22 May 2007

Goff to The DCenters: You Guys Are So Ineffective...

Did you ever watch one of those cheesy made-for-TV comedies (think Family Ties Vacation), where one of the main characters bends over to pick up a briefcase, and a thrown knife embeds itself just above their head while he's stooped over? Then the character walks on, oblivious to the intrigue he's just been involved in? I kind of feel like that now...

Steve Goff gets all the credit in the world for helping but Bryan Namoff's name on the all-star ballot. Yet there's a telling exchange in the comments. One of you kind readers wrote the following:

Wow, all that self-applied back-slapping warms the heart...except that D over at the DCenters (the original United blog) noticed this situation YESTERDAY and quickly urged Namoff fans to take action. But hey, if you feel the need to take credit that badly...

Posted by: What about D? | May 17, 2007 02:23 PM

To whomever you are, thanks for sticking up for us. Not that it mattered to Goff, who casually dismissed us:

And how did that fan initiative on the other site work out for ya? results, baby, it's all about results. ;-)

Posted by: Goff | May 17, 2007 02:33 PM

Insider commenter MattM followed up:

...it's been left behind. You get real news here, and pretty much only opinion there. I've stopped reading it.

True enough. We do opinion first and foremost. Quite simply, we have jobs, and this is our hobby. We don't have Kevin Payne on our buddy list, access to a ton of insiders, and the freedom to go down and cover practices. So we try to do analysis and opinion to the best of our ability. Occasionally we like to bring you the odd interview with someone who probably isn't showing up in the papers, and even more rarely we break news (as we did with the sale of DC United), but opinion and analysis and general fun is what I like to think we do best. I like to think it is fun, and informative, and occasionally educational.

Steve Goff is one of the best beat writers in soccer, and the Soccer Insider is an excellent and informative site. I don't pretend for a moment that we can do what he does. As many of you know, I don't buy into the entire "New Media-Old Media" line of thinking. False dichotomy.

But I also think we provide something special to everyone. It may not be for you, and that's okay. No hard feelings, we're not everyone's cup of tea. Do I know why Goff feels the needs to casually backhand us? Nope. No idea. We're not Goff, but we love what he does (and, by-the-way, to eliminate confusion I've decided that I'll post over there as "This is D" so you don't confuse me with the guy who posts there as "d, dc") and appreciate it. But as for results, I would say this: I think we entertain. I think we educate. I think we amuse. I think we inform. I think we provoke thought and discussion. I think we're willing to look at things in a way no one else does, and share those thoughts with you. Those are results I'm proud of, and while it saddens me that others may not appreciate it, I'm thankful for each and every one of you that does. Thanks to all of you, and again to whomever it was that chirped up over at Soccer Insider.

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At 22 May, 2007 16:58, Blogger pate said...

I sure appreciate it. Thanks D.

At 22 May, 2007 17:06, Anonymous bdr said...

Goodness, here too?

I expect it from Galarcep, but Goff?

Sadly, not surprising one bit. The venue may be different, but the dynamic isn't.

At 22 May, 2007 17:21, Blogger D said...

Pate: No, thank you sir.

BDR: Yeah, I don't get it. It would be one thing if we had been tossing barbs at the WaPo, or slagging Goff at every opportunity, but we haven't... It's the pettiness of it that upsets me. There's no reason to take a shot at me. But he felt compelled to do so. I don't get it.

At 22 May, 2007 17:30, Blogger Kinney said...

I think Goff is joking. Hence the wink at the end. What he doesn't realize is that he has a great job that a bunch of us would kill (okay mabye only maim) to have. The extra media attention is only good for soccer in America and DC United but it does sting a little when I read comments like MattM's.

That said the DCenters has never had more readers. The extra media attention is a result of the rising tide of American soccer and not the big corporations pushing out us little bloggers out of a (non-paying) job. So grab a skiff and join the fun, the more the merrier.

At 22 May, 2007 18:13, Blogger The Manly Ferry said...

I go with the Goff was having a laugh crowd.

But the one comment from MattM gets at an issue that still fascinates me: yeah, Goff may get to hear that, say, DC is signing Fred before the rest of us mugs, but, not to put too fine a point on it, so freakin' what? Fred's production trumps his acquisition for meaningful news value and that's something we can all see and evaluate for ourselves. Sure, Goff might get some inside dish about, oh, lockerroom meltdowns, Ben Olsen taping Justin Moose's nuts to a folding chair, etc. and that gives him an angle or two to better understand team dynamic, etc. But we'll all know when it stinks 'cause we'll see it.

Scoops are a media invention, a measure of organization's ability to get inside dish; often as not, they're getting spun or carrying water, especially in politics. The point is, who cares who knows first? The question is who understands best.

At 22 May, 2007 18:47, Anonymous erik said...

