.@Dan_Shaughnessy Is Here To Troll, Not To Write

It seems like Dan Shaughnessy isn’t feeling the love as of late. Why else devote a whole column to trying to justify his pitiful existence?

As usual, Dan also completely misses the point, and shows repeatedly just how clueless and out of touch he really is.

I’ve sort of shied away from the Dan Shaughnessy topic for a few years, mostly because most people who come here have already tuned him out. Beating a dead horse isn’t enjoyable for anyone.

That said, his submission this morning needs to be exposed for the pathetic cry for attention that it really is.

Do you want coverage or celebration? Do you want subjective commentary and analysis, or do you just want writer/fans rooting for the local teams to win?

It is interesting to me that Dan used the word “subjective” here. It is of course, the opposite of “objective.” A subjective commentary integrates the writer’s personal perspective, feelings, beliefs, and yes, biases.

We’ll go more into this later, but I find it really curious that he talks about being the opposite of objective, but then attempts to hide behind the “rules of journalism” and so forth.

But to answer Dan’s question, and I’ve said this dozens of times before, fans don’t want the media to root for their teams. But they don’t want them to be rooting against them, either. It’s called being objective, which I’m convinced, many people in media have no idea how to be. To them, being snide, and negative is being objective.

So anyway, Dan claims that many Patriots fans came up to him down in Florida and asked Don’t you want the Patriots to win?

I call BS. If anyone knew who Shaughnessy was enough to approach and talk to him, they already know what he’s about. I just find it extremely unbelievable that legit Patriots fans would go up to Shaughnessy and ask him that.

Now that he’s got that impossible scenario set up, he unloads:

I don’t care if they win. I don’t care if they lose. I love sports. I love football. I love the story. The story can be great, win or lose. But I am not emotional about the outcome. Overall, of course, it’s better to work in a region with good teams, and Boston has more than any other city. Most of the time it’s a great story if they win. It’s even good for the city. Money flows. Strangers talk with each other. Sometimes it’s a good story even if they lose.

I’ll state this right now. Dan does not love sports. He especially does not love football. How else can you explain that 90% of his columns (that’s an unscientific measurement, by the way) are miserable trolling attempts to anger people? Even when he writes “positive” he does it in a way that is so far over-the-top that you know that he is still trolling. He’s mocking you.

I’ll give Dan a little credit, he at least makes it into the 1990’s with his pop culture reference in this column.

You’ve no doubt seen “The Fugitive” with Tommy Lee Jones and Harrison Ford. It’s a classic. There’s a scene early in the film where Jones, as Deputy US Marshal Samuel Gerard, pursues fugitive Dr. Richard Kimble (Ford) through a viaduct in a dam. In the ensuing confrontation, Kimble points a gun at Gerard and says, “I didn’t kill my wife.’’

With nary a shred of emotion, Gerard barks, “I don’t care.’’

That’s it right there, people. It’s not the marshal’s job to determine Dr. Kimble’s guilt or innocence. The marshal’s job is to bring him in.

That’s me. I write the stories. I care about the stories. But when my head hits the pillow at the end of the day it does . . . not . . . matter to me if the Patriots won or lost.

Of course Shaughnessy fancies himself the journalistic equivalent of Tommy Lee Jones’ character. Of course he does. (As noted by Craig Calcaterra, if Shaughnessy’s job is not to determine guilt or innocence, why did he write the May column accusing David Ortiz of using steroids?)

He cares about the stories. The problem is, he focuses exclusively on stories that are usually contrived controversies, innuendo, settling scores, making a splash so he can make extra money with a Jim Rome appearance, or just lazy, recycled bits that he’s written a dozen times before. Is it a “good story” if no one enjoys it?

He doesn’t care if the locals win or lose? This is the guy who put his kids through college by writing about the misery of Red Sox fans having to deal with a made-up “curse” and as long as the team kept losing, he could keep adding chapters to his book. He had a financial stake in the team losing year after year – the more painful the ending, the better.

