First Reactions To Bob Costas' Foray Into Sports Media

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

So I actually decided to not watch the "event" live so I wouldn't post any rash opinions on the subject. I actually tried watching the whole thing at midnight and take it all in as an unbiased person, and here's what I came up with.....

1. Blogs are evil and not journalistic.
2. Sports Radio is also evil, but somehow accepted (but they still hate blogs somehow)
3. Players feel like they can't live their lives (understandably so, but stop acting like fucking idiots)
4. Mainstream media is scared shitless (a given).
5. People don't like curses in written word.

Other than all of those things listed......we're dealing with a complete disconnect. I'm sure Robert Costas was trying to have a beautiful discourse across the entirety of the program, but certain individuals made that not possible. I'm not going to go all out and bash Buzz Bissinger (I'm sure there will be enough of that in the days to come), but I will ask just one question.....Has there been a time in History when people were so confused about a topic at hand and moreso clueless about an emerging medium? Oh that's right.....Copernicus.

Look I'm not comparing Sports Blogging to discovering that the world wasn't actually flat, but the short-sightedness is close. Everything else is really irrelevant if you ask me. Bissinger reads Deadspin for one day and questions his 40 years writing because Big Daddy Drew wrote the word "cunt" (I'm paraphrasing here) in an article? I think even MSMers can realize that's garbage. How fucking clueless are you? The best piece of writing I've read in the past 10 years was Big Daddy Drew's post at Deadspin on the love of Sports. When he wrote this closing, I almost lost my shit....

Do either of those exceedingly skilled men give off the impression that they give a shit what they look like when they're doing what they're doing? Nope. Otis is singing the way songs should be sung. Gustavo is conducting the way orchestras should be conducted. The way love should be made. The way sports should be played. And the way life should be lived. They have the ability. But, more importantly, they're INTO IT. I have to live like this more often.
Look, I connect with people in two ways. 1) 80s topics and current pop culture.......2) Sports. That guy right there gets me and that is FUCKING BEAUTIFUL. That's a guy I would buy a drink at the bar, let him shit on my favorite teams, get hammered together, want to fight him, buy him a shot, and then hug him on the way out. I don't tell a man like that he's wrong.....I listen intently to a guy like that because I rarely hear shit like that during the wall-to-wall scream fest that is Sports these days (somehow these things are possible with Drew because I've done it...... even with beer!).

I won't for the life of me understand why the most fan driven industry in the World needs to be only tackled by those with Journalism degrees, but I can say aloud fuck you to those who believe that way. You want my stats? Here they are.....

Name: Brian Steven Powell
Occupation: Blogger and Fan
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 215 (unfortunately)
College: James Madison (I actually fucking graduated like every other Sports Blogger)
Degree: Graduate in Sports Management with a minor in Business
Graduated In: 7 Years (not unfortunately)
Fan of (unabashedly): The Orioles, The Wizards, The Redskins, Terps Basketball, Michigan Football
Journalism Achievements: 0
Readers and Commenters: A fuck ton
Credibility: I'm a goddamn fan that deserves answers NOW and someone who believes half of what he hears and none of what he reads. I breathe Sports. I know more about the backup catcher of the Blue Jays (Greg Zaun) than I should ever know and I could tell you (he's 37 and makes over $7 million a year) that his backup Rod Barajas (while in a bit of a hitting slump has a better arm) , should be the drop of a hat. And that's Baseball....fucking try me in Football.

It wasn't about a month ago that I thought I had to prove myself and "make myself seem credible", but it was tonight that I finally felt justified. I don't make up rumors, post fallacies, or not give people the chance to redeem themselves. On top of that.....I should not be credible in the journalistic world (I haven't earned it), be quoted as gospel, and have a ton of readers who love me "in the business". I'm just an option.

I'm not saying that people in the media should be nixed or completely ignored, but I'm just trying to lead you towards the most trusted and credible ones. I'm the writer, editor, and grand poobah of one of the most popular and honest Sports Blogs in just two short years. I could brag and/or parade out the list of media friends, but they're not who I care about (sorry guys but it's true....I still love you and I'm glad you "get" the site). I care about you the reader, and those who care about honest and intelligent Sports discourse (many of whom include those previously spoken of media members).

