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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

King Kaufman: Bleacher Report: I Don’t Give a Damn About Our Bad Reputation

image

Welcome to my new home.

After 14 years as a writer and editor at Salon, I have signed on at Bleacher Report as manager of writer development. My main job here is to try to help improve the overall quality of the writing.

That’s a big goal for Bleacher Report this year. To this point, my new bosses tell me, the site has concentrated on getting itself established and then growing. Now, it’s time to raise the level of discourse, as it were. Imagine the state of things if they’re bringing me in to raise the level of discourse!

...How will we do all that? Well, I haven’t even figured out where the bathroom is. First things first. And first, I’m going to be a Bleacher Report writer myself. When you next hear from me, I’ll have taken an assignment, as featured columnists do. I want to see how the writing program looks from the writing side. I hope I’ll be able to write regularly even after I’ve gotten my bearings.

Repoz Posted: January 26, 2011 at 02:49 AM | 89 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: media, site news, special topics

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   1. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:04 AM (#3736366)
I was just thinking about Freaks and Geeks today...
   2. The District Attorney Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:08 AM (#3736369)
My main job here is to try to help improve the overall quality of the writing.

That’s a big goal for Bleacher Report this year.
Yes, I'd describe it as a "quixotic" goal given any amount of time, but if you're gonna try, this is an excellent guy to try it with.
   3. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:10 AM (#3736372)
Whoa. Very interesting move. G' luck, King!
   4. McCoy Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:12 AM (#3736373)
My main job here is to try to help improve the overall quality of the writing.
That’s a big goal for Bleacher Report this year.


Sounds like a slam to all the writers they already have there. Granted I have no idea how good the writing is over there.

Hello everybody, the goal is to get you guys to not suck. Go team!
   5. madvillain Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:27 AM (#3736381)
I hate BR because when I Google blog search for "White Sox" I get some crap from a 14 year old about how Jeter is God and the Sox should give up Danks for him. Google is failing there.
   6. Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:27 AM (#3736382)
I'd never heard the term "content farm" before, but the concept kinda sucks... I wish King all the best in this endeavour, regardless of the type of farm he's tilling. He's one of the good guys.
   7. The District Attorney Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:28 AM (#3736383)
I hate USS Mariner because when I Google blog search for "White Sox" I get some crap from a 14 year old about how Jose Lopez is God and the Sox should give up Danks for him.
fixed
   8. Brian Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:48 AM (#3736394)
Good luck King, all the best.
   9. rr Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:56 AM (#3736396)
Is this sort of like when NFL teams hire a "quality control coach?"
   10. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 26, 2011 at 04:04 AM (#3736399)
What Dayn said. Good luck indeed!
   11. Into the Void Posted: January 26, 2011 at 04:07 AM (#3736401)
On the plus side, there is absolutely no way the writing at Bleacher Report can get any worse. Though with hard-hitting articles like "50 Hottest Blondes in Sports," "50 Hottest Women Wearing Sports Jerseys," and "50 Hottest Women Golfers" I'm guessing their audience doesn't do much actual reading.
   12. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 26, 2011 at 04:18 AM (#3736410)
I always wondered if Kaufman actually looked like the cartoon picture of him on Salon and now I see that he does.

I am now curious about one less thing in my life.
   13. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: January 26, 2011 at 04:27 AM (#3736412)
If you need someone to write articles connecting Alan Alda to Mike Ditka to Ty Cobb, I'm your man, King!
   14. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: January 26, 2011 at 04:34 AM (#3736414)
If you need someone to write articles connecting Alan Alda to Mike Ditka to Ty Cobb, I'm your man, King!


Wayne Rogers to Cool Papa Bell. Go!
   15. Repoz Posted: January 26, 2011 at 04:45 AM (#3736418)
If you need someone to write articles connecting Alan Alda to Mike Ditka to Ty Cobb, I'm your man, King!

And a little sex.
   16. Craig Calcaterra Posted: January 26, 2011 at 04:47 AM (#3736420)
Google is failing there.


It was just announced that Google is going to change the way it ranks searches to cut out the so-called "content farms" that appear so prominently in current results. While King and I have disagreed in the past 24 hours about whether BR is a content farm, a possible interpretation of this kind of move is BR doing what it can to appear like a more conscientious, quality-concerned organization in an effort to not get cut out by Google's looming shift.

