Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Blaming the Bloggers

The Washington Reskins recently hired Seattle assistant Jim Zorn as their new head coach. Nothing new there, especially for Washington owner Daniel Snyder, because Zorn has absolutely no experience as an NFL head coach or coodinator.

What makes the story interesting is that before Zorn's hiring former New York Giants head coach Jim Fassel was considered the favorite for the job. But something happened in the last week that pushed Snyder away from Fassel and toward Zorn. Can you believe it's the sports bloggers?

That's what Fassel thinks. He told the Washington Post that sports bloggers cost him the Redskins job. According to Fassel, "When I got the New York Giants job I remember telling my family that, 'You know, you cannot hold the lead in these jobs in major markets.' Because you've got bloggers, and they're saying, 'No, this isn't the right guy, and that ain't the right guy,' and you can't hold the lead, because you are going to take the hit."

It sounds like Fassel has jumped into the deep end of the conspiracy theory pool, but don't be too quick to judge. When Mike Sando, then writing sports in Tacoma, criticized Seahawks special teams coach Bruce Casullo, Casullo took the time to respond on the blog. So we know NFL coaches (and probably administrators) are paying attention. More than a few sportwriters and columnists around the country are also buying in to the "blame the blog" arguments.

At present, blogging may not be as important in sports media discourse as the traditional media, but we all know that things eventually change. The recognition of the importance of blogging and bloggers is an important step forward for this emerging sports media enterprise.


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