Friday, July 20, 2007

TWFE on the good, the bad, and the ugly, in sports media

Why in Bernie Smilovitz gainfully employed in the Detroit? It's unfathomable to think that he's actuallymaking well over 6 figures for the lamest TV sportscast (Term used very loosely) you'll ever see in a major market. He's on WDIV's airwaves for 3 minutes a newscast, yet half of that is spent running some unfunny blooper clip that's a decade or 3 old (Such as Brett Butler getting hit in the nuts by his kid, a kid who's probably in college now), while the other half is spent mugging for the camera or flirting with the anchor chicks.

Smilovitz's painfully uncomfortable to watch "Weekend at Bernies" bit can kiss my blogger ass. Bernie's been coasting for years, while being paid handsomely. At least the "Boom goes the dynamite" kid was making an effort, sad as it may have been. Bernie isn't even trying anymore, and is mailing it in at this point.

Truthfully, Don Shane at WXYZ is loafing along so as well. When you've been on the air as long as those 2, the boredom they have with their bottom rung status on their newscasts can't be hidden. But they continue to cash big paychecks.

The only Detroit station that gives a damn about sports is WJBK, FOX 2. They are the 1 station that actually tries to have a legitimate sports department, Woody Woodruff be damned.

I was speaking with Ian, of "Bless you Boys," another blog that has the slightly gay name, and what seems like 5 others, after recording our guest appearance on "The Detroit Tigers Posdcast" last night. We both agreed on a couple of things in regard to Detroit's big dog in sports talk, the Stoney and Wojo Show...

It was shocking to hear WDFN's Stoney and Wojo over the national airwaves, when they sat in for Jim Rome last Friday. I never really thought that their show would fly outside of the D. To be honest, I was wrong. They were quite good, and defended Detroit against Rome's sheep-like listeners, "The Clones." They were vastly better while covering for Rome than they ever are during their local broadcast.

Why? Because Mike Stone actually had opinions, and Bob Wojnowski scaled back from 11 on the "Dumb ass fat guy shtick" dial, to about a 2. Wojo was much closer to the funny and literate columnist we read in the Detroit News. The "Dumb Wojo" has become a rote, paint-by-the-numbers, radio caricature, and is, in S & W parlance, an old bit. When Stoney shows a little more emotion, and makes a few waves, it's equally as refreshing to hear. I hope S & W learned that they didn't need to be "Fence sitter and Dumb ass" to do entertaining radio.

I have trouble waking up in the mornings, but I think I finally know why. You try and stay awake during WDFN's snoozefest morning show. I turn over, flip on the radio, hear Jamie and Brady babbling on about...Well, I can't say, as they put me right back to sleep. It's as if the Sandman clubbed me over the head with his boring stick. ZZZZZ.

Not that WXYT is much better in the AM. Who told Scott Anderson that his impersonations are any good? Please don't encourage him to do his Jim Leyland. It's lousy. OK, he does do a pretty good Johm Keating, I'll give him that. There's a problem, unfortunately. How many people actually know who John Keating is?

There's 1 thing that frustrates me more than anything as an avid blog reader. That being sites that require me to jump through hoops, in a blatantly obvious attempt to increase their click-thru rate. Deadspin, I'm looking at you. I read their RSS feed, but I never physically visit the site anymore, as it's become a pain in the ass to navigate.

By the way, if you do happen to surf over, stay out of the comments. Deadspin's commenting, once original and funny, has turned into a a Fark-like pissing contest, seeing who can out pop culture reference the other. The signal-to-noise ratio is higher than I was in in the 70's.

This week, a new entry in the sports blog arena hit the web, Epic Carnival. I'll admit that I'm a tad biased, as some of the bloggers involved are friends of TWFE, and have linked to me. But you can't deny that they are off to a good start. They are putting up a ton of daily content, so if you don't care for 1 post, don't worry, another will be up soon.

What I like about EC is that they are posting, for the most part, long-form opinion and humor. There's very little in the way of a Deadspin-like 1 snarky paragraph, and a link. EC bloggers are writing much in the same tone as they would on their own sites, and posting it on the collaborative blog. In other words, they aren't dumbing down their writing, or toning down their irreverence, unlike some the great bloggers that write for the mainstream AOL Fanhouse.

I have nothing against the AOL bloggers at all, as I read the Fanhouse daily. I'd also love to get paid to write. But I do know that I couldn't write with the same attitude at a site like the Fanhouse, unlike what I can get away with at TWFE.

For example, I doubt I'd be allowed to write my "Inside Millen's Brain" posts, portraying Matt Millen to have the mental capacity of a retarded 3 year old on 'ludes. Or call out Bernie Smilovitz, whose TV hackery is a pox that lowers the IQ of the entire Detroit area. New York City ran his hack ass out of town, why in the Hell did they allow him back in Detroit? And who on earth watches, let alone enjoys, Bernie, and his vaudeville level of lowest common denominator humor? But I digress...

They have the same sort of "Write what you really think, good taste be damned" attitude at Epic Carnival. I hope they will able to keep it that way as they get more notice, and traffic.

To close, let me do one shout out...

If you read TWFE, and/or are a Detroit sports fan in general, I'm guessing that you are already listening to the weekly "The Detroit Tigers Podcast." So I seriously doubt my appearance on the show will increase downloads, or iTunes subscriptions. But I had a great deal of fun sitting in with "The Daily Fungo" guys, and I hope I added a little something to what was an already entertaining podcast.

1 comment:

  1. First of all, Big Al, it was great to chat with you and the Daily Fungo trio last night. I hope we can do it again soon.

    Speaking of Smilovitz, check out who's moderating this roundtable with Larry King and Tony Kornheiser.

    I had a conversation with Brian a while back about local TV sports guys, and I think we both concluded that the days where they even pretend to be journalists are long gone. These guys are personalities meant to give a little sports update those who watch the local news - not the hardcore sports fan. But I agree with you that Dan Miller at least tries (Lions slappiness unfortunately excepted).

    And local sports talk radio has me embracing podcasts more than ever.