I like King and I want him to succeed, so I hope that's just my cynicism going crazy. But really: when your exceedingly lucrative empire is built on slide shows, cheesecake and free content from teenagers, it's hard to see what might make them force wholesale changes, as opposed to merely limiting that stuff enough to make Google's impending cut.
   17. My Grate Friend Peason's pants are rankled Posted: January 26, 2011 at 04:51 AM (#3736421)
hard-hitting articles like "50 Hottest Blondes in Sports," "50 Hottest Women Wearing Sports Jerseys," and "50 Hottest Women Golfers"


They have recently stepped up their game though, with creative new ideas like "The Hottest Underboobs in Sports".
   18. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 26, 2011 at 05:00 AM (#3736424)
I tabbed Bad Reputation for OLGA. My only submission.

EDIT: still accessible at ultimate-guitar.com, I had no idea.

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/j/joan_jett/bad_reputation_crd.htm
   19. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 26, 2011 at 05:12 AM (#3736429)
Best of luck at your new gig, King. I've enjoyed your writing at Salon. I haven't visited Bleacher Report before, but I will now.
   20. Repoz Posted: January 26, 2011 at 05:18 AM (#3736430)
But really: when your exceedingly lucrative empire is built on slide shows, cheesecake and free content from teenagers, it's hard to see what might make them force wholesale changes, as opposed to merely limiting that stuff enough to make Google's impending cut.

But they got a major boost this evening with Obama's "We Are a Nation of Google, Facebook and Bleacher Report” line.

Bleached for content.
   21. Tuque Posted: January 26, 2011 at 05:19 AM (#3736431)
Granted I have no idea how good the writing is over there.

Terrible.

/former BR editing intern
   22. Walt Davis Posted: January 26, 2011 at 05:26 AM (#3736433)
Because I wasn't sure what an "underboob" was, I clicked through for research purposes only! I was delighted to see that "50 hottest women in sports jerseys" was filed under "news and opinion."
   23. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: January 26, 2011 at 05:35 AM (#3736436)
perhaps they are hoping to attract more legitimate writers by having kaufman's brand heading the department. because if he's going to try to pull it off with the writers they currently have...yeah, good luck king.
   24. Rich Rifkin Posted: January 26, 2011 at 06:23 AM (#3736450)
I always wondered if Kaufman actually looked like the cartoon picture of him on Salon and now I see that he does.

That's him using the whip? Looks more like a Marquess Kaufman or an Earl Kaufman than a King Kaufman. Of course, he took off his crown, so it's harder to fathom his kingliness.
   25. rr Posted: January 26, 2011 at 06:27 AM (#3736452)
Click on the byline (if you are serious).
   26. Baldrick Posted: January 26, 2011 at 06:38 AM (#3736456)
Only one post about Freaks and Geeks? For shame.

My favorite bit is the 29 piece drum kit. Classic.
   27. Howie Menckel Posted: January 26, 2011 at 06:42 AM (#3736459)
"I hate BR because when I Google blog search for "White Sox" I get some crap from a 14 year old about how Jeter is God and the Sox should give up Danks for him. Google is failing there."

am stunned and thriled that google is actually addressing this.

currently: real reporters report stuff, it goes onto the internet, fans on their couches comment on it - and other fans looking for information about their team on the internet get directed to the fan on the couch.

nice (though mostly unpaid at first) work if you can get if for the couch guy, I guess.
   28. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: January 26, 2011 at 06:43 AM (#3736460)
christ baldrick, the whole ####### show was classic. i watched it in high school, then got the dvds four years later - my wife and i devoured it in three nights.
   29. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: January 26, 2011 at 06:50 AM (#3736464)
I really had no idea what BR was. So I clicked around and on the first MLB page is the following:

New York Yankees: ESPNw Uses The Bombers In Pathetic Attempt To Be Get Popular

It includes these gems: "Is this the kind of reporting ESPNw is producing in order to get attention to a seemly dead website?

...

Obviously, because there have been launched since October 2010, and already are resorting back to the men to get an audience.

Ironically, all it is doing is making women look ridiculous and saying that we have no business reporting about sports. See, ESPN can get away with making a mountain out of an anthill because it has a loyal audience that has proven to come back again.

