The most talented musician of the last 20 years, Sublime's Bradley Nowell, sang, "we're only gonna die for our own arrogance, that's why we might as well take our time." Wise words. Of course, he died at age 27 of a heroin overdose, right as Sublime was finally being recognized by the world as a great up-and-coming band.
I read a FanPost earlier which mentioned that Shannon Sharpe was being considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a Wide Receiver, rather than at the position he played for nearly his entire career, Tight End. There can only be one reason to do such a thing, which is obviously to reduce his chances of selection. There is no legitimate reason, so it can only be that. It is analogous to deciding that Matt Stairs should be in the Baseball Hall Of Fame, because if he were a catcher, or a shortstop, or a second baseman, his 254 career homeruns would be mighty impressive. In reality, he's just an unathletic fat guy with a mullet, who has played for 11 teams, sucks on defense as a corner outfielder, chainsmokes, and can hit pretty well. In reality, Shannon Sharpe is the greatest receiving TE ever, and redefined the position. So it makes no sense to decide that he may as well have played another position.
Whether the motivation is to bolster the chances for Cris Carter and/or Andre Reed, or to just prevent yet another Bronco from gaining entry doesn't really matter to me. It is morally wrong, regardless of the motivation. As a Broncos partisan, I am disgusted by this, and I am ready to go to war with the mainstream media (hereinafter, the MSM.)
In geopolitics, there is a concept called blowback, which recognizes the fact that every action taken by one nation-state (the actor) which affects another nation-state (the affected party,) will almost certainly result in a reaction from the affected party (not to mention other affected parties which may be less directly affected.) The results of the reaction may be unexpected, and will probably be undesirable to the actor. The concept of blowback stands as a reminder for nation-states to be humble and judicious in the application of its foreign policy. (The Wikipedia article I linked to references the US-led overthrow of the democratically elected leader of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh, in the 1950s. This country continues to experience blowback today from that action, as seen in the adversarial relationship between the US and Iran since the late 1970s, when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini replaced Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who was the US-installed puppet dictator since Mossadegh's ouster. Instead of a secular democracy which wouldn't play nicely with the US and Britain, Iran is now a radical theocracy, which doesn't play nicely with the US and Britain. I guess it seemed like a good idea in 1953.)
Why the history lesson? Because this arrogance by the MSM calls for coordinated, organized action from Broncos nation, of which MileHighReport.com is increasingly an important leader. They think we can't touch them, but we can. I want everybody to know what blowback means, and I want the MSM to know that that is what they're getting, and why. If the modern blogosphere had existed when Floyd Little was being summarily cheated out of his deserved contemporary entrance into the Hall Of Fame, don't you think it is likely that he would have had a better chance of getting there? This blog helped Art Monk finally get in. It can definitely be done.
But wait, the MSM ignores the blogosphere. Ignoring a problem makes it go away, doesn't it? Well, they do ignore the blogosphere, other than to have true-blue MSMers like Bill "Porkchop" Williamson write unintelligible, stream-of-consciousness, fragmented, imagination-less, homegenized, crap-tastic mini-columns which they pass off as "blogs." They mimic the style, but they stick to their same old, tired substance. And it's the same warmed-over poo, at the end of the day. They have their access, and their anonymous axe-grinding sources, and they repeat what they are told like good little parakeets.
Thing is, the blogosphere is putting a financial hurting on the MSM. You all get your Broncos news and analysis here, not from the Post or the Rocky. You can participate here, and everybody cares what you think, unlike the troll-infested comment forums on those sites. We may link to the Post and the Rocky in Horse Tracks, but JohnnyB/Guru gets the same press releases from the Broncos that those outlets get, at the same time. In other words, we don't need the Post or the Rocky to report the news, and we can do it independently of them. To the Broncos, we're a legitimate news outlet, and we take that distinction very seriously.
As for the quality of football analysis, our community here has the Broncos MSM beaten by a country mile. That's not just a pat on the back for myself, or the other staff members here, it's a tribute to the contributions of each of our more than 1200 members (a number which is quickly, and exponentially growing.) You may not like my diagrams, but do 90% of the football MSM have the technical football knowledge necessary to create them? Could any of them expound on injuries like our own medical doctor Broncobear can? Could any MSMer other than maybe Dr. Z tell you the difference between a Fairbanks 3-4 and a Phillips 3-4? I guarantee that nearly all of them think that all 3-4 concepts are monolithic and universal, and that they know nothing about it beyond a soundbite or two. We can all be egoless in a forum like MHR, and always understand that this is a collaborative endeavor, and that we're all doing our parts to improve the fan experience of every other Broncos fan.
A revolution is afoot, and it's not really even very new or cutting edge at this point. It's called Web 2.0, and it is characterized by a new web development approach, which has seen the simplification of internet technology, so that many people can participate and contribute, at no or low cost, and needing little or no specialized technical knowledge. Robust capability is available to the masses. I link to Wikipedia all the time, and I trust it deeply, because it's updated almost instantaneously as things happen, by somebody. If inaccuracies are present, they are quickly corrected by somebody else. It is self-policing, and highly efficient. Everybody uses Facebook, it seems. Twitter is a whole website about one question: what are you doing right now? Believe it or not, people are already speculating what will mark the third wave, or Web 3.0.
