I totally understand the difference between traditional news media and blogging. I know my blog has been and will continue to be filled with opinions and such, but at the same time, I want to try and present myself and what I write in a credible manner. I took journalism classes in undergrad, and tutored students in the AP style of writing through grad school, and for the most part when I write I try and think of those things even though I know I’m not always true to AP style, etc.
I need to preface this with a bit of backstory about my evolution as a hockey fan. I’m a huge fan of professional hockey. I love the action, and the passion, and the excitement. I’m a fan of the Checkers and all they mean to this city and the Hurricanes organization. Within the realm of pro sports,
there is probably only one thing I’m a bigger fan of then the Checkers. And that is Mike Commodore. I know, crazy, right? A big, red-haired, bathrobe wearing defenseman from Ft. Saskatchewan, Alberta who was relegated to the AHL earlier in the year. I have collected his jerseys from University to Carolina to Team Canada to Columbus. When I went to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, I was more excited by seeing his bathrobe than I was of seeing the Stanley Cup.
Last summer, on a road trip through Western Canada, we almost drove six hours out of our way just so I could have my picture taken next to the “Welcome to Ft. Saskatchewan” sign, but decided against it, because that would top my current level of crazy for my favorite player. I traveled to Columbus countless times after he signed there just to see him play. I even flew up there for a playoff game the first time the Jackets made the playoffs a couple of years ago. I will defend my favorite player with every breath in my body. In January, I’d thought he was going to make his AHL debut in Charlotte. I brought four friends to the Springfield games who all wore various
Commodore jerseys in support of him. We made signs in his honor, and sat on the edge of our seats hoping he’d skate out with his teammates, and I’m not going to lie, my heart broke when I didn’t actually get to see him play.
Today, a “journalist” in Columbus wrote a terrible piece on Commodore. In theory, it was a blog post, but the guy writes for a major newspaper in Columbus, but usually covers the NBA and Ohio State, from what I could tell. He pulled all kinds of stats out of context and tried to accuse Commodore of being the flaw in the Columbus organization, and by the second paragraph I wanted to reach into my computer screen and rip out each and every hair from this “journalist’s” head. It just seemed so irresponsible and it had me FUMING. I know I have a Commodore problem. I admit it openly, but from the first time I saw him skate in 2006, I knew he was going to be my favorite for a long, long time, but this piece was just out of line and blasphemous in my opinion!
Aside from the fact this article pissed me off to no end, it got me thinking about THIS Chasing Checkers blog, and my opinions and how I share them. I’m a total geek for statistics, and think they can be used to back up an opinion, and you can glean a lot of awesome stuff from them (Like the fact Pogge had an amazing record in Norfolk this year, going 5-0-1, or his 10 game road winning streak, or the fact that Murphy has been unbeatable since November or so, with a record of 15-2-1 in his last 18 starts, which doesn’t include the games he took losses for but wasn’t the STARTING netminder.) See? I’m manipulating stats in a way, but it’s showing a more true story of his recent streak. I just don’t want to ever spew out my own version of stats and look like an idiot the way this Columbus guy did. Because that to me is irresponsible journalism, or blogging, or whatever you call it when a writer paid by a professional newspaper writes an opinion piece in their sports “blog.”
I’m incredibly opinionated. At times, it’s a terrible flaw of mine because I forget to use the filter on my mouth and I say things I probably shouldn’t. Sometimes, I start to write things here, but then think better of it because honestly, I don’t want to write things that might come across as blasphemous or offensive. (I’ll save that when I have thousands of readers, instead of a few dozen… ha!) I know the day will come when my vent about the Checkmates pisses off some red-blooded guys, or whatever. I just hope my few dozen faithful followers will hold ME accountable if I post something as idiotic as Rob Oller did today. So keep me honest, people. I’d appreciate it.