I’m In My Living Room, Actually

by Corey

Ryan has already spoke of this, and naturally comes down with a younger, fresher perspective on a growing technology we call by a brand name – Twitter. John Vogl has clearly staked his claim. I’m not looking to stake a claim in any place.

Rumors are a part of life. Journalists would be hypocritical idiots to tell you they don’t use them in their reporting. They’ll call it “locker room dissension” or that “the players are tuning out the coach” or some other crap. Subtle ways to disguise opinion as fact. Sports media, folks.

They do however, put their name to it, and so does the organization that they represent. This lends credibility. It is trustworthy because We say it is and because We have standards. Bloggers, or in this case just anyone with a twitter account, may just come out and completely lie because they can get away with it. No one knows or will find out who they are. Safety and unaccountability in anonymity.

What I find curious is the divide between the professional and the amateur. It smacks of elitism. Stay out of my office, you ravenous mob. Vogl is a professional sports writer, which in the hierarchy of life puts him somewhere between an auto mechanic and a grocery bagger. I know this because I used to be one – and even calling myself one would be a stretch of the imagination. There are better things we could be doing with our time. We could be building shelter for the poor. We could be helping our community. Instead we talk about guys in spandex and tights running around in circles for sixty minutes. There is no redeeming cultural value in what we do. They will not look back on our civilization and talk about the fine construction of our game stories.

Regardless, the final two stanzas of Vogl’s column are telling, and the impression undeniable. Let the professionals talk to the professionals. You are clearly unqualified and ill suited for this. Go outside and play.

You are not unqualified to do their job. You need standards to do it, yes. Don’t lie. Print what you know and work to find out what you don’t. Stay classy. These are not copyrighted objects that are the sole property of newspapers, radio, or television stations that are impossible for amateurs to find with Socrates at their shoulder. These are ideas. These are values. If you want to shield yourself for the flak and static that the old school ballers will throw, put your name to what you say and drop the handle. Have an opinion, strive for truth, and ask tough questions of yourself and especially of the professionals on either end of the recorder.

A dude lied on twitter and a rumor spread. It happens all the time in bars among sports fans. Now they own Twitter accounts. After Vogl put on his hip waders, rubber gloves, gas mask and took his anti-vomit pill, I hope he said hello to his readers.

6 Comments

  1. In this particular case, the dude who “lied on twitter” was Matt Barnaby, a former Sabre and current employee of ESPN. This was not a random guy hiding behind a handle in his mom’s basement. If Vogl wants to get all cranky about it, that’s certainly his choice, but he’s just plain wrong about Twitter being the main culprit here.

    I don’t really understand how this got turned into a bloggers vs. MSM thing. This was Matt Barnaby being a shitty reporter while working for ESPN.

  2. James

    But why would Vogl actually get his facts straight when it’s easier to sling mud at something he doesn’t like?

  3. Mike Sem

    @Katebits…the rumor in question do not start with Barnaby. It started a day or two before that. Posted by someone who knew someone who said they saw it happen at the Catwalk for Charity event. It got legs from there. Barnaby heard it later and tweeted about the alleged incident, then an hour later changed his story.

  4. RobQ

    nice – i was just writing to friends not 10 minutes ago about Vogl seeming to amp up the scorn this year. Very unseemly – his in-game logs are full of disdain for everything, including (seemingly) his own job. A lot of “why am I here” whining which nobody wants to read.

  5. I find it a little funny. Journalists are nothing without their readers, and Twitter is a way to get your material to your readers faster and more efficiently. Vogl is basically saying that he’d rather be ignorant than learn to do his job better.

  6. @Mike, I followed the rumor on twitter pretty closely from the get go, and I don’t think anyone was taking it very seriously until Barnaby tweeted it. It wasn’t until after he tweeted it that it went from a goofy fan rumor to something Vogl had to ask Lindy about. It was absolutely Barnaby that made this news.