For years, Shaughnessy’s email was [email protected] But no, he doesn’t care if the team won or lost.

Now we get into the most ridiculous part of the column:

This is how we were trained a few decades ago. We were instructed not to root for the home team. Just deliver the story and the analysis.

That’s the way it is in other departments of a legitimate news operation. Journalists who cover politics, science, medicine, labor, and international relations are asked to put their agendas on the shelf. Tell the story. The reporter covering the Romney-Obama election is not supposed to be a fan of either candidate.

Why is it presumed to be different for us? Why do readers expect — and in some cases, demand — that sports reporters be fans of the team they cover? This amazes me. Are we supposed to suspend all rules of journalism because we cover sports?

Have you stopped laughing yet? Asked to put their agendas on the shelf. Does anyone have more agendas than Shaughnessy does? What a fraud. This is the guy who, because he was supposedly snubbed by the Kraft family at some breakfast the team put on over 15 years ago, continues to slam them every opportunity he gets.

Readers don’t expect, much less demand that sports reporters be fans. That’s utter nonsense. The real reason Shaughnessy is hated goes right over his head. Rational people are not upset that he doesn’t’ root for the home team. They object to the manner in which he continually attacks certain home teams and players.

Remember earlier Dan asked if we wanted “subjective” analysis? Wouldn’t that go against these “rules of journalism?”

OK, some might say “He’s a columnist, he’s supposed to give his opinion, and be controversial.” I’m not the one citing “rules of journalism” here and attempting to hide behind them as some an excuse for his work. Is a columnist exempt from these “rules of journalism?” If so, why is he then citing them? Is it against the rules of journalism to use the people you supposedly cover to also get your children jobs and internships?

Trust me when I tell you this whole thing has changed. When I came into this business in the 1970s, it was OK for sports reporters to be skeptical and critical. It was not a crime against humanity if you suggested the Patriots or Red Sox might not win the championship, or perhaps might not be serving the best interests of their fans. It was OK to occasionally poke fun at Haywood Sullivan or Billy Sullivan.

I’ll take Dan’s word for it. I know there were plenty of critical sports writers in those days. I also know there were columnists like Ray Fitzgerald, who wrote columns that are still enjoyable to read today. 30 years from now, what will people think if they look back and read Shaughnessy? Why was he so miserable? Leigh Montville shows that a columnist doesn’t have to be constantly bashing the locals in order to be successful.

But if you also read Howard Bryant’s Shut Out, you know that there were plenty of sportswriters in the 70’s who covered the Red Sox and ignored the team’s racist practices. So I’m not sure his claim that they were so critical holds up very well there.

I love the phrase ‘crime against humanity’ slipped in there – isn’t that what Dan and his buds usually accuse Bill Belichick of on a regular basis?  Also they could “occasionally poke fun at” ownership. Does anyone with half a brain think that Shaughnessy is “poking fun” at Robert Kraft when he takes his shots?

 Naturally, the Internet is a good source of explanation for this new dynamic. The web gives fans an infinite forum. Fans have a place to read like-minded people. It’s like one giant sports-talk show with no hosts interrupting. It turns out that fans love reading other fans. And, naturally, they all love their teams. What a surprise. Now they expect everyone else to love a team. It’s the wild west of fanboys.

Stupid “fanboys” reference. Check.

But not everything is always great and it’s OK to point this out now and then. Opinions about sports don’t impact important issues that touch our lives. This isn’t about taxes, abortion, gun control, or health care. It’s about first-round byes and Cover 2 defenses. If we have differing opinions about Wes Welker, it doesn’t mean we can’t get along with one another.

And then:

In this spirit, I submit that the 2013 Patriots are headed to an unfortunate ending this season. Please don’t take this as negativity. It’s just an opinion. I may be wrong. But it really won’t matter if I’m right or wrong. It’s sports. It’s entertainment. It’s fun. And it’s not going to change your life or mine, one way or another.

