San Francisco 49ers CBS Position: Thank You, Bleacher Report

Andy Bensch@@AndyBenschSenior Writer IJuly 16, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - DECEMBER 07:  Quarterback Shaun Hill #13 of the San Francisco 49ers runs the ball against the New York Jets during an NFL game on December 7, 2008 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

This past May, B/R teamed up with CBS Sports for a contest that would apparently give 32 B/R writers the opportunity to become beat writers for their local NFL team.

The contest required an online application and a series of articles concerning the team that they had chosen to cover.

For over two months, B/R writers were busy coming up with numerous NFL stories dealing with the team's offseason moves, detailing the coaching staff, and even making mock interviews with a player of their choice.

Before this contest/job offer started, numerous long-time Bleacher Creatures received an email from Zander Freund (one of the founders of B/R). In this email, the "syndicated" NFL writers were pleasantly surprised to find out that CBS would hire a beat writer off of B/R for each NFL team.

Not only were the original NFL writers excited to go out for this spot, but numerous new Bleacher Report writers created profiles and joined in on the competition as well.

And in speaking from my experience with the 49ers community section, there were at-least 7-10 if not more writers publishing the 5-6 required pieces for the correspondent position.

To be honest, some of us long-time B/R writers were a bit miffed that some of these writers joined this site just because of the contest. We felt that they weren't true B/R writers that the original email made it sound would have a chance at this opportunity.

However, the more competition there is, the better the writing becomes from all the applicants. In hindsight, if any of these writers received the correspondent position, then I applaud them and hope they publish great pieces for CBS.

As long as the winner of the 49ers position published the required articles on B/R for the contest, then nobody should have any "beef" over the result of the contest.

But on the other hand, it has come to light that only 16 B/R writers received positions as correspondents and the other 16 were filled by "professional" writers in the journalism field.

There have been numerous articles of late complaining about such an "atrocity," but in reality, CBS created this opportunity and has every right to hire who they wish.

With so many people unemployed in this economy, it is understandable that there are numerous professional writers who deserved these positions more than us "amateur" writers here on B/R. 

Like any other job, it is tough to complain about a company passing over you for someone with more qualifications. 

However, the applicants under the impression that only B/R writers were going to be given this opportunity found out only recently that professionals were given half the spots.

Subsequently, it is not the fact that professionals received the spots instead of us that is the problem, but the fact that we were only just notified of their participation after the contest was complete.

The B/R writers as a whole were under the impression that all applicants had to write these particular articles on B/R in order to be considered for this position. But apparently, that wasn't the case.

A significant amount of those who were hired for the correspondent position did not write the required articles on B/R and that just seems unfair to a lot of the actual B/R writers.

Most of the Bleacher Creatures would have appreciated an email (during the application process) informing them that outside professional writers were being given the same chance at these correspondent positions.

Just a simple heads up during the contest would have been helpful, because a significant amount of B/R writers thought they had a much better chance at these positions than it turns out they actually did.

But then again, B/R made this all possible. Even the fact that half the correspondent positions were filled by "amateur" writers is a tremendous feat.

So, although I missed out on this opportunity to cover my beloved 49ers, I thank B/R for the opportunity and ask: Who won the 49ers correspondent position?

As the No. 1 ranked writer for the 49ers here on B/R, I feel as if I deserve to know who won the spot, and I sincerely hope it was one of the fellow writers who completed the required tasks on B/R during May.

However, if the 49ers position was indeed one of the 16 spots filled by a professional, I may have to step down from Bleacher Report.

It is difficult to keep publishing quality articles without any compensation when you thought you had a legitimate chance through the site to start receiving compensation.

And yet, as it turns out, the the site wasn't up front with us and failed to tell us that we were competing with professionals.

Albeit, this is not an article bashing B/R, and I hope they don't delete it because B/R will always be the place where I got my start.

I currently have a position as a blogger for the San Jose Sharks. It is my first paying Gig for this brand new sports website coming out in the fall called Fan Huddle.

The only reason I was offered the position was because the site's creator found me here on B/R and offered me a spot because he was impressed with my sports writing ability.

I sincerely hope this piece doesn't get flagged because it may be my last piece for B/R. And if it is deleted, it will definitely be my last.

But either way, I thank Bleacher Report for being Bleacher Report, a place where amateur sports writers can begin their careers.



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