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A Jog Around the Blogosphere: Newspapers, Bobby Bowden, and Rick Neuheisel

Every now and again, circumstances call for me to pause long enough to take a look at the blogosphere and give you a brief ("brief" being a relative term where I am concerned) snapshot of what I see . . . you know, like Ferris Bueller at 40. ("Ferris Bueller at 40," by the way, would be a much worse movie than you think it would be.) A Friday night rainout is as good a time as any to share such slivers of perspective, so here, at a glance (again, these terms are relative), is what I have seen lately that was worthy of note:

  • Although I’ve linked to this before, it bears repeating because Maize ‘n’ Brew Dave has penned an exceptional piece on the present shift from print media to the blogosphere, which has received cogent responses from Year2 at Team Speed Kills and from donkeydawg right here at Dawg Sports.

    While I continue to hold out hope that I will have time at a later date to give this topic the attention it deserves in a posting all its own, I would say, in summary, that I don’t believe the newspaper industry is dying per se---print journalism will survive, albeit increasingly in an electronic medium---and the blogosphere’s ability to take newspaper reporters’ place is much more limited and much less desirable than we imagine. I simply could not do David Hale’s job if he quit doing it; I am reliant upon him for information and he does his job substantially better than I would if we switched places. The pundit has much to fear from the blogosphere---Stewart Mandel, I’m looking at you---but the blogger and the reporter can, and should, be friends, as our respective functions are complementary rather than at cross purposes.

    Beyond that, we should be careful about becoming too smug about how much more hip we are than those stodgy grizzled old dinosaurs named Duffy with "press" cards tucked inside the hatbands of their fedoras. Writers in the blogosphere can be overwhelmed by technology, too. I only recently started posting Dawg Sports pieces to my Facebook page and the SB Nation College Blogs Twitter Index does not include this weblog because I’ll be damned if I can figure out how the circles of the Venn diagram of people who get information in Twitter-sized bursts and people who read what MaconDawg and I write will ever overlap. Co-authoring a sports weblog doesn’t make me anything better than marginally more technologically savvy than Buzz Bissinger; I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t sometimes feel like I was being as overwhelmed by the explosive innovations crowding in on this medium as old school beat reporters must feel regarding the rush of technology crowding out their medium in the form that they have known it. At the most fundamental level, I’m just giving voice to my inner Grizzard, and, as much as I value the community component that weblogs have revolutionized, I doubt seriously whether I go about producing my part of the conversation a great deal differently from the way Lewis did.

  • Richard Pittman has offered an interesting argument that Bobby Bowden is getting what he deserves. AuditDawg took issue with his position, but it deserves a read. For what it’s worth, I think it’s a moot point: I told you Oklahoma’s "vacated" victories would be reinstated, and I was right. I can’t imagine that Florida State’s "vacated" wins won’t be put back into the record book on appeal, as well.

  • As long as we’re wandering around SB Nation, I ought to mention War Eagle Atlanta’s posting on things that could stand to vanish from college football. If you’re wondering whether I spotted all these articles by reading every college football weblog in the network, incidentally, I’m sorry to say I don’t have that kind of time. Fortunately, SB Nation’s Southeastern Conference weblog, Team Speed Kills, covers the league (and the weblogs that cover the league) comprehensively. That’s where I go to keep up with the rest of the S.E.C.; I’d recommend you make it one of your daily stops if you haven’t already.

  • What I wrote above about bloggers being unable to replace reporters? That may only be true of mere mortal bloggers like, oh, say, me. Not so on the opposite edge of the continent, though, where a pair of Bruins Nation writers interviewed Rick Neuheisel. In their conversation, Coach Neuheisel made some good points about the ways in which the Pac-10 is harmed by its television deals and bowl tie-ins, but he made that sensible argument in a bizarre way. Said Coach Neuheisel:

    And they look at Oregon State and say, well, Oregon State doesn’t get enough credit, and that goes back to that ESPN thing that I was talking about. Oregon State was a damn good team last year.

    That strikes me as an odd example to use. Oregon State’s upset of Southern California came in a nationally-televised Thursday night game that everyone in the country saw (and that most of us celebrated, right before everything went to Hell in a handbasket). While I agree that a bad television contract and weak postseason tie-ins generally cause the Pac-10 to get less credit as a league than it deserves, the Beavers got every iota of exposure imaginable out of that win over the Trojans (as, for that matter, did U.C.L.A. for its triumph over Tennessee, and for precisely the same reason). Oregon State got ample credit for that victory. The Pac-10 needs more games like that one, but O.S. didn’t get sold short; the Beavers just suffered from losing to Stanford and getting blown out at Penn State.

  • Finally, for whatever it’s worth, Dawg Sports received its 2,500,000th page view on Thursday, April 9. As always, MaconDawg and I thank you profusely for taking the time to participate in the conversation on a daily basis.

That’s what I’ve seen going on, but, of course, neither I nor any other single human being can keep up with all of it, so, by all means, feel free to point out what I’ve missed, and to share your thoughts on the foregoing, in the comments below.

Go ‘Dawgs!