Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hines Ward Is A Ref Now



This really happened.
On Saturday in a game between LSU and the Gamecocks.
This is surreal.

We would like your honest opinion on this blogger/journalism debate
in the comments below, if you have time.

Thanks.


Go Pens

78 comments:

dave said...

i think it was one of those hallway moments where people don't stay in their own lanes and then awkward confusion ensues. you could see the ref hesitating about which way to go.

who knew social etiquette could apply to football?

hossross8 said...

First from Australia.....go pens

Brandon said...

I'm pretty certain that this is an accident. It appears he was trying to get past the ball carrier, only to realize that he couldn't make it the way he was going and went into protect mode (shoulder down), albeit a little too late and in a weird way.

I can easily see how this could happen while on the field during a full speed game.

hossross8 said...

fuck, i missed it

brett said...

lol, Aussie fail

brett said...

Oh, this has probably been mentioned before, but Bing made it onto the Askmen.com's list of most influential men of 2008. He is number 45.

dave said...

Blogging and reporting both have their place, and I don't see why all of this has to be mutually exclusive. Journalists are there to objectively obtain and report facts, something that bloggers dont have the access to do as fans. Bloggers are here to represent the fans voice and give opinions with (relatively) little access, and journalists just aren't capable of connecting with the fans like that because they see the game differently than we do.

Newspapers might be dying, but the online versions aren't. Papers are the reason that pensblog can link to things daily and tell you that Therrien thinks the defense is playing soff or who tonight's scratches are. The truth is, blogs and papers both need each other to coexist in 21st century sports, especially in a post-lockout NHL world. There is no reason to feud when blogs are helping the papers and papers are helping the blogs.

The day blogs get too much access is the day they become unreadable. Remember what happen to Bill Simmons (not a blogger but has the same internet cult presence)? His columns were at his best in his early career because they were from a fan's point of view. Then he sold out as he spent more time at ESPN and the quality of work suffered. The same would happen to pensblog if Adam and Derek got to consistently hang out with players, talk with mario, etc. The whole blog would become out of touch.

PittHockey said...

hahha nice

BlacknGold66 said...

Commit to the Dave.

PittHockey said...

on the blogger wars,

basically right now, hockey needs all the publicity it can get.

regular newspapers devote very little coverage to it and have cut back on it in many areas (i.e. cali, the south, etc).

now, not every blog should get a press pass, obviously, but the more serious ones should be considered.

jc said...

Good tackle

debrisslide said...

I posted my ridiculously long post about sports journalism/sports blogging in the old post, because I'm a fuckhead. I don't know if it's even worth pasting, hahaha.

Nick said...

Great hit by the ref!
and unlike Ward he doesn't lead with his head and cheap shot by hitting with his helmet to the other guys head.

fleuryous said...

Ward gets some cheap shot hits on him too...he just brushes them off. haha. Like the guy who clotheslined him after he scored the TD on Sunday. He just smiled and walked away.

That hit was pretty solid, I'd have to say.

He must have been a Defensive Tackle

Adrienne said...

I don't get what happened in that video... ??

BlacknGold66 said...

Nick = guy who doesn't understand football.

Evan said...

adrienne

The ref threw a shoulder into the ball carrier thus knocking him over. It looks intentional to some people but others think it was an accident. Regardless, he was going to be tackled by the defender so it didnt really effect the game but its still a funny situation.

Kimberly. said...

He didn't look like he was trying to get out of the way... He put too much shoulder into it to be an "I was in the way and that was the only thing I could do at the time" sort of thing.

cheese said...

don't mean to veer off subject here, but does anyone know where to watch Pittsburgh South vs. Atlanta tonight?

doesn't appear to be on Center Ice or Versux.

KaylaJ said...

awesome block ref!

as for the blogger/newspaper people i think its interesting that that one guy doesn't like bloggers because anyone can be one, like journalists have their own secret skull and bones society.

and if he doesn't think you can get false info from a paper, he needs to open one up. or better yet check out espn whenever they bring a print journalist on and listen to them blabbering about various things that have nothing to do with the games, sometimes describing an athlete's skill almost the same way you'd read in an erotic novel about the way a guy can...well, you know.


gosh forbid anyone have some fun and seriously if "real journalists" only cared about the facts last nights pens game recap in papers would be nothing but a box score since satan's goal being pretty could be nothing but opinion and therefore too close to false information.

