Category Archives: Blog Stuffs

Ted Leonsis Is Very Concerned About ‘The Bloggers’

Ted Leonsis, who probably didn’t read our “Eight Reasons This Year’s Wizards Are Already So Depressing” blog post, had this to blog about his 0-3 team:

It is all within. It all depends on the point of view of the writer. It is all fair game. We must be accountable and we must win some games to calm down the bloggers – tonight would be a good time to start.

The Wizards host the Bucks tonight, you see, and Mr. Leonsis is concerned about the bloggers, it seems. I’d suggest he also be concerned about the fans, and the rest of the media, and his own organization, as well as the players, oh yeah and the NHL lockout, but whatever. I’m hoping for a win too.

Related: Mr. Irrelevant Tickets partner TiqIQ has teamed up with the Wiz, and “All You Can Eat Seats” are available starting at just $30. Tickets include access to unlimited hot dogs, popcorn, soft pretzels, ice cream and sodas at a designated concession stand. Check out the promo here or go straight to Washington Wizards ticket listings here, and enjoy.

In Typically Brilliant PR Move, Redskins Sack Official Team Blogger Matt Terl

Matt Terl and I have been Internet friendly for the few years since he was hired by the Redskins to be the first full-time official team blogger in major pro sports history (that I know of), so I’ll let others respond to his dismissal from the job. First, the facts.

This morning Terl took to the Extreme Skins message board to share the news and thank everyone for reading. A few hours later Redskins PR guy Tony Wyllie said Terl’s departure was due to a “restructuring” of their broadcasting and Internet division. Terl’s version: “[I'm] guessing I’m laid off. It’s not for performance or anything of that nature.”

After the jump, an extensive sampling of tweets from media members on the situation:

(Images taken with love from Hog Blogs and goskins.org, respectively.)

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Sports Blogging 101 With Ted Leonsis

In our second installment of Tweak the Ted we take a look at Leonsis’ blog post chiding Puck Daddy and Capitals Insider for reporting that Semyon Varlamov was going to the KHL and that Leonsis had deleted a blog post, respectively. Note that the source for the former was Varly’s agent and the latter is a thing that actually happened.

134,000 results in 0.13 seconds. Type in “Varlamov signs with KHL”.

Type in “Ted Leonsis buys Facebook,” and you’ll get 166,000 results.

This is how media works today. Instant- fast – unaccountable.

A Tweet is generated and recycled.

It leaps to become a story. The story is then recirculated.

It goes from online sources to great and established media entities; to newspapers, to cable to local television newscasts. The headlines morph from rumor to fact.

It thus must be true. Just look at the headlines and see how rumor morphs to facts.

Let me follow this logic: Online media outlets are “instant” and “fast,” and the information they provide then spreads to “great and established media properties” that then morph “rumor to fact.” Got it.

The media gets manipulated by an overseas agent; and a freelance media rep. That was too easy wasn’t it?

“An overseas agent,” or the player in question’s agent. “A freelance media rep,” or a reporter for the No. 1 NHL blog. Potato, potahto.

Isn’t the player’s agent a primary source for such a story? And, since that was clearly stated on Puck Daddy, doesn’t that mean the misdirection wasn’t so much the media’s fault as it was the agent’s fault, or maybe the player’s for choosing said agent?

But news moves so quickly. The media is off to the next story and rumor. So who cares?

You know what really grinds my gears? THE SPEED OF NEWS. Slow down, you guys.

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Mr. Irrelevant’s Obligatory Mr. Irrelevant Post (2011 Edition)

For the record, we don’t care about the NFL’s Mr. Irrelevant, not really. I just named the site Mr. Irrelevant seven years ago because it had a nice ring to it and the sports connotation was strong. That’s all.

