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Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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Saturday, December 24, 2005

They Are Hopeless, So Go Vote 

A good writer and a socially conscious person has to try to be an avid reader, so when I read that The Best American Sports Writing 2005 had been published, I decided to check out what was in it this year.

This volume is the latest in this ongoing book series, which is part of a larger set of works called The Best American Series. According to the propaganda on the publisher's web page, "Each volume's series editor selects notable works from hundreds of periodicals. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the very best twenty or so pieces to publish." This year's guest editor is Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News.

I have bought a few volumes of this series in years past. I thus browsed through this year's table of contents on the publisher's web site, but mainly looking for two things: articles from online journalism sources, and about the combat sports.

In the first category, there was absolutely nothing from the Internet. Only the dying print media, with its annually declining circulation, was represented.

It was hard to tell just from the titles of the articles what many of their subjects were, so I tried to check if any of these writers were members of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Most I was sure were not, but there was at least one writer I thought possibly could be.

Then I put in the URL for the BWAA, http://bwaa.org/ , but it directed me here: http://higherlevelmedia.net/suspended.page/ . If you clicked on this, you will also see that I was given this wonderful holiday message that the page has been suspended.

Next stop was a WHOIS search , which yielded the information that the BWAA's domain name is good until May 8, 2006, after which, of course, it can be renewed.

I am not buying this book this year, and not because I don't appreciate or read sportswriting about non-combat sports. In fact, I read this all the time. But to have this book publishing company and its newspaper columnist-editor omit selecting anything from the Internet once again shows that they are on a fast highway to hell and are becoming more irrelevant to the public minute by minute.

As far as the BWAA site's being TKO'd is concerned, it is just typical of the failure of many boxing writers to adapt to the new media world replacing the largely comatose print media.

I am not a young man, although sometimes my three grandkids don't understand that. But I'm done trying to get these other old men to adopt at least 1990's technology. They are hopeless. Maybe I would stick it out if I were Billy Joe Shaver, who we know will live forever .

So let's build the alternative while the old media rots on death row. Perhaps not coincidentally, I just came across several attempts at establishing sports blog awards for 2005.

Probably getting the most buzz are the 2005 Sports Blog Awards run by someone calling himself The Red Reporter, who announces that his is "A Cincinnati Reds Blog." Voting started December 20 and runs through January 1.

Another site has already held what it calls the 2005 Weblog Awards , which include a category for sports blogs.

And there are the 2005 Canadian Blog Awards , which also include one for Best Sports Blog .

I haven't read most of these blogs, but I recommend we all do to sort out what is good and what is not. They may be run by people who have a lot to learn about journalism, but at least many of them are still willing to learn.

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