Believe it or not, I’m not the biggest sports fan among my group of friends. Sure, I’ve wanted to think and talk and write about sports ever since a little league coach to me I couldn’t break a pain of glass with my fastball, but my friends go above and beyond. Some are the type of guys who play trivia at the bar stone-sober, just to stay sharp. Others have passed up dates in favor of the College World Series. Hell, I even have a friend who skipped a Super Bowl party so he could focus on the game, as though it were homework.
My point is these are your ultimate sports enthusiasts, the know-it-all types that only other know-it-alls even enjoy being around, and you know what they think about sports blogs?
First, they consider the term blogosphere either “gay” or “retarded” (their words, not mine) or both. Most know of Deadspin, some check out The Big Lead and I have no doubt they have all considered de-friending me on Facebook thanks to my incessant spamming of this website. Chances are none of them have ever heard of AJ Daulerio or Will Leitch or Dan Levy and they definitely don’t go around quoting any commentators floating around the popular sports blogs.
Could my friends be that out of touch? Do your friends really care about blogs?
Because according to guys like Jay Mariotti and Jason Whitlock, it’s people like Daulerio and Leitch who are ruining the world, one witty line or NSFW post at a time. Never mind that Mariotti writes for a website comprised of bloggers or that Whitlock appears to spend just as much time in comment sections of blogs as he does actually writing columns, all you need to know is that sports blogs are corrupting our youth, responsible for the demise of newspapers and most recently, the reason some pervert decided to make a peephole video of ESPN’s Erin Andrews. Also, bloggers tend to be very pale (undoubtedly thanks to never leaving their parent’s basements) so they are probably quite racist as well.
Do these anti-establishment, elitist, too-white pricks -who most people still don’t know about- really have that much influence?
The answer, of course, is no. But bloggers and those who read blogs all have one thing in common (and it’s not being white and hating ESPN): We all like to read. So when Mariotti and Whitlock want to ruffle some feathers and generate a little traffic, they blast Deadspin and immediately the clicks start rolling in.
It’s pathetic, yet brilliant at the same time. But let’s not kid ourselves. Sports blogs aren’t ruining the world anymore than they are influencing it. Just ask your best friend.