In defense of the story, what is the point to take a hypothetical answer and change it into something factual? Obviously the reason is because Derek Jeter and the Yankees is a popular topic, but to try and cause unwarranted friction is weak.

Even more so it is unmerited.

As a women myself, I hope ESPNw practices what it has preached from the start, as stuff like this effects all of our creditability and it is doing more harm than good.

As for Jeter, the Captain will not take the bait because he knows that today is today, and what the future beholds will be dealt with when the time comes."
   30. Tripon Posted: January 26, 2011 at 06:53 AM (#3736468)
I love BR. Some of the best bad stories originate from there, and when I post it on BBTF, you guys go nuts.
   31. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: January 26, 2011 at 07:23 AM (#3736484)
I like Kaufman's BR profile, in which he declares his favorite athletes to be Neifi Perez, Johnny LeMaster, Mario Mendoza.

However, as a Golden Bear alum and Oakland A's fan, he is (ahem) at the pinnacle of human evolution.
   32. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: January 26, 2011 at 07:32 AM (#3736488)
Only one post about Freaks and Geeks? For shame.


Does it count if I say that I'm sad that people only associate an awesome Joan Jett song with a television show that borrowed it as its theme song?
   33. Baldrick Posted: January 26, 2011 at 08:12 AM (#3736504)
No it does not count.

Don't get me wrong, it's a great song and I liked it before the show. But Freaks and Geeks is inner-circle good. Pedro 1999/2000 good.
   34. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: January 26, 2011 at 09:05 AM (#3736507)
I like Kaufman's writing a lot. Hopefully his editing and managing duties don't take away from his output. That said, as McCoy already pointed it out, this opening post is pretty rough on the current staff. Do a bunch of lazy hacks write for the site?
   35. Walt Davis Posted: January 26, 2011 at 09:25 AM (#3736509)
When you next hear from me, I’ll have taken an assignment

Are you taking requests? How about the 17 hottest asses in college women's soccer? Or the 23 best cleavages in women's rowing?

Do a bunch of lazy hacks write for the site?

Well, based on what I've seen, this looks like the writing equivalent of becoming GM of the Royals.

Good luck King (honestly!)
   36. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 26, 2011 at 01:22 PM (#3736524)
Does it count if I say that I'm sad that people only associate an awesome Joan Jett song with a television show that borrowed it as its theme song?

That song was released three years before I was born

Don't get me wrong, it's a great song and I liked it before the show. But Freaks and Geeks is inner-circle good. Pedro 1999/2000 good.

To expand on my first post, the reason I was thinking of it was that I was trying to come up with great shows that lasted one season. The top two I came up with were Freaks and Geeks and Terriers.
   37. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 02:10 PM (#3736534)
New York Yankees: ESPNw Uses The Bombers In Pathetic Attempt To Be Get Popular


I guess the inclusion of "New York Yankees" in the post title is an SEO gimmick ...

I've noticed some of the SBNation team blogs doing this, placing the city and team name before almost every post, which is nothing major I suppose but is nevertheless pretty jarring and repetitive. (Not meaning to dog SBNation, as I read several of their blogs and used to write one of them.) Team X is implied to be in the title of almost every post, since the blog is specifically about Team X. So there's no reason to put Team X in the title of every post unless you're trying to game Google or something.
   38. JoeHova Posted: January 26, 2011 at 02:27 PM (#3736543)
The top two I came up with were Freaks and Geeks and Terriers.

Lucky Louie.
   39. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 26, 2011 at 02:56 PM (#3736560)
Wayne Rogers to Cool Papa Bell. Go!

Trapper John could resect a small bowel before the backup generator turned the 4077th's lights back on.

The best one-season TV shows ever... EVER!... are TV Funhouse, Brass Eye, and The Honeymooners.
   40. The District Attorney Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:04 PM (#3736566)
Best three-episode TV show ever: Skin
   41. SoSH U at work Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:41 PM (#3736586)
The top two I came up with were Freaks and Geeks and Terriers.


Bakersfield, P.D. gets my vote.
   42. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:42 PM (#3736587)
Police Squad only lasted one season - six episodes, to be precise.
   43. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:54 PM (#3736590)
The best one-season TV shows ever

Honey West--no one could wear a black plastic jumpsuit better than Anne Francis*(RIP)


*with the possible exception of Diana Rigg
   44. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 03:59 PM (#3736594)
Do Bleacher Report writers get paid for what they create? (It's hard to imagine that they do, based on the things I've read there in the past.)

