What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
The great thing about being a sports blogger is that once people know you’re a sports fan, they will engage you in sporting conversation. You would be amazed how many people can come up with a fresh and informative opinion on a subject. I know those are people don’t deal with the “main-stream” sports media.
On the other hand, the worst thing about being a sports blogger is that once people know you’re a sports fan, they will engage you in sporting conversation. It saddens me how many people digest a bunch of electronic sewage and then think they’re being clever by offering their “hot take” on it. I know those people consume a lot of the World Wide Bottom Feeder.
Before I get off on a rant here, understand it’s more than just ESPN which is poisoning the sports well. ESPN is such a sludge-pump it’s bleeding out faster that a Christian Scientist with a severed artery. But’s it’s such a leviathan death may take far too long. Naturally, that’s why Fox Sports hired the guy who built that model to recreate it, and with EXACTLY some of the same shit-flumes like Colin Cowherd and Skip Bayless. The World Wide Bottom Feeder may be failing now, but even it it’s death throes, it’s bigger than Fox Sports may ever get.
Having said that, if you’re a sports fan, you have a choice to make. You can continue to suffer thought the miasma which is the corporate sports media. If that’s your choice, best of luck to you. But if you’d rather become part of the Dubsist revolution and toss off the shackles of stupidity the ESPNs would clap you in, then here’s six easy steps to make your sports consumption a far more enjoyable experience, and one which will teach you far more about sports than anything you’ll get from the corporate media outlets.
1) Have a DVR
At first, you may think it’s ironic for me to tell you how to avoid “main-stream sports media” by getting a device made to collect hundreds of hours worth of it, but this is all about getting the ability to collect as much actual sporting events as you can. Being a true sports fan means watching more live sports than you do listening to blow-dried jerk-offs talking about it.
Ask yourself a question. What’s the ratio of actual sports you watch versus clap-trap sports media? In every hour of corporately-produced sports-noise you consume, you’re getting twenty minutes of commercials, fifteen minutes of coverage you don’t care about, and fifteen minutes of pure fluff that means nothing. That means that for every hour of SportsCenter, or worse yet, some shitty radio-show simulcast, you’re literally giving away at least 50 minutes you could be watching something that isn’t corporate sporto-ganda.
For example, nobody watches women’s basketball. But if you watch one of hour SportsCenter, you would think the NCAA and WNBA versions were more popular than the NHL. While hockey is the smallest of the “Big Four” sports, it still towers over women’s basketball of any stripe.
Here’s why that matters. You can watch almost any sporting event in under an hour if you watch it on a DVR. With only a little bit of planning you can get a much better look at a team you are interested in as opposed to whatever some blow-dried hack reads off a teleprompter in front of 20 seconds of tightly-clipped highlights. The reason for that is thanks to the demands of television every American sporting event is 40 minutes of actual action crammed into 3 hours at least. With a DVR, you can create your own comprehensive highlight reel, and understand so much more about whichever sport you want.
2) Embrace Alternate Sources
The internet is full of ways to get sports content. Sure, you can go the “illegal feed” route, and doing so is entirely your decision. Beyond that, you would be amazed just how much American sports content can be found on the web and in how many forms. From print to various forms of audio and video either streaming or recorded to audio, you can find just about anything if you’re willing to look for it. But that’s the key…it isn’t a passive process.
The difference here and the previously mentioned audio and video is this is all about news and commentary rather than actual event content. There’s literally thousands of top-quality and informative podcasts out there on every possible subject you could want. Again, finding them is not a passive process; you have to actually search them out. You also can’t be a “size-snob;” there’s some great content out there on small, independent productions. Small guys who produce solid content are the best places to get information, especially if they focus on a particular topic and/or have access to resources not generally available to the public.
When you find such productions you enjoy, be sure to support them and let the producers know you appreciate their work. I can tell you first hand producing a podcast is a shit-load of work, which is why our own Radio J-Dub went into hiatus.*
Oddly enough, I’m not talking about this blog. If your’re looking for straight up sports news content, Dubsism is not where you’re going to find it. You can certainly find thought-provoking commentary, but you’ll never see game recaps or timely event coverage. That’s just not what we do.
