After leaving Bleacher Report in a huff a few months ago, after not being able to take the stupidity of fellow writers who consider themselves to be “journalists”, all while ruining reputations for the lot of us (those that actually have some brain wave activity left), I stumbled upon the new program that is sweeping the blogging nation, something that is called “Associated Content”, ran by Yahoo.
At first I did not give it much thought—the associated content articles blended right in with the real pieces on that site. There is no way to tell the different except for a minuscule logo at the top of the page, something you would not be looking for if you are just searching for something to read.
The way associated content works is that you sign up for it (no approval needed) and after completing the application and hooking up your Paypal account, you then start writing articles placed in a queue for availability. After you “claim” one, you then write it, send it to an editor, and then publish. But here’s the kicker, you get paid. I actually signed up for this to see what it’s all about. Some of these stories get $10-15 each, and Yahoo even offers $2 bonuses on some if it is written by a certain time.
This is no way different from Bleacher Report, that other sports site where one needs no credentials to call himself a writer. Now an established site like Yahoo is not only welcoming untalented, unintelligent writers, but they are actually paying them. This is absolute nonsense and shows just why bloggers do not get taken seriously. This new Yahoo program is going to do nothing but cause even more harm. Because of this, how many “writers” are now going to go around saying they work for Yahoo? At first they may be given credentials or access to whatever it is that they want, but after Associated Content becomes more well known, then it will be over for all of us. Sports teams, mainly hockey, will now shut out what small percentage of independent bloggers they don’t ignore already, and that is why it is so important to get the word out there about this garbage, and hope Yahoo ends this program.
People go to an independent blog like this for opinion, but they go to a major sports outlet like Yahoo for news. There is no room for frauds posing as real writers, because without even knowing it, readers could be looking at a prepubescent highschooler’s rumblings on college football posed as news, when what they really wanted was professionally written news.
The latest example of this journalistic atrocity comes from an article sent to me last night, and one that is slowly making its way around the Rangers blogosphere (even people that hate the Rangers are blown away by this). Normally, it would be a bad thing to promote something like this, figuring ignoring it would be the best response. But this one is just too stupid to pass up—from the article’s title all the way through its content, it shows that you do not even need a brain to write for Yahoo.
First of all, there is a typo in the title. This is an article written about the New York Rangers, mind you: NFL Fan Trash Talk: Why the New York Rangers Are the Worst Team in the NHL, by Tara Clapper. I didn’t know the Rangers were in the National Football League? (Go give it a read.)
In this piece of asinine, mind-numbing refuse, this author who admits she is a Flyers fan, blatantly and randomly tears apart the Rangers. I have no problem with this because 75% of Ranger bloggers tear the team apart on a regular basis. But what she actually writes about makes no sense whatsoever, and makes her seem like a paranoid five-year old who has never seen one game of hockey before.
Let’s take a look at the first paragraph:
The New York Rangers are the NHL’s weakest team. Beyond the stats, they can’t hold together a solid fan base due to multiple rivalries and spats over lineups. As a fan of Philadelphia sports teams, my disdain for rival New York teams is rather natural. Philly sports fans are constantly tested or made to feel inferior by trash-talking fans from New York teams.
First of all, the Rangers have not finished in last place overall since before I was born (or have they ever?), even with all their mediocrity. Second, what exactly does she mean by not being able to hold together a solid fan base? Don’t the Rangers finish top-five in attendance every season? Don’t the Rangers sell out every game? Didn’t the Rangers even sell out almost every game from 1997-2004, a seven-year stretch of missing the playoffs? Perhaps Philly teams are made to seem “inferior” by New York fans because of idiots like you. Ever think of that?
After skipping a second paragraph that almost made me choke on my coffee because of a hysterical laughter, we move to her third talking point titled , “Fan Base Not United”:
Philly fans are the worst—we’ll boo our own teams if they make a bad move and don’t compensate. The Flyers, however, manage to hold the fans together. They always come through by bullying the opposing team or pulling the goalie when they’re down in overtime. The Rangers have a tamer, more predictable fan base—but the team unity is noticeably weak, creating division and derision among fans.
Aren’t the Rangers famous for booing their teams? Take this year’s home opener for example, the Blueshirts got the New York Treatment right off the bat when they were booed after the second, and cheered after the third. Philly fans aren’t the only ones that take it out on their team (ever watch a Canadiens game?) And as for the Rangers having a more tame and predictable fan base, I’ll let Section 420 speak for itself.
Oh, and something I just noticed upon editing: how exactly can you be “down in overtime”?
With Drury out on injury, Rangers fans are going ballistic. (Even the team’s official Twitter account seems to echo panic and doubt regarding the injury.) The fans recognize that the team relies too heavily on an individual player, even if he is team captain, and that’s creating panic instead of support among fans.
That’s funny, I don’t recall one Ranger fan shedding a tear over Chris Drury’s injury. In fact, I think that’s the one thing we are united on, that the Rangers play better without him than with him. And as for relying too heavily on Drury, a player who scored an astounding, record-breaking 14 goals last season, are you kidding me? Were you born yesterday?
Finally, without even being able to articulate what I want to say about this last paragraph, I will let this piece of brilliance stands on its own. I am dumbfounded that something like this was even formed in a brain, before a series of actions led for the information to be carried to the fingers, and then on to typing. Furthermore, I cannot believe that this passed by an editor and was allowed to be published:
Without going into too much detail, it’s safe to say that individual team members on the Rangers have put their team in the proverbial penalty box. In the 2000s, individual team members have experienced the usual amount of sex scandals and accompanying teasing. Real anti-Rangers continue to insinuate that the Rangers’ Richter is a communist because he is accused of allowing the USA to lose during the Olympics. (Additional conservative banter further accuses him of communist affiliations because he opposed George W. Bush shortly after Sept. 11—an attitude not uncommon in his native Abington, Pa. While most people dislike Bush now, it was an extremely unpopular stance just after the terrorist attacks, specifically in New York.)
With that last talking point, I would like to thank Yahoo for destroying what little credibility they have left, aside from bloggers like Greg Wyshynski, who I hope will read this and take action. As a man of hockey, it is your duty to see that garbage like this has no place on the web next to Puck Daddy. As for now, I can’t think of anything else to say—I think Ms. Clapper said it all.
UPDATE: Check out 5-Hole Blog’s response to the original article, and a link up on mine.