This is a full time job for me, and I make a living off of it. I work at this job for upwards of 16 hours a day (name me the last MSMer who stayed up until 2am last night watching the Lakers and Nugs), and while I feel that the previous discussion was necessary at a time like this, I wanted to say one important thing......

I'm a Sports Blogger. I break stories on a weekly basis, I let commenters (including members of the media) refute or agree with my points of view, I provide a place where people can call bullshit on the media........and finally (and most importantly)......

I'm fine with that, and I'm pretty sure Will is too.

(Videos and more to come tomorrow.)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 12:46 AM


Damn you, I weigh the same and am two inches shorter.

Seriously though, Bissinger really punched a lot of people in the mouth with his TV time tonight.

I took it to heart (even when I shouldn't).

Now all I want to do is use it as motivation to be a better blogger, be a better writer, even better than Bissinger.

Thank you for making this site happen. This is without a doubt one of my favorite sites to attend everyday (Thank you RSS Feed).

You're without a doubt a top notch blogger. Keep up the good fight.

The Editor said...
Apr 30, 2008, 2:37:00 AM  

Most of all, thank you for caring. You kick some serious ass.

The Editor said...
Apr 30, 2008, 2:40:00 AM  

Um...does this mean I need to reveal my height/weight too? Can I just go with "round"?

Oh, and I know I don't break stories here or anything, but you know what? That "Bloggers of the World Unite" label? MY CREATION, motherfuckers.

I have no idea why I just swore (out loud, no less), but I liked it.

Apr 30, 2008, 2:53:00 AM  

Powerful shit, AA. Blogs have their problems: when Big Lead posts that De'Cody Fagg is ineligible when he's not, that's a problem. Unfortunately no medium is exonerated from those kinds of things: Dan Rather's Bush reserve report, Jayson Blair being examples from TV and print.

But blogs have benefits. For a schmo like me who worked in journalism but couldn't scrape two nickels together, it's an outlet to keep doing something I love, which is write about sports, while having a job that allows me to pay my rent, car/student loans and still eat. Yep, student loans and rent. I too am a blogger who doesn't live with my parents (entirely different states, even!) and graduated college.

For a blog like AA, the benefit is not just great opinion, but breaking information that slipped through the cracks of the mainstream media. That's important for fans and for other forms of media. Because I'll tell you this: it's good to know that there's information being disseminated out there that isn't going through the filters of Rupert Murdoch and Sam "I don't give a fuck about journalism" Zell.

All that said...when I am going to get a link on the sidebar? I've won like five caption contests! :) (little joke, there)

Kyle said...
Apr 30, 2008, 3:04:00 AM  

Never Kyle never.....

You can find Kyle's work at......


Apr 30, 2008, 3:14:00 AM  

For sure. Much the music industry fighting so hard against P2P, the Sport Reporting Literati seem to think blogging is evil and must be stopped, instead of actually trying to figure out how to harness it.

In the end what will happen is the same thing Lime Wire and Kaazaa have done to the recording industry - the sporting industry will figure out how to get their message out with out them; the athletes will communicate without the media....and we'll have a bunch of grumpy old men standing around in bad suits and badly colored hair trying to figure out what happened to their career.

Mo Morrissey said...
Apr 30, 2008, 5:41:00 AM  

Will handled himself the best he could representing the blogosphere. My fear is though judging the over 40+ crowd during the live taping who seemed to laugh at BIG writer calling
little blogger every name in the book. There are those who agreed with everything Bissinger said. I honestly wished Costas would have given an equal-panel. He and Bissinger hate the blogs, Braylon Edwards wanted nothing to do with the segment at all. Costas could have gotten columnist like LeBetard who has no problem with blogs or a guy who does both like Chuck Klosterman or Bill Simmons. Bissinger needed to be calmed down by somebody. Seriously.