KaylaJ said...

cheese i just noticed that on yahoo sports that that game has no TV listings at all. seems a bit odd. but if i were you i'd check out justin tv and see if anyone is catching it there somehow and go atlanta in that game!

Dr. Turkleton said...

ref = will be picked up by Team Namechange tomorrow.

Dave = The All Knowing. +1000.

blogs/blogging, IMO...is a Gore OP/ED page with an infinite number of contributors on an infinite number of subjects.

cheese said...

@kaylaj-thanks for the info, my computer verSUX to watch games on, but i guess it'll have to do!

fleuryous said...

For anyone that cares,

Sabres v Bruins on Versus right now.


And I just got tickets to the 11/15 game against the Sabres for my birthdaaaaaaay. So excited. haha.

fleuryous said...

And every time they show Julien, I imagine him holding a chicken wing.


Laugh every time.

EatonFreeCandy4Life said...

I personally don't see blogs as a primary source for information. I read blogs for entertainment mostly. However, with the Pensblog, I find it completely awesome! I think it's cool that you have links to all of your info. People that rely solely on blogs or sports blogs for that matter for their primary source of information need to consult other means as well.
I don't know if I agree with bloggers getting press passes. Serious bloggers that have some air of professionalism maybe, but not all.
I do enjoy the tone of the Pensblog more so than an online news source. I find it more enjoyable to read and appreciate the honesty and sentiments regarding the opposition, the media, and pretty much everything.

The bottom line is: keep up the good work Pensblog staff! I love it!

fleuryous said...

You never realize how tall Zdeno Chara actually is, until you notice those things around him are people.

haha.

Colin said...

As far as the blogger press / relations go, I think any responsible individual knows the difference between a "blog" and a "newspaper". If not, you are probably complaining about blogs.

I think blogs serve an important place in the media. Most people go to a blog because they want something more than just the story. You find someone or a blog that you can relate to, makes you laugh, and gives you some facts all in one place. It's entertainment and information all in one, the best of both worlds.

Mainstream media should embrace the internet. Seth at EN and Dr. Mirtle are pefect examples.

With all that being said, I will read this blog every day over the AP recap because I know what I am getting here.

Dixie Normess said...

Imagine if Don Koharski layed-out one of the Pens like that as they started to cycle the puck into the neutral zone...it would be a shit-storm royale.



/i don't care what anyone says hines ward is the man

FalsettoDelirium said...

Has Jason Gregor ever heard of "yellow journalism?" And does he actually think the press has accountability? Give. Me. A. Break. Anyone who is in the press has absolutely NO RIGHT to diss another medium of communication. Every single one of them is biased, and honestly, this is starting to really look like what the music industry went through about a decade ago with downloading programs. The fact that things are accessible and free means that there can no longer be a technological monopoly. I agree with Dave when he says that the press and the blogs help one another out. They really do. They should continue to. To be honest, a journalist has no reason to be elitist and condescending. They're just upset that they are beginning to lose the upper hand on their control of telling the public what they should think.

And to the dudes at the Pensblog: keep it rolling. I know how to tell satire from true research, which, apparently, Jason Gregor doesn't.

Stilly said...

That was poor form by the ref. He didn't break down. He didn't wrap his arms... just a poor tackle. Though it looks pretty obviously intentional. Defense or not, he intentionally hit the running back.

kstewy16 said...

That video is hilarious, i almost died when i first saw it.

Anyway, tPB doesn't deserve a press box pass. You guys swear, you guys job, and you make funny photoshops of men in bed together, and I wouldn't want it any other way.
If you guys pussied this up just so you could get a press box pass, no one would read it.
But other blogs deserve one. Like Seth at Empty Netters, Alanah at Canucks and Beyond and others.

Its not that you guys aren't journalists, its just that you guys write bad things that can't be directly associated with the Penguins.

