In case you haven’t learned yet, I like the Oilers.
A lot. I think anyone who has sat through the last four seasons and is still around having a genuine conversation about the team is probably safe to call an Oiler fan.
And, I have a blog – three of ‘em, actually. Two are directly related to a hockey team that finished out of the races four consecutive years. Needless to say, I like to talk about the team, and through that, I hope you come here, click around, read, and enjoy yourself. In July and up until now, I believe there’s been thirty or so posts here that have been directly related to the Edmonton Oilers, or the NHL in general, and after July 1st, things can get a little lean on the wire.
Some bloggers have been afforded an opportunity to receive press credentials (Capitals, Islanders), yet some teams are hesitant, or downright forbid bloggers to have press access. I can understand a case by case basis, sure. But this article by Greg Wyshynski states that teams are starting to request that blogger privileges be revoked at arenas away from home.
And here’s where I start writing.
However you sit on the blogging fence – take it for what it is. Very few of us are members of the ‘mainstream media’. Most of us are Joe and Jane Sixpacks that are not held to any journalistic responsibility. To some of us, blogging is a free license to say whatever, whenever, no matter how slanderous, libellous, outrageous or otherwise unbelievable it may come across. To wit, those sites are usually devoid of valuable information and creativity.
I can sit here and tell you how much I think Chris Pronger is a so-and-so, but if it’s just a hastily thrown together pile of cursing, what good will come of it? You already have your opinion of Chris Pronger. Reading one guy’s angry blog post probably isn’t going to influence your decision one way or another. Granted, some sites say things I otherwise wouldn’t, but that’s a style issue.
If they’re informative and useful, let the fans sort it out.
I think it’s great that some teams are giving bloggers a chance to show them their stuff. I can’t imagine teams like Florida and Phoenix not embracing an opportunity for (well behaved) bloggers to cover the team. Hey, more coverage is always a good thing, right? Wyshynski goes on to say that the NHL granted press passes to bloggers at the 2010 NHL Draft in Los Angeles this year. How cool is that? That’s extremely ahead of the curve, and so long as those who are selected can manage to behave like those in the media, it should be embraced and encouraged. How could you not snap at an opportunity like that?
Apparently, some NHL teams aren’t on the blogging bandwagon, and that’s unfortunate. Some teams are calling for a blogger-free zone wherever they play. If Team A has a no blogger policy at their home rink, they want a no blogger policy on the road. That’s awfully nervy to tell another team that a credited person can’t have access to their players, don’t you think?
I can understand where they stand, but to me, it’s rather stodgy and obtuse. Please recall a couple of years ago when Dave Berry over at Covered In Oil was unceremoniously asked to leave a game that he was live blogging while in the press box. Granted, Dave was there to collect some quotes after the game, and to pass the time, he started a live blog for his (at the time) quite popular website. He was doing the same thing that those at OilersNation (who also do great work) were doing. And while I think that any person could have been live blogging the game form their seat, I can at least *understand* (although vehemently disagree) with what the team was thinking. I think it’s also quite Draconian that Dave got the boot from that game, but again, house rules. I understand, even though I obviously disagree.
With that being said, I think teams in the NHL are way out of line here trying to impose their sanctions in the barns of other teams. Hey, Rangers? You don’t want a blogger in the locker room in Long Island? If he’s got a press pass, what’s the big deal? Same goes with Edmonton. If you want to keep bloggers out of your press box (and mind you, there’s a mighty fine list of bloggers that could do a bang-up analysis), then so be it. But if you’re in Ottawa and some bloggers have press credentials and are in your locker room asking legit questions to Devan Dubnyk, then what’s the big deal?
If based on your work you are able to secure credentials and the privilege to cover the game for your blog, you have earned a privilege that can be revoked if abused. I’d like to think that most serious sports bloggers take their work seriously enough to respect a privilege. And, if you’re an opposing organisation that comes into my building to play, I’ll be damned if you’re going to tell me who I can and can’t grant media privilege to.