Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Microphone-Stained Wretches

Stephen Rodrick at Slate has an indespensible column about how the lure of stardom is destroying America's sports columnists.

Most sports columns in America are now unreadable because they sound like those silly shout-shows on ESPN and Fox Sports. And the reason for that is fairly obvious: the columnists are the guys shouting on those stupid shows. Where we once had the Jim Murrays and the Red Smiths, we now have the ubiquitous and odious Stephen A. Smiths and Mitch Alboms.

When I was in sports radio, it was common for newpaper guys in the pressbox to smirk at the "broadcast media," at whom these keyboard wizards looked down their noses. Ironically, however, several of them had their own radio shows, either at my station or at one of the others.

I once asked one of them, who was a friend of mine, "You writers all act like you disdain the broadcast media. But why is it that you guys are lining up at my radio station vying for shows, while not one of us at the station has ever tried to snag a job down at the Post-Dispatch?" I'm still waiting for an answer, but Rodrick seems to be onto it.

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