Matteo said...

re: blogging vs "journalism"

I think those that claim blogging isn't journalism are ridiculous. Press passes should be something that is up to the organization, and if they chose not to give it to a certain blog for whatever reasons, that's within their right and I have no problem with it. But if what Covered in Oil said is true, the oilers organization is ridiculous.

falsettodelirium said it best. i'm not as eloquent or well informed on the topic, but he brings up good points and comparisons.

Joose said...

"When we decide to spellcheck, the resulting grammar gives Charles Dickens an erection."

This is how I perceive my entire outlook on life.

Joose said...

And also......

Last Fall, I took a class called "Blogging: Journalism's Next Big Wave," which is how I heard about this site. It is also why I have a stupid/lame blog of my own. Blogging IS journalism. People just get pissy because it's harder to get paid for doing it.

Dan said...

to put it bluntly, most professional journalists suck. they make illogical arguments the majority of the time. They look down upon bloggers because they actually ahve the ability to articulate and express how they truly feel, something journalists can't do. Bloggers are usually in it because of how passionate they are about something.

Jonny Van Mundegaarde said...

Unemployedandbored has got to be Johnny Wrath. And if it's not, whoever u are u need to post here more often. Your comment was a good read.

We'd need a democratic president and majority Congress to have the fairness doctrine passed. Controlling media is what communists do. Jus sayin'

And then it's really got to hurt when fans get the hot story by turning to two virgins on the internet who compensate for their shortcomings by calling people homos.
Job thyself. I love u two. And Stephen too. Where the hell is Dicky at?

Whines Hard would have stood over the player, smiling that big smile...

DeathByEmu said...

Your buddy Kukla from Kukla's Kornhole was discussing this on XM radio today.

Before he was all finished, he managed to explain that he runs a professional blog (he gets paid I assume) and he likes to link other 'serious' bloggers from his blog.




He also mentioned that his 'type' of blogger should be allowed into the press box, as they are a viable, reliable, and instant source of news and information in the world of hockey.

Of course, then he had to add that he would not support any blog that uses foul language, photoshops or risque pictures. Nor would he promote such writings on his blog.

What a tool. How serious does he take himself?

He was basicly saying that pro bloggers are the only ones that matter, should get all the perks, and are the only ones worth a damn.

The only time he wasn't sounding like a pompous ass, he said the NHL teams need to lay down a set of rules for live press-box bloggers, so that both the blogger and the team are on the same page from day one. That I did agree with, it would keep blow-ups like the one in Edmonton from happening.

Anyway, I personally get all the dry news I need from the XM NHL Home Ice Channel all day driving. I go to blogs like this one for a laugh and some good old homerisms. Pensblog does an awesome job of mixing the laughs with solid information from all over.

enough ass kissing..keep up the good work.

Go Pens.

fleuryous said...

That was a GOOD save by Miller.


Whoow.

fraer40 said...

Stop the presses!

The pens are trading Malking straight up for Marian Gaborik! Thank god we have a new savior winger to go with sid....

I love yahoo rumors..

eileenover said...

People like Jason Gregor are really just jealous that blogs get more attention than he does. Had we ever heard of Gregor before now? No. A lot of journalists have this holier than thou attitude, and they can't stand it when someone steals their thunder. But whatev, I don't know much about journalism and I don't care to.




By the way, I think I found Brooksie's grandpa.

fleuryous said...

NHL=overtime city.


Jeez. haha.

akus said...

fleuryous,
i got the `Nucks/CBJ game ( on CI)
CBJ up 4-2...3rd period 7 mins to go.
NASH!!!


I wish i could see the Thrashers/TB game.

TB 2-0, end of the second, Recci and Prospal scored.
Would not surprise me that score changes, but then they are playing the Thrashers,`nuff said.


Going to watch Ovie vs Jarome.

J.S. said...

The Leaves just tied it up with less than 90 seconds left.

2-2, now heading to OT

akus said...

Check that,
CBJ won.

--

OT & SOCity

--

Kessel has scored in how many games in a row? I heard it today on NHLN but dont remember the # of games.

---

fleuryous said...

Yikes, another good save by Miller.


actually, fantastic.

J.S. said...

Four games on gamecenter right now, and only one game TOR/ANA has video.

Bang up job, NHL.

fleuryous said...

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Shootawt!

Jonny Van Mundegaarde said...

Mel Brooks love from Eileen

fleuryous said...

