I never typically write on subjects like this. Even as I'm writing this, I feel like I shouldn't be.
Just stick with me, though.
There are two types of writers here at our beloved Bleacher Report.
There is the type that loves themselves, sees zero holes in their writing, and solely writes for the purpose of winning the cherished and honorable "Article Of The Day."
Then there is the type that feels positive about themselves, knows the holes in their writing, and writes for the enjoyment and experience that comes from their articles.
To them, the "Article Of The Day" is an honor and a privilege, not a reward for nit picking topics while planning to take home the title for just one day.
While there are those Type B (the latter of the types) writers who are accused of writing articles a typical Type A (the former) writer would put together, most of those Type Bs will include in their article to not vote them for "Article Of The Day."
I give credit to those writers who choose to take the classy route when writing an article that can appear to be written for rewarding purposes only.
Some Type A's will insert the same request, but in hopes that readers ignore it and go in for the POTD vote. Yet, it is likely that the reader can tell when a writer writes for the purpose of the award (yet somehow these articles continue to win).
So, why do I bring up these two types of Bleacher Report writers?
Why didn't I give the article a headline relating to that instead of the deceiving hook I chose?
The answer is because this article's purpose isn't to point out the two types of writers on B/R. Most of us know the difference, and have pointed them out to others in the past.
No, this article's purpose is to question the community of Bleacher Report. Does most of this site's community fall victim to the childish games put on by those Type A's?
Are most of this site's community actually a part of those Type A's?
I'd like to answer both of those questions with a solid and confident "No," but I cannot find the will power to do so.
While I'm confident that most of this site's community is not among the Type A category, I do believe that many Type B's fall into the traps planted by "The Others" (Type A's).
Personally, I know I'm a Type B. There's no doubt in my mind that I am.
When I drag my mouse to the upper-right, er, left...no, it's right, part of my computer screen, and I push my finger into the left-click of the mouse while hovering over the word "Write," I know what I'm getting myself into.
I'm not going into this page with the mindset of "This one is going to win me that stinkin' award."
Those thoughts never once enter my mind.
What do I think about?
I think about how I can improve on my writing in this article, and about what I want to get across to the reader.
Personally, I know the holes in my writing. I have trouble figuring out when to create a new paragraph (like this one). I also struggle with placing quotation marks in the middle of a sentence if it is hypothetical, and not a true quote (like the one a few sentences ago).
I even have trouble knowing whether to put a period after or before the end of a name of something in quotations if it's at the end of a sentence (see beginning).
I don't write for the mere rewards that follow. I write for the fun of writing, and for the sake of improvement.
As a 15-year-old, I think it is even more crucial that I focus on improvement more than anything. Over the past year that I have been publishing on B/R, my grades in English class have risen by a large margin.
While my personal scores have always been better than above average, I failed to receive a less than perfect mark on an essay this school year, something I had yet to accomplish.
I am aware that I am a good writer, yet I know that that doesn't mean I must be rewarded for it. Nobody needs to tell me I'm good at what I do.
I know what I can and can't do, so why do I need to search for a way to be rewarded?
I have yet to receive the "Article Of The Day," but it doesn't matter to me. Winning the award would mean a lot, but only if I earned it.
Plus, winning the award isn't what will make me feel that I'm a better, more accomplished writer than I was the day before. It was the time spent constructing the piece that contributed to my improvement.
The award is only an acknowledgement.
(Commercial break: I wanted to state earlier to not vote for me, but decided against it.
Well, I've been wondering lately about how many people actually read, and how many simply award the vote just because everyone else does?
Well, as you can obviously tell, I definitely do not want to be voted for "Article Of The Day" with this article. Do not vote for me, at all. I mean it. If you do, I'll think you didn't read the article.
If the article is awarded "Article Of The Day," I'll delete it. That is all. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.)
So when I ventured onto B/R over the past few days, and saw the collection of articles that have recently won "Article Of The Day," I was saddened by what I saw.
Besides Zach Fein's award-winning article, most of the collection of winners is disappointing.
A few non-sports related pieces took the title home, as well as a few personal recognition and other sorts of articles.
With respect to the actual occurrences and the stories within these personal articles, should life stories be awarded pick of the day votes on an all sports-related journalism website?
Honestly, I do think those articles should be allowed on B/R from time to time, due to the lack of places elsewhere on the inter-webs with as much viewership and freedom as this site.
Yet, I do not believe they should be chosen as the best of the best on a day-to-day basis due to the fact that this is a sports website.
Then there are those select few articles that are about sports, like a generic top 10 ranking of some sort, that are also created to win the award as well and gain readership.
A Peyton Manning/Tom Brady article is sure to bring home a million views and three times as many comments, and has been used from time-to-time to do so.
Heck, I'll probably receive more of those views now that I've mentioned the two.
But that's beside the point.
The point I'm getting at is that these articles are taking over, conquering our website.
Too many undeserving articles are being recognized, and too few are going unnoticed.
When writers looking to win the award decide to "recognize" a fellow writer, and they actually win the award, it's just plain wrong.
If I go out and dedicate an article to Bryn Swartz, and I receive the pick of the day, what is that saying?
All I did was write that I appreciated his work, and I am rewarded?
No award should be handed to myself because of that type of article. Bryn receives recognition from myself in the article, and I shall receive the experience of writing said article.
It's a shame that this continues to occur on this site.
I'm not pointing the finger at any of these writers to have been "acknowledged," like Leroy Watson. He didn't request to be recognized.
It just happened.
Leroy is a terrific writer, and I love his work, as do many others on this site. But that doesn't mean we have to crown him. We are all aware of his work. He's won the "Article Of The Day" 16 times!
What is best about him is he doesn't write for the award, he writes for himself. The honors are simply a product of his talents.
He needs no recognition from anyone. His recognition is found in the awards he wins, not the dedications that follow.
If you want to recognize a writer, do as Leroy did: recognize someone who deserves more than what they have.
I still don't believe in the whole idea, but it's better than writing about how much you love the most famous person in the world and receiving "Article Of The Day" because of it.
If you want to say something about how great a writer someone is, don't tell us, tell him/her.
Saraswathi Sirigina's new series is the exact opposite of what I'm getting at.
In all honesty, I love what she is doing. She is taking a look at the underrated and overlooked writers of Bleacher Report. It's much better than honoring the man who leads the site in "Article Of The Day" awards.
So, do you understand what I'm getting at?
Recognizing a writer, sharing a sad story that has zero relation to sports, and putting together tips/guides to B/R doesn't deserve pick of the day votes.
While they do deserve to be written on Bleacher Report, especially the articles on life happenings that a writer feels they need to share, they shouldn't be in consideration for "Article Of The Day".
This is a sports journalism website, not a see-who-can-get-the-most-recognition-and-then-honor-them-so-I-can-get-recognition website.
Let's keep it that way.
To wrap this piece up, I want to conclude by saying getting two last thoughts to you, the reader.
First, please don't barge onto the comments in all capital letters. I can't hear you any louder with capital letters than I can with lowercase.
I only ask of you to be mature in what you say. If you disagree, do so politely and wisely.
Second, I didn't mean to harm anyone's feelings in this article. While you can likely tell what I was alluding to at certain points in this article, I didn't mean to attack anyone on a personal level.
Thank you for your time. I look forward to your comments.
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