As some of you may have noticed, Inquirer columnist Frank Fitzpatrick wrote a piece on Friday titled "Morning Bytes: Blogger just your average Philly fan" which took a look at the live blogging I did for the Eagles season opener over at AOL's Fanhouse. I felt Mr. Fitzpatrick was rather off base with many of the things he said, so I wrote him a letter:
First off, thanks for writing about me and my blog in the Inquirer. It's always cool to see your own name in print. I thought I'd clear some things up for you. While I pride myself on just writing from a fans point of view, I take some offense to you saying I'm a "prototypical Philly fan" while inferring I was "quick to condemn players" and "always perched on the edge of the bandwagon, ready to leap at the drop of a pass."
I realize you've been writing about sports for the Inquirer for over a quarter of a century. Hell, that's longer than I've been alive. While this may give you "credentials" in some areas, it may detract from your "credentials" in other areas, namely the Internet and blogging. I'm not sure if you really understand the concept of "live blogging" or blogging in general. Maybe you should consult with your colleague Dan Rubin, while he, like you, may have his AARP card, he seems to "get" the idea of blogging, even if he is a few days behind the curve on some Internet phenomena.
You say "the Bird Blogger quickly revealed himself, not as the next Red Smith but as the prototypical Philly fan." I don't think you get it. The last thing I want to be is the next Red Smith, or even a Ray Didinger or Les Bowen (two guys I respect and admire) for that matter. While you may still get all your info from print papers, they are no longer the only source for sports information. There are websites and writers out there who are changing the way people watch and care about sports. I'd rather strive to be Bill Simmons than Bill Conlin, it's just more fun being a fan. I don't want or try to be objective. I'm just a Philly sports fan; I'm just not prototypical. You were close.
Now that we cleared that up, there are a few more problems with your article:
- You comment on my criticizing Donte Stallworth for dropping a pass in the 4th quarter. Prior to my comment, I praised Stallworth repeatedly; he had a phenomenal day. Perhaps you didn't notice the "!@#!" after my comment or perhaps as you get older you just lose your sense of sarcasm.
- You comment on how I stated earlier in the week that Westbrook should return punts and how I linked to that post, like people wouldn't really believe me. This is the Internet, linking is good.
- Speaking of linking, you pick and choose quotes from my lengthy live blog. What you don't do is tell your readers where they can get the full context of the quotes. It's called a URL and you MSM types seem to dislike allowing anyone to go anywhere that isn't your own domain. Yet you criticize bloggers who are the first to give credit where it is due.
- You also seem to have no idea about who I am or what my credentials are. Maybe you should try a search engine. You can find out lots of stuff on there. I spent about 2 minutes and found out you were nominated for a Pulitzer, wrote a book about the '83 Phillies, hate badminton, and live in West Chester.
- While I'm not claiming to have any credentials here at The700Level, AOL's Fanhouse is a network of paid bloggers. Not just anyone can go over and talk about the wings they ate during halftime on AOL's Fanhouse. I've done something to earn that right, even if it was while I was wearing my pajamas.
- The live blog you quote is found on AOL's Fanhouse. Fan + House = place for fans to say what fans think.
- Also, I'm the biggest McNabb backer out there, I'd link you to it all, but it seems like you don't like links.
So there you go Frank, I just wanted to clear all that up for you. And I'm probably going to start reading more of your stuff now since I know you've checked out mine. Everybody likes to be heard.