The effects of sports blogs

Humor is a necessity in life. People are always going to want to laugh, and sports, a cultural phenomenon that transcends boundaries, should be no different. Now, when that simple humor crosses a proverbial line and has the power to taint an athlete’s career, that’s when ethics should be called into question.

I liken many sports blogs to late night television shows such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report. They’re incredibly funny and offer a twisted look at the world’s current events, but they are in no way hard news, and should not be considered as such. Yet their differences lie in the fact that these shows aren’t an all-access, TMZ-like pass into the private lives of celebrities and political figures, but rather a humorous take on aspects of their lives that are already covered in the news. Blogs such as Deadspin seem to adhere to that standard with the ability to go even further, like posting pictures of Matt Leinhart with a beer bong and other incriminating evidence. While I’m sure he wouldn’t mind a blog poking a bit of fun at something he does on the field or says in an interview, seeing a picture of himself at a party probably isn’t the image he wants his fans or the Cardinals front office to know him by.

There are ways to laugh without ruining the careers of those who make sports what they are – the athletes. Blogs like Deadspin do have harmless material that everyone can find humorous. But when their writers turn vulgar and use expletive after expletive to describe a pitcher’s performance, or unveil photos that can harm the career of a promising player, that’s when I yearn for a resurrection of the newspaper. I do believe hard news and blogs can coexist, though, and like Braylon Edwards said, people will always want to know the facts and the truth of what happened in a game, and that’s where true reporters will never disappear. And blogs can provide that humorous side of it all, portraying the light and fluffy side of sports. But, in a society where reality TV has already seemingly taken over the airwaves, the last thing we need is another gossip-fueled complete-access look into an unsuspecting athlete’s life.

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