The Bloggers Who Are Reinventing Sports Media

Whether you know it or not, the sports blog genre has reinvented the way sports news is presented and distributed by main media. In case you’re unaware of some of the most influential folks who continue to advance that process, here they are:

Murderer's Row

(Murderer’s Row Minus Stirrup Socks)

Rick Chandler, Will Leitch (buy his new book) and Jamie Mottram: Established the genre as a paying profession.
Mike Florio: With a superhuman work ethic has gone from obscurity to the NFL’s most influential media member. And completely on his own terms.
Greg Wyshynski: Does the impossible: Makes me care about hockey.
Spencer Hall: If Pete Maravich was a sports blogger.
Matt Hinton: Funny, insightful, responsible.
Tommy Craggs: Literary bent too often missing in new media.
Jason McIntyre: Captures the pulse of the fan.
Kevin Kaduk: Serious journo who made seamless transition to proficient and entertaining baseball blogger.
Paul Lukas: Athletic Aesthetics? Yep, I’m there every day. Hidden gem.
Geoff Shackelford: Flagship indie golf blogger. Also see Steve Elling and Alan Shipnuck and Ryan Ballengee.
Henry Abbott: NBA fan? An absolute must-visit every day. The best.
Dan Steinberg: First and still best sports blog on old media (WaPo) site. Pioneer.
Richard Deitsch: Flagship online media blogger.
Jay Christensen: If you’re a college football fan and you’re not visiting him daily, wakeup!

Over the years I hired a lot of people to write for SbB. My process of hiring bloggers was a lot like those massive cattle call tryout camps MLB teams do once a year at the local high school. All that matters is radar gun and stopwatch. Read more…

Man Who Inspired ‘SportsCenter’, ‘PTI’ Passes On

Longtime D.C. sportscaster George Michael passed away today. From the WASHINGTON POST:

George Michael Sports Machine

(Turning slot machine into a “SportsMachine!” changed sports media)

From 1984 to 2007, he oversaw a trendsetting show that made liberal use of action highlights from games that was eventually called “The George Michael Sports Machine.” At its peak, the show was syndicated to more than 200 stations. The show was credited with inspiring ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” 

ESPN’s SportsCenter actually started in 1979, but I do think it’s reasonable to say that the production Michael put into the Sports Machine show, with the (now amusing) futuristic-looking set, did inspire SportsCenter’s advancement to better production value.

Other thing to remember about SportsCenter in the early days is that it had a very low profile nationally because cable was still in its relative infancy. Michael had considerably more weekly viewers with his network syndicated highlights show on Sunday nights, so for many people the concept of a national sports news show was first introduced to them by Michael. Hard to imagine a world without that now, eh?

Though a less-known connection to ESPN involving Michael probably had a much larger impact on the network we know today. 14 years ago it was Michael who first paired WASHINGTON POST sportswriters Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon together for a television show.

Kornheiser and Wilborn first appeared on Michael’s ‘Redskins Report’ every Sunday in D.C., then went on to co-host a show called ‘Full Court Press.’ That experience helped propel Kornheiser and Wilbon to ESPN’s ‘PTI’, where they currently host the most-watched daily show on the network.

Another Michael connection to ESPN is through SportsCenter’s highest-profile anchor Scott Van Pelt. Van Pelt grew up in D.C. watching Michael and talked to me today about the experience. Read more…

Blog-O-Rama: NFL Game Caller Charlie Jones Dies

Tom Hoffarth of FARTHER OFF THE WALL is sad to see the passing of legendary NFL broadcaster Charlie Jones.

Charlie Jones NFL broadcaster

• DEADSPIN punches up rumors that Mike Tyson had ordered a hit on the guy who killed his bodyguard.

• MR. IRRELEVANT informs us that Jamie Mottram is leaving “Blog Show“. Well, once you’ve had Erin Andrews, what else is there?

• WHO ATE ALL THE PIES finds this year’s Pulitzer winner: A German Euro 2008 reporter running late for his flight decides to call in a bomb threat.

Read more…

It’s Here! The Erin Andrews ‘Blog Show’ Interview!

After days & days of waiting & teasing, the improbable has finally happened - Erin Andrews actually talks to some bloggers!

Erin Andrews Blog Show Guys

(Erin is speechless to be in the presence of the “Blog Show” boys)

MR. IRRELEVANT has the details & the video, as the blogosphere’s most stalked admired sports reporter sits down with MR. I’s Jamie Mottran and DC SPORTS BOG’s Dan Steinberg for a good ol’ Comcast confab.

So, how’d the chat go down? See for yourself the jump. Read more…

Blog Jam: Rick Reilly Ready To Ramble For ESPN

• DEADSPIN is all excited to see Rick Reilly finally make his big debut for the Worldwide Leader.

Rick Reilly

• USA TODAY’s GAME ON is rooting for Lindsay Payne, as the swimmer is hoping to go from cancer survivor to Olympic participant.

• HUGGING HAROLD REYNOLDS is entranced by a spirited Darren Daulton, as the ex-Phillies pitcher talks about his belief in metaphysics.

• Now that the NBA will soon fine floppers, NE PATRIOTS DRAFT lists some NFL actions that should result in the poaching of player paychecks.

Read more…

Want To See What Unsilent Majority Looks Like?

The newest Blog Show from Mister Irrelevant, Jamie Mottram, is out (which features the finest sports television show soundtrack since Dick Enberg’sSports Challenge“). Thankfully, we get dinged. But most importantly, we get to see what Unsilent Majority (of KSK and DEADSPIN) looks like:

Mottram is always wearing cool shirts on the show. This one, we have to have. And it has nothing to do with our election predisposition:

Jamie Motrtram Obama Arenas Shirt

It’s Official: Yahoo Sports Has Passed ESPN.com

Our pal Jamie Mottram recently left AOL Fanhouse, which he created and turned into a powerhouse, for Yahoo Sports. Looks like he made the right call.

Jamie Mottram

FAST COMPANY has a long piece this week on the rapid emergence of Yahoo Sports as the #1 sports destination on the internet. You heard us right, ahead of ESPN.com.

Excerpt: “Yahoo beat ‘the worldwide leader’ in unique visitors in August, September, and November 2007, according to comScore Media Metrix. In the money game, according to a private Nielsen/NetRatings AdRelevance report obtained by Fast Company, both Yahoo Sports and ESPN.com generated about $80 million in ad revenue through the first three quarters of last year.Read more…

Blogs: BlogWorld Convention in Vegas; Stanford Costliest College Town

• KISSING SUZY KOLBER takes a sneak peek at Will Leitch & Jamie Mottram entertaining the masses at the BlogWorld convention in Vegas:

William Shatner video

• Speaking of Mr. Mottram, he’s looking for help with the Comcast television juggernaut known as Blog Show.• AWFUL ANNOUNCING learns Joe can’t let things go, as Theismann continues to criticize his former “Monday Night Football” co-worker, Tony Kornheiser.

• Hope Mr. & Mrs. Wie found a good deal: COLDWELL BANKER lists Stanford’s city of Palo Alto as the most expensive college town in America:

Michelle Wie David Letterman

The cheapest? Muncie, IN - home to David Letterman’s alma mater, Ball State.• BIG TEN TAILGATE swings at the five iron(y) of strippers being used in a charity golf tournament benefiting a battered women’s shelter.

• What’s left after live blogging every sporting event known to man? SPORTS MEDIA JOURNAL has the answer: You live blog the highlights on SportsCenter!