I'm going to change our focus for a second. Andrew from SB Nation's Denver Nuggets blog wrote a great piece this week on the main site about the dilemma that is being a blogger. Blogs particularly like this one with the support of a major company are becoming mainstream and blurring the lines of what constitutes legitimate media. In the past year, SB Nation has sent bloggers fully credentialed to the NFL Draft and the Super Bowl.
Andrew makes many compelling points. I do disagree with him in one area. We are normal fans. Yes, maybe I have a greater degree of access than some of you reading this site, but I bleed green and white like the rest of you. I slammed my remote control down when Doug Brien's second kick hooked. I got numb when Denver recovered the muffed kickoff in the 1998 AFC Championship Game. I remember my father smacking his head after the Kyle Brady pick.
This site is a reflection of one fan's thoughts. Let's be honest. Almost anybody could do what I do. Writing here doesn't mean I know more than any of you. It doesn't make me any more insightful. I may not always come off that way, but that's because the point of this site is for one fan to build a compelling argument, tell you why I feel the way I do, and convince you that I'm right.
I don't think having access is a bad thing. If we get a press pass to an event, we have to remember why we're there. It's not to do what newspaper and television reporters do. It's to make other fans who can't be there feel like they are. We need to think like fans, not reporters and think about what we've always wanted to know as fans.
It's also important to not become beholden to access. Access is nice compliment to what we do as bloggers, but it isn't essential. We're fans first. Media types depend on access. They develop personal relationships with people on the team. They'll pull punches for people they like and attack those they don't. It becomes too personal. Teams may limit access if they don't like something they see from a particular reporter. If bloggers become scared of losing their access, we become no better. Our sites become watered down newspapers, only without paid editorial staff. I've heard stories of teams that will refuse to give SBN bloggers access because they're not happy with what appears here. The writers here rightly refuse to give in. What good is compromising your site? It only hurts in the long run.
Andrew says we're fan advocates. I think a better term may be fan ambassadors. When we do our jobs with these teams, we're representing what all of you think.
Would you agree?