Two items came across my feed reader yesterday that nearly sent me into full Fisk mode again, both of them being more cheap shots and undue criticism of Phil Fulmer. After some consideration I've decided that neither Ron Higgin's latest salvo in his personal war against The Papa, nor this rambling and indirect narrative from Roy Exum are worthy of much deconstruction other than to say "they're here, they're dumb, get used to it."
But I have a hard time resisting the low-hanging fruit, so I will say that of Exum's column, outside of the fact that it's hard to tell whether he's criticizing or supporting Fulmer, he feels it necessary to take shots at blogs for creating an atmosphere in which coaches receive more criticism than ever before. He even finds a way to equate blogs with the KKK. We're straight evil, y'all.
If you're not familiar with Roy Exum, he and his family are former newspaper magnates in Chattanooga. I understand the resentment that many old newspaper types have for bloggers... but because I understand doesn't mean they're right. It's a misunderstanding between what the old-school journalist thinks a blog is and what a blog really is. Too often, the newspaper folks think blogs are trying to replace them; most often though, we're not.
Look at the blogs nominated or winning the College Football Blogger Awards. For the most part, they're not trying to practice journalism. But that's the misconception, that bloggers are amateur journalists. If bloggers are amateur anything, it's along the lines of amateur critics. More than that, though, blogs are about continuing a discussion among fans that used to be limited to the folks immediately around you in coffee shops, barber chairs, and dive bars; but can now be carried on around the world. BTW, that conversation usually starts in the local paper. So when an old newspaper guy like Exum starts by calling out "faceless blogs" and continues
The most unbelievable part of the whole thing is these people are today the very same ones who are gleefully pushing a picture of their own coach, superimposed in police garb, across the Internet with the words "Fulmer for Sheriff" and the vow, "So He Can Be Near His Players."
There is even a national competition on a website called "fulmercup.com" where college football teams across the country are awarded points when players are arrested for off the field incidents. At the end of the season that site, too, names a somewhat dubious national champion.
So, I'm probably not saying anything that hasn't been said before, but maybe needs to be said more often: those of us who "get" blogs and how blogging brings fans together in new and clever ways should be thankful that we have the open mindedness or pure brain capacity or whatever it is that allows us to enjoy new media without thinking that the heat death of the universe will be caused by digital ink being spilled.