Think, for a moment, about newspapers. When I was a kid, I used to read the sports section every morning, front to back, before I did anything else. My parents subscribed to the Norwich Bulletin, I'm sure, partly because I would have definitely bucked if they had ever stopped. Kids today don't do that. They get online, and they read their sports news there, or they turn on ESPNEWS. If they want to know how many homeruns Carlos Beltran has hit as of any particular moment in time, they just search him in Google. I have a seven-year-old half-sister who could do this, with no problems, if she were interested in such things, and knew how to spell Carlos Beltran. For her, I guess the question would be what's going on with the Jonas Brothers.
I subscribe to ESPN.com's Insider service for something like 30 bucks a year, because I like to read some of the more detailed college player analysis that their Scouts, Inc group does. As an added "bonus," I also receive frequently published pieces of crap called ESPN The Magazine, that I never even look at , and then I get aggravated when they all pile up in my house. They had a feature on the A-11 Offense recently, which exists and flourishes in California due to a bogus loophole in the state's high school rules. Basically, if a QB lines up at least 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage, it's considered punt formation, and all 11 players are allowed to run down the field, immediately at the snap. I'm sure you've noticed that the interior linemen in an NFL or college punt formation have to count off a few seconds, and then run downfield only after the kick is away. The premise on the cover is that this offense is going to change the NFL forever. Inside, they acknowledge that NFL rules make it completely illegal, but really go the extra mile, and ask the Steelers' defense how they'd stop it. So how is it going to the change the NFL forever? WTF? (by which I mean, Why This Foolishness? :) ) You can't opt out of receiving this magazine, either, because even if you never open it, like me, the Worldwide Leader feels the need to count you among its subscriber base, which helps them charge more for advertising.
Newspapers and magazines are costly, complex businesses. They need printing equipment, distribution networks, warehouse capacity, advertising salespeople, paid journalists, copy editors, layout designers, truck loaders, janitors, office buildings, secretaries, coffee makers, cafeteria lunch ladies (or men, though lunch men just sounds weird,) and now, web design professionals also. This blog is a great example of a lean business. JohnnyB runs it out of his house, at minimal cost. The staff is unpaid, and we're motivated only by adding to the Broncos fan experience. I am the only member of the staff here at MHR who even uses my real name, and that's for no other reason than that is how I set it up a year ago when I joined the community, so that's how everybody knows me. I'm not trying to get noticed by any MSM quasi-journalistic entities for professional aspirations here, as I actually like what I do for a living (which is corporate financial management.)
What I am driving at, is if we can deliver a better product, at a substantially lower cost than the MSM, then how in the world are they supposed to stay in business, and compete with us? All they presently have, which we don't, is access to players and coaches, and that tide is turning, and will continue to turn. I can definitely see the day when JohnnyB can text Jay Cutler for comment, for a story he is writing. Players and coaches themselves are now blogging, and they'll be more accessible to other bloggers, as that phenomenon continues to develop.
Newspapers and printed magazines are dying, and it's a death which can't be stopped. They just can't compete with the timeliness and cost-effectiveness we have going for us. You already see JohnnyB doing MHR Radio once or twice a week, and even being asked to occasionally appear on Denver area TV, from his home in Lorain, Ohio (of all places, as one anchorwoman said.) What happens when others create their own shows, or we start producing video highlight packages on this site? The TV and radio outlets start suffering too, that's what. These things are costing less and less to produce. I could go buy a decent microphone for $100, and easily create a weekly podcast, at no recurring dollar cost.
Media imperialism is becoming more and more impossible with the rise of people and blogs like us and ours. There is no corporate or political agenda behind our writing here, or on most of the best blogs. If anything, we try really hard to keep that stuff out, because it can distract from the real objective of the blog.
We're at the forefront of a huge, unstoppable, exciting change. The MSM, arrogant as ever, tries to replicate our superior product unsuccessfully, and otherwise acts like we don't exist. It will be the death of them, you can take that to the bank. All of this sort of makes you wonder who will be the voters for the Hall of Fame once the last buggy-whip company falls. There are several voters now from something called TheSportsXchange.com, if you can believe that. Do we stop having unaccountable institutions like Len Pasquarelli, Peter King and John Clayton? Does the best analysis start getting the best credit? Perish the thought of that. Does a guy like Hoosierteacher get picked to serve a 2-year term as a Hall of Fame voter, based upon his well-documented outstanding knowledge of the game? (Wait. Would he have to give his real name, or could he choose to continue to be known as HT? Good googily moogily, this is heady stuff.)
