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Friday, March 24, 2006

THE DEVIL SPEAKS: This "Thing" Might Actually Be Important

Aye caramba, as if I didn’t have enough reasons to hate Colin Cowherd. First, he works for the bloated ESPN “sportstainment” empire and is apparently—since prior to this I’d never heard of him—a typical loud mouthed radio “personality” who confuses being abusive with being “edgy.” Then he displays the laziness and dishonesty that’s far too common in all of the mainstream media today by using something he obtained on the internet for his radio show and tries to conceal his complete lack of talent and originality by letting it seem like it’s his bit. Next, he delves into the realm of the completely despicable when he’s called out for it and responds with an abrupt, ALL CAPS e-mail filled with arrogance, contempt, and an apparent dismay that anyone could ever criticize him.

Still, even this doesn’t get me too upset. He’s a media personality and apparently a semi-celebrity. The bar for his behavior isn’t just set at very low; it’s lying on the ground. So, yeah, this is all pretty much what I’d expect from his ilk so there’s nothing too disturbing there. Besides, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, plagiarism must be fawning, submissive tongue worshipping in its most humiliating form.

So, it’s hard to hate a guy who, 1) I’d never heard of anyway 2) in spite of his condescending manner has basically admitted that he needs internet blogs to do his job and 3) is completely clueless to the fact that a job like his is rapidly becoming obsolete as sports blogs become more numerous and filled with more and better content and are much more enjoyable for those of us who are literate to discuss, debate, and otherwise obsess about sports.

So why do I hate Colin Cowherd? Because yesterday I had to sort through what had to be at least 275 e-mails, many of them from complete fucking morons—onepete.com folks, I’m looking in your direction—with their bizarre forms of reasoning that this was some sort of divine retribution and poetic justice for criticizing the onepete.com billboard.

Just as stupid as the onepete.com crowd are the folks who echo Cowherd’s words of “whining” and “get over it.” These have apparently become the insult du jour. Everyone who disagrees with us is “whining” about something and therefore needs to “get over it.” Don’t like that I punched you in the face for no reason? It’s because you’re a whiner. You a little upset because I got drunk and plowed my car into yours? Get over it.

But, let’s review the timeline, shall we? On 22 March, ESPN aired Cowherd’s broadcast. On 23 March, The M Zone made a grand total of three posts about it. One stating what had happened, the second displaying Cowherd’s response, and the third telling everyone who couldn’t find the second one where it is. That’s it.

Simply pointing out something that’s wrong isn’t whining. And pointing it out one day later, doesn’t call for shouts of get over it. Now, if six months from now The M Zone has degenerated into a blog that still posts about this and 75% of the content here is a Colin Cowherd hate-fest, then, yeah, it’s whining and yes, The M Zone needs to get over it. I doubt that will be the case, because in six months, college football starts back up again in all its glory.

One the other hand, there were also a lot of great posts from people—frequently those with blogs of their own—who actually get this.

For those who don’t get this, here’s my perspective.

Should we sue? Nope, since The M Zone is done for free there’s no lost income. And let’s face it, The M Zone hasn’t been harmed, this has been great advertising. After all, the so called professionals steal the stuff from here. Besides, there’s hot co-eds to ogle and the 2006 season is approaching, why waste time with lawyers when there are better things to do. However, Yost, you should contact ESPN and ask them if they want to hire you, they use your material anyway, why not cut out the middle man and get it directly from you. At least they’ll get it in a timely manner.

What’s so bad about this? Well, for starters, plagiarism is bad, m’kay? The big issue here—for me anyway—is that Cowherd gets paid to do a radio show. I’m just guessing here, but I imagine his employers would like him to come up with material for his show that’s timely, relevant, and original. What the fuck’s the point in paying someone to do something when they just have someone else do it. For free. This is why all the statements like “well you use the M logo, that’s plagiarism too” reveal a complete lack of higher brain function. No one at The M Zone is SELLING the logo. The M Zone isn’t SELLING anything.

