Column – If BSMW was Full-Time…

As most of you know, this website is only a part-time venture for me. I still have to work full-time, and because of that, I’m not able to do as much as I might like on the site. Many days my work here is limited to daily links which I put together before I go to work in the morning. If I do something more extensive, it needs to be done during off hours, something which isn?t always conducive to having a life.

If I want the site to reach its full potential, something needs to happen. It has to be able to pay the bills and take the place of my full time job. I’d need to build up the site enough to the point where I would not have to work at a 8-5 job during the week. That might never happen. To make that leap would be huge. I could try to build up a few other streams of income, which I’m attempting to do, but those also require time and attention and will need some more time to develop.

What?s the quickest way this could happen? The only way I could see this happening is if I were to get a sponsor who would be able to pay me equivalent to what I make working to do the site full-time. Getting that sponsor would be tough; as I would have to make sure that I am still able to have editorial control over content, so as to ensure that the spirit of the site lives on.

The sponsor could have their name be the only advertising on the site. It could be a naming-rights style deal (“BSMW Presented by Dunkin”) or just a “branding” of the site to reflect the sponsor. I’d be open to ideas in this regard.

Here’s an idea of what you might see on Boston Sports Media Watch if I were able to devote eight or more hours everyday to it:

Daily Links

The Daily links would continue to be a huge part of the site. If BSMW were my job, even more emphasis would be placed on getting them done daily in a timely fashion. They might even be expanded to include out of town links on the local sports scene, as well as regular afternoon updates for the papers and blogs that update later in the course of the day. I would check blogs and other sources more regularly for updated news and content that would be of interest to readers and Boston sports fans.

Sports Radio Log

Part of the full-time BSMW site would also include logs and updates of what is being discussed on the various sports radio shows as they happen. I see this as being in more of a traditional blog format, with short, frequent updates on what’s happening and what noteworthy things are being said. This might be in a separate area from the daily links area.

TV Show Notes

I would also make a point to view as many of the local shows as possible. I do this now, but don’t always find the time to comment on them. If I had my days free, I would make sure I DVR?d the shows and made some notes on the content of them. This would be another way of keeping track of some of the outrageous statements, predictions and analysis that often occurs on these programs.

Television/Radio Listings

There would be a box on the page somewhere so you would know at a glance exactly what was on the airwaves at that moment, as well as in prime time. I wouldn’t just include games, but also radio shows, the various nightly and weekly television programs, and even things on other networks that would be if interest to the locals, such as old games on ESPN Classic, or Sports Century features on Boston athletes.

More Columns/Features

With more time to devote to the site, and likely more knowledge as a result of my increased exposure to all of it, I’d have a chance to do more columns and opinion pieces on what trends I see and hear in the local media and how I think it is influencing the casual sports fan.

One column idea that has always intrigued me is the idea of a BSMW-Retro. In this, I would periodically focus on some Boston sports media member and look at their influence on the era in which they worked, or examine incident of the past and relate it to the modern-day internet age audience. From what I know now, there would be no shortage of personalities and stories that I could draw from to create some interesting features.

I’d also like to include a few more media interviews. I’ve done a few very small ones for book reviews and as a part of the Friday columns, but there would be an audience for deeper interviews. Talking to reporters, columnists, announcers, etc about their jobs and how they view them.

Podcasts

I experimented with this very briefly last year, but never released an “official” podcast. I’d need to take some time and figure out what I wanted to accomplish should I attempt to go back to this idea. Would it be a recap of what happened that day or week in the media? Would it be something where I’d interview someone, or have a guest on the podcast with me? There’s some potential with this, but I would need to think about this much more in detail before I would consider bringing this to the site.

Mailbag

I get plenty of email from readers of the site. I try to keep up with it all, but there are a few that slip through the cracks each week. However, I do get a lot of the same type of email. The same questions asked by several different emailers. Many readers bring up interesting points, or even just want to rant a bit. It might be beneficial to answer some emails as part of a mailbag format, making sure more questions sent to me via this method are answered. I might only have to answer a question once on the website instead of having to answer it 10 times via email.

More Blogs

I’ve thought that a Boston Sports Business blog and a Sports Law blog might be interesting additions to the site. I have in mind who I’d like to author those blogs, and have thought about contacting them to gauge their interest in participating in such a project.

Those are just a few of the ideas I’ve had. In fact, I’ve had many more, but they escape my recollection right at this moment. I think you can see that there is a lot of potential here, and I’d like the opportunity to expand it as much as I can. If you have ideas for turning BSMW into a full time venture, I would certainly be interested in hearing from you.

Tomorrow: Best/Worst Sports Radio Host

BSMW Awards Recap – Best/Worst Play-by-Play Announcer

Today we’re kicking off the new week with a look at the play-by-play announcers of the Boston sports teams. This group contains some veterans who have seen multiple championships for the Patriots and Celtics and of course the 2004 Red Sox World Series championship. They’ve had experience calling some huge games at the highest level. Of them, who rates as the best and worst in the eyes of the fans?

Here’s how our voting turned out:

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Veteran announcer Gil Santos of the Patriots Radio Network gets the nod in the category, pulling in 340 votes for 26% of the total. Santos has seen it all with the Patriots, from the darkest points in franchise history to the glories of Super Bowl Championships. Santos has great “pipes” and his call of Adam Vinatieri’s game winning kick in Super Bowl 36 still gives me shivers whenever I hear it. He may miss things here and there, but he is still a pleasure to listen to whenever he calls a game.

