11. Sports Blogger
RCS: A few weeks ago, we interviewed Kevin Blackistone and asked him, as someone who writes exclusively online, if he was a columnist, a blogger or some combination of the two. He responded that he was a "sports opinionist."
According to your Yahoo! bio, your title is "national columnist." What would you say is the difference between a sports columnist and a sports blogger?
Wetzel: It could be anything. I’m not into the labels. In my case I try to originally report almost all my columns. I try to talk to people, even if just on background. That way I’m providing something from the access that I’m granted to the reader. I think that would probably be the biggest difference. My opinion on a sports subject is as strong as my reporting. I think anyone can sit back and watch a game and have an opinion, if it’s just based on instant reaction. Why is my observation worth more than somebody else’s? It’s easy to do, but what’s the point?
My thing is using the access that I have reporting, doing investigative reporting, talking to people in person, and trying to find something that strengthens my opinion. Sports bloggers can do that, and some of them do. I find those ones the best. If I’m writing just an opinion, just on how the New York Jets offense looks, well there are a lot of people who are New York Jets fans that have a better idea of that than I do. They watched every game. I didn’t. The idea that automatically my opinion carries weight on that would be ridiculous. Now I might be able to talk to the offensive coordinator, I may be able to talk to the players. I may be able to offer something that they can’t. So I need to do that.