As pointed out by fellow Bloguin blog Awful Announcing, Grantland’s Bill Simmons has an issue with the St. Louis Blues. Whatever did the Blues ever do to him, you might ask? Well, they didn’t credential writer Katie Baker for the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. Horrors! A major sporting event with a press box full of media types didn’t have room for a writer for a website that, as AA pointed out, only mentioned the Blues like three times this season? No.
Still laughing that the Blues denied @katiebakes for a media credential last weekend. The NHL is the best. DON’T COVER US!!! STAY AWAY!
— Bill Simmons (@sportsguy33) April 24, 2012
The Scottrade Center pressbox will preumably be crowded for this series. A second playoff series hasn’t happened in St. Louis for a decade. The Blues have been playing outstanding hockey all season, and the noteriety has been building all year. Media types from ESPN to TSN to Hockey Night in Canada are all taking notice, plus you have the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as well as flagship radio station KMOX’s sports reporters and KRTS, KMOV, and KSDK up there in the box. Local media always have covered the Blues well. As well as the Cardinals? Of course not, but still better than the local media covered a now-extinct type of bird here in Atlanta.
Websites that don’t cover a team shouldn’t expect to get pressbox seating for that team. Professional sports teams aren’t obligated to offer up press access to anyone, let alone bloggers outside of the mainstream media. Some teams are very open with this — and, despite Simmons’ snarky comments, NHL teams tend to be the best about allowing access — and other teams are not. Small market teams who need any sort of media exposure they can get are normally tops of the list of teams to grant access to bloggers, though several larger market teams do for regular season games as well.
Tweets like Simmons’ are why teams might be hesitant to hand out credentials to people in the future. The Thrashers were always forthcoming with media credentials, but only for blogs that A) covered the team and B) did so professionally. That’s how most teams operate. If you don’t want to be credentialed, act like Simmonds did. It’ll be a miracle if any NHL team wants to give him a press pass again after that little outburst.