Be that as it may, a number of people mentioned us today, including Chris Cooley and Mike Wise. To appease those who were kind enough to think of us upon the coronation of Mr. Irrelevant 2011, Cheta Ozougwu, let us congratulate that fortunate soul and also look back upon the greatest Mr. Irrelevant of them all, Mr. Irrelevant 2010:

Ras Trent Tim Toone is still trying to make it with Detroit. We hope he does.

Bonus: Will Brinson spotted a Mr. Irrelevant jersey at Radio City Music Hall:

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Help Wanted: Yahoo! Sports NBA Blogger

Amazing job opportunity here, from my friend/colleague Mark Pesavento.

Yahoo! Sports is looking for a lead writer for its NBA blog, Ball Don’t Lie. This person would write about any pro basketball news the casual fan or even non-fan would find interesting.

The winning candidate will be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • react to news quickly with a strong voice.
  • identify interesting angles for a mass audience in a sea of possibilities.
  • produce dozens of excellent posts/week (see the Yahoo! Sports Blogs for examples).
  • analyze significant developments in the NBA and make them relevant to a large, generalized audience.
  • flat-out write about both serious and frivolous topics.

Additionally, the winning candidate will have a passion for online journalism and social media. He/she will work to extend the BDL brand off-network by promoting the site’s content on Twitter and Facebook.

NBA experience is preferred but not necessary.

This is a freelance position with a competitive salary but no benefits. Pay level will depend on experience. If you fit the bill and are up for the challenge, or know someone who is, drop a note to YSB managing editor Mark Pesavento with subject “Ball Don’t Lie opening” detailing your qualifications, your vision for the site and samples of your work.

Mr. Irrelevant Milestones: 2,000 Posts, Etc.

Chris and I joined forces and moved Mr. I to WordPress almost three years ago, all the way back when Flight of the Conchords was topical.

Since then he was hired by Sporting News, and then SB Nation. I left AOL for Yahoo!. He relocated to Charlotte, and I to Wilmington. He bought a house. I became a dad. And between then and now we’ve made 2,000 posts on this blog.

The milestone post happened last Monday I think, probably with that day’s DMV. It was like all the rest, except it marked the passage of time, specifically all of our time wasted spent blogging since July 2007.

Coincidentally, Mr. Irrelevant has reached a few other milestones lately:

1,000 followers – Maybe more, actually, but there’s at least 1,000 via Google Reader, Twitter and Facebook. Followers are the best.

10,000 comments – My favorite emails are the ones alerting me to a new comment, usually telling me to stop picking on Rob Dibble or something. We don’t get that many though, about five/post over time.

4 million page views – That’s 2,000/post, which sounds a little better.

But those are just numbers. What matters is that we enjoy doing this, and that you enjoy reading it. Nobody pays us for it, you know, and the prospect of some sort of jackpot is pretty far-fetched. It’s worth doing still.

Do me a favor though: Let us know what you like about the site and what you don’t. Fresh ideas are welcome too. Oh, and if you could find our gray sweatpants that would be great.

Help Wanted: High School Sports Blogger For Rivals.com/Yahoo! Sports

You may have seen this listing on Journalism Jobs, but, as I like to do, I’m posting it here as well. Also, this is my high school baseball team.

Rivals.com/Yahoo! Sports is looking for a talented, enthusiastic and versatile journalist who can combine a passion for high school sports and knowledge of the Internet for a new blog on RivalsHigh, our national high school web network. RivalsHigh taps into the massive appetite for high school sports, using written and video content to provide the best news, features, results and discussion of high school sports on regional and national sites.

The job is divided into three parts:

• Producer of blog posts: This new venture will be part of the Yahoo! Sports blog network, which receives about 150 million page views per month. Candidate will be responsible for surfing the web to find the most interesting/relevant high school sports-related stories. Could be about the school that is staging a 24-hour run-a-thon to raise money, the school that lost 45-0 in a baseball game, the game that was delayed when a 20-foot scoreboard came crashing to the ground, the son who broke his father’s 40-year-old record, the school that has its football team do Yoga, a legendary college coach’s advice to HS players, etc. Once found, candidate will verify information and self-publish to blog. Likely output of 20-30 posts per week.

