Dave over at Maize n Brew has put together an excellent article on the death of the printed news. He begins by pointing out just how bad some of the columnists over the past decade have been, calling out guys like Skip Bayless and Jay Moriortis and prime culprits (if he knew, he's surely add Ruesse to this list).
Giving commentary instead of the news is what has driven the print media, at least the sports aspect of it, over the cliff. They forgot or chose to ignore the cardinal rule: the story is the story. But crap like this landed Marioti and Bayless on ESPN. And isn't gaining exposure for yourself more important than writing something relevant? It shouldn't be; but it has become so. It seems columnists are going to greater and greater lengths to draw attention to themselves and to a lesser extent their papers. Creating controversies where none existed. Picking fights with the teams and people they were assigned to cover. And generally annoying or boring the shit out of anyone foolish enough to pick up a paper.
But he eventually gets to a great point. As much as we dislike guys like Ruesse and cringe at the lack of effort put into some of the columns we read, the death of the sports page will be sorely missed. We here at TDG do our best to cover all things Gophers but we have day jobs, we cannot spend afternoons at the Bierman buliding talking to coaches, players and then hunting down stories. We are unable to attend all games home and away and most importantly we don't have the time to build relationships in and around the programs we love to put ourselves in a position to get unique information when it becomes available.
Certainly the internet has made it possible for the University to disseminate information without the need for the papers but what the papers provide us cannot be replaced.
I was fortunate enough to work as credentialed media at Timberwolves this season and it struck me that almost every single game I attended this was a major topic of discussion. What papers in and around the visiting team or the Twin Cities were closing, laying off or just plain struggling. But what these beat writers never talked about was how valuable they are to getting information out about the teams they cover. Being on the road like that must be grueling and they tend to do a very good job, when that is cut from the local papers it will be sorely missed.
Anybody need something to do this weekend? Have a wife/girlfriend/significant other/imaginary friend who puts up with you watching Gopher football/basketball/hockey all year? This weekend might be your chance to do something out of the ordinary and repay them for their patience with you all fall and winter.
The University of Minnesota is hosting the Mens NCAA Gymnastics Championships this weekend. Info can be found here but the gist of it is Thursday is the qualiying rounds, Friday is the team and all-around finals and Saturday is the individual event finals
Take your friday night, support the U of Minn and build up some brownie points with your significant other.
- Congratulations to the Gopher baseball team. Last weekend they took two of three from #18 Ohio State, picked up a win at #30 Missouri then followed that up with a sweep over Northwestern at home. Most accounts have the Gophers currently "in" the NCAA Tournament as an at-large team. That is no small feat as the Big Ten is essentially a mid-major when it comes to baseball. There are just two home weekend series remaining with a few mid-week games against regional teams, so if you want to get out and see the Gopher baseball team your time is coming to a close.
- How about an early look at next year's possible top 25 for college basketball. This ranking has the Gophers 19th and behind three Big Ten teams (Ohio State, Purdue and Michigan State).