If not, that might be a good way to improve article quality.
   45. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 26, 2011 at 04:00 PM (#3736595)
no one could wear a black plastic jumpsuit better than Anne Francis*(RIP)
*with the possible exception of Diana Rigg


Vince McMahon and King Mabel respectfully disagree.
   46. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 26, 2011 at 04:13 PM (#3736600)
I always wondered if Kaufman actually looked like the cartoon picture of him on Salon and now I see that he does.

I am now curious about one less thing in my life.


I always pictured King Kaufman as looking like Rich Rifkin, a pair of tough Jews with short and angry gray beards, even though up until I saw this picture of the Whipmeister I really had no idea what either of them looked like. It probably had to do with their alliterative names and nothing else.
   47. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 04:13 PM (#3736601)
no one could wear a black plastic jumpsuit better than Anne Francis*(RIP)
*with the possible exception of Diana Rigg

Vince McMahon and King Mabel respectfully disagree.


let's have a vote
   48. Barnaby Jones Posted: January 26, 2011 at 04:18 PM (#3736605)
Firefly. Brisco County Jr.
   49. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 26, 2011 at 04:42 PM (#3736622)
The real question is this: What do the powers that be at Bleacher Report want Bleacher Report to be? "Improving the quality of writing" is one thing - but if you're writing about crap, it's still crap.

-- MWE
   50. CFiJ Posted: January 26, 2011 at 04:47 PM (#3736627)
Firefly. Brisco County Jr.

Excellent choices. What struck me about Firefly, at least the DVD-as-the-creator-intended version, was that it hit the ground running. Most shows use the first season to shake out the bugs. Even with other Whedon shows, like Buffy and Angel, the first season has a certain lightness of tone as the show figures out what it really wants to say. But with Firefly, it seemed that the show knew what it was from the get-go, and just about every episode hit upon those core themes.

Brisco had a really long first season -- 27 episodes. In fact, after watching short series like Firefly, the new Doctor Who, and Deadwood, I received the DVD set for Brisco and it didn't feel short or truncated at all. The whole John Bly storyline was set-up, advanced, and brought to a conclusion. It might have been good that it ended after that one season, a complete story, rather than continue on and suffer story fatigue.
   51. base ball chick Posted: January 26, 2011 at 05:41 PM (#3736668)
i cross-posted my blog entries on BR for a while last year. was not exactly happy with it being covered with nekkid sluts and ads for more nekkid sluts and ads for articles about boobulous nekkid sluts

i got almost no hits - the editors explained that i didn't write well enough to get any pub from them or be "featured"

the "featured" articles i read on the astros were written by males who sound like the guys who call in to sports radio shows

not sure what king is gonna do here, or if the idea is to get more writing, more bettah writing about boobulescent nekkid sluts with the tagline - oh yeah, guess how many of these here slutties think jetah should be traded for john danks?
   52. Jay Seaver Posted: January 26, 2011 at 05:42 PM (#3736669)
Supposedly the producers of Brisco were asked to wrap the Bly story up earlier than they'd planned, but they did it with an unusual amount of grace (it's worth noting that pretty much the entire writing staff on that show would wind up as head writers on other programs within a few years). To this day, I'm shocked Brisco was a one-year wonder while The X-Files became an institution; the former was so much more satisfying.

Sadly, I think Fox learned a valuable lesson from that - that no matter how much they like a show and want it to succeed, sticking with it won't make an audience magically appear. Folks have grumbled about their quick hook ever since, but it sadly makes sense.
   53. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 05:46 PM (#3736673)
covered with nekkid sluts and ads for more nekkid sluts and ads for articles about boobulous nekkid sluts

you make it sound like that's a BAD thing
   54. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 26, 2011 at 05:52 PM (#3736683)
I really liked Profit and expect it would have worked better today.
   55. Steve Phillips' Hot Cougar (DrStankus) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 05:53 PM (#3736684)
How could Girls Club be forgotten so soon?
   56. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 26, 2011 at 05:54 PM (#3736686)
Don't you mean Girls Bluc?
   57. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 05:57 PM (#3736688)
Bakersfield, P.D. gets my vote.