I was a little surprised at Don Orsillo’s second place finish. (274, 21%) He’s a likable guy, but doesn’t do much for me as a play-by-play guy, though he’s improved greatly from his early days on the job. He’s still learning to call the big moments with the proper emotion and emphasis, but his pitch by pitch calls are generally solid.

My vote would’ve gone to the third place finisher, Mike Gorman of the FSN Celtics broadcasts. (228, 17%) Gorman just finished up his 25th season calling Celtics games on the network with Tom Heinsohn, and I believe the comments by the reader below describe Gorman very well. He’s a class act all the way as well.

Reader Comments: Gorman gets my vote. He's just an outstanding professional, and always has been. "GOT IT!!!!" He has a perfect understanding of appropriate announcing emotion. His tendency to rein Tommy in the last few years when it is called for has also earned him points with me…. I went with Grande as best announcer in a strong field of contenders. I'm an extremely casual NBA fan, but Grande (and Maxwell) do a great job of presenting the game. There's just enough conversation to fill in the slow parts of the game, but their tangents never take away from the action that's taking place…. I went with the wildly underrated Dave Goucher for best. He brings listeners the action—in a tough sport to call on the radio—in a professional and interesting way. He also has an excellent voice, knows the tempo of a game, and defers well to his analyst when necessary.

Here’s the results of the worst poll:

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No big surprise here. Jon Meterparel (sorry your name got spelled wrong in the poll, Jon) won this one going away with 419 votes that represented 32% of the total. Meterparel who called Revolution games back in the day, didn’t win over a whole lot of new fans with his calls of the Boston College Football team. He sparked a mini-controversy with the City of Boise after making comments about the city where BC accepted a postseason Bowl invitation. You can occasionally hear some of his screaming, mangled calls during WEEI segments, which really tell you all you need to hear about his talents. Another Boston College announcer came in second as Ted Sarandis and his passionate, though over-the-top calls have turned off some listeners. Sarandis will often speak out during his broadcasts against what he perceives as a lack of support for the BC hoop games and is borderline insulting to the Conte Forum crowds at times.

Reader Comments: "Yawn" Orsillo gets the nod. He's about a twentieth of the announcer that Sean McD is. I don't listen to BC football so I'm not going to go with Meter, and Sarandis makes me laugh more than half the comedians I see…. Worst is Trupiano. In the past few years Jerry has decided that HE is the show, not the action on the field. At points last year after Palmiero tested positive, Jerry would go on forever about the topic, to the point where even his partner seemed to have had enough. And one more piece of advice: When a fly ball is hit, LOOK AT THE OUTFIELDERS! If they are jogging instead of sprinting back, you can lose the “WAY BACK!!!” call—it's probably going to be caught…. Where to begin on how awful Calistaparel is. Is it the cracking, girlish voice when he gets excited? Is it the multitude of factual errors during the broadcast? Is it the fact that his analyst—a supposed "nonprofessional"— had to tell him, "Wait for the official to make the call, Jon." ? I think that you could literally pull someone from the stands who could do a better job. BC has a lot to answer for in their choice of radio "voices."

Tomorrow: “If BSMW was Full-Time…”

BSMW Awards Recap – Best/Worst Media Blog

Today we’re looking at a new category, media blogs. 2005 saw this genre really take off, not only with the local media outlets, but with media everywhere. It seems everyone has a blog these days, and they’re actually a great medium for sports tidbits and information that might be interesting, but doesn’t really fit into a game story or notebook. Since they can be published quickly and RSS feeds enable readers to be notified of new entries, it is also a great place to break news. The bare bones news information can first be published, with followups coming as more information becomes available.

Some old timers in the traditional media may have been slow to accept blogging as an addition to their regular workload, but now you might find the name of any Globe, Herald or Projo reporter covering a Patriots or Red Sox game appear in the corresponding blog for that team.

Here’s a look at the voting for the media blogs:

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This isn’t much of a surprise, since Reiss’ Pieces practically invented the formula here locally of a media person blogging news and items about a sports team. Mike Reiss started the blog on the Boston Herald website when he was with the Metro West Daily News, and when he was hired by the Globe, was able to move to blog along with him. This was probably the best hire of the Joe Sullivan era at the Globe, as the blog is by far the most popular media blog in the market as shown by the numbers. 679 people, or 48% of the total on this poll put Reiss’ Pieces down as the best in the category.

227 people, or 16% of the total felt that Boston Dirt Dogs was the best. 13% of people felt no media blog was worthy of the “best” moniker.

Reader Comments: Reiss’ Pieces gives out sweet tidbits like the original Reese Pieces…It's amazing what actually asking players relevant questions and printing the answers will get you—what a revolutionary concept.

Here’s the voting for the worst:

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Another Boston.com blog was named as worst blog.Style and content-wise, it could not be more polar-opposite in style than Reiss’ Pieces. While it came in second in the best voting, Boston Dirt Dogs got twice as many votes for worst media blog. BDD has been very popular with members of “Red Sox Nation” – not the hard core Red Sox fan, but the more casual observer who craves huge headlines and knee-jerk rants like they would have after a few beers. (“Manny is KILLING us!!!!”). In its earlier days, the site would provide some breaking news and inside information, but they’re gone away from that in favor of the more sensationalist approach to looking at the team. 476 people or 37% of the total felt that BDD was the worst media-backed blog out there. 36% of people felt that no one deserved the tag of worst.

Reader Comments: I knew that the "worst" vote was gonna be a real nail-biter….Every time we say that it's a media source beholden to the rules of journalism, they say it's just a blog. Every time we say it's just a blog, they say it's a media source worthy of the name. As Marge Schott would say, Boston Dirt Dog “had good ideas, they just went too far.”

Monday: Best/Worst Play-by-Play Announcers