That's the brave new world of the future, which we're helping to lead Broncos Nation into. For now, there is wrath, and there is blowback. John Clayton doesn't seem to have a public email address, so contact the Le Anne Schreiber, the ESPN Ombudsman here. And while you're at it, you can find Peter King here. And Fox's Alex Marvez is here. These people may or may not be the offenders, but they should be shouting down the offenders, because this tyranny will not stand.
The complete list of voters:
|Arizona||Kent Somers, Arizona Republic email@example.com|
|Atlanta||Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com NO APPARENT PUBLIC EMAIL ADDRESS|
|Baltimore||Scott Garceau, WMAR-TV Garceau@wmar.com|
|Buffalo||Mark Gaughan, Buffalo News firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Carolina||Charles Chandler, Charlotte Observer email@example.com|
|Chicago||Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Cincinnati||Chick Ludwig, Dayton Daily News email@example.com|
Tony Grossi, Cleveland Plain Dealer firstname.lastname@example.org
Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News* email@example.com
|Denver||Jeff Legwold, Rocky Mountain News sports@RockyMountainNews.com|
|Detroit||Tom Kowalski, Booth Newspapers http://www.mlive.com/lions/weblog/email_author.html|
|Green Bay||Cliff Christl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Houston||John McClain, Houston Chronicle* email@example.com|
|Indianapolis||Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Jacksonville||Sam Kouvaris, WJXT-TV email@example.com|
|Kansas City||Bob Gretz, KCFX Overland Park, KS http://www.kcchiefs.com/feedback/|
|Miami||Edwin Pope, Miami Herald* firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Minnesota||Sid Hartman, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune email@example.com|
|New England||Ron Borges, HBO Sports/Pro Football Weekly firstname.lastname@example.org|
Pete Finney, Times-Picayune email@example.com
|New York (Giants)||Vinny DiTrani, Bergen Record firstname.lastname@example.org|
|New York (Jets)||Paul Zimmerman, Sports Illustrated NO APPARENT PUBLIC EMAIL ADDRESS|
|Oakland||Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange FCooney@sportsxchange.com|
Paul Domowitch, Philadelphia Daily News email@example.com
Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette firstname.lastname@example.org
|St. Louis||Bernie Miklasz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch NO APPARENT PUBLIC EMAIL ADDRESS|
|San Diego||Nick Canepa, San Diego Union Tribune http://www3.signonsandiego.com/staff/nick-canepa/contact/|
|San Francisco||Nancy Gay, San Francisco Chronicle email@example.com|
|Seattle||Clare Farnsworth, Seattle Post-Intelligencer firstname.lastname@example.org|
Ira Kaufman, Tampa Tribune email@example.com
|Tennessee||David Climer, The Tennessean firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Washington||David Elfin, Washington Times NO APPARENT PUBLIC EMAIL ADDRESS|
|PFWA||Alex Marvez, FOXSports.com (Above)|
|At Large||Howard Balzer, The Sports Xchange HBalzer@sportsxchange.com|
|At Large||Jarrett Bell, USA Today email@example.com|
|At Large||John Clayton, ESPN/ESPN Magazine NO APPARENT PUBLIC EMAIL ADDRESS|
|At Large||John Czarnecki, FoxSports.com http://msn.foxsports.com/feedback|
|At Large||Dave Goldberg, Associated Press* firstname.lastname@example.org|
|At Large||Peter King, Sports Illustrated (Above)|
Ira Miller, The Sports Xchange email@example.com
|At Large||Len Shapiro, Miami Herald* Badgerlen@hotmail.com|
|At Large||Vito Stellino, Florida Times Union firstname.lastname@example.org|
|At Large||Jim Trotter, Sports Illustrated email@example.com|
|At Large||Charean Williams, Ft. Worth Star Telegram firstname.lastname@example.org|
Email this bunch of hacks. Tell them that this Sharpe tyranny will not stand. Tell them that you'll bad-mouth their outlets every chance you get, and that you'll encourage all of your Web 2.0-savvy friends to join you in boycotting them. And while the hell you're at it, tell them to get Floyd Little in the Hall of Fame, and punish themselves for keeping him out for this long. (Maybe by swearing off donuts for a year, or whipping themselves repeatedly like the dude in the Da Vinci Code, or something.) And tell them Ted Bartlett sent you. You can even use my real name.
Update/Mea Culpa - I reacted to a reaction about John Clayton's comments on Mike & Mike. After JohnnyB made the exact text available, I regret not having researched it further myself, because I don't find his comments to be as inflammatory as the poster of the original Fanpost seemed to. This is a lesson learned for me, and I apologize for any hurt feelings or other forms of offense which may have stemmed from this.
That being said, only the reason I wrote the story is affected by that. The actual content is unchanged. Horsetrading DOES annually happen, and the process DOES actually become a game of advocacy and power politics. I expect that if Shannon doesn't make it, you'll hear the "he didn't block, so we treated him as a WR" rationalization then. The fact that he did block, at least as well as Tony Gonzalez, and far better than Antonio Gates, won't enter the discussion. The media is arrogant, and does need to be held to account for their words and actions.