Dowbiggin's article today was infuriating on a few levels, but this in particular made me mental:
That might be a problem as "blogger" has come to be synonymous for bending the rules on sourcing or taking liberties with research.
I won't rush to the defence of the many high-quality bloggers that post here or on their own sites - the quality of your work is obvious. And to be fair, there are a lot of blogs out there that are bush-league, lazy with research, and not particularly well-written.
What's really infuriating though is the implication that the main stream media are in any way more accountable, or more vigilante in their research, than many bloggers. As far as I can tell, many journalists don't do any research, period. Do you know what prompted me to start keeping my own record of Leaf trades (my first post here way back when), or my own database of draft statistics? I was FED UP with reading things in the paper or online that I knew were UNTRUE, or worse, having these mistruths repeated back to me in a hockey argument by someone who had read the same old tired line over and over again they just assumed it was true. That's probably what's impressed me most about the PPP community - there is a remarkable committment to intelligent hockey research based on facts, regardless of whether it paints the Leafs in a positive or negative light. Keep it up, everyone. Please.
Anyway, the article today reminded me of an e-mail I sent to Mark Zwolinksi at the Star a few years ago, which I dug out of my mailbox and present here after the jump. Not surprisingly, Markie didn't reply.
Sent: Friday, March 14, 2008 1:28:48 PM
Subject: Lazy, Lazy, Lazy Media
Hi Mark – I just wanted to point something out to you regarding your story today. Specifically, this paragraph: “The Leafs have a history of playing focused, winning hockey in response to their captain's absence. The club, relying largely on its role players, dispatched a more talented Ottawa Senators team in seven games in the first round of the 2003-04 playoffs after Sundin was lost in the opener with an orbital bone injury.”
Well, according to Hockey DB, mats played 9 of a possible 13 playoff games that year (7 against the sens, 6 against the flyers) scoring 9 points along the way. There was an injury in there at some point which I admittedly don’t remember – it could have been against Ottawa or against Philly - but at a minimum he definitely played at least 3 games against Ottawa, if not all of them. The sens being the “more talented” team in 03/04 is certainly a matter of opinion, given the leafs had 103 pts (a team record) to the sens 102. I guess goaltending isn’t important, especially in the playoffs (Lalime). And Joe Nieuwendyk , who scored 50pts in 64 games with TO that year, is a “role player”? I digress.
Mats injured his wrist in game 2, I believe, against the Isle in the first round of 01-02. True, he missed all 7 games when the leafs defeated the sens in the 2nd round, but that year the leafs were ranked 4th with 100 pts (1 point behind Boston , who won the division and the conference), while the sens were ranked 7th with 94 pts (and they had Lalime in net), so again the "more talented" description is debatable. (You might remember Mats came back in time for the conference final against Carolina, which is why I, and I’m sure others, thought that that was going to be our year… through the first 2 rounds without Mats, then getting him back for the conference final? It was meant to be! Damn you “killer B” line.)
Mats sustained an orbital bone injury in the opening game against the sens in the 05-06 season, which caused him to miss more games than he ever had in his career. As an aside, I found it interesting that many media types at the time pointed to Mats’ injury as evidence of his aging body giving out on him. Like taking a puck to the face has anything to do with age or physical shape.
In any event, I liked how you combined 3 different events into 1 tight little summary. Like a cultural mosaic of facts - how very Canadian! In all seriousness, I wish that errors like yours were an anomaly in sports reporting, but sadly they are not. Opinions are presented as fact, factual details are modified and glossed over to present an easy-to-deliver storyline, and no one’s held accountable. I thought most media outlets employed ‘fact checkers’, but I guess they’re a dying breed.