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Archive for July 8th, 2008

Write On

It’s been a busy Monday coming off the long 4th of July weekend and needless to say there are plenty of fireworks still left over.

Roman candle-like email responses have flooded my in-box about my recent interview with the Portland Tribune’s Kerry Eggers over at Associate Content.com, which doesn’t come as a shocker.

First, Blazer’s Edge passionately weighed-in and soon after the links only multiplied from there. Both the Portland Mercury and the Oregonian provided the local voice, while ESPN’s Henry Abbott at TrueHoop and the fellas over at The Big Lead gave the piece some national exposure.

Bloggers of the world unite.

But that’s the thing though. I don’t really consider myself a “blogger”. Never have.  And it wasn’t until recently that I decided to build a one-stop-blog-shop where I can feature my various writing works on the regular (note the shameless plug for today’s post over at HOOPSWORLD on the upcoming summer league).

I do however consider myself a journalist (if I may say so), and hold true to the pillars of reporting and storytelling. Maybe that’s why Eggers’ “I don’t like blogs at all” comment didn’t derail me. I also believe those who know my work know what I am about. Maybe that’s why I didn’t personalize Eggers’ takes, although I dig listening to him talk about covering the Blazers from back in the day and the writing biz. That’s one side of the story though. Truth is, I tend to enjoy the improvisation that “blogging” allows. But for me, writing is writing, regardless of the format as I’ve already detailed my respect for both forms – “old” and “new” (from here out known as “Kerry Eggers” and “Ben Golliver”) – of media in an earlier post.

Difference rests in quality, not a label.

You can’t put a label on five-years covering the NBA at HOOPSWORLD. You can’t put a label on working a regular 7-5 job only to turn around and work 6-12 at Madison Square Garden with pen and voice recorder in hand and a deadline to hit. Labels don’t cover having to a make half-hour bus rides…standing-up…from Port Authority in mid-town Manhattan over to New Jersey to chat pre-game with Lawrence Frank, only to make the return trip and file a story at 1am for five hours worth of sleep.

There is no label in waking-up and doing it all over time and again.

Same goes now that I am back in Portland.

That’s just me though. I guess when my dad was working countless graveyard shifts to support a family of 11 kids, the only label he knew was “hard work” and “respect”. So minus my Journalism/English degree and the backing of a newspaper, I simply keep punching my own clock for the love of writing and sport and friendships along the way.

In this business, what else is there (besides credible sources)?  

Honestly though, I expected the feedback from my interview with Kerry – who shouldn’t be crucified for having an opinion, by the way. Where would any of us be without that? Even still, I can’t help but picture the Los Angeles Dodgers Kirk Gibson hitting his famed homerun off Oakland A’s future Hall-of-Famer closer Dennis Eckersley circa the 1988 World Series. The Dodgers trailed 4-3. Gibson could barely walk from chroming knee pain.

Three balls, two strikes, one man on.

Gone.

Game over.

So while I scanned the blogs and websites today for the reaction on the recent “Blog Gate” comments, the late Jack Buck call on Gibson’s homer rang true.

“I don’t believe what I just saw!”

Then again, I could believe my eyes. Eggers’ reply to my question didn’t surprise me nor do the remarks I read from those who scream foul. Here’s the skinny: it’s a normal response, one that could have gone either way. I tend to ask the “what do you think of blogs and/or blogger” question when I interview veteran and novice sportswriters alike, simply because it’s an interesting topic to volley, one I’m sure many now agree lights a serious debating flame.

No “liberty cracker snaps” here.

 

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