Good morning. As you may know I, A.J. Daulerio, will be handling the bulk of today's content on the site. If you'd like to send along tips or complaints, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
We'll start off today with a few housekeeping items: As flattering and jarring as it was to hear Bob Costas pronounce my name correctly on last night's "Costas Now", I cannot take credit for the piece he quoted and attributed to me. No, that Rick Reilly story Costas was grousing about was written by Big Daddy Drew — or, sorry "Big Daddy Balls." I was being scolded by proxy. Either way, I was honored to be associated with such a tremendous column, but he should be given all the credit.
Also, I'd feel like I was being remiss if I didn't point this out. Last week when Will found out that he would be appearing on the panel with Buzz Bissinger, it was obvious that any kind of "Town Hall" discussion last night's "Costas Now" intended to be was not going to exist. Obviously, Bissinger has an uncanny ability to be a mean-spirited dick when he's fired up about something. However, as we vividly saw last night, his mania tires out and succumbs to the inevitable comedown. It was during that comedown that Bissinger eerily changed from frothing lunatic to old, wistful writer, openly worried that Will Leitch, the floppy-haired kid sitting next to him, who is personally responsible for giving the world essays about Rich Garces' tits and photos of drunk athletes, would one day supplant anything he's ever done in his life. Bissinger is also a wonderful writer, who has the ability to channel all of that scatterbrained, passionate energy and transform it into something fantastic. That will never go away.
One more thing: Hopefully, last night's train wreck will finally put an end to this whole sports media/mainstream media battle against the sports blogging community. This has always been, in my opinion, a completely rudderless debate from both sides: These are two entirely seperate media. Bloggers are not putting newspaper columnists (or print media) out of business — bad newspapering is. These two worlds don't have to co-exist and were never intended to be that way. To me, blogging and internet writing, by and large, is rooted in comedy and opinion. That's it. One doesn't invalidate the other.
I originally turned to writing on the web almost 10 years ago because, as a struggling journalist desperately trying to break into mainstream media, I had no other outlet to develop a voice, a style, or an opinion on anything through my various jobs that my crappy Communications/English double-major from La Salle University afforded me. As much as I'd hoped that covering the local zoning board meetings or the municipal bond market would be pave the way for me to one day write for publications with a larger audience, it was not going to happen. I had to squash my own grapes, so to speak, and, thankfully, all of that hard, unpaid work done on my free time outside of those other jobs finally gave me some opportunities (and paychecks) I don't feel any guilt about whatsoever. And going this route certainly doesn't make me (or anyone else) unqualified to have an audience or earn a living this way.
Alright, enough — let's go do what we do best.