Anonymous said...
Apr 30, 2008, 6:05:00 AM  

bissinger is just an old cranky white man who doesnt like the future in sports media. he was funny. he doesnt need to be calmed down.

madnice said...
Apr 30, 2008, 8:33:00 AM  

It is obvious to anyone with even a partially open mind how hard you specifically and the rest of the full time SBers work. The MSM is jealously gaurding it's territory but instead it's acting like a jealous boyfriend of a girl that went to a different college and is meeting a different type of guy. In stead of seeing the error of his ways he becomes more of a macho jerk and chases her further into the arms of the intelligent art student that he despises so much. Take a look at my town Boston, the best people are being bought out Jackie Mac, Bob Lobel(Say what you will since he sobered up he's the man. He's honest and you can tell that he really cares as much about these teams as any bostonian does). I mean what are sports fans supposed to do when the MSM won't pay for the good people yet trash the bloggers every chance they get? It looks shady. It is shady, and it will be the final downfall of newspapers if they don't get their act together quickly! There is ZERO reason why any of the major newspapers in this country let ESPN to become the dominant sports website. It should not have happened but due to nearsightedness and fear it did.

Your Copernicus line was close but a little off. With the firing of bloggers by newspapers it's more like Galileo and the ex-communication by the Pope. What are you saying, that the sports world doesn't revolve around a 20 year old piece of paper with the world journalism on it?

Once again great work, keep it up! Viva la Internet Revolution! ;)

testing thing said...
Apr 30, 2008, 8:44:00 AM  

Man, I tried to be a good bridge, and I got gut-punched by Bissinger. Crap.

Like Obama and the Rev. Wright, I renounce my allegiance to the MSM. I will venture to eliminate myself from all Lexis/Nexis searches. I will endeavor to unlearn the rules of grammar and punctuation.

Just kidding. I'm just disappointed in how that turned out last night.

But as everyone gets all pissed off, I simply show these quotes. Keep doing what you're doing. The more people bitch, the more what you're doing is working:

"Radio has no future." (Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society 1890)

"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?" (David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s)

"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" (H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927)

"Television won't matter in your lifetime or mine." (Rex Lambert, The Listener, Editorial, 1936)

"Television won't last. It's a flash in the pan." (Mary Somerville, pioneer of radio educational broadcasts, 1948)

"Why would anyone want to get their news from the Internet when they get the paper every morning?" (my boss, at an unnamed paper, 1996)

"Blogs and podcasts... I just don't see the informative value." (VP for news at a pitch meeting I attended, major media corp. 2006)

Anonymous said...
Apr 30, 2008, 9:19:00 AM  

Sounds like I should be glad I don't have HBO.

Had costas not popped off a few weeks back, this show would never have happened.

Instead of making things better, Shrimpy McEgo made things a lot worse.


Anonymous said...
Apr 30, 2008, 9:58:00 AM  

Nicely done. One of my greatest frustrations is watching guys who are considered journalists and who get paid as professionals constantly produce piles and piles of garbage trying to pass it off as legitimate journalism.

Then you have bloggers who mostly pursue their art because they have passion about a team or they want to strike a different chord in the new media and these people get treated like they are ignorant and a threat to Western civilization.

It is all about power. The established media enjoys power because for so long they were THE source of information in the world. They controlled the message and also how we viewed the games and its players. In that they setup a class system which said the "media" knows all and the "fan" should only sit and listen.

Something happened though. Along the way, fans and "common" people used the internet to exercise their freedom of speech and create a different voice. That voice did not follow the "rules" the elite media established but chose to tell the truth without the spin. Bloggers came along and not only told the stories in a way the media would not but they became a critical voice of the media. This resulted in numerous fans embracing the new media as their primary source of information about the world and not the traditional outlets.

Guess what? It scared the living crap out of old media. Suddenly there was competition and a voice they could not control but what's worse a voice that people were willing to listen to more than their own. So rather than find a way to incorporate the bloggers into the fabric of what they do they demonized them, called them evil, unaccountable loser who sit around in their parents' basement. They attempted to cast them as rumormongers who are incapable of giving you the true story because they do not have "access." They basically did what any fascist ruling class does when threatened by a grassroots movement of the people.

