Michael Gee writes an interesting guest piece in the Boston Sports Media Watch today, one that takes no opinion but still lauds the Jackie MacMullans and Bob Ryans and Mike Lupicas and Mitch Alboms of the world while subtly noting how sports personalities the likes of Bill Simmons and our good friend Mike Felger have forever ruined sports media as we know it.
I enjoy Felger, personally. I find him well-informed, antagonistic at the right times and a perfect foil to any mainstream thought involving the Boston sports scene. But I love his ability to spin angles that other members of the media don't see.
This isn't the heyday of broadsheets, when your best reporters could pump out a game story by deadline or could draft an human interest piece in a matter of days, not minutes. And we're beyond the glory days of broadcast media, too, where analysis ruled and entertaining play-by-play guys could make or break a network.
Because of social media, sports are now more entertainment than ever, and we expect our sports personalities - not players or coaches, but the people that cover them - to entertain us as much as they inform us, and possibly even more.
It's a trend that backfires, of course - anyone who follows Simmons is surely aware of some of the tiffs he's had with other writers, some of whom are currently under his employ.
That in itself is surefire entertainment, and quality stuff at that, but it does little to improve the industry, which is these days bogged down by those with less training in reading or writing within the conventions of the English language than they have ability to shamelessly throw crap against the wall.
But if we're entertained, does any of it really matter anyway?