Miller's fairly a beast.

eileenover said...

I guess Miller won't be getting the razor out tonight.

I Have Kasparaitis said...

Blogs can't be controlled because of freedom of speech. Journalists are just bitching because they are losing their jobs and people are finding new sources for their information. As a lover of journalism, it is sad to see a profession I respect (print journalism) act childish because it is becoming more or less useless. With the production of technology, it's obviously going to bring about different ways of receiving the information other than in print. Obviously blogs don't always tell the truth and are not held accountible as much as newspaper columnists, but journalists often neglect the truth to help out their articles and are not always held accountable for the lies they tell or their means of getting the information. Honestly, there isn't anything the newspapers/print journalism can do about this change in times, even if they job bloggers.

Also, Recchi has scored a goal before Staal ... I think Shero might be trading Staal to get him *smirks*

Scotty G said...

On the EDM blogging thing:

It's an interesting and tenuous situation, to say the least.

Having not been a part of the event, it's really hard to ascertain the truth from a bunch of he-says, they-say back and forth articles.

I want to side with the blogger here, but I can't really bring myself to side with either. As a pens fan, when they cut student rush almost completely, while just barely a similar situation, I didn't feel that I didn't want to be a fan of the organization. It's a business, and allowing someone to purportedly use vulgar words while in a place provided by the team looks bad on the business. The Oilers could have handled this with much more finesse, and their actions really do suggest that they have little concern about their fans feelings.

The long and short: This whole situation really just confounds and frustrates me. Both are wrong and both are right.

Sorry for the cop-out answer, c-blog...

I Have Kasparaitis said...

*slams head against computer screen* TB, do you hate me? Just win one freaking game! No OT, you were winning 2-0 into the 3rd!!

J.S. said...

PensSouth win in OT, Tampa radio guy yells like a schoolgirl.

J.S. said...

"As a pens fan, when they cut student rush almost completely, while just barely a similar situation, I didn't feel that I didn't want to be a fan of the organization."

Hate to take a run at your post, but one really has nothing to do with the other, nor is the situation similar in any way. SR was reduced for revenue reasons. Why make $20 on a ticket when you are up against the cap and could make $50-120?

FalsettoDelirium said...

I'm a she, Matteo! But no big - you can't see me, lol. Honestly, I just know from experience. I'm a poet and musician (who digs hockey, mind you), and once you spend enough time immersed in that industry, you get a feel for how it all works and how screwed up it is. Gregor is just pissy because he's jealous that the limelight isn't focused explicitly on him, and his word is no longer law. Oh well. Times change. While I do respect journalists for their persistence and hard work (they do work, believe it or not), they have this bad tendency of having this "holier-than-thou" sense of authority over people who aren't in their little club. Besides...we poets sit around and make fun of them in our spare time, of which we have ample amounts of.

Nick Saia (usa) said...

Here's my whole take on the blogging controversy after NOT reading anyone else's comment.

-The thing is, in the NHL there is little buzz in the media. It is often hard for me to find the information I crave for the Pittsburgh Penguins. tPB is not my only source, but it is my main source.

-If I owned a hockey team, I would do all I could to accommodate ANY media in my arena. Yes, bloggers are not PC, but that is because people have their underwear so far up their asses in the media now, that sometimes I feel like I am reading an instruction manual.

-Another pro-blogger argument I have, is the fact that there are many Penguins themed blogs, but tPB is by far one of the most popular. If I were to give press passes to bloggers, it would be based on website hits. Not enough hits in a month? You are a failure, Let me have your press pass.

PensnCrows said...

Blogging comment... where do you go anymore for information. Most media outlets are sanitary and slanted to kneel before their sponsors. Bloggers are true fans. You know that going in. That is refreshingly honest.

Some bloggers are more twisted (see thepensblog) and some are more foul mouthed (see any new york blog) but a person can associate with whomever they chose. I chose twisted.

M. Vanderlasser said...

Yep, what Dave and Colin said.

Caps 1, Flames 0 on Comcast SportsNet nearing the end of P1.

loralei said...

