Three Cups Deep: Off the Grid, Then Plugged In

>> 5.31.2011

I hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend; I did despite storms knocking out my power for the better part of a day. It was refreshing, if annoying, to detach from the grid, eat flame-grilled hot dogs, and read my kids bedtime stories by candlelight. My power was restored on Memorial Day itself, so I got a nice object lesson on how blessed we, as Americans, are, and how great our veterans’ sacrifices were to afford us these freedoms. It also underscored to me how strongly we depend on the technology all around us—and the energy that powers it—to lead our blessed lives.

Obviously, I didn’t post yesterday; even though my laptop had some juice, I didn’t have any Internet access. I do have an iron in the fire though: I’ll be updating the OMH Heat Map with the offensive players, hopefully by this afternoon. I’ll also be trying to finish out the Meet the Cubs series this week with Nick Fairley. I’ve got something big lined up to cap off the week, too . . . something of the other football variety.

While you’re all waiting, I’d like to draw your attention to Pride of Detroit, where Lions DE Lawrence Jackson has joined up as a commenter. Lo-Jack has been all over lately; he really “gets” social media in a way that few do—and what’s best, he has lots and lots and lots of interesting things to say. There are very few active pro athletes who are as candid, intelligent, and self-aware as Lo-Jack, and we should all be thrilled he’s a Lion. I know not all of you do Twitter, but if you do and you read this blog and you’re not already following @lojackson94, you need to fix that, pronto.

Part of the amazing part of digital media is the ability to be interactive, to say your piece and then mix it up in the comments—or to read someone else’s blog and mix it up in their comments. Or, you can “re-blog” something someone else wrote; take another blogger’s post and pen a reaction to it. Bloggers have the ability to be both writers and readers, journalists and fans. Any blogger knows it’s possible the people they’re blogging about might read their work—and sometimes, our subjects even grab a digital microphone and speak for themselves. But having an active Lion join the commentariat at PoD? That’s new, that’s awesome . . . and that’s kind of terrifying.

Just as the pro beat writers have to come back into the locker room then next day after they call a player out, serious bloggers are going to be held accountable by their subjects. I occasionally contribute to PoD; what do I do when one of the men I write about (and idolize) takes issue with something I write, and lets everyone know in the comments? How much do I let “what will X think about this?” affect what I write, while I write it?

Of course, I can’t ethically pull my punches here—those of you who read my stuff come to read my stuff, and not censored versions of my stuff. Moreover, I write here specifically to get my feelings out “on the page,” as it were. I always have been, and will continue to be, completely honest with my thoughts and emotions here. In the meantime, I expect everyone here to be real with me in return, even if William Clay Ford signs your paychecks.

Yesterday I was harshly reminded of how easily our brave new digital world can be unplugged. Today, I’m thankful to be a fan in a time when we can get past the artifice of uniforms and Bull Durham clichés, and connect with the people we cheer for as human beings.


3 comments:

lionssuhperfan May 31, 2011 at 12:25 PM  

Better not say anything bad about Lo-Jack. Apparently he reads your articles.

Man, I don't know how all the other teams are, but it seems like we've gotten particularly lucky with how accessible and nice our players are. Not only is our D-line going to be dominant on the field, but nearly all of them are awesome off the field and on the web.

Ty May 31, 2011 at 12:43 PM  

lionssuhperfan--

Ha ha, perfect first comment! As I said, I won't pull any punches here; I'll be prepared to both defend anything I say, and admit when I am wrong. Some of it is just common sense. If Zack Follett tells a California radio station, "Stafford's having trouble staying healthy," it's 1) indisputably true and 2) not news to anyone. If he said "Stafford's kind of like a china doll right now," as he did, it makes headlines all over the Detroit sports media/Internet.

There's a way to call a spade a spade, without being inflammatory or getting personal--and without compromising your integrity as an analyst.

Peace
Ty

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