If you're writing a column with an inarguable premise—e.g. fans shouldn't cheer after injuries—you might find yourself wanting for a little more reaction. How about an unprovoked shot at bloggers?
It's an issue about civility in America today. It's about accountability. It is about angry fantasy football players who do not know how to look someone in the eye, or hold a face-to-face conversation. It is about fanboy bloggers who kill everyone and everything under the brave cloak of anonymity. It's about instant tweets fired from the safety of your basement. It is about anonymous bullying with the World Wide Web serving as the new bathroom wall.
Dan Shaughnessy hits all the classic blogger disses: socially awkward, anonymous fanboys, playing fantasy football and sending nasty tweets from the comfort of their [mothers'] basements. As far as trolling goes, this stuff is pretty derivative, but a handful of bloggers took the bait anyway, promoting the usual subtext of how well-paid columnists like Shaughnessy are positively terrified of un-paid blog network drones, who are the future of journalism.
Shaughnessy's trolling looks especially unoriginal on the heels of fellow Boston Globe columnist Kevin DuPont's tweets about how bloggers never give to charity:
GREAT day at WestonGolf club for decades-old Boston Globe Santa. Another thing bloggers don't deliver. Charity. Goodwill.— Kevin Paul Dupont (@GlobeKPD) October 2, 2012
Now these statements are obvious drivel, but they create an interesting hypothetical: would you rather live in a world with no civility and no charity but good blogs, or a world with charity, civility and columns like this one?
Anything's better than this world, in which professional sports writers waste our time with boring insults, and bloggers in turn legitimize them with detailed 1,000-word retorts.