Monday, July 28, 2008

No hesitation

Last week, Norman Chad took a moment from doing bad standup at the World Series of Poker to take a swipe at blogging:

If a blogger were sitting next to you in a bar, you’d stop drinking.

Now, all this blogging and bloviating raises a question: Are we more opinionated than generations past?

To answer that, I’d pose another question: Are we more violent than our ancestors? Probably not. But the means of violence have become more destructive. First there were rocks, then the bow-and-arrow, then guns, shotguns, semiautomatic rifles, cannons, grenades, tanks, bombs and, ultimately, nuclear arms.

Similarly, we always were passionate about our sports teams, but the means in which we can express that passion have changed.

In the 1930s, you might sit on your front stoop and argue; in the 1960s, you might write a letter to the editor; in the 1990s, you might call in to talk radio; nowadays, you go online and vent.

The Internet is the virtual-reality version of the A-bomb.

We have, of course, visited this topic before. But on the same day Chad's rant was published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the newspapers were covering the Milwaukee Brewers trading for Ray Durham. Let's see how the professionals do their jobs.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

The deal happened quickly, facilitated by a long friendship between Melvin and Sabean and the Brewers' presence in San Francisco, which created awkward moments for Durham on Sunday. He suited up as a Giant and spent the first few innings in the home dugout. He caught himself watching the scoreboard to see how the Cubs and Cardinals were doing but finally went inside.

"That's all I could really take," he said. "It was a weird feeling rooting for both teams."

As for the trade, Durham said, "I understood it. I know the organization, they're trying to go young and rebuild for the future. I could have said no. I didn't say yes right off. I called my people first. It was a tough decision. I wanted to stay here, but it's a better fit for both parties." (emphasis added)

Now let's go to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Durham said he never considered using his “10 and 5” status to veto the trade.

“This was better for both teams,” said Durham, who has played for the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics and San Francisco. “The Giants are going young and the Brewers are dying for a playoff spot. I think it’s a win-win situation for both teams.

“This is a great team. I just want to fit in and do the things I can do to help the team. I hope I can help them get to the promised land.” (emphasis added)

Before Chad spends another column worrying that some blogger can tell better Las Vegas jokes than he can, perhaps he could do a real column about sports journalism that is as close to "writing about as much as working the pole is dancing."

Or maybe since he loves Las Vegas so much, he could compare sports journalism to legalized prostitution. Hey, I'm just here to help with the analogies.