People love to hate bloggers. They read our posts, then write comments saying that "nobody cares what you guys think anyway." Huh? What the haters don't get is that blogging is a labor of love (or passion, if you will), not just something we do for a paycheck. Thus, it's more real, more genuine, and more noble than most of what you read in the newspaper (does ANYONE read a newspaper anymore?). Think about the difference between amateur and professional athletes. Remember when we all lauded the purity of the Olympics because they were about the love of sport, not about the money?
So the other day I'm checking my usual sites (NDLNA.com) and there's a link to a terrific rant over at The Rock Report about how the sports media is always on Notre Dame's ass with a proctoscope about some minor instance of political incorrectness, while ignoring the very real and pervasive problems facing college sports across the board. I don't always agree with The Rock, but his blog is generally excellent, and I sure agree with him this time. So I left him a nice comment at NDLNA. The some other reader at NDLNA leaves a comment that starts out with "I don't disagree with the general point of this blog" and then eventually chimes in with the following:
The sad fact is, you would probably trade this blog for a shot to be a real "media talking head" in a heartbeat. You'd get your press pass to sit in a media box and all this writing you do wouldn't just be for your own personal benefit and the benefit of the folks at NDLNA who comprise the entire blog audience.If you've been reading blogs or internet message boards for any length of time, you've seen a variation on this theme many times. Every once in a while I feel compelled to set these guys straight. Here's my response to NDIrish50:
And you know what, the minute you strapped the credential to your shirt pocket, you'd be talking about the same exact shit your crucifying the media for in this blog piece.
I'm no media apologist and It does suck that Notre Dame gets labeled "arrogant" for putting education first... but for the love of God, quit your bitching and write something worth reading. As it stands now, you just make yourself look like yet another disgruntled blogger who wishes he could work for NBC or ESPN but doesn't have the formal education or the wherewithal to go do it. So instead you just railroad the media every day on your free blog.
I love how bitter commenters (like yourself) always assume that those of us who blog for free on a subject we are passionate about must be (1) secretly covetous of a job in the paid media, (2) totally without principles, (3) without the education or talent to get a job as a "real" journalist.Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. That was self indulgent. But if you can't be self indulgent on your blog, when can you be?
I can't speak for "The Rock", but as a member of the Notre Dame blogging community I can speak for myself. I blog for free, usually about Notre Dame football. I do it because I love the University and the game, because I enjoy the challenge, and because it provides a fun creative outlet. Sure, it would be fun to be on TV getting paid to spout nonsense like the guys at ESPN, but I don't secretly covet a job as a sports hack for the South Bend Tribune or the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. The fact is, I couldn't afford the pay cut.
As for our willingness to sell our integrity for a press pass, I think you miss the point. Any idiot with a keyboard could write conventional, politically correct tripe by the gigabyte for some corporate megalith. But we bloggers would rather write what we really feel and believe FOR FREE than compromise ourselves for a little coin.
And finally, there's our education and wherewithal. The last bastion of the blog critic. Precisely how educated does one need to be to write about sports professionally? Have you read a sports page, or any sports publication, recently? Sure, there are some stars who can really write. But most of the work out there is GARBAGE. A degree in "communications" or "journalism" is nothing to write home about (pun intended). Again, I can't speak for The Rock, but I wish I could have had all the free party time in college that the journalism majors had. Instead, I was busting my ass trying to get an aerospace engineering degree (which I followed up with a law degree). As a lawyer, I actually do get paid to write professionally. In fact, I get paid very well to convince important decision makers that my client's opinions should be theirs too. Real world writing, not fluff like football.
So maybe you agree with us. Maybe you don't. Maybe you don't have the balls to form an opinion of your own. But please stop with the "bloggers are bitter, envious, untalented hacks with no integrity" bullshit. Not only is it misinformed, it's so damn tiresome.