Chicago was the center of the sports blog universe, at least for one weekend. Perhaps it’s more than coincidence that Blogs with Balls 3, the convention I’m speaking off, took place here at the same exact time that Chicago was hosting a jewel event, the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, with high media coverage. The day after BWB3 concluded the Chicago Blackhawks moved to within one win of clinching the Stanley Cup. There were many internet sports luminaries in attendance including Scott Reifert Director of Communications for the Chicago White Sox.
Another event making headlines in the sports universe, is the expansion of SB Nation, who are now creating regional sites. It just so happened that an SB Nation blogger, Joe Kutsunis of Hail to the Orange, stayed with me this past weekend. He also produced a very good writeup of the weekend’s festivities.
By Paul M. Banks
The ethics panel and democratization of media panel were probably the two most raucous and stimulating that would take place, and without going into the drama too much, one lesson could be clearly taken away. As a blogger, it isn’t only your credibility that you should be worried about, but the credibility of the entire blogging community. It is true that if you misquote someone, or you post a rumor on the internet without a credible source, you will most directly suffer the consequences of your shoddy reporting, however, blogging is distinct from other forms of media in that there is no accreditation or professionalism automatically associated with it (thus democracy!) When an Ohio State beat reporter for the Columbus Dispatch messes up, no one thinks about removing the credentials for all the newspapers, but if a blogger messes up, it makes athletic departments and professional teams less eager to risk letting other bloggers have access. Like it or not, bloggers represent the entire medium, not just themselves, our credibility is viewed on the whole and not on an individual basis.
Given the Buzz Bissinger versus Will Leitch fireworks on HBO in June ’08, and Jerod Morris of Midwest Sports Fans versus King douchebag Ken Rosenthal last June, it seems like this month is now official “sports blogs vs. MSM steel cage death match” month. Instead we had in-fighting in the sports blogosphere. But the month just started so we’ll see. Some media powder keg will explode at some point.
Kutsunis probably had the line of the weekend: “consuming cheese and high humidity do not mix.” Truer words have never been spoken, but other gems include:
-”It’s not the pot calling the kettle black, it’s the insane alcoholic girl calling the kettle black.” Ah yes, I can relate to that sentence more times than I care to count in my life.
-”Cincinnati Bengals Placekicker Shayne Graham supposedly asks every girl he meets within the first 15 min if she would be willing to sign a pre-nup.” A response “Ah yes, the vast fortune of Shayne Graham.”
-”What’s worse A.I.D.S. or auto-played video on ESPN’s page?”
-”It’s called Reggie Wayning it, when you give out critical credit card information through a Twitter direct message, there’s a similar adjective- Ray Allenish.”
But it wasn’t just all intellectual, like “Double Dare” there was a physical challenge component too. I suckered Kutsunis into competing with me in the Cuervo Games obstacle course.
“myself and three other bloggers from the Yardbarker network, we were tasked with physical challenges to prove our collective athleticism that were closer to Nickelodeon Guts than Beerfest (much to my disappointment.) Unfortunately, I failed to disprove the stereotype of bloggers being unathletic nerds, as the bruises (both flesh and ego) I have will no doubt prove.”
That pretty much sums it up, although we did win our match. So our opponents were even less athletic than we were. The rock climbing wall seems like a sport I would like to possibly take up, but not in this manifestation, where there’s a cannon of water being shot at you, the entire time you’re climbing. My favorite event was the inflatable pyramid thing, where they throw inflatable giant barrels at you climb in a race to capture the flag.
It’s kind of like a real life Donkey Kong. Except for the part when the announcer/host said “do not step on your teammate,” which I almost did on my way up. Hey, I’m ambitious and competitive. If I have to step on my teammate to help us win, so be it.
Oh, and anytime you’re in a harness, good things usually don’t happen.