If you're really into sports blogs, than you know about the (also see generally here) Buzz Bissinger vs. Leitch battle royale on Bob Costas. The summary: Buzz Bissinger fucking hates blogs and thinks Will Leitch, who is awesome and runs Deadspin, is full of shit. Suffice to say I disagree with Bissinger, but I read his book, Friday Night Lights and really enjoyed it. I had no idea who he was until his rant the other night (even though I'd read his book). In general terms he said blogs are dumbing down America. I think he's absolutely right, that's one of the reasons I love blogs. As a stupid, I hate smart people; they terrify me.
I don't want to dwell on Bissinger v. Leitch because it necessarily will evolve into super important blog material that pretty typically bores readers who care about the Redskins more than about newspapers vs. blogs or new media or whatever. But he's not just talking about this dumpy website (and all his criticisms of blogs apply doubleplus to the rag we call Hogs Haven, I get insecure just watching him lambast blogs because he's absolutely right about at least one) he's also talking about one of my favorite Redskins, Chris Cooley.
Because Chris Cooley has a blog. He is a blogger. He exposes himself to fans personally. He is the story we follow and he is now also the reporter, and the results could not be better for fans. We can engage directly with the athletes we love so much to watch far more directly than we could years ago. There is no middle man, I can simply go to Cooley's website and submit questions for his next Q&A and, guess what, he'll fucking answer them! Seriously, he's answering reader questions right there on his website. You can discuss matters with Chris Cooley. And, as it turns out, he's not some stuffy elitist rich athlete, he's every bit the chill, normal, solid dude you (perhaps irrationally) imagined him to be just because he can catch footballs in the endzone well. Go read the whole Q&A but enjoy a small sample:
2. A new draftee just signed their first check. Where do they go?
I think the first thing most guys buy is a new car. It's amazing to me how much young players will spend on automobiles. Bling is another popular item. I bought a Volvo. I guess my check first wasn't that bad ass. Something no one understands about the NFL is that if a players signs a 10 million dollar deal the most he could hope to see is half of that. Teams pay out the money in portions. Say a player's signing bonus is 5 million. It will take at least three years for him to collect that money. It's guaranteed, but it's never all at once. Speaking for myself, taxes take close to 50 percent of my gross salary. Pretty shitty huh?
He's observant. He is honest. He buys a volvo. He uses naughty language, just like the rest of us. He hates paying his taxes, just like Wesley Snipes the rest of us.
This was an excuse to post a link to Cooley's Q&A, which is extremely entertaining, but also to respond to Bissinger with evidence that all is not wrong on the internet and there's an extremely bright future in re: blogs. The world may be better off without this site, but I'm comfortable claiming definitively that sports fans benefit from the kind of access Chris Cooley provides and are better off because of it.