Wednesday, July 23, 2008
We all know that the blog is an invention of the current internet generation, and their success or failure typically depends on how interesting, or in some cases how controversial their commentary proves to be. Things like Stuff White People Like, and Deadspin appeal to specific crowds, but also light a fire in the belly of certain readers. Even though readers can be hateful (and comment boxes provide them the means to act in such a way), the controversy typically attracts readers, and thus propels the popularity of the blog. Maybe that's why this one is only read by my 7 friends and commented by another 3-4 (those few comments are GREATLY appreciated by the way).
The reason I was compelled to post tonight was triggered by my daily lunchtime blog check-up. I usually check the staples, but in light of training camp starting this week, I've also made it a habit to check up on Gary Fitzgerald's timestamp updates on Redskins.com. The new addition to the 'Skins official site this year is their official Blog, written by 31-year-old, life-long fan Matt Terl. The guy moved his family here from MD to be paid zilch to cover the Redskins from a new angle. If anybody follows the Redskins regularly, especially during their yearly preseason hype period, they understand that Ashburn is constantly overrun with throngs of media and fans throughout training camp. Typically, in a year when Danny Boy brings in a novelty act, these numbers are higher (which is almost every year nowadays). That being said, each media outlet seems to cover the same things, the same players, and the same coaches. There isn't a great deal more to be said about Jason Taylor beyond his daily reps, Jason Campbell's progress, or our aging offensive line until they begin taking live snaps in the preseason. Terl's responsibility is to bring his readers some of the ins and outs of training camp that fans don't get to see by lining up 25 yards away from the players in the heat.
However, Terl seems to be getting destroyed by his "readers." Today, he was completely blasted for his commentary on Brad Berlin and the Redskins Equipment Room. Personally, I feel like that's something not many people get to see, or hear about, and might be interested in. The logistics of keeping an entire 80-man roster stocked up through an entire training camp, let alone an entire season are mind-boggling, and that's something I'd like to hear about. People are griping that Matt should write about camp and the players, but there's only so much he can report on that other members of the media that haven't already covered a hundred times over. He's also being accused of stuffing the comment boxes, which may or may not be true, but I thought I would post this in support of him, and say that I think it's nice to see a change-of-pace official blog on my favorite NFL team. Maybe the controversy will bring about more readers for him, and hopefully pull up some supportive ones. So this one's for you. Keep up the good work Matt!