with that HUGE chip on ones shoulder? Us vs Them
On the surface it comes across as a “can’t we all just get along” rant about the two sides of the split, and the bias and sometimes ignorance of some on both “sides”. Fair argument. The drivers seem to be tiring of being referred to on any particular “side” or with clever terms like “transitioners”.
Truthfully, after next weeks race, even we (www.champcarworld.net) will stop doing specific “transitioning team” reports. We will become OpenWheelWorld.net post Long Beach and all the drivers in the top tier will be “IndyCar” drivers. Period. This situation for more than a decade has been divisive enough. Time to start repairing the giant fissure in the sport, in the fanbase, and in the general mindset.
But I digress… let’s get back to Olsen’s little bunched up panties shall we?
If you dig a little deeper under the surface, (not hard to do as he’s about as subtle as a mack truck and that piece has the depth of a puddle), you will see that the “Us vs Them” isn’t about the drivers or fans or “media” in general creating or maintaining sides for the drivers. No, it’s his own personal insecure soap box rant about the state of Motorsports journalism.
The “US” in this case are, from what I can surmise, those whom he categorizes along side himself as the “real” journalists, pedigreed and filled with integrity, who wouldn’t think of showing bias or heaven forbid cheering the accomplishments of the son of a racing legend earning that coveted first win. The old guard. The “we were here first, and you’re taking up room in our sandbox” crowd.
The “Them” are the rest of us. Somehow we are all hacks because of how we got there, what platform we use to spread our particular noise, or how we react to who takes the checkered flag.
The surge of fan-based internet media grew out of the derth of any mainstream coverage of our sport in the last handful of years. I know. I am one of those untrained and unprofessional word butchers that busts my hump 7 days a week – before, after and sometimes while working at my paying job, to bring other fans the open wheel racing coverage that they so desperately crave but are unable to find via the mainstream channels as our cars don’t have fenders, sponsors that change weekly or drivers with a good ol’ boy deep southern twang.
Hell, the Champ Car World Series is racing for it’s final time next weekend. Teams are announcing their driver line ups, the Grand Prix is sending out information about the event, but you sure as hell wouldn’t know any of that from mainstream media or the series main site (ChampCar.ws) (which if you go there you would assume it’s business as usual as NOTHING has been said or updated since the wheels fell off) If you venture over to the new sanctioning body’s site (IndyCar.com) you’ll read all about Motegi and a plethora of announcements about the 500 a month from now, but nary a word about where those 9 new drivers mysteriously missing from the Motegi entry list are driving that weekend. You know where you can read about it however? On a handful of fan run and operated sites that give full coverage of both series, in detail, ours being one of them. (obligatory 2nd pimping of site)
Untrained? True. I don’t have a piece of paper in a frame on my wall from some university proclaiming me a “journalist”. I also don’t have one on my wall proclaiming me a “singer” and yet my accomplished 20 year career as such would tell you otherwise.
Professional? Nope. True again. In order to be categorized as “professional” you actually have to earn money at it. The hours I put in? My own. The money I fork out for travel and accommodations? Out of my own pocket. The same goes for my colleagues, 3 of whom are flying in from Europe next week to cover the race for our readership there, who now no longer have races, the drivers they championed or any mainstream media coverage of the event, so they are counting on us for all the details.
So what then makes our coverage any less important than Mr. Olsens?
At least the we aren’t rocking on our bosses dime, taking up valuable time and space on our “news” site lambasting or degrading the people we will likely be sitting beside at various events over the course of the year. No, we are actually typing with our knuckles and writing about the racing. How unprofessional of us.
*Edit* It would appear I’m not the only one who found Jeffy’s article… interesting… Pressdog had an interesting take as well.