Definitely a contender. Ditto for Freaks & Geeks & Brisco County Jr.

See also: American Gothic, Wonderfalls & Home Front (one of the characters was a rookie Cleveland outfielder, for godssakes!)
   58. Paul D(uda) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 05:57 PM (#3736690)
I'm about to be expelled from primer, but Freaks and Geeks is the most over rated show in history. It hit a weird version of the 'uncanny valley' for me.
   59. Paul D(uda) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 06:01 PM (#3736698)
I really liked Profit and expect it would have worked better today.

I agree. It was also a bit rushed, and on something like Showtime it could have taken more time to set everything up and execute it.
   60. Baldrick Posted: January 26, 2011 at 06:23 PM (#3736727)
40. The District Attorney Posted: January 26, 2011 at 09:04 AM (#3736566)
Best three-episode TV show ever: Skin

His father is a poster on Baseball Primer!
   61. Adam M Posted: January 26, 2011 at 06:45 PM (#3736751)
I have fond memories of QED but I suspect it really wasn't all that good.
   62. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 06:49 PM (#3736754)
T.H.E. Cat
   63. Pingu Posted: January 26, 2011 at 07:05 PM (#3736771)
Wouldnt worst one season shows be more interesting conversation?
   64. The District Attorney Posted: January 26, 2011 at 07:10 PM (#3736776)
Wouldnt worst one season shows be more interesting conversation?
Presumably Turn-On.
[Guest host Tim] Conway has stated that Turn-On was canceled midway through its lone episode, so that the party the cast and crew held for its premiere (as the show aired across the United States) also marked its cancellation. The show was not officially cancelled for several days, but two ABC affiliates, Denver's KBTV and Cleveland's WEWS, failed to return to the program after the first commercial break. The general manager of WEWS, Don Perris, sent ABC network management an angry telegram: "If you naughty little boys have to write dirty words on the walls, please don't use our walls. It's all right to be racy, but this is just plain dirty." KBTV announced that "the remainder of the preceding program will not be seen." Other stations in time zones behind Eastern and Central which had some forewarning, such as KATU in Portland, Oregon and KOMO-TV in Seattle, never showed the program at all, while many others made the decision not to show it again as soon as the episode was over.
   65. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 07:11 PM (#3736778)
Wouldnt worst one season shows be more interesting conversation?

Mi Madre el Automovil
   66. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: January 26, 2011 at 07:41 PM (#3736808)
I'm about to be expelled from primer, but Freaks and Geeks is the most over rated show in history. It hit a weird version of the 'uncanny valley' for me.


I'd like to hear your reasons for the dislike. I liked the show a whole bunch but I'm willing to hear why others didn't enjoy it so much.
   67. Bob Evans Posted: January 26, 2011 at 07:47 PM (#3736814)
[29] Holy...sounds like they're getting their articles from H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N.

Wayne Rogers to Cool Papa Bell. Go!

Wayne Rogers hurriedly left M*A*S*H carrying his personal effects in a suitcase...or satchel, if you will...
   68. Paul D(uda) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 07:53 PM (#3736820)
I'd like to hear your reasons for the dislike. I liked the show a whole bunch but I'm willing to hear why others didn't enjoy it so much.

Do you know what the uncanny valley is? It's generally a reference to animation/video games that means that the closer we get to modeling actual humans, the more we notice the differences between the model and reality. Like, no one expects Mario from Super Mario 1 to look like a realistic human, so it doesn't bother you when he doesn't. However, when the Polar Express comes out, and they're trying to make the conductor look like Tom Hanks, it's actually creepy and disturbing, precisely because they're so close.

So, what does this have to do with Freaks and Geeks? Unlike other shows which are clear parodies of real life, F&G was close enough to be plausible, but every little tick they got wrong would drive me crazy. I'd just want to scream "IT WASN"T LIKE THAT!". I mean, I loved Veronica Mars but it was clearly a fictionalized version of reality, it wasn't trying to simulate reality.

