ESPN Fears The Blogosphere
The Worldwide Leader in Sports may be as soft as Chuck Liddell’s jaw when it comes to acknowledging other outlets for sports commentary exist online.
To paraphrase Pacino in "The Godfather Part III," just when I thought that I was off work, it pulls me back in. Some early morning errands on a nice Memorial Day weekend Saturday morning would be a perfect time to listen to some sports talk.
On goes ESPN radio’s AM GameDay, with Dave Shore and Matt Mosley. What are they talking about on this nice morning? NBA finals? Stanley Cup? Baseball? Nope. They were talking about blogging.
Sigh. I stopped at the post office, listened, and took notes.
Mosley has a fairly new blog, called Hashmarks, on ESPN. Apparently when he first started doing it, he had his personal email address displayed. He said he still didn’t have an ESPN email address even though he’s been with them for a few years.
(Mosley’s email also appeared on some of his older Mailbag columns. Please don’t search for it and send him more link requests.)
Bloggers began pelting him with link requests. "Everybody wants a link," Mosley said. Then he began to talk about sports blogging, and he complimented some of the sports blogs out there.
Then Mosley commented how Shore was shaking his head, as if to say ‘don’t mention their names on the air.’ Shore tried to brush it off and move on, which was a shame because that could have been a much more interesting exchange.
If it were just random chatter around the watercooler, I doubt ESPN would care. The better sports blogs have picked up loyal followings, and those visitors may or may not extend their page viewing experience to ESPN.com.
Blogging, like the rise in interest in mixed martial arts, caught ESPN off guard. While not every sports blogger is going to be the second coming of a Tony Kornheiser, a few of them are good enough to keep an audience.
Instead of waving Mosley into silence on Saturday morning, Shore and the rest of ESPN’s talking heads ought to try making friends with the cheery sports bloggers surfing in their wake. Who knows, it might even make for good radio.