Should I Continue to Contribute to Bleacher Report?

NC NighthawkAnalyst IOctober 4, 2008

Overall, I've thoroughly enjoyed contributing and being involved here at Bleacher Report.  The vast majority of writers I've communicated with here show respect and class.   I especially enjoy reading and learning information from the articles, columns, and comments.

I'm merely a 53-year old sports fan, not a professional journalist or professional analyst.  I love sports, especially NFL football, NCAA football, and college hoops.  For me, sports are about fun and entertainment, not to be taken seriously. I don't gamble, but I participate in online contests, fantasy leagues, tournaments, etc.

Things I take seriously include my family, my faith, peace on earth, our nation's financial crisis, goodwill towards humans, health, education, the homeless, the hungry, the needy, etc. 

Observing, reading, discussing, and blogging about sports is one of my hobbies, not a vocation.

I appreciate the efforts here at Bleacher Report in setting and practicing high standards of writing. Therefore, I'm most grateful to those who edit my articles and columns.

Nevertheless, I get discouraged with "over-editing." I appreciate good editing that corrects mechanics in grammar and usage and also clarifies the content.

But when someone completely rewrites my headline, title or when my appropriate picture or graphic gets deleted or replaced, I do not feel like I own my article or column anymore, and my natural tendency is to delete it. It becomes a frustrating and discouraging experience.

I have edited a few articles, mainly for grammar, spelling, and clarification, but I would never be arrogant enough to rewrite someone else's headline or delete their picture.  In my humble opinion, that shows a lack of respect for  another's ownership of an article or column. 

I say columns and not editorials intentionally.  An editorial is an unsigned opinion piece usually reflecting the opinions of a group of editors and/or the publisher/owner of a publication.  A column is an signed opinion essay by an individual.  The difference between an editorial and a column are obvious when contrasted in a daily newspaper.

My style of writing is terse and to the point.  I don't beat around the bush. I don't practice what I call "analysis paralysis."  That's just me.  I typically like to cite facts and insert a little perspective here and there, but not everywhere because I want readers to make up their own minds.  There, the purpose of some of my writings are to generate comments and analysis based on factual information.

Another fact of life for me is that my blogging time is limited due to responsibilities in daily life away from the computer and the World Wide Web.

However, on occasion, I receive a comment or note at Bleacher Report that comes across as (for a lack of better term) "anal" and/or mean-spirited.  Otherwords, rather than offering constructive critism with specific solutions these comments are accusative of nature and are generalities written with slang language. When I could, I deleted those inappropriate comments.

I have observed that I have not received these type of inappropriate comments at other blogs sites such as, USA Today, Blogspot, WordPress, etc.

While I do not take these comments personally, sometimes I feel unqualified to contribute here. 

I did not request for the "analyst" title or label.  I received email from Bleacher Report nicely thanking me for my contributions.

However, if I am expected to spend unpaid hours to "analyze" and write "editorials" then please remove the "analyst" label and please replace it with "fan" because in reality that is all that I am.

I am a fan who usually reports a few facts and makes one or two comments. When I make comments on the articles by others, I attempt to encourage them and accentuate the positive.  I enjoy an engaging debate about ideas. I find mean-spirited one-liners to be a waste of my time.

I want to thank Bleacher Report for the opportunity to share facts and insights here.  However, I'm a mere fan who enjoys sharing a little information and some thoughts. I am not a journalist or even an analyst.

Perhaps this interesting web site is not a good fit for me.