What a ridiculous display of non-sense tonight on HBO's Costa's Now. Bob Costas, one of my most favorite people in the media, exposed the problem that is going on within the sports media. There is a war coming and the sports fan out there are going to sit back and decide who is going to win. I can't wait to watch this thing begin and we just might have seen the first shot to start it.
On one side - the old guard. Print media members, old school TV people, and authors of books who think they know more than anyone else. They are the ones who have been praised for years for their amazing ability to convey a story to the mass. While those people will always be needed to cover sports, they are being pushed back below the fold. Most of these guys are beat writers who are jealous that they can't say what they want or aren't allow to say what they want to say. Others are columnists who are pissed that by the time their work hits in the AM, their opinion has been either said or proven wrong by someone else.
On the other side - new age sports talk show hosts (read under 50), bloggers, multi-media professionals who understand where the media is going and journalist who understand what their audience wants - read covering the news in an entertaining fashion. People want information mixed with opinion. They want to be entertained and much of that entertainment comes from topics featuring sports, sex, and negativity. "Give it to me now!" and give it to me in a way that will make me laugh, scream, or cry.
Newspapers are dying....fast! Do I read the paper? Nope. Do I buy the paper? Nope. I read it online. If they don't put all their content online (Omaha World Herald), I don't go out of my way to read it and probably don't read it. The Internet is on our phones for God's sake. You can blog with an IPhone. This is what the dinosaurs would sound like if they were able to communicate before the meteorite hit. I love hearing old school newspaper men bitch about where the media is going. Where it's going is into the hands of those who don't bow down to the sport itself. They are people who are willing to put themselves out there and open their minds up to the public. If the public likes it - they come back for more. It's a simple as that....and it drives the old guard crazy.
I am DISGUSTED watching Buzz Bissinger attack the founder of Deadspin only to have him ADMIT that he is going to lose in the long run. Why do media members believe they are ENTITLED to covering sports and only THEY are qualified to an opinion worth reading?! Buzz Bissinger was worthless and embarrassed himself tonight. These are the guys I love waving goodbye to...because they think they are defending integrity and ethics. In truth, they are just pissed that they will be out of work very soon. There is nothing lost because writers can't have a cup of coffee with Ali. If Ali wanted to have that type of conversation out there - they would set it up. Creditbility is not defeated just because you are a fan of sports and have an opinion.
American society has always been about what the public wants. We had radio to communicate information. Then it went to TV. Then to the internet...and now to blogs, text messages, and youtube.
Let's talk about sports talk radio - the beginning of part of the show and the issue I can talk about with the most information.
Sports talk radio is never going away and is only going to get bigger. Young people want FAST information, bitting opinion and entertainment and growing - so do older people. Personality....that is the key. And that is a great defense for the bloggers as well. It's their personality that causes guys like Bill Simmons to be so successful. Who the individual is talking about sports is the key with sports talk radio. The Olympics suck because they have no personality - even if NBC tries to drill some down our throats. Mike Tirico being on the TV panel is a major problem for me because he is suppose to be a sports talk radio host now - a personality. He's not. He's a boring announcer - very talented at that...but boring unless he's doing a game on ESPN. His radio show has sucked 0n ESPN Radio because he doesn't understand the medium. Personality and Opinion. That's the key.
In closing, it tells you a lot that Bob Costas doesn't understand why fans like fantasy leagues. This is a big deal to me. You have to be able to understand your audience, live the same lifestyle of your audience and relate to today's sports fan....and that's the point to my anger over the entire episode. Sports media outlets who get what their audience wants survive....the others will be gone sooner rather than later. The war between new and old is about to begin....and my side is going to win because you - the sports fan - will pick us rather than them.