Wednesday afternoon, the most popular sports blog on the planet did a post about WNST‘s “King of Baltimore Sportstalk” contest. When I say “did a post,” I actually mean “posted an embarassing video of an earnest guy trying his best.”
Now, let me get this out of the way: I understand that Deadspin didn’t make the video. They didn’t post it to YouTube. But they linked to it, which means that they (specifically the mostly funny A.J. Daulerio) knew that 400,000 people TODAY would see it (oh, to have that traffic). Furthermore, A.J. didn’t really say anything inflammatory about the guy, which surely would have been the case elsewhere on the internet. So don’t get me wrong and think that I am ready to grab a pitchfork and a torch and head over to Gawker Media.
Still, one can’t help but wonder if the type of snark-driven sports blogging we have come accustomed to reading has an invisible line that should be delicately crossed. That line, come to think of it, isn’t really invisible. That line is the green padded walls, chain link fences, and plexiglass boards that separate the athlete from the fan. Aiming the cannons of ridicule at the public figures who wear brightly colored shirts with numbers on them for a living is one thing, but wheeling the falconet of shame around and pointing it at your fellow fan is another.
I must admit, I have guffawed at the “Boom Goes The Dynamtie” guy and giggled at Deadspin’s winking appreciation of Kige Ramsey. I suppose the difference here is that Kige and Brian Collins willingly employ(ed) themselves with YouTube Sports* and the Ball State college TV station, respectively. But this is different. This guy tried (and failed, admittedly) in a local radio contest. Is this newsworthy for the #1 sports culture blog to report on?
Highlighting the less-than-stellar efforts in WNST’s American Idolesque contest are just that: as base and cruel as the American Idol clip shows featuring the lost souls who wonder in carrying bongos and wearing reflective tape.
Doing radio is freaking difficult. Even when it’s a podast that isn’t live, not getting your words tied up, saying “um” and “you know” every 4 seconds is a challenge. Then beyond that, to say something coherent about sports? It almost makes you sympathetic to Joe Morgan (almost).
Maybe I’m just being “sensitive Baltimore fan” here, especially since that easily could’ve been any of us (okay, probably just me) performing an epic act of failure for all the internet to see, but something about this doesn’t feel right.
* Grrr. I couldn’t resist!