Wait, so the entire point of this column was to tell us that the Patriots are headed to an unfortunate ending this season. Was it only eight days ago you wrote a ridiculous, over-the-top piece about how the Patriots were going to win the Super Bowl? (By the way, I don’t think the Patriots win the Super Bowl this season, but that’s not going to stop me from enjoying the remaining games.)

Setting that aside for the moment,  Dan is telling us that sports doesn’t matter. It’s unimportant. It’s not life or death. It’s not death, taxes or politics.

OK, granted. Then why all the references to the vaunted rules of journalism above? Isn’t this a contradiction? He has to follow these rules (which he doesn’t) but the subject of sports doesn’t compare to politics or actual news reporting. If we’re talking apples and oranges here, why does it matter? He says it doesn’t. So what is the point here?

I have no problem with pointing out problems on the local teams. I have a problem with him being a totally biased, agenda-riddled prick while doing it, and then hiding behind some “rules of journalism” which he flaunts by being “subjective” when he pretends to be “objective.”

Dan – It’s OK to have your opinion. But you need to own it, not hide behind some “rules of journalism.”

Going back to Dan’s Fugitive reference, does he know how the movie closed out?

Dr. Richard Kimble: I thought you didn’t care?
Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard: I don’t.
[laughs]
Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard: Don’t tell anybody, OK?

Shaughnessy cares. Much more than he’ll ever admit. He just wants you to think he doesn’t.

Do you know why he cares? Because he’s a dinosaur. Even Carl Everett would admit this. He’s rapidly approaching extinction. In 1993 his employer was purchased by the New York Times for $1.1 billion. It was sold this fall for $70 million, or less than half what the Yankees will be paying Jacoby Ellsbury over the next seven years.

The Globe has to ‘double count’ subscribers in order to even seem respectable. Shaughnessy is behind a paywall, meaning fewer and fewer people are reading him, which means he has to try harder to get attention.

No Dan, we don’t want you to root for the local teams. We just want you to go away.

  • OpinionNotFact

    This is where I am with Danno: I got his book, Seeing Red, at least 2 years ago and it was free mind you. The Celtics are, without a doubt, my favorite of the local squads.
    I’ve not read one word of it because of the author’s name.
    I will immediately turn the station if I hear him on.
    I just do not understand how he’s employed still or why anyone trots him out on radio. I don’t think he believes anything he says. At least with some of our other more “troll”-y sports media around here, I’m looking at you Felger, I will still occasionally buy that they believe an argument/statement they’re making.
    Never with Danno.

    • bsmfan

      Can’t agree more.

      However, didn’t he do quite well with, “Francona: The Red Sox Years by Terry Francona” ? It’s not like there was a secret about him co-authoring this.

      I wonder if his employer would let him write this book now, though?

  • Kamandi

    I believe that is Globe Sports Editor Joe Sullivan’s auto-response to any reader who criticizes Shaughnessy: “He’s a columnist, he’s supposed to give his opinion, and be controversial.”
    If that is his job description, why is he writing a lengthy tantrum claiming that he’s professionally obligated to be “objective.” Which is it, Dan? You can’t be both. Readers could make a case that you can’t be either one.
    This summer, he stormed all media outlets that would have him to scream how unfair it was for someone to compare a February column with a July-August one. Today, he’s conflating an argument no one makes (He should be rooting for the home teams) with one he should pay attention to (He shouldn’t be actively rooting against home teams and players).
    Hey thin-skin. Do you think Robert Kraft, David Ortiz and countless others you have demeaned and slandered have feelings, or is it only you, the town’s “bravest columnist”? Strawman arguments and crying on the shoulders of other media hacks sure screams “brave.”

    • andy

      You nailed it perfectly. Danno & his ilk are okay with taking down anyone, yet they are amazingly thin-skinned when it comes to them being criticized.

      I think the most telling piece in his column was his waxing about when he started 30 years ago (no internet, social media etc) when it was a lot easier to get away with the garbage he writes about. Now, thanks to this site & others, he gets called on his hypocrisy. .

