Pictures, commentary, links and the whatnot …
The environment of losing, it can’t be fun for any of the parties involved — from those playing for the team, to those running the team, to those owning the team, to those rooting for the team, to those covering the team using a variety of mediums. If you’re intensely involved with a losing franchise, it’s not going to be fun.
Traditional forms of the media try to remain as unbiased in their judgment as possible, but even they get weary from exposure to an inferior product, not to mention the fact that winning teams sell more papers. Others who cover the team have a more vested interest — often the result of such individuals growing up in the area where the team plays. Perhaps those individuals could be classified as fans, or perhaps they work for a media entity that has a connection with the franchise through financial backing, i.e., the relationship between the Wizards and their television broadcasting partner Comcast Sports Washington (this specific team-media coverage relationship obviously more amicably connected, making the conveyance of an honest assessment a little more complicated).
In any case, we all have our reasons and motivations. From bloggers to traditionalists to talking heads on the radio, those who cover a losing team can make futility even less fun — for the players, management, owners, etc. — because they are constantly seeking out new and creative ways to point out the flaws of losing to the public. It ain’t pretty. The environment of losing is made worse thanks to their vociferous ways, the writers for this blog included.
Last week, in TAI’s weekly column in the DCist, my colleague Rashad Mobley ran with an innocent enough post partially regarding the highly prevalent fans of other top-caliber teams which have invaded the Verizon Center this season — in Mobley’s specific piece, Chicago Bulls fans, and how the presence of a fan-favorite player could be meaningful to those witnessing meaninglessness (when it comes to success) from the home team.
Ted Leonsis chose to respond:
I call these articles “piling on.”
They are smug.
They are easy to write. They actually offend our fans more than they do me.
And they are ones that I keep and then reference in the out years to remind the writers of their naiveté and lack of substance. We use them, too, as motivation.
Leonsis went on to cite increased numbers his ownership group has experienced as of late when it comes to the metric of sales. Fair enough, as it behooves those interested in the success of the franchise on various levels to be interested in tickets, sponsorships and other “fan satisfaction” measureables.
But still, the fact remains in this nation’s capital of transients that people simply will not care until the rebuilding project that’s been so heavily promoted provides results. Oh well. Such is life.
Everyone contributes to the environment of losing in a sense that when the ultimate goal is achieved, how far the environment has come is further appreciated because of how far it had to go. The ugliness of coverage is just as much apart of the ugliness of rebuilding. And be that as it may, along with the necessary retreat from glitzy shows of red carpet and promises to “Dougie” at the beginning of the season (all understood as part of the show), the “piling” on, if you will, goes to achieve balance in honesty of opinion.
In short, and not speaking for anyone else who writes for this very site nor those in the media coverage world surrounding the Wizards, the team is welcome for the motivation … as long as it provides meaningful results and as long as the motivation is fair, which I hope that it is. But we all aren’t perfect, are we?
A hurtful dunk.
Bullet Nation in Exile:
“In short, today’s GM is a chess player cum soothsayer cum gambler who is watched by the fanbase closer than a radical English teacher in Beaumont, Texas. Knowing full well the volatile waters in which they swim, the GM realizes the full impact of a trade won’t be known until farther down the line, and anything short of a slam dunk could result in disaster. Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em the song goes (I hate country), and judging by the results so far, I’d say our GM could end up being a cut above average. But will that be enough?”
Gilbert Arenas has a thing for the “I can’t feel my face” move that DeShawn Stevenson helped popularize on a basketball court.
The real story behind the Brandon Banks stabbing seems like another case of idiocy at a nightlife establishment and professional athletes feeling entitled to do whatever they want mixed with a pissing contest between immature adult men.
[Washington City Paper]
Have the Washington Wizards had the best results over the last four NBA drafts amongst teams that had only one lottery pick?
Ghosts of Wizards past.
[Go Spurs Go]
Rashard Lewis, before getting shipped to the Wizards, handling pretty well what appears to be a drunk fan asking questions.
[Hugging Harold Reynolds]
Good read about Horace Grant from Kelly Dwyer.
[Ball Don't Lie]
Larry Johnson, Mugsy Bogues & Alonzo Mourning walk into a bar.
[Straight Cash Homey]