*SPOILER; wasn't really going for humor here, more just an off-the-cuff sort of deal.
"Go root for our boys" has become "Get off my lawn."
Wandering, as the mind often does when sitting in truly disgusting amounts of traffic, I found myself thinking about the state of sports media, especially the bleak nature that has befallen some of the regions of the industry.
Stemming from a ridiculous Twitter feud between a certain well known, retired Bay Area sports writer (and, hilariously, his son), and a former major-leaguer over what truly goes on in the mind of an athlete when they get hurt (KD achilles fallout), I couldn't help but feel perplexed by how far the industry of sports writing, especially beat-writing, has fallen.
With the rise of social media and the pure volume of information that the average sports fan can receive in a day just by simply pulling their phone out of their pocket, a new wave of insecurity that has washed over the older generation of established sports writers. There is a realization that the game that they have been taught in media is changing right before their eyes, and there's nothing they can do about it. So, in an effort to stay relevant, writers who sought to find the truth in sports and bring words on a page to life have resorted to online bickering and playground insults.
There will always be a home for quality sportswriting. Professional athletes live some of the most interesting lives of anyone on the planet, and many of their stories and the stories of the teams they play for truly can be truly compelling. Quality writers will always have a place to share these stories and bring light to the lives of athletes that many fans only value selfishly for their own tribalist fan pride. Names like Seth Wickersham, Rick Reilly, Jake Montero, and Dan Le Batard come to mind.
Those writers, however, are unfortunately in the minority.
The beat writer runs on energy, and that energy comes from youth. The drive to find the truth of a story or the facts to in a report leaves no room for complacency. Getting accurate, quality stories out is a young man's game, and when the game is passing the older generation by, a cancerous insecurity rears it's bitter head out.
Instead of forming intelligent remarks and having a dialogue with those who disagree, many of these gasbags use the journalism degree they received 40 years ago as a meat-shield, guarding them from the responsibility to adapt and consider alternative opinions. Many writers never actually played sports at a professional level, and that insecurity, maybe even subconsciously, seeps through in their opinions, as they often favor the authority of their "writing prestige" as opposed to the authority of real-world experience that many athletes-turned-analysts employ.
Look, I would be salty too if my career, after years and years of hard work, never broke through into national recognition. I, too, would be bitter when realizing that I, having written a sports-beat for decades, could easily be replaced by a younger, hungrier writer with little to no visible drop-off. Akin to that entire generation, they have been resting on their laurels for years, complaining how the younger generation needs to pay their dues before they can be taken seriously. Time's up gramps. We'll take it from here.
Adapt or die.
p.s. Writing for The Athletic doesn't make you William f------ Hurst.