Being a sports blogger

I’ve been blogging since 2005, and some of my earliest blog articles are about lacrosse. I didn’t start writing for lacrosse-only blogs until 2010, but I’ve now written for four different ones, including what are two of the most popular lacrosse blogs anywhere. For anyone who’s interested in such a career occupation job pastime (for any sport, not just lacrosse), here is a bit of information I’ve discovered through my experiences. I hope this helps future generations of sports bloggers.

There’s only one real rule for being a sports blogger:

  • You have to make pre-season predictions on final standings and awards such as MVP and Goaltender of the Year. Feel free to ignore your predictions at the end of the season when the actual winners are announced and you realize that your Goalie of the Year pick finished 11th in GAA ā€“ in a 9-team league.

Many people seem to have opinions about sports bloggers. I have been accused of each of these:

  • If you choose the team from the city in which you live to win anything, you are a hopeless homer who knows nothing about sports. Doesn’t matter if your home team is 13-1 and they’re playing the 2004 Anaheim Storm.
  • If you do not choose the team from the city in which you live to win something, you are obviously a hater and not a REAL fan. REAL fans of the 2004 Anaheim Storm picked them to win every game cause that’s what REAL fans do. REAL is apparently not short for “realistic”.
  • You created a sports blog, therefore you are arrogant and consider yourself an expert with knowledge exceeding that of everyone else. You couldn’t possibly have created it just because you like to write.

haters-gonna-hateWhen making game predictions, there are four possibilities for each game:

What you pick the team to do: What the team does: What it means:
Win Win You got lucky. Or everybody knew that that team was going to win, so your pick doesn’t mean anything.
Win Lose It’s your fault. Somehow your pick affected the players or the coaches or the equipment manager or the space-time continuum enough that it made the team lose. Or you got it wrong because you just don’t know anything.
Lose Win You obviously don’t know anything.
Lose Lose See the first entry ā€“ the team you picked to win did win, so you got lucky.

 

And in all seriousness, these final rules are the most important. These are not specific to lacrosse or blogging, but pertain to publishing or performing anything: writing, acting, music, sports, etc.:

  • Some people are going to think your performance sucks. A small percentage of them will tell you so. Some people are going to think your performance was excellent. A small percentage of them will tell you so. The two percentages are unrelated. They generally depend on the size of your audience and are not always indicative of the quality of your performance.
  • Take and use constructive criticism and, as difficult as this sometimes is, ignore the insults and personal attacks. Don’t change what you’re doing to please the haters.

Personally, I’ve been lucky so far as a sports blogger. I’ve only had a handful of overtly negative comments and only a couple that turned into personal attacks. But I know others who get them all the time. This is purely a question of audience size, not because people disagree with me less than they do other people.

In May 2013, Wil Wheaton posted an article that discussed dealing with the haters. To the bloggers and writers and athletes and musicians and actors out there, here it is in a nutshell: Making hurtful comments is easy. Doing what you do is hard.

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