After watching the infamous Buzz Bissinger clips where he classifies every person with a blog as someone who is filled with malice and hatred, I just had to go on record with something. I know he’ll never read it and honestly, I don’t want him to -- he showed entirely too much arrogance to even warrant me wanting to ever have to deal with him in any facet of life. Never mind the fact that he can’t sit straight up in a chair… does he have a back problem or something?
Here’s a quick tip Buzz: If you want people to take you seriously, sit up straight. I don’t care how many credentials you have, if you tried to talk like that to me in real life, slouching like a sloth, I wouldn’t give you the time of day. In fact, I’d probably label you with the same stereotypes that you’ve thrown upon the entire blog-o-sphere. Since when has it been a good idea to label an entire group of people under one tent of a stereotype? Hasn’t this brought us some of mankind’s most embarrassing episodes? I’m not going to go into detail, but if you know your history, you’ll catch my drift.
I started my blog because I had a creative desire to express my feelings on sports (a thing that has fueled emotion in me since I was seven years old) through words. I have played sports at various levels, none of them near professional -- and still do, playing waffle ball and tackle football whenever my baby daughter will let me. I do not write about sports because I failed miserably at athletic success and I do not shit on athletes and create false stories. I get an idea in my head about an article to write and once I get it, a fire burns in me until I finish said article to the best of my ability.
I do not write to bring down the mass media. I write because I can. I write because many men have died for my right to do so and forming an opinion or interesting article and trying to express it to the reader not only gives me the satisfaction of hopefully informing and entertaining someone else, but I also do it because I enjoy it. When I research for an article (and I do research, I do not falsify information) it gives me knowledge that I normally would not have known. In my recent articles on the NFL Draft, I learned more about some 2nd and 3rd round picks that I would not normally have even heard of before.
What amazes me is that these media types assume that when some bloggers write they just do so just to do so. You mean to say that I wrote 75 articles on my website in the past couple of months just to claim my spot on the internet? Or maybe I’m trying to screw the system and just write random things to get money. The $41 dollars I’ve gained from my web site in the past two years can attest to that. That’s supplemental income right there. About the only thing I could use that on is maybe ordering HBO in hopes I can see the slouch master on his chair again -- not really stating a coherent thought or attempting to listen to a counter-argument.
I’m not entirely sure why I wrote this and to some extent I’m admitting that Bissinger’s comments got to me. To be absolutely honest, they did. Something that I’ve done for the past couple of year’s because I’ve enjoyed it was attacked by an elitist asshole who’s too ignorant to realize that maybe, just maybe there are some “bloggers” out there who try and do it right and not step on any toes. Sure, I thought about adding funny little posts to my blog a couple of times a day with jokes about different athletes and the like -- but you know what, it wasn’t me. Like Will Leitch said, the blog takes on the identity of it’s author and not all of us shit on athletes all the time.
This is not to say that I’m trying to be a journalist. That thought never entered my head. What I was trying to do was put as much effort and detail into what I write because I do that in all areas of my life. There are some pizza places who make shitty pizzas. Is it safe to assume because one joint doesn’t put pride into their craft that all pizza places must do the same? No. If you said that out loud to most people you’d run the risk of getting punched in the face. It’s entirely too stupid and ignorant.
I don’t want to be a journalist and probably couldn’t be even if I wanted to. I can’t get any loans for college because I lied to the government so I could join the Marines. I got kicked out and now I have to wait another year to even be considered for a student loan. That or I go back in. Having a baby last month didn’t make that easier, so suffice it to say, I don’t have the easiest opportunity to get “credentials”. So to put the one thing I have in my life besides my friends and family into a category of worthless bullshit pisses me off. If that makes me a bad person, I’m sorry. If that means I don’t get the reality of the entire matter than I’m sorry. Maybe I took what this guy was talking about out of context, but to me he came off as an arrogant asshole. Nothing more.
All of my writing skills I have, I’ve taught myself through reading, reading and reading some more. I took one college writing course but I didn’t have any health insurance so they didn’t give me my grade. So to talk about credentials when some people are unfortunate enough to even get a chance at them is absolute bullshit.
I don’t want to be felt sorry for -- instead I’m doing everything I can to get back into the military so I can go back to college to give my little girl the opportunities that I never really had. Until then, I’m working six days a week at two jobs to get as much money as I can -- and guess what Buzz, I write on the side. After all the things I have to do during the week and after all the work I put in, I sit down in front of my computer and I write about sports. Why? Because I love it. I love sports and I love to write about them even more. That’s it. That’s what it’s all about. What part of that don't you get?
Are you that much of an elitist that your going to say that because you have credentials and you’ve done it right for so long that your love of sports is more than mine? Really? Is that not what your argument was boiling down to?
I don’t really know what I was trying to accomplish with this whole thing, other than the fact that I just needed to vent. I needed to vent because some asshole has labeled people who write on the internet who don’t happen to have credentials as some type of monsters. Yes, I know he was talking more about people who write about bad things and make fun of athletes. But it sounded to me that he was classifying the entire underground as a bunch of bullshit. It’s not just him, either. Just because one thing is bad doesn’t mean the entire thing is.
So in conclusion, if I could say one thing to this Buzz character it would probably be to take a look back at his early career. Because if he’s shitting on people who write about sports, no matter where it is and no matter what the form, because they love it, maybe he’s forgotten why he may have begun writing about sports in the first place.