Let me put it this way, if you have a hobby that you do because you enjoy it, and someone takes the result of your hobby and makes money for themselves off it and you don’t mind, you’re what’s called a SUCKER. So, all you people who think it’s no big deal, stop doing all those things you enjoy, don’t spend time with your kids, don’t spend time with your wives, don’t drink beer, don’t play sports, don’t have sex, sit in front of your computer all day long and type up stuff you think should be on the radio and e-mail it Colin Cowherd so he can make money off of your efforts. Be exploited, see if I care. Me, I’m not going to get a lawyer, but I am going to point out that he’s a no talent hack who steals his material for his show.

What does it mean? It means the world of spots journalism is changing, in fact it’s turning upside down. In the past, the media reported and we fans simply had to accept what they gave us. If we wanted more information than they were willing or capable of giving, too damn bad. If we wanted someone to poke fun at some of the more ridiculous aspects of sports, sorry that’s not going to happen. If we wanted detailed statistical analysis, uh uh, we don’t have time for that.

But, not anymore. We have blogs and bloggers willing to devote time to digging up all that information the media is to lazy to find for us. We can communicate with one another, exchanging information and sharing our obsession with sports. And we can make fun of it all and ourselves. I have never seen anything in the mainstream media that gives such detailed reviews of games as those that appear over in mgoblog. And I have never, ever, ever, ever seen anything in the mainstream media as funny as the stuff that’s routinely posted over at Every Day Should Be Saturday. Hell, most comedies churned out by Hollywood aren’t as funny.

At the end of the 2005 college football season, Stewart Mandel, of Sports Illustrated actually cited data from a statistical analysis of how the coaches voted in the final poll which was done by The Blue-Gray Sky. Think about that for a second. Amateurs, who write about sports as a hobby and who have full time jobs doing something else did a very thorough and insightful statistical analysis that a professional sports writer then used in his column (and yes, Mandel actually had the decency to cite his source). Amateurs with real jobs had the time to do that, professionals apparently didn’t.

Now we have Colin Cowherd who obviously lacks decency and apparently any other positive traits. What we’re seeing here is like a revolution. Blogs are better than the mainstream media now. Better in providing commentary, satire, statistics, a forum for discussion, you name it. The mainstream media has become obsolete. I used to watch ESPN every now and then simply because it was the only way to find out about sports. I don’t even bother anymore. Blogs are better. And funnier.

The mainstream media’s foraging expeditions into the blogs for material are evidence that even they realize the blogs are better. They know that if they want to keep up and remain relevant, they’ve either got to come up with material that’s just as good on their own or steal it from the blogs and hope no one notices. So far, they haven’t come up with anything on their own. And that’s why it’s important to notice when they do this. Otherwise, bloggers write great stuff while the mainstream media gets paid to broadcast it. The blogs are faster and more flexible and more honest. The mainstream media is downwardly trended, they’re on the wrong side of history here. They may be rich and powerful now, but they’ve become unwieldy and are becoming more and more irrelevant. The mainstream media is like natural gas lighting, horse drawn carriages, propeller driven aircraft. Blogs are electric lightbulbs, automobiles, and jet aircraft. Blogs are better.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I had fun hearing lawyers opinions and everything. Where are these lawyers when illegal aliens kill and rape innocent Americans."

Ummm What? I am shocked that you actually interrupted your busy schedule of wrapping tin-foil around your head and stockpiling munitions to post this drivel.

Enjoy your inbred, narrow-minded existence.

Aztec Warrior said...

Listen liberal don't start with me. You don't live where I live, I bet you live in a fenced in area and the only two things that are brown are you help and what comes out of you.

Also, I ain't an inbred, but I am Brown Pride. It ain't tin foil its getting ready for what's to come.
I just think its stupid to fight over a blog. But what else should I expect.

Anonymous said...

Too bad rather than addressing the points "onepeat.com morons" bring forward, all you do is attack the "morons." If they are such morons, then you would think what they say would be easily rebutted.