  • Alberts B’s Wet Pants

    10 years ago Shanks lazy, recycled, dated, useless, sports-hating columns would mildly irritate me, and I wondered what he had on Joe Sullivan that allowed him to keep his job. Now that no one pays attention to him or the Boston Globe at all, it doesn’t really make a difference.

  • bsmfan

    All you need to know on CHB’s column is this:

    @SI_Peter King
    Yes, @Dan_Shaughnessy rocks: http://b.globe.com/1dmkwzD

    https://twitter.com/SI_PeterKing/status/413310161768296448

    Amazing that King took time out of his busy schedule berating coffee shops to praise it!

    Bruce put it best. His columns have become trolls, a la Skip Bayless, if he knows it or not (I would think he thinks of himself as above this).

    Shaugnessy doing 90’s movie references? He trying to one-up Bill Simmons here?

    Basically, the entire “defense” he presents is that if you don’t see his work as ‘being an objective observer’, you’re a toadie-fan. I think Felger’s attorney got one of those Google Alerts in his Inbox this morning for potential copyright infringement.

    I had to LOL when reading his line about this being like political coverage where a reporter/columnist should only report the facts and not take sides. Are you serious? Do you realize who you work for? Also, I can’t help but think of how biased the coverage of the Red Sox will be in the coming years. I think the news media in DPRK could even make a case for being more objective here.

    Again, I think back to the lamenting by KPD of the newspaper industry going down. Sure, the media has changed, but when your coverage on topics (not just sports) is so completely out of touch with readership and you continue to wonder why people go elsewhere, I’m not sure much can be helped.

  • the_other_side

    I saw Peter King, Ben Volin, and countless others in local and regional media praise this piece today. No one wants a cheerleader, just like no one wants a jerk with nothing but contrived story lines. People, I think, want an honest writer. If he is being honest with himself, Shaughnessy could not claim to be that. Then again, how many could be? The list is minimal.

    • bullock

      When I saw that I thought it was from a phony Peter King account on Twitter.

      • bsmfan

        I’ll defend Volin because I enjoy his coverage: Did you expect anything else from a coworker?

        Also, Volin picked against the Patriots this week, as did Curran (I think Curran got the score precisely right?). Is it a big deal? Nope. Without knowing the outcome, lets take the folks who have to get this as “balanced” as possible: Vegas. Pats opened as a -2.5 favorite and, by kickoff, the line was -1 Dolphins.

        It reminds me of when Felger, the day after we smoked Houston in the divisional round, Balitmore upset Denver, and were headed here for the AFCCG, picked the Ravens within a minute of their Monday show. We had a similar thread here on “local person picks against the team”. Reasonable fans (us here) had no problem with someone picking against us (hey weren’t we something like a -7 pt favorite?) but Felger went immediately to the contrarian mode and picked the Ravens. It wasn’t even some really explained rationale but he made a big deal out of it, and, as he wanted, got a huge reaction.

        Again, some textbook examples here. Why doesn’t Curran, even when picking against the team, get hammered?

        It all goes back down to coverage and who do you trust.

        There was a post by Bruce a week ago? On this very subject on the “page clicks vs. credibility” stuff where we also touched upon this.

  • http://davecopeland.com/ Dave Copeland

    Any idea why that ran on the front page?

  • Guest

    I don’t post on here, but I read and appreciate the legitimate articles Bruce Allen writes on this site. I have never AGREED with him more in my life than what he wrote. Dan Shaughnessy is everything I hate about sports, and he makes me want to follow sports less and less. He claims to be objective and say what non-fanboys say well Dann-O Boston sports fans aren’t all mindless followers of our teams. Our fanbase has a lot of knuckleheads, but our franchises have been successfully on an unprecedented level nationally. Your logic makes me sick its basically be negative because negative sells and claim everyone else is in the tank. The most negative people are worse than pompom waivers. Tony Mazz, Dan Saughnessy ARE WORSE than Rob Bradford, Mike Reiss, Joe Haggarty. While the last 3 are examples of what Shaughnessy claim are fanboys most intelligent fans can see thru crap.
    All Shaughnessy does is try to create controversy and stick himself in the middle of it claiming he is just asking the questions. . He destroys Bellichick for cutting Zoltan Mesko and saving 1 million dollars because Mesko does a lot for charity. Mesko has subsequently been cut by Pittsburgh and Allen has done a good job, but does Dan acknowledge he had an agenda or was wrong? No, because he is a professional troll on the level of Skip Bayless. I love sports all 4 Boston teams, and go to games, but I hate this crap and really would subscribe for life to Boston Globe if it resulted in Dan Shaughnessy being gone and never on TV, radio or in print ever again.