Forgive me for being long winded but here it goes:

Honestly the primary problem with blogs vs. print media is that people are more entertained by blogs. People turn to blogs more because of their honesty and point of view. All it is, is a revolutionized form of gossip. People read newspapers for facts and information, but they turn to blogs for entertainment. Its not 1864. People do not read the news paper for entertainment (unless its the comics, etc) Telling bloggers that they have a responsibility to tell people the politically correct truth is like saying that Jon Stewart has to cover the presidential elections C-SPAN style. Bloggers have their place. Print media guys dont like it because it does take away from their readership in a sense. Who wants to read the bland truth when they can read an entertaining blog? I think if print media guys were honest with themselves they would find that they are just jealous that they do not have the kind of freedom and can not express a creativity that a blogger has in what he says. I'm not talking about the cursing etc., but the freedom to say what ever pops into their head. They do not have that kind of freedom however. With that press pass they are restricted in what they can say and how they can say it.

There is not supposed to be accountability on blogs. Its a forum of your own opinion, and while there are lines that can be crossed, at that point the reader has the choice of never reading that blog again. Nobody makes you read that blog everyday. And if you find that there is a fact that is wrong, most blogs have a comment section where you can share the truth with the masses. There is this little thing called the First Amendment that Mr. Jefferson was very adament get added to the Constitution. As long as a comment is liablous or slanderous its fair game.

As for the Pensblog, its entertainment. We all love the content of the blog or we wouldnt be visiting it everyday. Who cares if certain print media people think its low brow, politically incorrect or just plain vulgar. Thats why its fun. At this point, it seems that you guys have gotten the highest ringing endorsement of your work that you can possibly get in that the players themselves seem to be checking in on it and quoting it from time to time. I'm sure they wouldnt be doing that and Steigy wouldnt be mentioning it on air if they were offended in any way.

In all honesty the tone of the blog, or at least what I get from it, is sitting around bullshitting with your friends about observations about the game or local news or whatever. You are not NHL or Penguins employees and you are not employed by a news outlet. They are not accountable to you and you are not accountable to them. (Seth is in a completely different position because he works directly for a newspaper.) If people dont like the Pensblog or they feel offended by it, then they dont have to read it. Its your forum, you allowed to do and say and post guy on guy photoshops to your hearts content, and I really hope you keep doing it.

Lloyd said...

FYI... the ref was a linebacker

Former Kentucky linebacker Wilbur Hackett Jr.'s latest hit may be his most popular of all.

The former Wildcat standout and current Southeastern Conference official was the umpire in last Saturday night's LSU-South Carolina game and became an instant Internet sensation for his shoulder-first knock back of Gamecock quarterback Stephen Garcia.


http://www.cbs42.com/sports/32016384.html

Jonny Van Mundegaarde said...

lorelei, well said (and thanks for breaking it up into paragraphs haha)

Blogs won't go away. Biased journalists are dying a slow death. The staff posts what they want to (and I forgot about who said it, but I think it is huge of them that they link to articles and always give credit where it is due) and self-deprecation aside, I feel they do have standards and integrity (even though they'll never admit it--these guys regularly search google images for pics of dudes kissing). Since this place has been around, I have seen plenty of people come here and post regularly, and few have been lost to the wild untamed wilderness that is the Gore. I have a feeling this place will be around when Sid is getting his first touches of gray. Will newspapers?

fleuryous said...

Woah, that's weird...thinking of Sid being old.


...because that means I'll be older.


Bleh. haha

GwinTheEskimo said...

ref is a former linebacker, had a flashback

The Rube said...

Through all of the positive, negative, and obscene comments, you will never find a more committed group of fans than the ones in the blogosphere. If a team wants to get rid of bloggers they would lose their best fans. Take that to the bank.

GwinTheEskimo said...

As long as blogs are self aware I don't see a problem. There are blogs with journalistic integrity, but the fact that they aren't regulated leaves room for obvious problems, and benefits.

I blog but not anonymously; to keep myself honest, or at least accountable to the five people who read the trash I put on the internet.

this is basically a spinoff of the HBO Costas Deadspin debate put into context.

I go right to the pensblog in the am and click the links to the contrived, predictable, mainstream articles so I can get the box scores; and try to ignore the archaic, tow-the-company-line smizickness of the online versions of the paper.

the nick names, this site has had a bigger impact than anyone in the press box and you can tell gy the free candy banners, WWGRD wristbands etc...

go pens

fleuryous said...