Oh yes, ESPN failing to give the MZone credit where "credit is due" (you actually used in your article the exact phrase I wrote in one of the comments) is most similar to ESPN giving credit to USC for the 2003 National Championship that LSU won.

Anonymous said...

The real wonder here is that Lyndon LaRouche can't carry Louisiana. Maybe in 2008.

Wangs said...

Here's the thing, LSoosers. At a Michigan blog, we really don't view the coaches/assistant ad/intern poll as being all that legitimate to begin with, for many reasons:

1. A coach cannot possible evaluate and rank 25 other teams. How in the world can a coach who's working all day on Saturday coaching his team have any idea how to accurately evaluate and rank teams that he does not watch play? Aren't in his conference? Not on his schedule? He can't.

2. The coaches don't even vote. We know at a minimum one coach, the formerly-great Joe PA assigns his assistant AD the task of filling out his ballot. I'm sure Joe Pennsylvania is not alone. I'm sure that some assistant ad's assign their student interns this task once in awhile. What in the world does an assistant ad/student intern know about other teams and how to rank them? They don't.

3. Finally, but most importantly, any poll that allows Phil Fulmer a vote is inherently flawed. That guy screwed Michgian by voting us 4 in 1997 when there were two 12-0 teams. I can understand voting us 2, that's a fair debate (and why we need a playoff), but certainly not 4. And what are the chances that that guy votes Florida, Alabama, Auburn, or any other SEC school fairly and impartially? Zippy. It would hurt his recruting if he ranks them high, so I'm sure he doesn't do it.

So just take your illegimate coaches/assistant ad/intern poll and enjoy it for what it's worth. Which around here, ain't much.

jonathantu said...

this place is awesome! it's like a homing beacon for people without teeth.

woot! geaux idiots!

Anonymous said...

Coaches nor the media have a good grasp on ranking teams, so they made the BCS. The BCS uses subjective, human components like the polls while bringing in relatively objective factors like computers (and SOS and MOV in the past).

The BCS is a checks and balances system in college football that was constituted to end the corruption and stupidity of years of the AP and Coaches Polls determining on their own who would win the National Championship(s).

WIL 66 said...

why are the onepeat idiots still on here bitching about 2003 and then trying to refute the MZone's claim of plagiarism. This is a sports blog with its own opinions just as the voters of the AP and Coaches Poll have their own opinions. It is absolutely ridiculous that you are ranting about a non-issue on this blog. Being a 'Bama student I always enjoyed going to games in Baton Rouge. In fact I have been to every one there since I was 6. Why does that matter? It matters because I have never met a LSU fan that was this stubborn and ignorant. Most of them in fact have been great fun to hang out with. So why in the world do you come on to this blog and write complete asshole remarks for no appartent reason. If you do not think it was plagiarism...good for you. THAT is your opinion. but, if that is your opinion please come up with a better excuse for it then the fact that you hate this blog and the Associated Press hurt your feelings. Feelings being hurt is a non-issue. Like I said earlier, I too am a hard-core supporter of SEC football, and i believe you LSU would have played USC they wouhld have won. You won the National Championship...you have the nice crystal football...so get over it. Your oblivious ranting on the site I honestly made me doubt if you even went to the great university that is LSU. I am starting to believe that most of the onepeat freaks on here are nothing but a bunch of fired up rednecks from Slidel who didn't get enough opossum for dinner last night.

ROLL TIDE

jim masterson said...

great dissertation on the state of bloggers v. mainstram media. I also have not watched espn for many months or any tv. I love the M Blog, Edsbs. Blue Gray. Blue & Gold the ND report. .From thes sights I can get the Druge rport, Nytimed, wsj.Andrew sullivan, any of hundreds of opinion makers, etc. you're insightful 7 hilarious. eff espn.

Anonymous said...

Mastbauter are you cowturd. He does not know how to use grammer and neither do you. Apparently you have mastered nothing.

Anonymous said...

Hunter Thompson referred to sportswriters as, 'a rude & brainless subculture of fascist drunks.'

