Deadspin vs. ESPN and The Winner is Hov… | Robert Littal Presents BlackSportsOnline
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Deadspin vs. ESPN and The Winner is Hov…

by Robert Littal | Posted on Friday, October 23rd, 2009

When Deadspin decided to go all Jerry Springer on ESPN earlier this week opinions varied.

From people supporting Deadspin, people saying they crossed the line and to the legal repercussions of basically bringing personal info to the mainstream.

Jerod Morris of Midwestsportsfans.com has an excellent podcast with Deadspin editor AJ Daulerio. Where AJ explains his actions (not surprisingly he isn’t apologetic).

It should be stated that AJ and Deadspin as a whole have always been supporters of BSO even from our early days and definitely has to be given some credit for BSO mainstream status in the sports media.

Most independent sports sites owners will tell you that Deadspin is our Jay Z. The model that will all have worked off of.

The first sports blog to cited and sourced in mainstream media. That is something as an independent site that we all strive for.

They have always pushed the envelope and for someone like myself who has had success by playing by his own rules for many years, you had to respect what they are doing.

When this hit earlier in the week it was reported as:

“Little Blog vs. Corporate Conglomerate”

Which is why most people found the story interesting, but I think there are some facts that people are overlooking.

Deadspin.com is not a “niche” site. It isn’t even an independent site. It is a funded by a big corporation Gawker Media.

The day the ESPN scandal hit, the site had over 1 million page views just for that day. Ask any blogger sports or otherwise what they would do for one million page views for a month? You will hear answers like “rob my mother” and “sleep with Sam Cassell”.

Originally I thought Deadspin crossed a line because the one thing that independent sites have over mainstream media is the creative control to do whatever the hell we want, but if we abuse that power that makes us no different than the mainstream.

But then I thought about it and realized this isn’t like me exposing ESPN when the only person who can get hurt by it is me.

Deadspin is a part of a media conglomerate. The have lawyers, they have corporate backing. In essence they have people in place to be able to help fight the battle. Most bloggers have only one person to fight their battles, themselves.

This is no different the SI.com vs. ESPN.com. It is just the public perception is that Deadspin is just a “blog”, but the reality more people go to Deadspin for their information that 95% of the sports sites out there. They aren’t just a blog.

So this isn’t Jay Z vs. Jim Jones. This is Jay Z vs. Nas. In my opinion Jay Z may lose the battle, but will win the war and in the end it is not going to be Nas that suffers (unless Deadspin has a kid with Kelis that I don’t know about). It is all the up and coming rappers who know Jay Z will never trust because of what happened with Nas.

Think about what I am saying. If you are ESPN and you open your door just a crack to independent sites but then you get burned what would you do? They had opened that door to Deadspin and they burned them as bad as Ron Mexico. How does that effect their treatment of other blogs?

I have long been a critic of a lot of ESPN’s on air talent and practices. What happens the next time I ask them for something? Are they going to be thinking?

“How do we know this guy who is known to speak his mind won’t turn on us?”

So while Deadspin didn’t care how they looked in this situation I wish they would have taken the time to see how their actions will have a trickle down effect on how we all look in regards to mainstream media now.

All the goodwill we have built up over the years may have been broken just because Steve Phillips decided to sleep with a woman who looks like Kevin McHale.

That is a damn shame.

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