Giving it away and other topics

A few years ago, I was listening to a sports talk radio show — maybe it was Dan Patrick, as I have a limited tolerance for most of the others — and legendary sports journalist Frank Deford was the guest.

He was asked what he thought about sports bloggers — this was back before everyone with a computer had at least one blog — and his response was interesting. “I’m not sure I get the point of blogging,” he said. “Why would you want to give it away?”

Referring, of course, to the end product which results from the writer’s research and creative activity. Of course that’s easy for Frank Deford to say, as he could at this point in his career find a paid outlet for just about any random musing he might have.

But for many writers, the blog may be the only market available. And a couple of years down the road, it’s noteworthy that even already-published writers are giving away free content in a blog or some other form to simply build an audience or create buzz.

I’m going to be doing just that this weekend, as for the first time in a long time, I’m on an assignment that won’t appear in a newspaper. Exclusive to The Old Perfessor, I’m going to an American Indoor Football Association (AIFA) game tonight between the Charlotte-based Carolina Speed and the South Carolina Force of Greenville, S.C., at Bojangles Coliseum.

I’m going to be visiting with and talking to the Speed’s placekicker, a former Wingate student of mine named Chris Brewer, who has had an interesting career in a variety of professional football settings since graduating in 2005.

I should have the story up at some point tomorrow. As they say, don’t miss it!

A couple of other quick notes:

— The Charlotte Eagles, the professional soccer team I cover here, have been off to one of their roughest starts in all the years I’ve followed them. But they looked good in a 5-1 victory over Pittsburgh last night. I’ve developed good professional relationships with several of their players over the years, but it’s always good to talk to someone new, and I enjoyed a chat I had with a young man named Amaury Nunes, who scored two goals.

— I wrote recently about our visit to Coors Field for a Colorado Rockies game on our Denver vacation. The Rockies fired their manager, Clint Hurdle, yesterday, less than two years after he led them to the 2007 World Series against the Boston Red Sox.

“Baseball’s a tough business, isn’t it?” Jayne asked me as I told her about this story.

Yes it is.

— Coaching in any sport can be a tough business. Just ask former Lander University basketball coach Bruce Evans, whom we wrote about in the blog back on Feb. 7, when my brother and I made our annual visit to his alma mater for a game. Evans resigned his position about a month later after the season ended, after a 68-78 record in five years, which included a conference championship and a couple of NCAA Division II tournament berths.

He’s a likeable guy with a good basketball background and I was glad to see that he’s landed another coaching job, as an assistant in one of the newest Division I men’s basketball programs at the Unversity of North Florida in Jacksonville (ironically, a former Peach Belt Conference opponent of Lander’s before moving up from D-II a couple of years ago). Apropos of nothing, they have one of college sports’ more unusual nicknames, the Ospreys — look it up.

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About theoldperfessor

I'm a college professor, teaching journalism and public relations classes at a small private university, and a freelance writer.
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