Well, there is not going to be as much about Bleacher Report here, because everything else about it was said in the lively comments below Part 1. Reading them, I felt like Quinn in that “Daria” episode when she was so gratified by two men going MMA over her at a family wedding — oblivious that one of the guys was the officiating pastor.
Seriously, the plan was that Part 2 would commemorate those annoying Top 10 lists that B/R proliferates with my own Top 8 list of best (and a few worst) sports Web sites.
As with something so interactive and personal as the Internet, my Top 8 is totally my Top 8, and I harbor no illusions that this is authoritative.
One notable omission is fantasy league sites. I did Rotisserie League baseball in the 1980s, and I have not been able to look at a box score since. I realize that now, with online sites, it’s so much easier. The days of poring through USA Today and entering on Excel are long past. Maybe one of these days.
The real idea is for you readers to offer your own favorite Web sites down in the comments section. I can always use some enlightenment on what the Web has to offer (though Jeremy and I agree — I am sufficiently enlightened on what a “wiki” is and why BR is one.)
Of course, for this to truly channel Bleacher Report, it must be a slide show. No idea how to do those. And I don’t think I should dump the whole project on Jeremy. It might cut down on his microfilm time. So let’s just say that if you slide down this list, I will show you my Top 8.
1. NASCAR.com and PGATour.com. I list these No. 1 because they are the roto-geek sites that rule when their events are in progress. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, PGATour.com’s “ShotTracker” feature is one of the most truly obsessive time wasters. You can follow your golfers shot by shot through their rounds. And by clicking on their names, you can move AU’s Jason Dufner and Roland Thatcher right to the top, regardless of where they rank. And their stats page? Name one stat they don’t already include. The only thing missing is the scoring pencil.
For NASCAR fans, the web site offers almost lap-by-lap updates of races, from first to start-and-park. (On tracks like Bristol, of course, it’s hard to keep up.) Plus, they practice Rule 1 of magazines — Keep your departments consistent week after week, so fans know what to expect. They have also done streaming of car cams, free of charge, but that is not as consistent.
2. ESPN.com. Granted, it’s not the most exciting site out there. But it does match SportsCenter reports with print, so you can watch and read about your favorite game. For SEC fans, Chris Low and Edward Aschoff are not exactly the best and the brightest. But ESPN.com is like Atlanta airport. You have to go through there.
3. HABOTN. Jay G. Tate runs the “Hottest Auburn Blog on the Net,” through the Montgomery Advertiser. To me, it’s the best place to combine top-notch reporting with intelligent conversation. We do wonder when greener pastures are going to claim Jay G. Until then, enjoy.
4. al.com. These guys do the “heavy lifting” for sports reporting in the state. It brings together three of the top newspapers in the state — Birmingham, Huntsville, and Mobile. Of course, they cover all of the state universities, and you might notice they cover something called “news,” whatever that is. The main drawback is the comments page. I post comments from time to time, but I honestly think I write more often than I read. Predictably hostile and unenlightening (and don’t even get me started on Boris).
5. Tigerdroppings.com. Their SEC Rant is definitely where the big dogs go, and I am happy to stay on the porch. It seems like every sentence has to have the words “shite,” “arse,” and “frick.” But I honestly find myself enlightened by a lot of their information and great links. Plus, the best gifs on the planet. I’m already using “he mad” in everyday conversation.
6. CNN/SI.com. If CNN is the “go-to” site for news, and SI has the best writing anywhere, why do I not go here more often?
7. FOXSports.com. There are two reasons to rank this site so low: 1) Thayer. 2) Evans. Mainly, FOXSports.com reads like ESPN without the SportsCenter stuff, so to me there is not much to draw. But much like its parent network, they seem to thrive on journalists who agitate rather than inform. If Evans scored like Mark Schlabach did (admit it, Auburn fans — he was right about Mississippi State), he would gain the respect of our irrational hatred. But when your best stuff is breaking federal law to report anonymous academic facts about athletes …
8. Bleacher Report. (Just being consistent here.) As earlier, ’nuff said on that topic. BR editors: Hope you’re not resentful that you scrolled all the way down here for nothing.
Now your turn — What is best? Worst?
John Carvalho, associate professor of journalism at Auburn, blogs about the sports media at johncarvalhoau.tumblr.com. Find him on Twitter at @johncarvalhoau. Read his previous columns here.
* Muhammad Al on the Haley Center concourse
* Playboy in Auburn, 1989
* Coeds. Watermelons. 1973.
* How Bama remembers “Punt, Bama, Punt”
“It might cut down on his microfilm time.” Classic.
# 2, 5, 6, 7, and 8 = Never
Honorable mentions on my list:
http://www.wareagledaily.com/ news feed on Auburn related stuff
http://www.wareagleextra.com/ Andy Bitter – Auburn beat writer for the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer
I don’t go to it near as much any more but I used to always go to http://www.tigerland.com to see all the news around the web concerning Auburn.
Andy Bitter’s War Eagle Extra deserves a nod for quality un-biased Auburn reporting (he’s a Wisconsin fan)
I just read the 1st “Why I hate bleacher report” and the comments from their “editors” or whatever they’re called were hilarious.
Figure I’d share this bleacher report gem.
People write for Bleacher Report to reach an audience, and as B/R’s audience continues to grow, and we strive to keep our quality standards high, we are asking a significant percentage of writers to reapply to write for the site.
Your Bleacher Report profile, account and past articles are still intact, and you’re still able to comment on stories and interact with fellow readers. But in order to continue writing, you’ll need to send a writing sample, and a link to your B/R profile page to [email protected].
As the site grows, we need to make sure the writers contributing to the site are providing clean and well-edited copy, high-quality analysis, and adding something new to the sports conversation. To be fair to the many writers at Bleacher Report, our quality standards must remain high.
We know this is an inconvenience, and if you feel your writer privileges have been removed mistakenly, don’t hesitate to reapply to write for the site — your work should speak for itself.
Thanks for your cooperation,
The Bleacher Report Editorial Team
War Eagle Extra by Andy Bitter (Columbus Ledger-Enquirer) puts HABOTN to shame.
Another list of good websites:
I’ve always liked collegefootballnews.com… they had Auburn #1 in 1983 and 2004, when “others” didn’t.
Check out Grantland.com, started by the WWL’s own Bill Simmons. Not sports news, really, and as much a pop culture site as a sports site. But if you want the web’s version of the 30 for 30 series, read some of the articles here. It’s actual writers writing about sports.
Michael Val Hietter says
I found that Andy Bitter’s site is excellent, not just for content but for a glimpse of the PROCESS of sports beat reporting. He posts the raw footage of the interviews, and later, you see how that makes it into the stories.
Also, I always thought that Andy’s coverage, although properly unbiased, did show a lot of enthusiasm as the AU season kept getting more and more special. That is how I think all journalism (sports and news) should operate–you respect the gathering and presentation of the facts, but still have a passion for what you are doing. I wish we could get back to that model in all news.
Let me jump in at this point and endorse the inclusion of Andy Bitter. I should have put him with Jay G. Tate. (In fact, I did on Tumblr.) Both embody the credo that good sports journalists are good JOURNALISTS.
I have been to Grantland. Good stuff from time to time, but not updated frequently and I can do without the pop culture stuff, even if it is many steps above E! and People. Plus, once it was so frontloaded with 30 on 30 stuff that it drove me away. Still, today’s Micheal Ray story is on my radar!