It's so funny: This weekend, I had started working on a post for later this week that was going to talk about how Dan Steinberg's new "DC Sports Bog" blog for the Washington Post is not just the gold-standard among newspaper blogs (and bloggers), but the very model for how newspapers MUST make their blogs more "value-add" than the usual (cough!) lazy (ahem!) unaffiliated (me!) sports blogs out there that simply take other media's news items and spout their own half-baked opinions about them.
(Well, there goes the post for later this week...)
Let me say this, first of all: I'm a HUGE fan of Steinberg AND his new blog. You can check it out here, and you don't have to be a DC sports fan to appreciate the way he's really running with the blogging form. Every newspaper reporter who wants to blog should take note.
Then, just now, I get an email from Dan (who I've corresponded with via email a few times), pointing me to his latest blog entry, which -- well -- rips my argument from Friday about the bias of the AP voters.
Is this the next great Internet feud? Are we going to be the Jewish version of Jason Whitlock and Scoop Jackson? (If so, then who's who?)
Ha ha: Hardly! On Friday afternoon, as I dashed off the offending post knowing the clock was running down on the week, I was worried that my reasoning would turn out flawed, particularly on the point Dan (uh, the OTHER Dan) appropriately picks on: My half-baked claim of AP voter bias.
Well, I overreached, and Steinberg caught me on it. He took the time (that I didn't) to go over every ballot to REALLY look for bias. Qualitatively, at least, it wasn't there in the way I generalized off of a few ballots (though I did scan all of them and did provide a fair number of examples).
(Quantitatively, I'm still waiting for the type of Excel-based analysis that makes the blogger-run college football BlogPoll so freaking awesome. I'm not the one to do it, but it's precisely the type of analysis that would help.)
But Dan's points are well-made, and his post about it is worth a look, not because he calls me out about it, but because it's a smart debunking of a half-cocked blogger's opinion.
Now, can he debunk that I think that the media (and coaches) have no business being in the poll business? Or, if they insist on being in that business, why they limit themselves to a pool of local reporters of unknown expertise? Or that I still wonder how they watch enough games to make them more expert than, say, a knowledgeable fan with a "GamePlan" cable package (or one of the many really good college football bloggers)? Or how they can explain the apparent hypocrisy of taking themselves out of the BCS process because they don't want to make news, yet sit on a collision course to "split" the national championship themselves?
Nah, but he CAN tell me why I was half-baked to throw that conclusion in there, when really it was the wrong point to hit on. (I will say, however, that the new ability to look at each voter's ballot individually is a step in the right direction. Hey, AP, how about having each voter record a podcast or file a column explaining their picks? Fans are due at least that much.)
The other funny timing about Dan's post was that, as I noted in one of the CFB-related post's Comments areas earlier today, I was planning to ease back on my constant poll-voter-bashing anyway.
So, anyway, I'm sorry to say that there won't be any feud between me and Dan Steinberg. I like his work too much (and appreciate that he took the time to read my blog and respond).
But, I promise: I'll find more potential feuds soon!