To be honest, if this blog stopped its...uncoventional practices, I probably wouldn't read it as much. haha.


Sarcasm is a second language to me, and it's nice to read honest things, albeit funny. We're informed, but it's also humorous; therefore...DOUBLE THREAT.

So, don't change a thing...
except, add a shirt to the storeblog that reads
"B(r)ing it."
and perhaps one that says
"Do you Sabu?"

haha.

But other than that...I love you entirely. Thank you for all that you do.

HUGS AND KISSES.

Steve In Denver said...

The ref totally hit the Qb. He stalked him, his hips were square, he set his feet, and delivered a solid forearm. I bet he taunted him on the way down, too.

Re: blogging - If I owned a team, I would welcome bloggers to the press box. But I would also make damn sure I knew the writing style, the writer, and what I was getting into. I wouldn't let some 13 year old, pimply, cat loving, name calling dick in to the press box to sneak beer and write a shitty blog.

Blogs are relevant. Look at this blog for example - most player nicknames and fan frenzy originated by contributors here. You'll never get a cool nickname or media wave out of anything someone like Smizdick writes.

You have to market hockey to all demographics and you have to use all of the tools at your disposal. Youger fans are probably reading most if not all of their news online, no matter if it's a publication or a blog.

Last - I can't wait for the next Bruins Pens game so I too can cry laughing at the Julien/chicken photoshop.

Sorry for the rant.

Joose said...

This set of comments makes me realize that I either am impatient with a short attention span or a lot of people here are just boring.

It's probably the former.

Or both.

Definitely both.

Kraftster said...

@ Falsettodelirium

I really think that this is quite different from the whole music downloading issue. In that situation, the music industry had a legal footing for being pissed. Given the fact that illegalities on the part of downloading programs was involved, I think its a little bit unfair to the music industry to compare the two issues. Intellectual property laws allow the music industry to have what you referred to as a monopoly. The established media is just pissed because their share of the media audience pie is shrinking. Major difference.

__

Anyway, this issue isn't going away any time soon. Its not really that difficult to see why the established media is trying to disparage blogs. Most are probably bitter. They spent time and money on an education only to have little writing freedom. Now they are seeing untrained "journalists" rapidly gaining a large share of the reading audience. So, not hard to understand the impetus to this whole thing, but, that hardly makes it right.

Rather than rehashing some of the same opinions, just a small tidbit on another area that this whole debate may affect: the Fair Use Doctrine (under Copyright law).

Some prominent copyright guys have discussed the fact that, they think, the Fair Use doctrine was designed with a "professional publishing" world in mind. These guys think that the entire concept may need to be reevaluated with modern (internet) considerations in mind. Basically they suggest that these "amateur to amateur" internet communications don't fit with the world that the Fair Use doctrine envisioned.

To me, it seems tough to draw the line between professional media and blogs in many situations. Its also sort of unclear to me what assumptions were made when the Fair Use Doctrine was established that make the doctrine so unique to professional media. Perhaps the whole press pass/blogging issue could impact a well-established area of Copyright law as well.

Anyway, just another interesting branch to this whole issue.

Scotty G said...

@ j.s. really after the fact

yeah, I guess they aren't that similar. It sounded good in my head. I guess I was comparing the situation where bloggers = big fans, and most of the student rush tickets went to people who are willing to stand in line for hours which i thought equaled big fans as well.

Mike said...

really...Sid finished 1 behinf ryan seacrest?

Chase said...

As a sports journalism major, we're taught ethics. Apparently whereever that guy went to school did not force him to schedule an ethics class.

I don't know the whole story, but if that guy didn't have the permission of his employer to do the blog, then he shouldn't have done it.

fleuryous said...

Hey, Seacrest is a modern legend.

Cut him some slack.

....wait, what?

The Goon Blogger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa-Marie said...

I'm a little late on this here, but I'll comment anyway.

I've worked in media relations, specializing in hockey for 3 years--for the QMJHL and two teams in the NHL, currently the Montreal Canadiens.