What these people seem to miss in all of the issues we see in the world of blogging is the underlying passion most bloggers, like myself, operate with. Most of us do not do it for a paycheck but rather we do it because we love it and we enjoy the online interaction with a community of readers. I have been convinced for a long time that people who do their best work are ones who are doing something they love.

So thanks to AA for taking a stand and being a voice against those who seek to demonize the online community because the media not only fears the attraction the new media is to old media own readers but they also fear that some bloggers actually do a better job than they do at it.

Apologies for the rambling.

Anonymous said...
Apr 30, 2008, 10:01:00 AM  

As a fellow JMU alum (and current grad student), I think you represent our institution quite well. The coherent arguments for why Costas and his ilk are wrong have already been made, so I'll just say that Costas should probably eat a dick.

Anonymous said...
Apr 30, 2008, 10:29:00 AM  

Yeah, but it's not like you went to a REAL school like Old Dominion....

Anonymous said...
Apr 30, 2008, 10:30:00 AM  

I believe you could be a quality physical safety. Something like the productive Adam Archuleta that was once on the Rams. You really bring a lot of pop to the field, but never winning anything is a concern to some teams.

But your wonderlic test was off the CHARTS!

Brett said...
Apr 30, 2008, 10:42:00 AM  

AA, as someone who has been here since damn near the beginning, I want to thank you for all your hard work.

I didn't get a chance to see this last night but I assume it will be OnDemand today.

Big Daddy Drew is the best thing on the internet not related to porn.

GMoney said...
Apr 30, 2008, 10:50:00 AM  

Any chance there will be video of this posted?

I don't get HBO and couldn't watch.

Anonymous said...
Apr 30, 2008, 10:51:00 AM  

Buzz shouldn't be blasted for being a bloated, self aggrandizing old breed type writer typing individual who feels the need to drop WC Heinz in a group of people to feel important. No. That's not my main beef with the guy. My beef is that he can't understand the sheer awesomeness of Rich Garces' beautiful manboobies.

That is the true shame.

Apr 30, 2008, 10:54:00 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mez said...
Apr 30, 2008, 10:59:00 AM  

I found this site about a year ago, and I honestly can't remember how. I probably put in "Gus Johnson is my hero" in a Google search or something. But it offered something I couldn't find on or any of the MSM sites: the ability to talk with other fans, get a different perspective and view on stories, and frankly find out different information and stories that the MSM didn't feel like reporting.

Whether it was commenting during "Create The Caption" (yes I'm the guy who started the Tebow - Girls with the Pearls monster), submitting retarded things that came out of countless announcers mouth, or jumping in during live threads, AA and blogs like it gave something that just wasn't there otherwise in my opinion.

So to AA, the people at Deadspin, JSF, Sports Agent Blog, and countless others that are consistently awesome, keep up the good work, and keep fighting the good fight.

Mez said...
Apr 30, 2008, 11:01:00 AM  

Fine work, Brian.

As a blogger with only a marketing degree, that is all I'm allowed to say.

Anonymous said...
Apr 30, 2008, 11:15:00 AM  

Every time you make a posting like this I can't help but remember that YOU ARE A BLOGGER. Everything you say is qualified by that fact. Listen, of course you passionately believe that you are a legitimate part of the sports realm. Pedophiles believe what they do is beautiful, and terrorists are certain they are doing what is right.

Find some non-blogger opinion on how blogging isn't that bad instead of getting all huffy when somebody offends you personally by suggesting that you are somehow less legitimate than they.

Which you have not yet disproven in any of your shrill rants on the subject, by the way. Better luck next time.

Anonymous said...
Apr 30, 2008, 11:23:00 AM  

Yeah, but it's not like you went to a REAL school like Old Dominion....

That actually made me spit out my coffee this morning. Oh and Maynard....I don't care what you think of me. Keep reading though. Cheers!

Apr 30, 2008, 11:27:00 AM  

That Copernicus was deeply ignorant. For the love of God, man, read a book.

