Wizards owner Ted Leonsis takes a needless swipe at his team’s fan bloggers

Want to offend the sensibilities of your readers? Type your blog posts in one-sentence paragraphs. So fun to read.

Want to tick off your fans, the media and the fans that sometimes act as your media? Own a miserable 7-22 team that had to fire its coach a week into the season, then rip the bloggers that cover your team for not putting up timely game reviews following your team's seventh win in 29 tries -- forgetting to look at your team's most prominent blog in the process -- before being told that you totally whiffed on reading one of the gamers.

OK, let's put some names to my long-winded description. Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis pulled this off on Wednesday morning, and did we mention that the Wizards' win was in Portland? Which meant the team bloggers that do this for love and usually very little money would have been writing their gamers around 12:30 in the morning Washington-time, hours before having to wake up to go to their real jobs? Here's Leonsis' blog post:

So today I woke up early — 530 am, and looked to the scores of the Wizards vs. Trail Blazer game last night. As noted — I only could stay up til half time.

I then went online and read the Washington Post. It covered the game well as the writer was at the game.

I then went to several of my favorite Wizards blogs; and what did I see?

Previews of the game. A story about Portland and their plans.

One had an article about the Miami Heat game from Friday.

It appears no local Wizards blogger stayed up late and wrote about the game in real time? I am sure they will do a good job later today; but without NBC local and the Post — I wouldn't have the data that I wanted and needed.

Thank goodness for professional media in this regard.

I agree on the last part, Ted. The professional media that is paid to fly out to these games, given hotel accommodations, and paid to work these strange hours amongst all this intense travel? Thank goodness for them. They make everyone's lives easier. Us bloggers would be nowhere were it not for the mainstream media that actually walks into those locker rooms 82 times a year. Or 66 times a year, as a result of the lockout that you and your owners instituted, Ted.

But this is also their job, Mr. Leonsis, to be getting out of the arena in Portland around two in the morning Washington-time. Their next gig is to be ready to travel the next morning, not to wake up in six hours for a typical 9-to-5 that is followed with yet another Wizards game at night to cover. This is what team bloggers do.

They have jobs, and they're essentially working double shifts to cover your team. And we don't know if this was some sort of misguided attempt to get us to remember what a great job "professional media" does when they're acting all "professional" (that is to say, getting paid to do something, and doing it), but it came off pretty crummy. It came off as Ted Leonsis, who couldn't make it past halftime of his own team's West Coast game, ripping on his team's bloggers (who more often than not work for free or a small stipend) for not staying up to watch and report on the same game.

(Save for Mike Prada. And Sean Fagan. Who did. Which is why Ted had to apologize later, though he only apologized for "missing the timestamp and feed." Not for alienating an entire group of devoted fans that adore his terrible team so much that they essentially work a second job while covering it on their blogs.)

To vent like this while presiding over a 7-22 team? To take the team's biggest win of the season, a tough road win over a very good Portland Trail Blazer team, and make this about bloggers vs. newspapers? Big miss, Ted. Big miss.

The newspaper, website and TV workers that make it so we can follow our favorite teams for a nominal fee and very little effort from our end? Bless those people. But also understand what these team bloggers are doing, Mr. Leonsis, in helping to cover and promote your team for free. And how bad it looks for a millionaire owner of two professional sports teams to be ripping on them for not providing you with a timely blog recap of a game that yourself couldn't even make it through without succumbing to the late hour.

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