This is a tangentially-related aside to this story: On booing Ilya Bryzgalov.
For the record here, we're not picking sides at all. We respect much of the work done by Crossing Broad (the stolen Stanley Cup puck story was fantastic), but we've mentioned before on Twitter and in the comments here at BSH before that we lose some of that respect each time there's a story like this or this over there. It's just a legitimate disagreement on what should be published and what shouldn't be published, but that's fine. It's not a personal distaste or anything.
Same can be said for Randy J. Miller. Being as straight-forward as possible here, we don't think he provides all that much value to the overall Flyers conversation. He's what, one of five or six guys on the Flyers beat for a mainstream publication? One or two news stories with the same quotes on a particular topic is plenty. When it gets to the level we experience with the Flyers today, it's overkill and provides nothing in terms of extra value.
The value is in the analysis of whatever is happening -- whether that's statistical analysis or X's and O's-type stuff or whatever -- and we think we provide smart analysis around here. That's why we have a successful and growing forum here at BSH; a forum that gets more eyes than a good portion of mainstream Flyers media does.
Working in the locker room and around the team every day certainly does give mainstream beat writers better insight into the personalities on the team. That's a resource that can inform better analysis, but it doesn't always guarantee better analysis -- like, for example, being of the opinion that Sergei Bobrovsky should be traded for Evgeni Nabokov, or pointing to plus/minus as a useful stat, etc.
Generally speaking, the best analysis comes from stepping away from that routine of gathering news/quotes, sitting down, watching some tape, pouring over the stats, comparing things to the rest of the league and just simply thinking it all out. This is what we spend most of our time doing around here, and we're happy with the results.
It's nothing personal, but in the Internet age, teams put video of post-practice media availability on their website everyday for all to see. Often times, they release news items on their own before any reporter does. It seems necessary as a writer, then, to provide something a little more than just quotes and the day's news if you want to stand out.
Having an attitude like this...
... is backwards and out-dated. No respect for blogging, bloggers or the analysis we provide. Little-to-no respect for new media in general.
"Stealing info and quotes" would be true if anybody simply grabbed items and didn't credit back to the original source. Kyle credits all the time, as do we, as does every legitimate blogger. Plus, we do have access to the team and do get information on our own when we need it, believe it or not.
It's the belief that unless you're there at practice every single day, in front of the players and management every single day, at every single game, on the road trips, etc., that your opinion is not informed enough to be legitimate. That whole "other people who actually cover the team" line really gets at that.
We don't have a personal issue with Randy Miller (or any other Flyers beat writer, for that matter), although he may misconstrue and, we believe, has misconstrued this point as a personal attack in the past. We simply feel the job of a writer covering a team has changed with the times, and we're not sure every writer covering this team or any other team has changed how they do their jobs.
As their consumers, critics and colleagues, it's important that we have the debate. We think it's a legitimate debate to have, and apparently so do some of the Philadelphia newspapers. The700Level.com reported over the weekend that Philadelphia Media Network, the parent company of the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com will begin condensing their beat coverage, allowing them to focus their vast resources on providing better analysis of the news.
The basic principle? You don't need Sam Carchidi (of the Inquirer) and Frank Seravalli (of the Daily News) both standing there waiting for quotes from the same player or coach when one of them could be writing a bit of analysis while the other covers the hard news. We agree. It's nice to see the evolution.
So, bringing this back to the original story: We don't have a personal beef with either writer. We're not picking sides. But it's important that we frame our opinion and our bias here.