Mark Cuban is a polarizing figure. There's a camp that feels like he uses his money and role as Mavericks owner as an excuse to act like a first-rate buffoon, and there's another side that sees him and thinks they'd act exactly the same way if they had the wherewithal to purchase a professional sports team. Both sides would have to agree that Cuban has been ahead of the curve in many ways during his life, especially in terms of embracing new forms of communication and technology.
That's why it was surprising to click onto BlogMaverick, Cuban's blog, and find him agitating for a blacklist against bloggers who pass along or make up rumors about the teams and sports they cover. He blames bloggers, via his blog where he's been known to share personal thoughts and opinions without more than his gut feeling backing them up, for creating a world where it is impossible to believe anything you hear about the draft, trades, coaching changes and everything else.
How to stop it? ESPN.com puts up a page of blacklisted blogs and websites who’s [sic] posts they wont comment on or report on in any way. It will create a short term surge of traffic for those sites, but then they will go away as the proprietors of the sites realize that being discredited is not a good thing.
It's funny that Cuban would pick ESPN, notorious for failing to credit other sources for information they happily report as their own, to monitor such a blacklist.
Did Cuban just make a big investment in Disney? It would explain why ESPN escapes his scorn as the fountain of sports rumors passed on by employees like Chad Ford, Chris Mortensen, Tim Kurkjian and Peter Gammons over the years. Not all of those have come to fruition, so wouldn't that make ESPN a perfect candidate for its own blacklist?
No matter who first passes along a rumor, it's called a rumor for a reason. Mortensen reporting that a member of the Broncos front office told him the team is looking to trade Brandon Marshall doesn't make a trade any more likely to happen than a blog saying that the Broncos should trade Marshall to the Bears for two second-round picks and a deep dish pizza. Everything is a rumor until it becomes a fact, and it's pretty easy to ignore all of them if that's your goal.
Since ESPN is out, we might as well toss in SI.com, FOX, CBS, NBC and Yahoo! as well. And most newspaper sports sections feature columnists and reporters passing along what this source or that agent tells them, and that doesn't always wind up being true. So they're out, and, while we're at it, so is sports radio and everything that isn't coming directly from the mouthpieces of the team themselves.
Hey, maybe we figured out what Cuban was aiming for in the first place?