Siberian Baseball

Monday, April 09, 2007

In case you missed all the hoopla

It's been big news in the mini-universe this weekend, but Colin Cowherd of ESPN essentially assassinated where his listeners all swarmed over and smashed the little server to bits in a matter of moments.

The Big Lead is up and running again on a more robust server and isn't blinking when it comes to the Worldwide Leader or Cowherd's stupidity.

There was a lot of talk being thrown around regarding legal actions against Cowherd and ESPN was forced to weigh in via its freshly-minted ombudsman (who is, in fact, a woman) but in all, Cowherd gets a slap on the wrist and is told not to do it again.

It should be noted that this isn't the first time Cowherd has been in hot water with the bloggers, as he directly lifted content from a Michigan sports blog, read it on the air and then refused to apologize when he was called out on it.

While other sports broadcasters can see where all this Internet mumbo jumbo is going, paying attention and dropping "You're with me, Leather" references on SportsCenter and beyond, Cowherd is the poster boy for big media agoraphobia, lashing out against defenseless sites and basically reliving high school, only as the jock this time.

So, until bloggers as a whole are given a bit more respect from big media outlets and are seen as something more than a diversion for frustrated wash-outs and hack writers, those with axes to grind and everyone's favorite stereotype, the blogger in his mother's basement (Woo-hoo, pass the Cheetos and let me know when my new Star Wars action figures get here, Ma!) expect more run-ins like this one, as well as more outright plagarism from cretins like Cowherd.

Let's face it, if you put something good out there into cyberspace, there's a chance that someone will be waiting to rip it off as soon as it's posted. The real kicker is that the smaller your blog is, the less likely anyone is to notice, even if you're screaming bloody murder the whole time.

I think that's one of the nicest things about the Deadspin community - the fact that bloggers and commenters of all stripes really got upset about this and e-mailed and called nearly everyone at ESPN with a published address or phone number and generally just getting cranky about the whole thing.

So, while I'd still love to see Cowherd have to defend himself against actual charges in court, it's nice to know he's pissed off his bosses this week and will hopefully be that much closer to working the morning drive in Fort Wayne, Ind.

For me, it's not so important where he's stealing material from or what kind of creepy stunts he's pulling by crashing defenseless sites, but the fact that he's becoming more and more well known for those types of character issues.

You hear his name once in the whole M-Zone fiasco - and if you don't think outright, indefensible plagarism isn't a major, major problem on ESPN's radar, you're crazy - and you think "Hmm... interesting." You hear about his latest problem with being a jackass and it really starts to set off red flags.

Personally, when I hear the name Colin Cowherd from now on, my first reaction won't be "Oh, ESPN, right?" it will be "Shrutebag."

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