Boston Sports Media Watch comes to Chicago Sports Media Watch

Boston Sports Media Watch comes to Chicago Sports Media Watch

In the wake of this week’s horrific events in Boston…we are all Bostonians.  This atrocity takes on an added level of outrage, sadness and disgust as it occurred on Patriots Day. As of April 15, 2013 we are all Patriots. We are all Patriots fans today. Even New York Jets are.

Because Patriots Day actually has nothing to do with the NFL team, the New England Patriots. It’s a Revolutionary War Memorial Holiday. I changed my Twitter and Facebook avatars to the Boston strong. By the way, did you see the cover of the Tuesday Chicago Tribune sports section? And how it kind of said the same thing as the intro from my Boston essay?

Anyways, this week was the right time to speak with my Boston sports media counterpart. Please welcome to Chicago (virtually), Bruce Allen leader of Boston Sports Media Watch.

You can follow Boston Sports Media Watch on Twitter, and Boston Sports Media Watch on Facebook

Chicago Sports Media Watch: Tell us your vision for BSMW, how the site came about and where you want to take it….

Boston Sports Media Watch: I started the site in April of 2002, so we just hit the 11-year mark last week. Originally, I just wanted a place to take out my frustrations with certain sports media coverage that I felt was over-the-top and agenda-driven. I also wanted to be a one-stop place to catch all the local stories by linking them all in one place. That was much easier in the early years than it is now. The site has sort of evolved into more of a straight media commentary place, with some original sports content mixed in. I still try to point out the many logic flaws, inconsistencies and agendas that I see in local sports coverage. I had the notion of creating a network of sites across the country in other cities doing similar stuff, at one point I even owned the domain, for instance. Then I got married and my wife started popping out kids, so my time is focused on Boston for now.



Chicago Sports Media Watch: Any media role models/mentors?

Boston Sports Media Watch: Jack Craig essentially invented the concept of sports media criticism, and I grew up always checking his column in the Boston Globe right away when I could get my hands on it. By the time I started the site, Bill Griffith was doing the column for the Globe, and he was very supportive, even mentioning the site in his Sunday notes one week, which really got the site up and running.

I used to read Jim Baker in the Boston Herald as well, though he was a bit more crotchety then I preferred. Also Bill Simmons. I was an original reader of his site back in the late 1990′s when he was doing columns for Digital Cities/AOL Boston. And he was consistently calling out reporters and sports radio hosts for various things. He too, has been supportive and given me good feedback over the years.

Chicago Sports Media Watch: Love me some Bill Simmons! Your thoughts on the SI cover this week

Boston Sports Media Watch: If that photo isn’t a Pulitzer Prize winner, then I don’t know what is.


Chicago Sports Media Watch: I know it’s a very fluid situation, as we’re getting new facts in all the time. And there’s so much we don’t know, but how would you rate the job the local media is doing in covering the tragedy? How about the national media? Who’s doing it better?

Boston Sports Media Watch: Despite pledges and statements to the contrary, it really seems like a rush to be “first” not “right.” Wednesday was insane. Reports coming in from everywhere that suspects were in custody, or were about about to be taken into custody, that they were on their way to the courthouse, and then it came out that none of it was true.

The Globe reported several times that that suspect(s) had been taken into custody, as did some national outlets. Others reported differently. It’s the best and worst of this instant news cycle we live in. Someone put it best yesterday, and I wish I could remember who it was, but sometimes just getting one report in the morning newspaper might be the best way to get the news. The instant information flying around, some accurate, some not, just confuses the public.

Chicago Sports Media Watch: Some people like to compare the Cubs and Red Sox: the atmosphere surrounding the very old ballpark, the very vocal and dedicated fanbases, the so-called “curses.” Do you see any similarities/differences?

Boston Sports Media Watch: Up until a couple of years ago, the only major league ballparks I had been to were Fenway Park and Wrigley Field. Both are great experiences. I think Red Sox fans are much more cynical and negative than Cubs fans, that just seems to be my impression. I dismiss any “Curse” talk as just media creations. (I didn’t mention it above, but the “Curse of the Bambino” nonsense was a big reason for starting BSMW.)

If teams don’t win for an extended time, it falls on ownership and management. I am confident however that Theo Epstein will at the very least, bring the Cubs to the point of being a contender, fans just need to be patient, the guy is all about the big picture and what’s going to be best for the franchise over the long haul. Hang in there.

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports He’s also an author who also contributes regularly to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter and Yardbarker

Banks has appeared on Comcast SportsNet and the History Channel, as well as Clear Channel, ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@PaulMBanks)

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