    Serious Dan give a price you would take to stop being a member of the media completely and out of people’s lives forever and I am sure sure it could be raised if it was reasonable. I thank you Mr. Bruce Allen for summarizing this article so I don’t have to read and drive myself to hating sports more and more.

  • Oswee Larvey Hald

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he referenced “The Fugitive” when it has been airing on an almost nightly basis for the last 2 or 3 weeks on IFC.

    I also agree that no fans approached him in Miami and asked if he wanted the Patriots to win.

    In reality, he caught a showing of the movie and was inspired to write this column based on the “I don’t care!” scene.

    THAT’S journalistic integrity.

    • bsmfan

      Likewise, AMC also went on a tear (anyone who watches AMC knows what I mean) recently doing Harrison Ford movies in the past 6 weeks.

  • J.R.

    Shank, and others of his ilk, have never really come to grips with the changing role and impact that the Internet, blogs, “new media,” etc. have had on his profession. He’s sadly stuck in the ’70s when writers — and especially columnists — ruled the day.

    As sports fans, we once NEEDED the writers to be our sole eyes, ears, and conduits to our teams and events. Now, they are simply one avenue of MANY ways we consume info. We see and hear the pre- and post-game press conferences ourselves in real time (if we want), and we can choose to read the non-hack writers we prefer online (hello, Mike Reiss, Tom E. Curran, Karen G., etc.) and avoid the trolls, especially those hidden behind a pay wall.

    No, we don’t want our sports writers to be fans. And, we’re not looking for wall-to-wall fawning coverage, either. Criticism is always warranted. But, we certainly don’t want writers and talk-show hosts whose sole purpose in life appears to be that they are miserable, contrarian for the sake of being contrarian, S**t-stirring, agenda-driven, look-at-me DBs. We’re smarter than that, Dan, and have chosen to simply ignore you (and Borges and others) and not play that game anymore.

  • bullock

    Dan Shaughnessy is a VHS cassette in an on-demand world.

    He is one of the reasons back in the day I (or more accurately, my parents) wasted gobs of money on a degree in journalism on me.

    Dan came into prominence during the ultimate heyday of the “Fellowship of the Miserable.” In the ’80s, even when the Boston teams were good, they were always major flaws at which to poke fun. Aside from the Celtics (and even that slowly disintegrated like Larry Bird’s back), we rarely considered our teams legit contenders. And even when they were rolling, we were just waiting for them to break our hearts somehow. And when they did, there was Shaughnessy, there with a witty column pointing out the ineptitude of the players, management, ownership or some combination of the three. And it was somewhat cathartic to enjoy a transparent jab at something like “27 Players, 27 Cabs.” There was a degree of insight and humor in his columns and we enjoyed reading him. Most people did. This is the part people like to overlook today, but Dan was good.

    Frankly, Shaughnessy is one of the innovators of the modern #hotsportztake. Taking players to task, questioning ownership, organizational philosophies, etc. were deserved. Hell, these are staples of any current 6:30 sports tonight show. His technique of referencing or making pop culture comparisons — which I have always thought is weak sauce — is something later writers like Bill Simmons would take and run with. It was innovative at the time, just like a VHS tape was.

    The problem, as I see it, is something happened to the “Fellowship” around the early 2000s. A combination of a shift in fan base, the rise of the internet age, and a sweeping change in the teams’ organizational philosophies. And most importantly, our teams started winning.