It's possible this says more about my high school experience than it does about F&G though.
   69. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: January 26, 2011 at 08:02 PM (#3736832)
So, what does this have to do with Freaks and Geeks? Unlike other shows which are clear parodies of real life, F&G was close enough to be plausible, but every little tick they got wrong would drive me crazy. I'd just want to scream "IT WASN"T LIKE THAT!". I mean, I loved Veronica Mars but it was clearly a fictionalized version of reality, it wasn't trying to simulate reality.


That's an understandable criticism. What are you referring to specifically? The Sam/Cindy romantic relationship?

I haven't watched the show in over a year or so, but I don't remember any storylines that were *too* unbelievable.
   70. Steve Phillips' Hot Cougar (DrStankus) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 08:09 PM (#3736838)
Best three-episode TV show ever: Skin


It's funny, despite remembering the promos and Ron Silver's classic bellowing of the district attorney line, I had completely forgotten the name of the show.
   71. Steve Phillips' Hot Cougar (DrStankus) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 08:11 PM (#3736839)
Don't you mean Girls Bluc?


Of course I did, but I couldn't recall if it was Girls Bluc or Girls Bulc and I didn't want to ruin the line so I played it straight.
   72. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 08:17 PM (#3736847)
getting back to good shows that only lasted one season (in this case only half a season), I very much enjoyed the Mel Brooks send-up of Robin Hood called "When Things Were Rotten". It was much ahead of its time--very Airplane-ian in the use of silly puns and sight gags. It was prolly better that it got cancelled, though, because they would have run out of gags eventually.
   73. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 26, 2011 at 08:18 PM (#3736850)
A post-mortem in TV Guide quoted a source who lamented Turn-On's lack of a regular host or interlocutor: "(T)here wasn't any sort of identification with the audience -- just a bunch of strangers up there insulting everything you believe in."

This makes the show sound kind of awesome, to me.

The problem with listing bad tv shows is there are too many. It would be like listing all the bad relief pitchers in baseball history. 2 shows that stand out for me, though, are Manimal and Nighthawk. Those shows hit me right at the age when I started to realize not all of tv is great. I never knew my father, but it must be like that moment when you find out your dad is not omniscient or immortal. A sad time in the life of Shooty...
   74. Good cripple hitter Posted: January 26, 2011 at 08:22 PM (#3736856)
Wouldnt worst one season shows be more interesting conversation?

You're in the Picture, the game show so bad that the second episode was replaced by Jackie Gleason apologizing profusely for being involved in the production of such a bomb.
   75. Walt Davis Posted: January 26, 2011 at 08:38 PM (#3736878)
To expand on my first post, the reason I was thinking of it was that I was trying to come up with great shows that lasted one season. The top two I came up with were Freaks and Geeks and Terriers.

Frank's Place. Apparently no DVDs because the musical rights are too expensive so you'll just have to take my word for it. :-)
   76. Paul D(uda) Posted: January 26, 2011 at 08:38 PM (#3736879)

That's an understandable criticism. What are you referring to specifically? The Sam/Cindy romantic relationship?


Honestly, it's been a couple of years since I watched it, and I only watched the first disk. I think it was more how they were complete outcasts.
   77. Baldrick Posted: January 26, 2011 at 09:44 PM (#3736980)
Honestly, it's been a couple of years since I watched it, and I only watched the first disk. I think it was more how they were complete outcasts.

They dial some of that back as time goes on. It's actually one of the good features of the show in my mind.

What strikes you as uncanny strikes me as a genuine portrait of what it FEELS like, rather than how it actually is. So, you meet the freaks in the same way that Lindsey does, as slightly exaggerated types - and you get to know them as she does.

All of the characters are a lot more complex than they first appear - but they don't beat you over the head with 'here is a moment that reveals something important about the character.' You just start to see their lives outside of the frame of the show as they bleed in.
   78. Bob Evans Posted: January 27, 2011 at 12:49 AM (#3737124)
Frank's Place. Apparently no DVDs because the musical rights are too expensive so you'll just have to take my word for it. :-)

Hey, they got Daria straightened out and it had the same problems. They should just get off their duffs and get Frank's Place straightened out too. I'm pretty sure my dad would bite the head off a cute woodland critter on network TV to get that show on DVD if it would help.
   79. Walt Davis Posted: January 27, 2011 at 01:02 AM (#3737130)
They should just get off their duffs and get Frank's Place straightened out too.

Whatever website I looked at said they're working on re-scoring the show "in a manner consistent with the material."

