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Sports Media Musings: Shaughnessy’s Column, Twitter Nonsense, Watney Leaving?, ESPN Book Movie?

Heidi Watney (Image from Flickr)

Oh Danny-boy

I have never been one to kill a columnist. No matter how zany their take is, I’ll really let a writer reach before calling them a hack. Mainly because as a columnist you are asked to provoke thought and debate on the reg – and that is easier said then done. I give the same rope to sports radio hosts. Producing discussion 4 hours everyday is recipe for common criticisms I’ve alluded to before: “Throwing crap against the wall”; “Playing Contrarian”; “Calling someone a P***Y” (nevermind, there is no excuse for that).

Anyway, with that preamble laid across the table, I found Dan Shaughnessy’s front page column in the Boston Globe yesterday repulsive. I’m not a Shank killer like most. Mainly because of the aforementioned leeway. But this was the hackiest of the hack.

The column, I guess, was supposed to outline the dichotomy between media and player. And by dichotomy, I mean the general feeling of hate between the two entities. The motivation behind writing this column was Chad Ochocinco’s group hug with the media Saturday in Boston. Though, I got the sentiment Shank has had this one in his back pocket for quite some time.

He spends an inordinate amount of time detailing locker-room instances where fights nearly broke out, or (in Will McDonough’s case) did break out. Of course, he documents Carl Everett’s infamous “Curly-Haired-Boyfriend” line — sarcastically quipping that the maniacal outfielder may have just wanted to embrace him.

The whole thing came across as self-serving. The media has shown trepidation in regards to the Ochocinco move, citing his vibrant personality clashing with the Patriot way. It appears Ochocinco is doing all the right things on the field, and also maintaining his personable attitude. So Shank takes the opportunity to reminisce on how refreshing it is to have a player that just wants to hug it out? I didn’t need an oral history on media/athlete drama, especially being recounted by someone who has been known to perpetuate the acrimonious relationship.

The column was supposed to be a humorous take. I get it. I should have been on page two or three of the sports section, instead this was the FRONT PAGE featured piece. Meanwhile, Greg Bedard’s breakdown of the 4-3 versus the 3-4 below Shank’s rambling was a much better lead.

Voyeurism Through Social Media

I’ve read somewhere, I forget where, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Well, apparently following beat writers on Twitter can lead to insanity.

In today’s Twitter-Camera-Phone-Now-Nowww-Nowwww!! world, mediums can get diluted with nonsense or regurgitation. Every time there is a Patriots press conference I’m hit with what I like to call the “Tweecho”. The term’s definition is when two reporters tweet the exact same quote or news less than within 3 minutes of one another.

It can be a nuisance.

In fact, looking at my Twitter timeline you would think I’m a masochist. I only have myself to blame, though. I follow every Patriots beat writer in town, and as Twitter-Fiend Ian Rapoport will tell you, it’s their job to disseminate relevant information.

I’ve written this before, and I think it holds water, I always picture reporters as glorified sleuths waiting to pounce and break the next “big story.” I guess the upshot is they get to excitedly claim, “FIRST!!”, like they are a YouTube commentator.

My question is: Who cares? I don’t care if Tom E. Curran (who I really like) or Rapoport (ditto) breaks a story, much less is the first to thumb away and tweet Matt Light says he is happy to be back in New England.

I get that satisfaction in terms of trades, injuries, or signings (especially in this frenetic free-agent period), but every tidbit isn’t journalistic gold.

So I plead – everyone simmer down, put the cell phones down, and write up a quick blog post detailing the transcripts for me.

This Is Definately Happening

Jason McIntyre, founder of the popular blog The Big Lead,  speculated NESN sideline reporter Heidi Watney is going national in his media roundup.

Why is NESN’s Heidi Watney pictured here? I don’t know … because one photo of Eric Mangini on the front was enough of that guy? How about this – we’ll use Watney’s photo in this space until she leaves Boston. If the scuttlebutt is true, we’ll need to find a new photo in the coming months.

There have been murmurings about Watney’s migration to a bigger stage, but nothing is substantiated. The move would be a significant hit to the network. However, McIntyre later rescinded any corroboration in terms of his report on Twitter, after he presumably was met with a myriad of questions.

@TheBigLead In regards to Heidi Watney. if i had more, I’d post it.

This IS Happening

Remember that book about ESPN? The geniuses over in Hollywood are planning to bring the story of the WorldWide Leader to the big screen.

(Yes, Hollywood, the same town that decided to treat us to yet another installment of Planet of the Apes)

My question is, well….actually- nevermind – I have a lot of questions. Why? What are they going to focus on?

[The storied history of the four-letter network is much too large to conquer in 90 minutes)

And most importantly, as I said in my book review, a great deal of the content was already common knowledge to the core audience – so why wait until now? Consumers of something like Those Guys Have All The Fun already knew the “juicy” content. This audience abhors the network, which is why the book sold so well. It seems like a vanity project for the vain. It has Oliver Stone’s George W. Bush biopic, W., written all over it.

Would it be fun to see Jamie Foxx as Stuart Scott, Seth Rogen as Charlie Steiner, and Danny Devito as Chris Berman?

Yes, Yes, and Yes.

I’m giddy at the prospect of Keith Olbermann as Keith Olbermann, because you and I both know his new role at Current TV (whatever that is) isn’t lasting very long. Imagine his proposed re-writes? “Oh wait a minute, I actually said that?” Great comedy.

About Ryan Hadfield

Ryan Hadfield is the author of the weekly Sports Media Musings column at Sports Of Boston. Hadfield is known as one of the top sports media critics in Boston. He also contributes to Boston Sports Media Watch. In November 2011, Hadfield helped launch the new SoB Point Taken blog featuring his podcasts & musings on sports, media and culture. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

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