Monday, December 17, 2007


In 2006, Nas declared that hip-hop is dead.

In 2007, Neate Sager is declaring that sports blogging is dead.

Out of Left Field could continue next year, next week, but I have to get this ou.t The first break-up never takes. It feels like it's game over with the blogging. Big Media has lost a lot of key battles and it has had to adapt. We (whoever we are) had a few victories, but we don't have the manpower and money to win the war.

Look around. What room left is there for a true blog, which I hope this one was, that covers a wide range of sporting topics, unless you're Deadspin? It's just become one big industry of irreverence and referencing pop culture till the cows come home. The pointlessness of it all hit home, with finality, some time between seeing TV shots of Jessica Simpson at the Dallas Cowboys game while Tony Romo was turning in an afternoon -- 13-for-36 passing with two INTs -- that sucked worst than any of Ms. Simpson's albums, and yes, the irony of the last sentence is deliberate.

It's no longer feels useful, even though it is the only way to hold an audience's attention.

Meantime, look around. Every corporate news or sports website has beat writers or on-air talent doing a blog now. The vainest, most superficial person I have ever come across this side of Rebecca Eckler, who would be about the last person who has reason to write a blog, plugs his eponymous blog whenever he appears on TV. (So much for it being bad form to name something after yourself.)

To the powers-that-be, it's just another platform for someone who already has name recognition as a writer, broadcaster or a personality. Sports commentary has become more democratic, but stopped halfway, with no plans of going the distance.

Then there are those Perez Hilton-genre sites and their assorted ilk that pander to the worst in human beings, which further serve to ruin the blogging form. A lot of the major sports blogs are just thinly veiled soft-porn sites with lightweight commentary sprinkled in between the bikini pics of the plastic-looking silicone sisters. So much for being firmly for the separation of sports talk and spankbank material.

The time has come to try and find another way to spend off-hours. The quality of the readers and commenters has been beyond anything that could have ever been expected, even though I failed you. As a writer, you owe everyone your head and heart, nothing less. Neither has been in this for a while.

Hopefully a plan materializes to give Out of Left Field a kick -- a redesign, new focus, a writing partner. It will take a few days to think things through. The reason this is being published is so you all understand (plus it's an excuse for all those craptacular postings over the past, oh, six months).

Typing away hour after hour isn't hard work, but it is a one-way ticket to loneliness and frustration. A lifelong struggle with social isolating has got worse over the past year, and has contributed to unwelcome personality changes.

If that's my cross to bear, though, I got off lucky. There are still plans to keep at it with The CIS Blog, assist Carl Kiiffner with his new Can-Am Ottawa blog and contribute to Epic Carnival. (Plus there's the writing duties with the Ottawa Sun.)

For everyone who ever came here or to the original blog, thank you. Hopefully enough of the darts hit the intended targets.

That's all. Send your thoughts to


Dennis Prouse said...

Neate -- your problem is that you are blogging sober and thinking too hard. That doesn't seem to be an issue for the guys at Kissing Suzy Kolber, for example. :-)

Big V said...

Please dont go

sager said...

Well, I'm not going to go, but some things are going to be tweaked... just sit tight, everyone, and if you have suggestions for how the blog can look better, or draw more readers, please send 'em to

Dave Rouleau said...

Wow, I did not expect that, man...but you could not be more right about the state of blogging.

Good luck with the new format. For all it's worth, I enjoyed your daily dose of writing.

sager said...

Thanks, D., and the door is open if you want help revitalize the concept.

Anonymous said...

Don't quit. I will miss the blog. :(

Andrew Bucholtz said...

Good to hear that you're still looking at keeping the blog: it would be sorely missed. I think there's value in mainstream media blogs, but sites like yours are valuable for their own reasons: there's less restrictions on what you can say, and that aids your content and gives it a different perspective. Best of luck with the new design: I look forward to seeing it!

Chris said...

I'm personally frustated by today's cheaply produced print newspapers which start to bleed ink on your fingers before you even walk out the doors of the corner store.

Those same newspapers online have a navigational menu bar with the key sections but the balance of their home pages are litterted with weak blogs that are as stimulating as chatting with the cat lady waiting for the bus.

Neate please stay, we need you to lead us through the forest!