Surely an ESPN radio guy is a bit lower on the foodchain than the facist drunks Hunter was thinking about.

Anonymous said...

Don't bring up Thompson's name in this it has nothing to do with it.

Just ask for oral then can we all move on. I bet you he sollows.

BaggyPantsDevil said...

Yikes! I was about to go take this rambling product of sleep deprivation at 3am down and you guys posted it. LOL!

I'll spare myself any additional embarassment by not rereading any of what I wrote.

As for not addressing the points of the onepete.com morons who have become a blight on this blog, I never will. They are nothing more than trolls. I get these comments via e-mail and whenever I see LSU and USC, I hit delete. It's a reflex now.

Kyle King said...

I hadn't yet read this posting when I left this comment at MGoBlog, but it's nice to know that great minds think alike.

jim masterson said...

The two Anonymous. Very brave anonymous put a name to it. My apologies I always had good people checking me writings.Not nit-pickers. Way to reference Hunter Thomson, BOOM. Very brave.First anonymous. I managed to master $5bill in Asst. Mgmt before retiring 10 yrs ago @50. Go use you Elementary edu.from UM

White said...

Don't question my education, I don't need to brag to you. You retired at 50 nice. So you spend your free time talking about a blog, instead of helping this country against the brown invasion. What kind of white man are you?

eddie, eddie said...

anonymous aka steve aka moron aka onepeat:

Even though I was banned from onepeat, I still have more posts then any other person there (under M Go Blow). Not only have I easily rebutted all of their nonsense, but on the LSUOverUSC thread, I took care of that too.

Espn has given LSU plenty of credit of sharing the title in 2003 - back in early 2004 when it was won. Being that you guys shared a title, didn't even go undefeated, it was prboably the weakest college football national championship in the past since 1990 - your insecurities are quite entertaining to me.

Chris of Dangerous Logic said...

They get REALLY pissed off when you use the term 'legacy media.'

Like how COBOL is a 'legacy' computer language.

Anonymous said...

lol at the claims the LSUoverUSC Argument has been refutted. Don't delude yourself.

BaggyPantsDevil said...

Kyle,

Excellent comment over at Mgoblog. And calmer and more coherent too.

I also think a Michigan-Georgia game would kick ass.

Chris,

I like that "legacy media" bit. Mind if I use it in the future?

leachcan'tthrow said...

Hi guys,

I'm a UM alum '79, which meant I saw a lot of very wayward Rick Leach passes and the inevitable missed field goal that once again ended a perfect season. So I have a grasp on frustration. A regular reader of deadspin and fireJM, I learned of the Cowherd debacle over the weekend and have become an MZone fan in the last 72 hours. Much praise to yost and the rest, and I hope your blog only becomes more popular over time.
I'm also a member of the MSM (newspaper division), so I'll disagree with BPD's assessment in the whole, while acknowledging that there's some occasional truth. And, most to point, join all of you in lamenting ESPN's descent into drivel. This is so clearly a Disney thing ... the push to make as much $$$ as possible with little regard to quality journalism.

Two final thoughts: I love ESPN continually bringing out Digger, Dickie V, and the rest to predict the next week's tourney outcome ... "hey, can our village idiots outdo their pathetic choices of last week?"

Second ... with the Sweet 16/Elite 8 games of the past weekend totally savaging the polls ... I can't wait to see the BCS defenders arguing their point next fall. After all... Duke and UConn are going to be a great final next week. Aren't they?

Yost said...

Leach,

Let me bring back some memories...

"Huckleby deep and Davis close. Two tight ends and a balanced line. Ricky Leach under center."

Thanks for reading. Really appreciate it.

And if you graduated in '79, you at least had three straight Big 10 crowns and wins over Tosu to end your college career (we'll conveniently leave out bowl results here for all our maize and blue sakes).

Anonymous said...

Leach,

Like you had George Mason in the finally four Mr. Media. Please George Mason did not even have George Mason in the final four.