Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Top 11 Reasons Why Sports Bloggers Quit

Today, the other shoe dropped on a couple of great Blogricans, aka sports bloggers: the guys from Free Darko shuttered their site for professional reasons, and Punte from Kissing Suzy Kolber has also given up the habit. Blame it on AOL for ending the content sponsorship gravy train, and for general maturity and life events; this is not a game for people with, well, sense or a life. I've thought about throwing in the towel myself, for the same reasons that everyone else gives. Namely...

11) The games have become too predictable. If you've watched sports for as long as I have, and have just a nominal sense of memory and creativity, you know in advance who is going to win and who is going to lose. And sure, the gambling -- as if it could be called gambling -- is lucrative. But you'd be surprised how much of the joy is taken out when you know the outcome. (It's even worse, of course, for the poor people in my fantasy league.)

10) The pressures of fame. Sure, it's nice to be recognized for your work, and the first few thousand autographs flow easily. But over the years, especially when you are just trying to have a meal out or take in a movie or just have an anonymous commute, it gets old. Then, of course, any churlish behavior or sharp moment winds up going on YouTube, and your reputation is in tatters. It's wearying.

9) The travel. Sure, I only go first class to my Man Space, but those are still ten long steps down into the basement. And at the end of the day, when you have to climb them just to go to bed? There have been nights with tears, really. Tears, and an iron will.

8) Too many groupies. Pound for pound, there's nothing more sexually potent than a sports blogger, and everybody knows it. And while those who love us know what they are getting into, and give us a wide latitude, there just comes a day when you just can't spread it around anymore. There's chafing.

7) Cult pressure. Sure, a small paramilitary outfit in matching jumpsuits who are willing to lay down their lives for you sounds like fun and a great way to get out of cleaning the gutters and having a maintenance-free yard, but slavish devotion to your every word does get tiresome. Sometimes, I just like the unquestioning agreement and adulation from people who don't wear clothing and glasses that look exactly like mine.

6) Plagiarism. I don't want to whine, but the whole idea of lists on a sports blog? Mine. Going to a nice even 10 entries most times? Also mine. I've never contested the idea in court, despite the obvious slam dunk win and damages that I'd collect, because I'm too much of a gentleman to crush these lesser lights. But I can't deny that it's dispiriting to see so much theft.

5) Halloween is a nightmare. Either you have trembly little kids showing up in their costumes that look like me, or they just come to the fortress, staring at their shoes, and eventually soiling themselves. Honestly, it's just sad. Maybe once I give up the empire, we can go back to a more normal holiday, but for now, I can't buy nearly enough sawdust to cover the issue. You just don't want to see it.

4) Kid concerns. Between the paramilitary worshippers, the soiled walk, and the always worrisome effect of kids growing up too wealthy and not respecting the value of a dollar, the blogging life is not a good one for optimal parenting. When your 10-year-old asks you when she can have a cult of her own to do her homework and put away her laundry, it's not a good feeling.

3) Fan mail and positive comments. Ah, fawning comments and fan appreciation; the bane of every sports blogger. While the warm bath of the love of all of you people is wonderful, it also dulls the pen over time -- take a look at the Bad Tooth for a prime example of this. Several times in the past decade, I've actually made mistakes, and nearly let them slide, since no one ever complains or criticizes my work. A man's got to have some self-respect, and a clear understanding of his abilities.

2) A desire to devote time to less meaningful pursuits. After years of doing the Big Work of watching and writing about sports, and being sarcastic about them, sometimes a man just wants to kick back and devote his time to something that doesn't have so much cultural meaning. You know, like writing a book, helping the homeless, working in the lab to find more cures for common diseases, and inventing new technologies. Fun stuff.

1) Blogging interferes with crime fighting. Not that I do this, of course, so far as you know. But rumor has it that dozens of sports bloggers, when they aren't fulfilling their other duties, help out our local law enforcement agencies by erasing the blight of crime, mostly through the application of lethal knuckle justice. And as thrilling as sports blogging can be, it really doesn't compare to taking down gun-toting criminals while unarmed. Or, well, so I'm told.

So best of wishes to my ex-blogmates, in all of their future endeavours. I'm sure we'll meet again. At, say, a secret floating fortress that's only achievable through alien science. Wink, wink.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

God please don't you quit! You are a much better writer than those other two dudes.

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