Do not underestimate the power of the blog
Or: I find your lack of faith ... disturbing.
This will be a more philosophical post compared with what you're used to - although I'll try to keep it short for those of you with attention spans dictated by the average length of a segment on Seseme Street.
A recurring comment from yesterday is this: Say what you want, but it's not like Tom Ricketts is going to read this blog anyway.
It's actually a recurring theme about blogs. We're the underdog. The little guy. Nobody pays attention to us. We don't report news, so anything you read here first is all speculation and heresay. We can't be trusted. Nobody important reads us or cares about us.
Actually, that could be a recurring opinion about life. When we're kids we are beaten down from pretty much the moment we form our first independent thought. The motto of most schools should be "strive to rise to the middle." We actually live in a society in which the intelligent are looked down upon and the talented are despised. Figure that one out.
Anyway, make no mistake about it - blogs have an effect. So do you, by the way. It's just that they tend to happen in moments. But if you doubt that famous names read blogs - and I'm talking all blogs, from Desipio to Hire Jim Essian to Bleed Cubbie Blue - I'll just outline a few of our encounters with the people we write about.
- In 2006, this blog was responsible for Dusty Baker's canceled appearance on ESPN's Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith. We'd received a EMail from a show producer - evidence that they are aware of us incidentally - inviting Cub fans to the studio to heckle Dusty Baker. We wrote about it, particularly about our disgust for the ambush tactics. It got back to Baker who canceled his appearance despite the backtrack tactics taken by Quite Frankly, who claimed it was an untrue claim.
- Also in 2006, we were EMailed by an agent of Carlos Zambrano. The Big Moose had been given a print of the Scarlos photoshop and he loved it so much that he had us contacted. The agent confirmed that Carlos had seen our website and we actually had an interview with him. Unfortunately Zambrano's written English is not so good and most of his answers even to elaborate questions was "yes" or "no," making it unprintable.
- We were given a dirty look by John McDonough. I took a photoshop with the Goat Riders logo to the Cubs Convention and when I handed it to McDonough to sign he shot me down, said he wouldn't sign it, and walked away. This was shortly after he'd taken over the presidency and after we'd written a mocking article about how he figured that every time he used the words "win the World Series" he made more money.
- We've been interviewed in a number of newspapers because apparently our opinions matter. In 2008, we were on NPR, we were mentioned in Chicago Magazine, the LA Times, the Tribune, and more.
- We were invited to a charity wine tasting ceremony in which our writer Jason and Goat Photographer Leah befriended Ernie.
- We were selected to be apart of a story televised on ESPN and featured on ESPN.com.
- After the ESPN.com story broke, we started a series called "Why We Cheer." Recently, the Tribune started a series called "Stories from Wrigleyville." Coincidence? Maybe.
There are others but those are the ones that spring to mind. Anyway this isn't supposed to be a GROTA egofest. It's just a way to point out that many blogs are read and not just by average fans like you and me.
Maybe Tom Ricketts wants nothing to do with blogs. Maybe he's never seen one. Actually scratch that. I would bet you money that he has bookmarked some of the best business blogs on the net.
I'll also bet you that Ricketts has a healthy ego. I'm not saying he's arrogant or full of himself or anything like that ... but chances are he likes to see his name in print. Chances are that when the story broke, Tom Ricketts read everything he could find that mentioned his name. If Ricketts is the slightest bit curious about how the fans feel about the sale - and ask yourself if you would be if you were in his situation - he probably went beyond the newspapers to find out.
Maybe he's read this blog, maybe not. I bet he's seen at least one Cubs blog, though. But regardless of that I can't emphasize one simple truth: the view that "it's not like ________ will read it anyway" needs to fade away. As time goes on and blogging becomes even moreso the next big form of major media, we need to become increasingly aware that anything we say might matter at least a little bit.
And that's not a matter of opinion, or even a subject of faith - it's the simple truth. We're not world shakers but we're not hiding behind the walls either. So let's stop thinking that we are because the sooner we take ourselves seriously - but not so much that we become ridiculous douchebags who treat our blogs like they're our own little fascist dictatorship - then the sooner others will too.