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?