But that’s the beauty of the blogosphere. There are plenty of places you can find any type of sports content you want. If you want to see what a college journalism student thinks about last night’s game from his home town team, you can do that. If you want fan takes on any team in any sport, they are out there. And obviously, there’s the deluded bullshit you can only find at Dubsism.
Once again, seek and you shall find. The point is the blogosphere is the world’s biggest and most diverse content content buffet, but since one man’s feast is another man’s famine, you have to be proactive and discerning in finding what suits you.
5) Don’t Fall For The Fakes
The corporate sludge-pumps are fully aware of how much competition they face from social media and blogs. That’s why they are infiltrating that world with some things which are made to look like independent blogs, and some things that don’t hide their origin at all.
Don’t get sucked in by the bullshit “content farms” like Bleacher Report and SB Nation. Those are just corporate media outlets getting content from bloggers whom they dupe into thinking writing a Philadelphia Flyers blog will get them a “real” corporate journalism gig. They get more readers than they ever get on their own, but now they get told what to write. Bloggers fall for this deal because ever once in a while the corporate sludge-pumps will create a Will Leitch, Bill Simmons, or Spencer Hall, but more often than not they just end up being in that journalism purgatory between intern and staff member. Supporting guys like that is just feeding the beast (Sorry, Spencer…I loved Everyday Should Be Saturday, but it changed when you sold your soul…)
6) Don’t Forget Why You Are Here
I’m betting you became a sports fan based on what happened on the field. You remain a sports fan for exactly the same reason. That’s why you should listen very carefully to the things you say as a sports fan; which is why you should also be very careful about the sports media you consume. Sports media in America today has done a remarkable job of leading sports discussion to a world off the field, where it can rapidly become incredibly vapid and pointless. In other words, if you listen to stupid shit, you’re going to say stupid shit.
Go back to that thing I said about the worst thing about being a blogger. The biggest “I’m about to hear some really stupid shit” alarm is any sentence containing the phrase “…I just heard on (corporately-produced sports media outlet here)…” The problem is that conversation has absolutely nowhere to go.
For example, let’s say you hear Colin Cowchip say something so stupid it makes your brain hurt. For example, let’s say he’s talking about yet another athlete who has misbehaved off the field and self-appointed moralizers like Cowchip are demanding he be kicked out of the league, exiled to Siberia, and only allowed the Lifetime Movie Network on his cable package. The specifics of the situation don’t matter; the league, the bad actor, the offense, ad infinitum. What matters is that you have to realize that every single thing buttloafs like Cowchip say is designed to illicit the “Three R’s” out of you:
“Bait” is exactly what it is. It’s not informative. It’s not entertaining. It’s also the point in the sporto-ganda process where no matter how stupid what you heard was, you took complete ownership of that stupidity the minute you commit any of the “Three R’s” because you took the bait.
Again, the subject isn’t the point, and it isn’t the source of the stupidity. That comes from one simple fact about sports which will never change. Sports fans ONLY really care about winning. Any bad thing the Cowchips of the world say about your team or the fact your star quarterback has chunks of Girl Scouts in his freezer doesn’t mean a goddamn thing if your team wins. Don’t even try to pretend for a second that isn’t true. Don’t make me take up the rest of your life citing examples.
The converse is also true. If your team sucks out loud, then you become far more susceptible to taking bait about how much your coach/players are garbage, or worse yet, you buy into some schadenfruede bullshit about the how the star player on your team’s bitter rival is an over-rated douche-hammer who molests farm animals. Next thing you know, you’re spending your time arguing about some narrative constructed to boost the ratings of some horse’s ass rather than enjoying what made you a sports fan in the first place…the action on the field.
The bottom line is you need to manage your sports consumption in the same manner you should handle that of your food. You have to take an active role in what your going to take in. You will never get a quality meal by peeling some plastic off a cardboard container and putting it in the microwave for 3 minutes, in much the same way you have no chance of getting good sports content by flipping on your TV and tuning to ESPN.
*There’s loose talk around Dubsism World Headquarters about a return to podcasting. Stay tuned for further updates.