• Creator of original content: Candidate will still have a chance to do their own full-length stories, either by further developing stories found on the web or by pitching an original idea, such as: Do off-the-rack mouthpieces really provide protection, is lacrosse taking over baseball as the leading youth spring sport, what happens when rival high schools merge, should aluminum bats be banned, how are states dealing with issue of public vs. private schools

• On-site reporter: This is not a daily or even weekly occurrence, but if there’s something big happening in your area, we want you to be there.

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Site Worth Following: Billy Ripken Bombs

The entirety of this new blog’s purpose is to drop the infamous message scrawled onto the knob of Billy Ripken’s bat — “fuck face” — into images spanning space and time, reality and fiction. It’s called Billy Ripken Bombs, and it’s a great excuse for a website.

Please do click through for more. Times Square sailor may be my favorite, but they’re all worthy and further proof that the Internet is awesome.

Update: Ripken Bombs Art Monk!

Are You There, Jah? It’s Me, Mr. Irrelevant

I was just saying on Twitter how, despite the name of this blog, I don’t really care about the NFL’s Mr. Irrelevant (AKA the last player picked in the draft). That is, until seeing this year’s edition, Weber State WR Tim Toone:

FanHouse has 10 facts about Toone, but I really only care that he looks like Andy Samberg’s Ras Trent, the titular character of perhaps my favorite SNL sketch/short of recent vintage:

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Ten Questions With Mark Zuckerman, The Nats Blogger Who Raised $5,000 in a Day

Mark Zuckerman, who has made a total of 17 posts on his nascent blog, has raised $10,000 (and counting) with said blog, and it’s only taken him four days to do it.

Zuckerman, you see, was one of many who lost his job when The Washington Times axed its sports department. He’d been with the Times since 2001, covering the Nationals since baseball returned to D.C. in 2005.

Frustrated by the job market and seeing a gap in coverage, he created a new Nats blog, Nats Insider, on February 1. On February 8, Monday, he asked his readers and anyone else to give him $5,000, enough money to cover the expense of going to Florida to cover Nats Spring Training. He reached his goal in a day.

Here to explain how that happened, what it means and what lies ahead is Zuckerman himself …

1. You’ve raised almost $10,000. About what you expected?

Not at all. I never expected anything close to this kind of support, especially so fast. Truthfully, I was worried there wouldn’t be enough time to get to $5,000, with pitchers and catchers reporting only 11 days after I began the campaign. The response I’ve gotten, with so many people contributing who’ve never even met me … well, it’s been overwhelming and very humbling. I can’t say thank you enough to everyone.

2. Where have the donations come from?

From all over the place, in all kinds of amounts. Some have come from loyal readers who I’ve gotten to know over the last five years. Some have come from people who have no affiliation to Washington and had never heard of me before this. And some have come from family members and friends. I’ve also heard from many people who weren’t able to contribute money but wanted to express their support. So, really a cross-section of all kinds of people.

3. With more money coming in than expected, do you plan on carrying this over into the season?

I wish I had an answer for this now, but to be honest, I just don’t know yet. I never expected to surpass my goal by such a substantial amount. I’ve been trying over the last few days to come up with some ideas how best to proceed once the regular season begins, but it’s just too early to really come up with a firm plan. As incredibly generous as everyone has been, the money I’ve raised so far is only a fraction of what it would cost to cover an entire 162-game season, home and away. And this doesn’t even take into account the fact I’m not receiving a salary. Between my severance money from the Times and some freelance work I’ve lined up, I can make it through March. But once April comes, I’m going to need actual income of some type.

4. Salary aside, how much would it take to cover season-long expenses?

Probably around $30,000.

5. Do you think this may be a sustainable career model?

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