I mentioned Charles Burnett's "Killer of Sheep" here the other week and they had the same problem with its move from student film (at least at the time you could use what you wanted) to "commercial" release. They were able to get rights at a reasonable cost to all the songs except some Dinah Washington number. So they just re-used one of the other tracks.
   80. Bob Evans Posted: January 27, 2011 at 05:14 AM (#3737269)
Whatever website I looked at said they're working on re-scoring the show "in a manner consistent with the material."

That's good news, thanks, I'll pass it along.
   81. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: January 27, 2011 at 06:14 AM (#3737305)
Frank's Place. Apparently no DVDs because the musical rights are too expensive so you'll just have to take my word for it. :-)

Hey, they got Daria straightened out and it had the same problems.

Isn't musical rights what's held up any Batman DVDs?
   82. dirk Posted: January 27, 2011 at 07:03 AM (#3737333)
I tabbed Bad Reputation for OLGA. My only submission.


way to figure that one out.

/sarcastic guitar playing a-hole
   83. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 27, 2011 at 07:12 AM (#3737340)
Isn't musical rights what's held up any Batman DVDs?

I do know that musical rights resulted in "W.K.R.P. in Cincinnati" first season on DVD being just terrible.
Parts of scenes had to be cut because they referenced a song that was playing, or voice-over replacement lines had to be done as they had to clip the music out in the background and replace it with generic ####.
One of the funnier 1st season episodes involved the crew putting together a 5 second montage of song clips (to make it "impossible" to win the prize for guessing the songs). In the original episode, they used 1 second snippets of 6 songs, and they get mentioned by name. In the DVD version, it's 6 random sound bites, and the artists/songs are made up.

It was such an awful mess (and, presumably, poor enough sales) that they haven't released Season 2 yet, even though it's been almost 4 years since the first season appeared on the shelves.
Which is a shame, since WKRP was one of the best ensemble comedies of the past 4 years.
   84. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: January 27, 2011 at 07:46 AM (#3737359)
Isn't musical rights what's held up any Batman DVDs?


I believe there are more general "rights issues" in that the show was made by Fox but the characters are owned by Warner Bros. I used to think that Warner was also just sitting on the property because the show is sillier than the current version of Batman (movie, animation, or comic book), but they went ahead and released the incredibly terrible Legend of the Super Heroes via Warner Archive, so that can't be it.
   85. KingKaufman Posted: January 27, 2011 at 06:47 PM (#3737574)
Hey, everybody. I didn't see this thread the other day, so I'd like to belatedly check in with some answers to some of the things people have brought up, and also say thanks for all the kind words, and that I suddenly feel bad that I've never laid eyes on "Freaks & Geeks." I'd like to also nominate "My So-Called Life" as a great one-year wonder.

My main job here is to try to help improve the overall quality of the writing.
That’s a big goal for Bleacher Report this year.

Sounds like a slam to all the writers they already have there. Granted I have no idea how good the writing is over there.
Hello everybody, the goal is to get you guys to not suck. Go team!


There are thousands of writers, mostly unpaid. B/R started as an open platform, anyone could sign up and start writing. That's no longer the case. You have to apply for approval by submitting a writing sample, and at some point -- I'm still learning so I'm unsure of the timing -- the site de-commissioned a lot of writers who did not meet the new, higher -- but still low by mainstream media standards -- bar. The quality of writing is a spectrum, from some very good writers to some who, to put it kindly, need a lot of work. As with any other talent spectrum, it's more of a pyramid, with many fewer at the top than at the bottom.

What B/R is trying to do is bring up the quality of all of it by providing editorial support, training, education, feedback and so on. A large number of the writers are college students or recent graduates who want to pursue a career in journalism, sports blogging or something related, and they're eager for help. Even those who might not be planning on making a career of it have incentive to improve their writing, because there are rewards on the site for doing so -- more recognition, better promotion, more traffic, the chance for their work to appear on the sites of B/R's various content partners (Hearst newspapers, Maxim, CBS, others), etc.

Is this sort of like when NFL teams hire a "quality control coach?"


On Twitter, Kevin Goldstein compared it to hiring on as the GM of the Pirates.

I always wondered if Kaufman actually looked like the cartoon picture of him on Salon and now I see that he does.


