Just another day in wicked pixels. First Metro’s J. Freedom du Lac penned a 1,500-word piece on the market for Wizards tickets. Then Ted Leonsis responded with 700 words of his own, combining praise and thanks for Wizards ticket holders with a defense of the team’s rebuilding process and a few choice words about the media.
And while I’m pretty sure that we’re all still best friends and will one day laugh about this episode while we walk down Pennsylvania Avenue saluting the cheering throngs, I figured I’d point out a few of his choicest words:
Rebuilding a team is hard enough without the local pixel maker piling on; but this is an annual rite of passage — all teams go through it here via the Washington Post. Its genesis is from a blog post — that then goes to the newspaper itself. I have to laugh in that the blog post column mentioned within is usually sponsored by a ticket reseller that allows you to go find out what the actual average ticket price of a ticket is on the resale market; but why let facts get in the way of a sensational story, right? And the negative comments within are mostly from scalpers? Scalping is illegal in our city; so they are now quoting about to be criminals to prove a point in a story. That is ironic, no? The scalpers don’t want their names to be used — that usually isn’t a good sign. I guess they didn’t want to be arrested! The Washington Post is harboring criminals now....
This Washington Post article was quite predictable. Picture and captions to; quite clichéd. See those three empty seats in the photo [above]? They are sold and people were in attendance – they were probably just eating in our private club set aside for VIP’s at half time.
Now, we’ve all probably back-and-forthed enough on this issue, but I do want to respond to the implication that The Post somehow revels in “piling on” the local sports teams. Many fans accuse us of this, also.
“Doomsday sells!” Leonsis recently wrote. “Writers and Bloggers love to predict the end of the world; of the season; of the era; of a career; — of anything. Puppies and sunsets don’t sell.”
All I can tell him, and you, is that our Web traffic for Redskins content goes through the roof when the Redskins are winning. Same with the Caps. Same with Maryland basketball. Same with any local team. The Wizards’ multi-year swoon has been terrible for our Wizards Web traffic. Does anyone actually think the Wizards Insider blog does more traffic when the team is in last place than when it’s competing for playoff berths? Doomsday has not sold.
Fans are more interested in their teams when their teams are winning. They want to go to more games, and they want to watch more games, and they want to read more Writers and Bloggers Writing and Blogging about more games. And that means that, in sports at least, puppies and sunsets sell. They just do.
But Leonsis knows this as well as I do. If local teams win, the local pixel maker will make positive pixels, and everybody will be happy. If local teams lose, we’ll all just spend our time writing mildly snarky blog posts about each other.