The policy of the majority of clubs in the NHL (read: majority, not all) is to not grant media accreditation to "journalists" that use the internet as their main medium. There are a number of reasons for this--for one, every NHL club monitors all press that is written about them. By no means do we hold a dictatorship over the media, but we do monitor every written word that is published. It helps us enforce the rules of embargo, and also helps us prevent the rapid spreading of rumours that could be detrimental to the club or the players involved. Print sources are easy to monitor. Internet sources are near impossible to keep track of.

Another reason why most clubs do not grant "bloggers" media passes is because most print and radio journalists request to the team that primarily internet-based journalists be banned from the press gallery and the dressing room. This is not something I particularly agree with, but the view is that access should be limited to "professionals." Journalists are put through training on etiquette, interviewing styles, and the general rules of approaching anyone in the sports industry. We used to allow internet bloggers, but too many of them stormed the dressing room with idiotic questions, abrasive mannerisms and too many of them pissed the athletes off, so we had to ban them. You can annoy the staff all you want--it's what we're here for, really--but the minute you irritate a player, you're blacklisted. Again, I don't particularly support the point of view that print journalists are more "trained" in their craft--we get some idiotic print ones that we need to throw out too--but the fact is, with their name representing a huge organization, they are often times a lot more polished and professional. And if they're not, we have their superior's information and we can take actions to ensure that the situation doesn't happen again. We don't have that kind of power over online bloggers.

The most common reason--especially for cities like Montreal, Pittsburgh or Toronto--is that we simply don't have enough room to accomodate everyone. The Pittsburgh locker room is absolutely insane. We always have to prioritize our media--first, the big passes go out to our national networks--TSN, Sportsnet, RDS. Each station takes at least 3 passes. That's 9 people, right there. Next, the passes go out to the big guns for the visiting team--FSN, ESPN. They usually require about 5 each, since they bring a ton of cameramen.

Our priority after that is local radio networks, then local print media. After that, it's visiting team's radio networks, and visiting team's print media. To try and accomodate online bloggers above all of them would be almost impossible.

It comes down to a simple issue of control. We don't need to control the media as a whole, but we need to have some power to regulate what everyone is saying about our club. Rumours on injuries can be devastating to a player. Bloggers are not bound by the same code of ethics or the embargo system that print journalists are. In one scenario, a blogger overheard in the lockeroom that a well known player was suffering from a concussion, but would play the next game anyway. A print journalist is bound by law not to repeat that, unless it is explicitly stated as on the record. The blogger printed it anyway, the opposing team checks the news and gossips more than we do, and our player takes a dirty shot to the head that put him out for the season.

More and more clubs, however, are changing the rules regarding internet bloggers. If you do attain media accreditation, please specifically state to the media relations director that you are bringing electronic equipment that goes beyond a classic recorder. Most times, bloggers are not thrown out because they're blogging during the game--it's because they failed to let the media relations executive know they'd be doing it. It's technicalities and libel and pulling at strings, but you require another sort of press pass to bring a laptop or camera of any kind to the media gallery. That doesn't mean you won't GET the press pass--it just means that you'll get a green one instead of a blue. You'll get all the same access. It just helps us regulate who will be recording, filming, or typing what.

Also, inquire about the different sorts of press passes your professional sports team provides. Most have at least 4 different degrees. It's unlikely, as a blogger, you will get an all-access one--but you'll probably get one that allows you to attend the pre-game skates and access to the home locker room, but not the visiting one.

Another pass might get you game access in the press gallery, and access to the coach's press conference but not the locker room. Just ask. It's our job to answer everybody's questions.

Hope this helps clear things up a bit.

The Crusader said...

Boob Smizek, stick to baseball

Smizek is an idiot. Fighting in Hockey goes all the way back to the frozen ponds of Canada. Each team needed an enforcer and each enforcer was the first pick of a team. Then came the skill picks, then the rest. Goons were divided equally because if one team had them all, the games could have easily gotten out of hand. A balance of power , so to say, keeps both teems in check for fear of retaliation. Without the goons, there is no deterrent for the scrum of the league to take liberties with the opposing players talent.

Fighting will always need a place in hockey, as you will always have a few rotten apples in the bushell that will take runs at your players. Why is that so hard to understand?

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