The Basement Tapes: A Compendium Of Sportswriters' Hacky Jokes About Bloggers

Woody Paige, the orange person always yelling on your television set, recently disagreed with someone on the Internet. He then made a joke suggesting that the blogger still lives in his mother's house. Have you heard this one?

Here's what Paige wrote:

I give my opinion, which is based on sound information, thoughtful research and observation, unlike some kid in Arizona who is a Broncos fan and writes a blog, without proper grammar or punctuation or understanding, from his mom's laundry room and think [hilariously, awesomely sic] he knows what he's talking about, and people actually pay attention.

Aside from the fact that Paige has graciously moved the locus of blogging from mom's basement to mom's laundry room (as is often the case with these jokes, the blogger sadly appears to live in a fatherless home), it's the same old gag. You know the one. Blogger, underwear, mother's house. What follows is a collection, by no means exhaustive, of the bonnest mots flung by mainstream sports media in the direction of the blogosphere over the years. Print these out. Savor them. Read them in your underwear while holding down some couch springs in your mother's basement. I thinks you'll like them.

The Loop, Pioneer Press: "The Washington Post fired reporter Michael Tunison after learning of his raunchy posts on the 'Kissing Suzy Kolber' sports blog. Tunison is expected to join the rest of the sports bloggers in their mothers' basements."

The Loop, Pioneer Press: "The NCAA reversed course and will allow bloggers in the press box to file live updates from tournament games. It's a huge victory for the bloggers, giving them yet another reason to get out of their mother's basement."

Bob Costas, NBC: "It's one thing if somebody just sets up a blog from their mother's basement in Albuquerque and they are who they are, and they're a pathetic get-a-life loser, but now that pathetic get-a-life loser can piggyback onto someone who actually has some level of professional accountability and they can be comment No. 17 on Dan Le Batard's column or Bernie Miklasz' column in St. Louis."

Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe, writing in the voice of a blogger: "I'm living at home, in the basement, rent free, and I've got cable and plasma TV. Domino's delivers. I guess you could say I'm living the dream."

Scott Bordow, East Valley Tribune: "[Jim] Calhoun will have his defenders, of course, Huskies' loyalists who believe the story was a media smear job; some might even take Calhoun's tack that he doesn't read blogs, as if one of the most popular Web sites in the country is run by some kid wearing pajamas and writing from his basement."

Greg Couch, Chicago Sun-Times: "Look, independent blogs are not reliable news sources. They're entertaining. I read them. Some have credibility, others might be some guy in his underwear in the basement. But we can't tell the difference."

Ed Hardin, Greensboro News & Record: "[Dustin] Long is the president of the National Motorsports Press Association, not some blogger in his parents' basement."

Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times: "And the ability to think about those things beforehand, truly, is what separates real journalists — serious ones, not Jason Blair types — from basement bloggers."

Mark Bechtel, Sports Illustrated: "Remember the good old days, when sports bloggers were potty-mouthed reprobates who fired off ill-informed rants from a couch in their parents' basement?"

David Wharton, Los Angeles Times: "Critics have portrayed [bloggers] differently: the rabid fan sitting at a computer in his parents' basement, in his pajamas, spewing opinion."

Frank Fitzpatrick, The Philadelphia Inquirer: "Assuming George Mitchell doesn't find any grounds to shut it down prematurely, the 2006 baseball season is just days away. That means that for the next six months baseball fans have a license to behave like bloggers — sitting around their dens in their underwear, staring blankly at a screen, pontificating on subjects they know nothing about."

Frank Fitzpatrick, The Philadelphia Inquirer: "An Eagles fan named Enrico Campitelli Jr. decided to do a live blog while watching the Eagles-Texans season opener on Sunday. Not sure what Campitelli's credentials are — not that blogging requires anything more than a computer and a pair of pajamas."

Phil Reisman, The Journal News: "It may be time for Minaya to go, but not for any racist reasons put forth by mouth breathers who live in their parents' basements."

Jason Lieser, Palm Beach Post: "Mike Florio defies almost every stereotype affixed to bloggers. No braces. No pimples. No sitting in his underwear tapping away in his parents' basement."

Glenn Reeves, San Mateo County Times : "Leitch rarely loses sight. After all, he has a 10-second commute every day to where he works, making up jokes and typing in his underwear."

Jay Mariotti, Chicago Sun-Times: "Web sites peek around corners like sewer rats, operated by weirdos who live in their parents' basements, pretend to be experts and break 'stories' that gullible people actually believe."

Rick Morrissey, Chicago Tribune: "I'll give Mariotti this: Whether he realizes it or not, he might have been the nation's first blogger, without actually writing one. He has led the way by not leading the way to the locker room or the clubhouse. He writes what he wants without ever talking to a soul. The only difference is he travels often to events, unlike bloggers, many of whom sit in their underwear all day and update, update, update."

Tony Kornheiser, The Tony Kornheiser Show: "In fact, in fact, if a huge dumpster landed on their mother's house (cackling), and got all the way into the basement and crushed them (more cackling), nobody would care. Nobody would miss them."

Sam Smith, Chicago Tribune: "How is it I can work for decades developing contacts around the NBA and traveling regularly around the NBA and talking with the decision makers and some guy in his basement in his underwear is writing something that has credibility?"

Pat Forde, ESPN: "Everyone wants to be Bill Simmons, but to my knowledge there's only one him. Two hundred thousand bloggers cracking wise from their living room in their underwear all want to be the next Simmons, but how many of them are being paid (handsomely) to do it?"

Rick Reilly, ESPN: "I've been doing this 31 years, for a living, I feel like I go out there, I'm in the locker rooms, I'm in the clubhouses, I'm meeting these guys, I'm hearing what they are saying, whatever. It seems to me a guy like that has a little more valued opinion than some schmo who, as I say, is holding down couch springs on his mom's basement."

Rick Reilly, ESPN: "There's some good journalism, and some really horrible crap on there from guys holding down the couch springs in their mother's basement that have never been in a lockerroom but are pining on this and that. And this gives them cache [sic], and then they're being quoted? What? This guy is in his underwear."

Rick Reilly, ESPN: "I don't really care what people holding down couch springs do or say."

Illustration by Rob Zammarchi, via The Boston Phoenix