Monday, October 15, 2012

BC Blogger Throwdown

Eagle in Atlanta and Mark Blaudschun are having a well-publicized fight on their respective blogs.  In general, I try to avoid making references to other BC sports blogs.  We don't compete for readership, and have the common-goal of creating well-informed fans who care about BC.  My views on this situation might be biased because I came to really love BC sports by reading ATL everyday as an undergrad.  I remember discussing his most recent posts and insights on a near-nightly basis with Ralph during my junior year and ATL still retails the number one spot on my "bookmarks" list.

Blauds crossed a line here not because ATL is so beloved by BC fans, but because he went out of his way to take a shot at ATL in a completely unprofessional manner.  In part, I think this is retribution for some of the things that ATL has said over the past few weeks about Blauds' sources and reporting on the athletic director search.  I try not to criticize, either explicitly or implicitly, other BC blogs because we're all amateurs, and as such we often make mistakes with our analysis, writing, and sourcing.   The situation for ATL was different though because Blauds' was acting as a news source and not merely giving analysis on the situation.

When you act as a news source, especially one who does not reveal his sources, you are opening a discussion on your credibility, and Blauds should have understood that.  BC fans are going to rightly wonder how much credibility to give your reporting and part of that discussion will inevitably be public.  Additionally, although other blogs have made significant strides over the past few years (especially BCI), ATL is still the voice most BC fans turn to for reasonable analysis on current events.  Blauds had to know that BC fans would look to ATL for a reaction to his reporting, and that ATL would responsibly put forth his best effort in trying to put the information in context.  I don't think ATL went over the line in doing so.

I think it's a mistake for BC bloggers to become too involved with in a back-and-forth with Blauds, even though I'm obviously being a little hypocritical here.  Blauds may not take his blog very seriously and might have been trying to entice ATL to give him readership by linking to his article.  How serious do you think Blauds takes something that is published like this:
"And. Yes, changes will be made once this season is over unless the Eagles run the table. Cou
Count on it.
Everyone at  BC knows that, including Spaziani.
Firing Spaziani right now would do what?
Give BC a head start on finding a new coach?
Are you kidding me.
Do you actually believe that Bates is not looking and checking names and availability right now?
Do you not think that when the regular season ends a decision will not be made and made quickly.
Fire Spaz now will give a boost to the players on the team?
Really. I talk to players on that team. I see them on the practice field. I see them walking around campus.
They are mad as hell. But changing coaches, putting someone like Doug Martin in on an interim level."
The incomplete sentences and typos are far too numerous for an experienced journalist putting forth his best effort.  I'm the last person to point fingers about typos because I usually have just enough time to write an article and read it once before getting back to studying but what I block quoted is simply not the best effort of a journalist.  Taking Blauds seriously right now just isn't the right approach.

I think there are two things that really need to be said about this situation, and both implicate BC's relationship with Blauds.  First, after reading Blauds' latest article it seems that he has been given information from the BC media department concerning Eagle in Atlanta's application for a press pass to the Ga. Tech game.  If true, this conduct is unprofessional and needs to be looked at by Bates.  BC media should not be playing favorites among the various blogs unless there is a compelling reason to do so.  For example, if there are only a limited number of press passes and a high number of blogs applying for passes, I would be on board with a situation where press passes are distributed based on readership.  Here, though it looks like someone in the athletic department divulged information that it knew was only going to be used for the purpose of taking a cheap shot at ATL.  Again, if true, I think this raises some questions about the professionalism of the department that need to be addressed by the new athletic director.

Second, BC fans are way too troubled about Blauds' assertion that Spaz cares more about BC than they do and not troubled enough by this quote: "Frank Spaziani and I were friends before he took over as the head coach at BC.  We will be friends when he is no longer the head coach and that will probably be by December."  I have never made a huge issue of Blauds' friendship with Spaz, but now that he puts it out there I think it's worth wondering whether Blauds has ever been able to write objectively about Spaz's tenure.  Even now, his main line of reasoning seems to be something similar to "Spaz will inevitably be fired which is a shame because he's a good coach."  After years of wondering why certain members of the Boston media were toeing the BC line in every article and making every excuse possible (name me one failed head coach who hasn't cited injuries as a cause of the team's struggles at one point or another) we are beginning to see behind the curtain.

Blauds could have offered the BC community a different and interesting voice with his new blog, but has chosen to take things way too personally.  There isn't one objective writer in the country right now who doesn't think that Spaz deserves to be fired.  You can't pin the systematic and structural downfall of a major football program on injuries.  There isn't one objective writer in the country who believes that using solely anonymous sources on news articles won't open up a conservation about credibility.  You just can't do that without a proven track record of success, which Blauds simply doesn't have with this blog.

2 comments:

  1. Give it a rest. Between the three of you there are 600 readers . Who cares?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Is this Blauds? Spaz? One of Spaz's last defenders?

    Either way, I must say you care enough to comment on this blog.

    ReplyDelete

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