So, Buzz Bissinger wrote probably the best sports book of all-time, Friday Night Lights. If you only know the movie and TV series, you owe it to yourself to read the book, because no one has ever captured the importance of sports in small communities, and the ways it can break down and lift up people. Too bad that last night he revealed himself to be a bully, a troglodyte, and a jerk. If you haven't seen it, he was on Bob Costas's HBO show with Will Leitch, the editor of Deadspin, in what was supposed to be a "discussion" of blogging in sports.
The first words out of Bissinger's mouth to Will were, "I really think you're full of shit," and then he went on a minutes long tirade and rant about the evils of blogging, and how they're debasing our discourse and culture.
It's sad to see a hero behave like such a tremendous ass. I can only imagine that Bissinger sees a world that he's on the wrong side of, that confuses and scares him, and that the only reaction he can come up with is to try and destroy it.
Will, who I've never met but respect greatly, was clearly set up here. Bob Costas framed the entire issue to put him on the defensive, and then tried to get the other guests to bury him. Will, to his credit, didn't sink to Bissinger's level, but simply tried to have a discussion. Later, he posted his take on the experience, which is worth reading.
Bissinger, Costas, and the traditional media are, I suppose understandably, trying to protect their world. But that world is changing, and they can either change with it, or get out of the way. I just wish that people I admire didn't reveal themselves to be not just wrong, but cruel as well.