Also, what story did you break in the last week?

Anonymous said...
Apr 30, 2008, 11:32:00 AM  

That Copernicus comment, I meant to say.

Anonymous said...
Apr 30, 2008, 11:33:00 AM  

I really love when people have absolutely zero sense of humor. That's almost more funny than their dumbass comment.

Let's see....hmm. This week I've given the world their first look at Derby coverage, their first look at Madden 2009, found a photo of Tim Tebow hanging with the House of Reps, wrote two pieces on the media at the NFL Draft, and posted a video of an announcer saying an athlete took a nasty shit. It's been a slow week and I apologize.

Apr 30, 2008, 11:49:00 AM  

The ODU comment made me guffaw, as well(my BIL is a member of the JMU Class of '76). I'm also an oddity(hey, watch it!) in the sports blogosphere, in that I'm in the same age group as Costas and most of the non-MSM bashers. That said, I'm fully on the side of guys like you and Leitch on this matter. Keep up the good work, and oh yeah...
I love you, man.

UnHoly Diver said...
Apr 30, 2008, 11:54:00 AM  

Did Maynard just compare AA's take on sports blog to pedophiles and terrorists? Man oh Man.

Too much deep thinking on this topic, I need to go read "The Professional," to get smart and rite good.

Mac G said...
Apr 30, 2008, 12:00:00 PM  

And yet Maynard is simply a commenter on a blog. What does that make him then?

Anonymous said...
Apr 30, 2008, 12:08:00 PM  

Brian this shit is so played out.

Nobody reading blogs gives a damn what mainstream media thinks, or needs to hear the umpteenth argument as to why blogs are valid. Costas show last night was basically for fat white retarded inept America.

Who gives a shit if the "real media" ever accepts blogs? The people who read have already accepted it. You've got a good thing here, tons of readers who check several times a day - because of your insight on everything BUT your place in the hierarchy of sports writing importance.

Everytime I read a post like this on AA or Deadspin etc it comes off like a guy who feels he has to justify having a hot wife. Who cares if she's retarded or regards character above looks and money - you've got a hot wife, just go bang her and be happy. Anyone slagging on it just wishes he had a hot wife.

Apr 30, 2008, 12:11:00 PM  

I don't agree. Check the numbers. More than 35 percent of Americans have NEVER read a blog, and more than 75 percent have read one 10 or fewer times. The MSM is still very valid and vital. HOWEVER...

They are holding on too tightly. And it's all going to end badly. So yeah, the blogs need to bang the hot wife and move on, but don't think that John Q. Public is onboard yet, because they're not quite there.

Anonymous said...
Apr 30, 2008, 12:29:00 PM  

I guess my point is,

Who gives a shit?

I don't want to be one of the people who gets all of their information from the mainstream media. I don't fault any of the people who do. The only time that really affects me is during political elections, where people only watch Fox News and thus ruin America by voting George W. Bush (that's a bit simplistic I know).

My point was more, If you're reading yet another argument as to why blogs are valid, then you most likely already agree.

Anyone who watched last night and said "You know, according to this screaming guy, blogs are dangerous and I'm not going to read them" ... they'll just go back to voting on American Idol anyway. Unless there's a sale on blogs at Walmart they won't know how to find them.

Apr 30, 2008, 12:44:00 PM  

Fantastic Post. That is all...

Todd W. Smith said...
Apr 30, 2008, 12:50:00 PM  

I'm a radio guy here in Hawaii, and sure you may count me in the MSM so to speak, but I've got a question for the MSM'ers out there, whether they are on the news side or the sports side. If you are so against blogs, why do your TV and radio station and newspaper websites feature, well, BLOGS? Granted, they are mostly controlled blogs as compared to blogs like yours, AA, where you don't have to answer to anyone.
The executives of these companies know that blogs add flavor to what they are doing.

If those old boys in the media wanna feel threatened, let them! They are wasting their time. The time spent wasted on complaining about bloggers will take away from the quality of what they write or say and their disappointed audience will go elsewhere.