    * The baby boomers who enjoyed a degree of catharsis in Shank’s negativity — because in truth there was rarely anything to be positive about — began to be replaced with Gen-X and Millennials who, frankly, are softer than the previous generation. No one wants to hang around that friend who’s always a downer. Eventually, you just stop inviting him out.

    * The rise of the internet age meant that you can’t contradict yourself in print anymore because people can access your previous articles/columns with a click of a mouse. Accountability became more relevant. If you state the Patriots are Super Bowl contenders on Friday, that they’ll steamroll any and all competition on Sunday, and then they’re not going anywhere on Tuesday, it makes it hard for readership to take you seriously.

    * The biggest change of all was that there was a turnover in ownerships/management and, as a result, our teams started winning. Like, all the time. Consider the current era (2000-present). Each team has won at least one championship and is at the very least competitive. Hell, as of this writing, every single Boston team is in FIRST PLACE (except the Red Sox, and they just got through winning a World Series — their third in nine years). Now realistically, no one expects the Celtics to win a title this year, and probably not the Patriots either. But for the most part, each team’s management/ownership has demonstrated dedication to putting a winning product on the field/ice.

    It’s not to say there aren’t issues with the teams that can be dissected (can the Celtics rebuild from the middle; why can’t the Pats successfully rebuild their defense; why is Rondo such a crybaby; Bruins power play; etc.), but when compared to the reasons for negativity 25 years ago, these aren’t mountains — they’re molehills. And I feel the majority of the current fanbase acknowledges this.

    When your teams combine for eight titles and 12 championship appearances in 13 years, that buys a lot of good will and. Additionally, for the most part, people aren’t interested in manufactured or contrived negativity. Minor issues aside, these are the good ol’ days.

    Yet, there’s Shaughnessy, trotting out the same style of venom and pop cultural references from 25-30 years ago. Where his negativity used to be based to some degree on the on-field product, today it has been replaced with petty grievances, blatant trolling, fan-bating/attacks, and personal agendas. And it’s transparent. Dan, no one aside from you cares if Kraft didn’t invite you to breakfast 14 years ago.

    Shaughnessy used to be insightful. Now he’s just inciteful.

    • bsmfan

      Great post.

      • bullock

        Thanks! I intended it to be one paragraph and 800 words later …

        • bsmfan

          In all seriousness, it’s the posts like this that make this site even better. It’s a great community.

          But, I think his article hits home at one of the large problems that “plagues” traditional papers/media outlets (KPD’s stuff comes to mind) and when they wonder, in-part, why their readership has declined, with people seeking information elsewhere, and not just for sports.

          Sidebar:

          KissingSuzyKolber has also weighted in:

          http://kissingsuzykolber.uproxx.com/2013/12/week-f-k-dan-shaughnessy.html

        • andy

          If he employed circumspection he never would have written this nonsense in the first place,

          Thanks for the KissingSuzyKolber take down. Now that is must read.

    • Kamandi

      Thoughtful and well-written. I still “wonder” about the effect of the many points where journalists in highly mainstream publications ignored or downplayed real issues in sports (PEDs, concussions, pretty much the entirety of the NCAA) yet feel they are bravely sailing against the wind when the crank out petty, pedestrian observations or use their positions to settle grudges. Shaughnessy asserts his obligation not to care, bur care about what?

    • Doug Masters

      Well done sir

  • latetodinner

    I think you have a reading comprehension problem because you clearly did not understand Bruce’s point or for that matter the reason why Bruce started and has for 10 years maintained a website called Boston Sports Media Watch.

    Specifically to the Patriots and how they are treated by the media. Bruce has for 10 years been pointing out the hypocrisy of the coverage the Patriots receive in the Globe and to a lesser extent the Herald as compared to the coverage the Sox receive. His observations are within the context of a meta agenda which seems to have started at the Globe when Bob Kraft had his falling out with Bill Parcells. At that time several Globe insiders (McDonough, Shaughnessy, Borges and Cafardo) all found themselves cut off and without access. There has been an agenda (with the exception of the work Mike Reiss did) at the Globe ever since. Bruce’s comments taken within that context make perfect sense. He frequently states one can be critical without being hateful. That does not appear to be something the Globe staff understands.

