Anatomy of a Sports Blogger Slump
- Updated: July 13, 2008
It’s agonizing, frustrating, gut-wrenching. You find yourself constantly looking up at the scoreboards on Ballhype, Yardbarker and Technorati, watching the numbers plummet. You silently question whether you can re-capture that magic you saw in glimpses earlier in your career. You tinker with your approach, shift locations in the writer’s box, even don a lucky thong to try to help turn the tide (no, not really). Yet, nothing seems to work. On your darkest days, you even contemplate hanging up the keyboard. Welcome to sports blogger slump.
For those fans out there who casually check out sports blogs from time to time, it may seem a bit much to empathize with the overpaid, underworked pampered sports blogger of today (except when you consider that the majority of us are of course unpaid, overworked and only occasionally pampered by the comments of our friendlier readers). But let me tell you something. A blog slump is painful. It is draining. It is all-consuming.
There are several definitive stages in the anatomy of a sports blogger slump. We’ve outlined them below. Should you experience any of these symptoms, you may, in fact, be experiencing a slump.
Veteran bloggers recommend cutting out all sports viewing and attempts at word processing, as increased activity in these areas may only lead to further complications. Results vary but the condition should improve within three to four days and with proper stimuli from the sports world. Of course, those experiencing an erection of four hours or more should still seek immediate medical assistance.
1. Denial – Denial is stage one of a sports blogger slump. Oftentimes the blogger sees his/her authority averages and traffic numbers decreasing, but refuses to acknowledge they are mired in a blog slump. They claim they are still “seeing the news well” and “taking good hacks,” but their posts simply aren’t “falling.” When questioned, the sports blogger insists they are “coming around” despite empirical evidence to the contrary.
2. Deflection – During this stage, the slumping sports blogger begins to place blame for their struggles on others. Often these laments are directed at the lack of news in the sports world or a purported disdain for writing about Favre, NBA refs, the All-Star Game and all those topics “everyone else is writing about.” He/she bitches about long road trips and their effect on their performance. When, in fact, the slumping blogger’s creative tank is simply running on empty. Their virtual pen has slowed, their prose just isn’t as crisp.
3. Anger – In stage three, the slumping sports blogger begins to outwardly show signs of frustration. Typically, the blogger looks around the League and bemoans how other players manage to continually hit for average and power. He/she occasionally falls prey to mild temper tantrums that involve childish actions such as throwing mice after a whiff on a post, or arguing with a commenter with little or no provocation.
4. Despair – Stage four is one of the uglier times for a sports blogger. It is at this point that retirement becomes a real consideration. The sports blogger looks around the clubhouse and wonders if the game has simply passed them by. He/she wonders if their edge is gone. Are the other bloggers too young? Is the slumping sports blogger no longer built for the modern game? It is at this point where he/she many times steps away, if only for a moment, with the full intention of saying goodbye.
5. Realization – In the end though, the slumping sports blogger comes to the same understanding at which so many others have arrived. There is but a single solution to the problem. Only one avenue exists, a lone path out of the wretchedness of slumpdome. Keep writing. Post and post and post.
Eventually, the shots will start falling, the line drives will again find holes, the puck will inexplicably rediscover the net. Or you’ll chuck up an airball, or go down swinging on three straight pitches. I guess we’ll see. Sometimes it only takes one to climb out…