Thursday, May 24, 2007

Introducing New ESPN Blog, Skidmarks Hashmarks

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I’m aflame with jealousy that this measly shill is prominently placed on ESPN and gets more hits in an hour than I’ll get in a year.

Now, having said that, this really is a terrible blog that ESPN foists upon us. I’m pretty sure just reading all that cost me 1 or 2 IQ points, but I was drowning my sorrows in generic cough syrup as I went, so it’s possible that you could read it without the same effect. But why take the chance?

I read all 17+ inaugural posts, though, and as a matter of public safety I’ll try to sum them up and give you the gist of the blog so that you don’t have to wade through it yourself. Anyway, here’s a roughly chronological summary of “Hashmarks”:

The obligatory “Welcome to my blog!” post, complete with ESPN cross-promotion. The boys upstairs must be proud of him. Includes occasional flashes of good writing obscured by clouds of smarm, which as it turns out is a pretty accurate forecast for the rest of this blog.

Dallas Cowboys rule! Since Mosley used to write for a Dallas Cowboys blog, he’s decided to go with what he knows and feature the Cowboys prominently. Very prominently, since a little over 1 out of 5 topics are Cowboys-based. Including two on Keyshawn Johnson, whose retirement appears to be a bigger story than the last 3 years of his career and is of critical importance to Mosley since Johnson will be working for ESPN soon. What, is Keyshawn going to sign this guy’s checks or something?

  • Random use of bullets and “block quotes”, all arranged in a bizarre fashion as if crafted by an idiot savant who’s not quite got the grasp of the “savant” part yet…more on this later, appended randomly for no apparent reason
A plea for his readers to write as much of his blog as possible. I wonder if that works? If anybody’d like to fire me off a long-form post on the subject, feel free. Try to keep it under 5000 words, though, and please cite all references.

Some clucking about being the lead link on “Hot Read”, followed by pimping other ESPN stuff. The boys upstairs must be really happy with this blog. I don’t even know what Hot Read is, and judging by this, I don’t wanna know. Is it too late to demand that high-quality stuff like this be placed in the “ESPN Members Only” section, since I’m not a member?

Newslike substance and updates on events that happened around the NFL…two or more days ago and already beaten to death by other blogs. He’s not kidding when he says you should check there third or fourth after a story breaks. He failed to mention that you should also let the news age a little, since recent stories just aren’t his thing. Imagine a guy that posts every 90 minutes but can’t post anything topical. It boggles the mind.

Two (two??) posts on his first day derived by printing and responding to reader e-mail. I strongly suspect one of them is full of made-up reader quotes, since it’s very complimentary. Thankfully, if there are references to stuff that would let me know it’s fake, I didn’t pick up on them, so my brain isn’t synced to idiot-wave frequency…yet.

Midway through the writing smacks of somebody running out of steam. Not so good, since the blog’s not even a full day old yet. It's one thing to so boldly ape Bill Simmons; must he do it so poorly to boot?

A derogatory post about punters. Good to see he’s breaking new ground in football comedy. Originality is nice.

Signing of posts with a cryptic “m”, unless of course it’s one of the many posts that doesn’t have the cryptic “m” at the end. Wide variations in style make it seem as if it’s written by two separate people, although I refuse to believe that it takes more than one person to write this incoherently.

A post about his “blog numbers.” No, I’m not kidding about that: his blog’s not even 24 hours old and he posts a “lookee what I got” post. But he says he only got 5 e-mails from “current NFL players who happened to stumble across this blog.” I can’t decide if that’s sad or impressive. No, really, I can’t. Seems like it ought to be more, but then again, I’ve never gotten an e-mail from a current NFL player. Of course, I’m not front-page on ESPN. See? Not so easy to judge, is it?

The mercifully final post (the last time I dared read the blog) is an obligatory “roundup of news” link that shows he’s out of ideas, out of talent, and out of bed at 2:00 in the morning. One of them is about a brawl at DisneyWorld, so we can expect that he’ll be fired within 24 hours for besmirching the home office’s reputations, thus ending our long national nightmare.

Now we can all go to bed, which is something that Mr. Mosely apparently fails to do in a timely fashion. Good night, and God bless.

UPDATE: As I post this, I see that he's "off to Plano for an interview", no doubt at the urging of his now-wrathful masters. And no, I didn't read the other posts. I'm quite dumb enough on my own, thank you very much!