That caricature of me is absolutely uncanny. Particularly so when I had my goatee and hadn't aged nine years since its execution. The artist is the brilliant Zach Trenholm.

It was just announced that Google is going to change the way it ranks searches to cut out the so-called "content farms" that appear so prominently in current results. While King and I have disagreed in the past 24 hours about whether BR is a content farm, a possible interpretation of this kind of move is BR doing what it can to appear like a more conscientious, quality-concerned organization in an effort to not get cut out by Google's looming shift.


Google made that announcement just last week, and my hiring has been in the works for about a month. And B/R has been working to move away from the original model -- which I can understand calling a content farm, though I would call the original model an open blogging platform in a niche area, not unlike the women's blog site BlogHer -- for quite some time, removing weaker writers, adding an approval process and, behind the scenes, building up the editorial support and feedback.

when your exceedingly lucrative empire is built on slide shows, cheesecake and free content from teenagers, it's hard to see what might make them force wholesale changes, as opposed to merely limiting that stuff enough to make Google's impending cut.


I am not qualified to speak for the company at this point, my fourth day on the job. I would guess, just speaking for myself, that the incentive for B/R to improve the quality is the same as it is for any other site. To be taken seriously, respected, attract better writers and content partners and so on and so forth. ESPN, the New York Times or anybody else could build traffic with more cheesecake slide shows etc. too. Why don't they do that? Most media outlets try to strike a balance between seriousness/quality and lighter/traffic-boosting fare. Everyone's balance point is a little different, and B/R is trying to get to its balance point from a historically unusual starting place, but I wouldn't say it's accurate to say there's no incentive for change. This is the Internet. The incentive for change is that everyone who doesn't change fails.

currently: real reporters report stuff, it goes onto the internet, fans on their couches comment on it - and other fans looking for information about their team on the internet get directed to the fan on the couch.
nice (though mostly unpaid at first) work if you can get if for the couch guy, I guess.


I just want to point out that, with occasional exceptions, for the seven years I wrote the column at Salon, which was the basis for the many kind words that have been spoken about me in this thread and others, I was the guy on the couch. I don't mean to say there's no value in "real" -- that is, firsthand -- reporting. There's enormous value. But there's value in other things too.

Team X is implied to be in the title of almost every post, since the blog is specifically about Team X. So there's no reason to put Team X in the title of every post unless you're trying to game Google or something.


Well, there is reason to put Team X in the title of every post. It's because not everyone comes to the content by going to the site and perusing that team page. People see links, yes, on Google, and also in their e-mail, through social media, etc. But also, yes, it's to optimize the piece for Google (or lesser search engines) search. Search engine optimization is a legitimate business practice. We did it at Salon, they do it at the New York Times. It would be kind of stupid not to do it. If putting "Team X" at the beginning of the hed of each post about the New York Yankees results in more people reading those posts, what possible reason would there be for not doing that? Because some people find it annoying? What about all the people who wouldn't have found the piece if it didn't have that? They might have been annoyed by that.

Do Bleacher Report writers get paid for what they create? (It's hard to imagine that they do, based on the things I've read there in the past.)


For the most part, no, but B/R recently announced it is going to start paying select writers.

even though up until I saw this picture of the Whipmeister I really had no idea what either of them looked like.


Just to reiterate: That's not me with the whip.
   86. SoSH U at work Posted: January 27, 2011 at 07:05 PM (#3737586)
Good luck King. I hope you stick around BTF.
   87. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 27, 2011 at 07:11 PM (#3737589)
King >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Pearlman

Good luck, King!
   88. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: January 27, 2011 at 08:21 PM (#3737653)
Just to reiterate: That's not me with the whip.

Um... it's probably too late. I'm thinking the whip is going to be your version of the flannel shirt.
   89. Jay Seaver Posted: January 27, 2011 at 09:08 PM (#3737698)
Isn't musical rights what's held up any Batman DVDs?

Not music, I gather, so much as the various guest stars, both the credited ones and the people who would show up randomly, leaning out a window as Batman and Robin ascended a building. Apparently, the cameos were done on some sort of non-standard contract that only allowed for broadcast and syndication and specifically prohibited any other sort of exhibition. Nobody had considered home video much at the time, so Fox would have to run around negotiating with the estates of scores of people to release it now.

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