I go to DCenters before Goff always. I think that DCenters plays favorites for DC more so then Goff the journalist, but the depth of analysis here is so much better and has taught me more about the game then Goff has. I go to Goff for news, but DCenters for what's important and that's learning the game.

I think though that journalists are frightened by bloggers. Like there jobs are going to be taken away. but I think as you clearly demonstrate you aren't reporting news, your waxing potetic and intellectual about your team and being a fan. Goff (and others) have a job to report the news about United. And to me that's just as important, but I think of blogging as more like Editorial and since the Post, the Times and all other major news papers don't give up space for Football editorials, blogs fill that space.

So I think Goff needs to chill, he has the inside scope for the most part and can tell us what's going on in the organization, but DCenters gets to disect it for us.

So thanks for being awesome. Goff, chill man, yr doing what you need to and I think all United fans and fanatics appreciate your work.

At 22 May, 2007 18:52, Blogger The Bird said...

I agree that Goff was kidding, but it is also clear that he is (rightly) proud of his work, his sources, and his numerous scoops. That's what reporters do, and he does it as well as any, and better than most.

On the other hand, this site offers what he doesn't (and can't, as a journalist), which is unabashed opinions from fans who have been watching DCU for a long time. I love this site, and whether I read it before or after the Insider each day depends on which updated in my feed reader first. Both are totally essential.

In short, thanks for what you do.

At 22 May, 2007 20:27, Blogger tucksider said...

i think Goff was mostly kidding, especially with the "i guess this blog is good for something" line at the end of his entry. but still.

he does a fantastic job, but some of the best features of actual blogs -- as opposed to blogs produced by a major media outlet -- involve linking to other blogs when someone else has something interesting to say. Goff doesn't really do that. his site is more like a thrice-daily collection of newspaper articles than a blog, and the goal -- understandably from the Post's perspective -- seems to be to make their site seem like the source for DCU news.

fortunately, some of us know better. this site has perspective you can't get from the Post, and for my money the DCenters Match Debriefing is the single most valuable piece you can read about DCU in any given week.

At 22 May, 2007 20:28, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys are both in different spheres. The Dcenters is the heart of the DC fan base while Soccer Insider is the best source for United news out there (as well as USMNT and other topics). Both sites are outstanding at what they do, so I see little need for bickering. Personally, I'd say you're overreacting to what strongly seems like a comment made in jest. If you want to go after Goff, at least contact him to see if he's serious first.

At 22 May, 2007 21:51, Blogger D said...

All: The idea that Goff was having a laugh didn't occur to me. That may be contextual, since I hadn't actually seen this until now, and the way it was brought to my attention was sort of a "Hey, why is Goff taking a shot at you?" kind of way. So when I read it I was already primed to interpret things in an adversarial manner, since the person who alerted me to it had taken it that way. So you're probably right. And I pretty much agree with all of you, in that we're trying to do different things. As I pointed out, we can't do what Goff does, and even if we could I doubt we could do it as well as he does.

Anonymous (@20:28): I promise you, we're not looking to go after anyone. It just kinda took me aback. And I'd also say that while the phrase "heart of the DC fanbase" is flattering, there are others that probably deserve that title more. We're more the pancreas.

All (again): I guess I was kinda taken aback by what I perceived was a shot at us when, as far as I knew, we hadn't done anything to deserve it. It's possible it was just a joke. Goff has a very dry wit at times (see the "Who needs Big Soccer?" type comments for another example). And, well, its possible I missed the boat on this one. As I said, I wasn't aware of it at the time, and it had to be pointed out to me. So it's possible my perceptions were overly colored.

At 23 May, 2007 08:43, Blogger Jeffrey said...

I agree with Kinney - Goff was joking. It was mock self-aggrandizement, consistent with the mock self-aggrandizement in his original post.
We're a long way from having TOO MUCH soccer coverage in the US. Until then, there is more than enough room for DCenters and Soccer Insider to coexist. I haven't had my fix every morning until I read both.

At 23 May, 2007 08:50, Anonymous Jeremy said...

D, you shouldn't take criticism to heart. You do what you do extremely well, which is evidenced by your longevity and popularity.

For what it is worth, I find your opinions to be intelligent, well thought out, and always well worded. This is my favorite DC United fan site, and you should feel proud about the entertainment that you provide.

At 23 May, 2007 17:17, Anonymous Laurie said...

Goff has been on my list ever since he had me ecstatically convinced that Zizou was coming to MLS. I may forgive, Steven, but I don't forget. Ahem.

That said, what the best bloggers do (and this is one of the best) is get people excited -- something the mainstream, news-oriented media will never be able to do to the same degree because it's not really their job.

It's a reporter's job to report the news, and Goff does that well (with, of course, one major black mark. Again, ahem.) But it's a blogger's job to make people CARE about that news. The best blogs make it personal.

Between you and Bobby Boswell's blog, I actually care about DC United. What's up with THAT?

Oh, P.S. Sorry about Liverpool. Except not really.


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