Anonymous said...
Apr 30, 2008, 1:28:00 PM  

Fucking well put, AA (aka Brian)

And fuck all those MSM cunts and no-sense-of-humour-having fucks like dr and maynard, they'll never get this shit and they never will, and who the fuck cares?

We all know one day blogs will be the MSM, and then we'll have to start all over again.

Keep up the great work and don't feel the need to justify yourself to those fucking ignorant douches.

(did I meet the blogging quota of curse words?)

J Rose said...
Apr 30, 2008, 2:24:00 PM  

Zaun doesn't make $7 mil/year (neither should he ever). He sign a two year contract worth a little over 7 mil.

Nice try, but aparently complaingin all the time about MSM makes you forget things.

Anonymous said...
Apr 30, 2008, 3:14:00 PM  

A couple of points . . .

1. I guess I don't understand why so many feel as if MSM and blogs are mutually exclusive? Good research and writing, wherever it occurs, begets . . . good research and writing.

2. What is it about majoring in journalism that makes someone a better reporter/writer? My undergrad degree is in English, and my Masters is in Information Science -- the key to effective reportage is the ability to think critically and write well.

3. Why is "just" having an opinion not enough? Several of the panelists decried how easy it if for someone with just an opinion to publish those online. Is that really so different from what columnists/talk radio hosts do? Uninformed opinion sucks, but can still be fun.

Joseph Aubele said...
Apr 30, 2008, 3:26:00 PM  

kick. fucking. ass.

blairjjohnson said...
Apr 30, 2008, 3:53:00 PM  

Me thinks: The old guard is realizing their turf is at stake, so they stoop down to abrasive language and non-sequiturs about W.C. Heinz. This is good; people like Costas, Buzz, Tony K. and such wouldn't even bother acknowledging them if they didn't realize that their shelf life was shortening, and their livelihood threatened by a serious, innovative new medium.

B-C said...
Apr 30, 2008, 4:35:00 PM  

Tried watching the show and couldn't do it. They lost me when AROUND THE HORN mainstay Jay Mariotti had the audacity to say something about sports talk radio being buffoonish and playing to the lowest common denominator. I agree, but talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Dan said...
Apr 30, 2008, 5:20:00 PM  

The fact that they felt the need to address new media at all tells me the MSM is clinging to relevance. What they don't realize (or soon will, the hard way) is that they would rather be hated, ripped and scrutinized in blogs now than ignored altogether later. And later is sooner than they think. Rock on, AA.

Six Pint Limit said...
Apr 30, 2008, 5:40:00 PM  

The mainstream media, and sportscasters in general are scared shitless by how quickly influential sports blogs have become. That can be the only possible reason why so many talking heads come out trying to bash sports blogs - they see the balance of power shifting, and there's nothing they can do about it.

The public is sick and tired of the big media's chokehold on sports reporting, and they now have an outlet to reach people, to communicate to those who share their same frustrations.

People like Costas, Steven A, etc. see the future coming, and they're scared.

Anonymous said...
Apr 30, 2008, 8:16:00 PM  

I watched a few minutes and for someone as supposedly as smart as Bissinger is, my 9th grade students know more about this than he does. FATP – Form, Audience, Topic, Purpose – the 4 areas our kids are supposed to identify before writing for state tests. He can’t recognize 3 of the 4 in sports blog. He doesn’t understand the audience, has no clue about the form, and doesn’t recognize their purpose may be different than a newspaper.

He wants Deitch to be W.C. Heinz. That’s like asking Billy Joe of Green Day to be Mozart. It’s not that he can’t, it’s that he doesn’t WANT to be. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Anonymous said...
Apr 30, 2008, 8:59:00 PM  

I'm sorry I missed the big show with Costas last night. As a very unknown blogger, I do take exception to a lot of what I have seen with "mainstream writers". I have seen a lot of good things in the blog world and gives so many of us an opportunity to write and connect with something we love so much. This is just ammunition and motivation to keep going and prove the mainstreamers wrong.

Anonymous said...
May 1, 2008, 12:18:00 AM  

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