  • bsmfan

    24h later and I’ve not seen many in the media call out Shaughnessy. The reaction from fans (here, SoSH, twitter, etc)
    has been quite the opposite. Is this due to people fearing that the next time they hit up ‘the lodge’ that their membership is torn up? A lot of the defense of him is that everyone calling him out does so because they don’t like when he, or anyone else, doesn’t write positive things about the team. Do you all ignore what he and people articulating their points well have written? You’re making a strawman because you’re lazy or just ignorant of fans who took the time to articulate a respectable response.

    I saw this from Kirk Minihane with him doing an interview on ESPNNH: http://bit.ly/1gIdydH (mp3/18minutes). It seems like he has a bit more independence here than when on D+C and calls out Shaughnessy.

    UPDATE: DS joined D+C this morning. I don’t know if he did rounds elsewhere. I’ll update with a link when WEEI posts it.

    – He ‘claims’ that the Twitter response was 50/50. Try more like 90/10 against you, if not greater. Search his mentions.
    – “Everyone is a tough guy” – again, nice strawman. There were thoughtful responses out there that weren’t as vicious as, say, the KissingSuzyKolber site. I have to assume that he knows of this site and could have easily found it as many linked to Bruce’s post.
    – He blames Bill Simmons for this ‘cultural shift’ of people who ‘want to sit behind their keyboards, watch TV, and blog about what they write’. Miss the Internet and what happened elsewhere? Bullock put it best: “is a VHS cassette in an on-demand world.” Simmons was just smart enough to identify a change, run with it, parlay it into an ESPN tenure, and now is viewed as ‘the past’ by many (to his credit, he was one of the engines behind 30for30 and it deserves praise).
    – Since when is pointing out a team’s flaws, deficiencies, and picking against them contrarian? That person is doing their job by posting their opinion. I keep hearing his defense of Shaughnessy with this. Yet, many of these people are not fans of people like Bayless or Felger. Is this a personal relationship thing?

    Out of all of this, Dan won. He made himself the biggest story in Boston yesterday. That’s what trolls do. You won.

    Question for anyone: Would Shaughnessy still exist as a ‘columnist’ here if there was not the same level of success here? Out of the major 4, there was only one title between the teams or even less (Balitmore)? It’s not secret that success drives the press and I’d argue that the inordinate amount of success allows for people like him who troll often to escape (see Skip Bayless).

  • brian

    Like him or not, Joe Fitzgerald got to the point where he admitted he was tired of covering sports and made the switch to being a general columnist. Shaughnessy has obviously been at that point for a long time where he’s been mailing in half-assed columns with the same tired points for years and is just there for the paycheck. Can’t believe that Brian McGrory and Joe Sullivan felt that yesterday’s piece was worthy of the front page.

  • Pyper

    Great response Bruce. You nailed it. 100 % truth. How can we get you and others like you (i.e…..objective, reasonable-minded thinkers) a more prominent role. Your name should be more recognizable than the jerks that are forced upon us sports fans. I find the sports media unbearable which sucks because I would like to tune in but just can’t do it. Anyhow, keep up the good work.

  • http://bostonsportsmedia.com/ Bruce Allen

    Jake – I get it, and appreciate your thoughts. I understand what you’re saying about “trolling the trolls” and when I started the site 11 years ago, part of my though process was actually to treat the media in the same way that I saw it treating the teams and athletes they cover. Currently, trolling is a big thing, so I’m just keeping up with the times, I guess.

    I disagree with the statement that anything said that is not positive is labeled a #hotsportztake – I reserve that tag for statements that either seem to be made solely for reaction, or are regurgitated “conventional wisdom” statements that are made without any basis in fact.

    Thanks for your thoughts.