Ed. note: You may have noticed, I’ve had some staffing issues around here lately. It’s not that there’s a lack of sports-related material to cover, just not enough time in my day to do it.
Alas, I’ve found what I’ve been looking for — a contributor. And one of the best young writers I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. The following is a piece from BabyJ, who will be gracing this site on a regular basis.
Esquire columnist, ESPN contributor and all-around answer man for all things pop culture Chuck Klosterman has finger painted yet another conclusion that will save the world from, well, itself. More specifically, the sports world.
In the most recent issue of Esquire, Klosterman offers a glimpse of sports journalism through his oh-so-chic spectacles in an article aptly titled, “Four Ways to Save Sports Journalism.” The crux of his argument is that because “American sports coverage is still dominated by monoliths,” those large blocks of stone in Bristol, Conn., still have the power to right the ship and save SportsCenter from turning into CNN Headline News. Because, apparently, that hasn’t happened already.
And here’s his recipe for a heartier Stu:
Stop Reporting on TV Ratings (Then how will SportsCenter be able to tell us “What 2 Watch 4?”)
Kill the “Argument” Model (Fact or Fiction: This is the greatest idea ever?)
De-Emphasize “The Fan’s Perspective” (But if nobody tells me what I want to hear, why do I even listen?)
Decelerate Sports Coverage
“Most of the time, incrementally increasing the amount of data you give someone decreases his understanding of the event as a whole; this is because it’s impossible to tell the difference between “good data” and “bad data” without the passage of time.”
Now I really love his first three ideas, but I think the fourth misses the mark. There’s no such thing as too much data. Not in today’s instant-alert atmosphere. The problem is how we get that data, not that we’re getting it in the first place.
Chuck cites Kobe’s unrest at the end of last basketball season. The way I see it, the only “data” to arise in that span was Kobe’s postgame press conference, what he wrote on his blog and any other concrete information about team meetings. Let’s consider this data the worm. What would make sense is for this worm to have been delivered to the masses for consumption, digestion and maybe even dissection. Instead, what we got (and continue to get) is the biggest game of “Momma Bird, Baby Bird” where the media consumes data, digests it and regurgitates it out to the peeping, pestering public in a nice, two minute, goes-down-smooth segment on SportsCenter with Ric Bucher.
So you see, it’s not the data that’s the problem. It’s some of the speculative spew we get served on Everyone’s Silver Platter Network.
Be sure to tell Baby J how you feel about his piece. Coming later this week: How Kelvin Sampson crapped on my former joy – college basketball.