You Heard It Here First: "SGM"
From the Weak-Attempt-at-Punditry-Department, here's an attempt to coin a term for hot new theme to track: "Subject-Generated-Media", or "SGM" for short. It's inspired by Red Sox ace pitcher Curt Schilling's blog, 38pitches.com, which is simply brilliant. I've learned more about pitching reading Curt's posts than I picked up in the past 30 years of being a fan. Curt is a terrific writer, and he brings out the best in his friends, too. For example, here's a recent comment on this post, by former Sox Kevin Millar, whom Curt fanned quickly in a recent spring training game:
Well I must say that Curt is right on with the curve ball talk.I have been ragging on his curve ball for a few years and today he called my bluff.
1st ab he shook 3 times and I had a feeling he was shaking to the curve ball but still didnt have the balls to sit 1st pitch curve ball on Schilling. Then, I did call time out, telling Tek “What the hell is Schill doing shaking to the curve ball?”, and bam! sure enough here came this hanging curve ball (Curt: I beg to differ, the first one wasn’t hanging) I watched for strike 1, and couldnt pull the trigger. Then schill came back with another (Curt: which I did hang) whiched I pulled foul (Curt: into the vendor selling lemonade, which for anyone sitting along the 3rd base dugout knows is no surprise, Kevin hooking a pitch foul) and yes he threw the 3rd one in a row which I layed off.
I then had a feeling he was going to throw all curve balls to me, as pedro martinez did to me the 1st time I faced him last year and i struck out on 4 in a row. But Schill caught me guessing and struck me out with a heater in.
So all the trash talking I did to him and all the text messages I ragged him with, he got me and I couldnt look at him after the AB, even though i wanted to laugh
Kevin (Curt: I can hook a fastball better than anyone but Sheffield) Millar
What's interesting about this blog is not only is Curt providing a level of insight you don't get from even the most experienced sports journalists, but also that Curt is breaking news ahead of them as well -- case in point: the Red Sox's decision to move Jon Papelbon into the closer's role.
Just when all that "CGM" stuff was complicating Old Media's lives, now they're getting it from the other side. WEEI in Boston reported last week that Curt had 500k visitors in 11 days, a non-trivial number for advertisers that will only grow as word spreads. Prediction: someone -- perhaps Curt himself, or an enterprising agent with multiple athletes under contract -- will create a network of professional athlete/bloggers, and partner with ad and affiliate commerce networks to monetize it. Athletes need not be writers to play this game; they could hire folks to interview them for podcasts and videoblog posts. It's a two-fer for the athletes: they control their image by avoiding the press and going direct to their readers, and they make money doing it! And, sharing some of the proceeds with charity would accelerate readers' migration to these properties and away from traditional sports media.