Before You Ask Which Way You’re Going, Remember Where You’ve Been
As Glenn Ordway approached his final hour hosting “The Big Show” last Friday night, the competition and primary parties responsible for his unemployment (well, besides Ordway himself), ”Felger and Massarotti,” reflected on his career, his exile, and the business in general. Along with Chris Gasper, Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti gave a very appropriate response to the Guest Street Shakeup that rocked the sports media landscape here in Boston.
Media criticism often becomes problematic. We purvey analysis of other people’s, uh, analysis. And I fear, at times, we obfuscate the truth — that writing and sports commentary is hard. The segment, which was as meta as a Quentin Tarantino film, echoed these sentiments; providing an introspective view of the hopes and fears of two hosts, who, evidently, comprehend the ephemeral nature of success in broadcast media. And from my Ivory Tower, it appeared the salient points were that Ordway’s extraordinary run will likely never be replicated in this — or any — market, and that the profession, in any form, is a tough, unforgiving industry.
Here are highlights from the segment (a friendly hat tip to the guys over at Sports Rantz for the transcription):
Michael Felger: And he’s been on the air with that show almost twenty years? I mean, probably over half of it, he was number one. And, it wasn’t all that long ago that he was still number one. And yes, we’ve had a good run here the last couple of years. But, what are [Ordway and Holley] now, I — you know, second to fourth… third, fourth, second, somewhere in that range. It’s not like they went to last [place]. And I just — from a personal level? Good God, I’m gonna be number one for twenty years, and then I’m third? And that’s tanking? And you’re out of a job? I don’t feel like being congratulated at all. That scares the crap out of me.”
Tony Massarotti: I mean, in this business, to do that, for that length of time, is borderline unheard of, really. It’s extraordinary, and again, the — look, in this business, okay, you’re exposed. On a regular basis, every day, for twenty hours a week, and I’m not making a pity party. That’s the job. That is what the job is. And so, some of you love him, some of you hate him. Fine… but don’t disrespect the ability, is all I’m saying. And that’s how I look at it. So, I have tremendous respect for his talent, and again, I feel indebted.”
I hate when people take up two parking spaces! A little consideration please! #unosportstonight
— Gary Tanguay (@Gary_Tanguay) February 20, 2013
1.) Truth be told, I was going to wait until Friday to post my weekly media column, but then Gary Tanguay practically #begged #me #to #write #something by abusing the hashtag, “#unossportstonight.” Look, I post nonsense all the time on Twitter (sorry!). I get it. But I don’t tweet about Tom Brady then use the #Celtics hashtag. I mean, am I missing something? Will Tanguay’s crusade on double-parking be a topic of conversation on “Sports Tonight?” (Note: I’d thoroughly enjoy it if it was). In the history of social media, I’d argue Tanger needs a Twitter training seminar more than any other user. That said, next to Jose Canseco, Gary’s my favorite follow. (I’m not sure what that says about me.)
2.) I have high hopes. I really do. But I’ve written many press releases in my day, and the transparency oozing in WEEI’s release about the Mike Salk hiring was alarming.
“I’m especially excited to talk Bruins hockey. I grew up a rabid Bruins fan and have great memories from the old Boston Garden. My wife might not know it yet, but our 1-year old daughter will be wearing a lot of black and gold in the future.”
Maybe I’m too cynical and Salk is just ecstatic to talk Bruins. More likely, however, is that the Entercom brass’ mindset is still saturated with paranoia about the backlash caused from their sparse (Read: Awful) coverage of the B’s. (Again, I personally enjoy Michael Holley and have a hopeful outlook about the new program. I think they’ll be a formidable duo that will scare their competition … and sooner rather than later)
What I think really rankles about B/R is that it was a reverse engineering enterprise from the get-go: It was created by business people trying to game the system, the type of people who refer to all work as “content.”
Naturally, the column upset a few of the high-profile writers at Bleacher Report (which Turner Sports recently purchased, and subsequently replaced SI.com as CNN’s primary sports publication partner with). Specifically Dan Levy, who is terrible and can’t comprehend the stigma associated with his employer (even though he would totally take a similar stance if B/R weren’t the ones writing his paycheck). But Leitch is more than fair; in fact, he does well to credit the younger writers who bust their humps to earn “badges” or whatever the hierarchy at Bleacher Report is using to measure productivity. The column is worth your time.
4.) Speaking of the Bleacher Report, Erik Frenz will be contributing to the Boston.com as a blogger on a part-time basis this offseason (and beyond). Frenz, who is the lead writer for the AFC East Blog at the Bleacher Report, tells me his responsibilities there will remain the same. With the addition of Baxter Holmes to the Celtics beat, it appears the Globe‘s free site is making efforts to bolster their presence on its blogs … A wise move.
5.) ESPN announced it will be launching Nine for IX, a spin off of their critically acclaimed 30 For 30 documentary series, which, will specifically focus on women in sports using in-depth storytelling. The tagline is: “About Women. By Women. For Us All.”