Harder They Fall

In reading other Cubs blogs, I have begun to get the feeling that I may very well be the only Cubs blogger that hasn’t been banned from Bleed Cubbie Blue at some point or another.

This does not necessarily make me someone who agrees with everything that Al Yellon thinks, or more willing to back down to whatever opinions Mr. Yellon is professing on any particular day. It simply makes me someone who doesn’t post on Bleed Cubbie Blue very often.

Frankly, I’m not that entertained by Bleed Cubbie Blue. BCB has the biggest audience through their new partnership with Yahoo!, and you can always see what someone has to say about just about anything that has to do with the Cubs. The content by Al is fine but usually pretty bland and not terribly thought-provoking, while the content in the Fan Posts and Fan Shots sections contain many correctly spelled words. There really isn’t anything edgy, and the in-game post comments usually degrade into a bunch of bad comedians trading one-liners that they saw on “The Office.”

There also seems to be a fair amount of users who have a borderline unhealthy obsession with ESPN/ABC reporter, Erin Andrews, to the point where I think they may be typing their comments with one hand, but I digress.

For all of its flaws, BCB is a staple of the Cubs blog world. You can’t have an ice cream shop without vanilla and you really can’t have an online community of bloggers without something like BCB.

What interests me far more than the actual content of BCB, is the hatred of the site by so many other Cubs bloggers. One site, Fire Al Yellon, is dedicated entirely to everything anti-Al and anti-BCB. Hire Jim Essian,, and Wrigleyville 23 have all recently taken shots at BCB and those who post there, and the general tone when discussing BCB in the Cub blogosphere can be described best by using Al’s favorite adjective, “snarky.”

While Al thinks he is shutting up users whom he bans, they seem to pop up their own blogs that cut into his own audience. The depth of content available to those looking for all things Cubs is staggering, and quite often far more entertaining or insightful than the omnipresent BCB.

Since he is gathering fans from the aptly named Yahoo at a large rate, Al may not care so much about irritating users and banning those who post on the site that don’t follow his strict rules and regulations. But those same users that find their way in may also wish to find sites that provide more thoughtful content, actual debate, and good humorous material, so they may leave just as quickly as they stumbled upon the site.

BCB has grown into a monster in the sports blog world and may seem unstoppable, but we also once thought the same about network television, Starbucks, and IBM in their respective markets. Eventually, folks want something different than the current conventional wisdom.

While the attitude and arrogance of Al and BCB in general pisses a lot of people off, I just find it amusing. By the way, my username over there is “Tim M” if anyone wants to ban me so I can be part of the cool kids.


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