December 2019 Magazine Opinion

Good Timing, If For All The Wrong Reasons

Good Timing

by Mark Carter

Trey Biddy’s inclusion in our magazine couldn’t have come at a better time. Well, I suppose the Hogs making an SEC title run on their way to a national championship would’ve been better. But right now, Razorback football is the talk of the town, if for all the wrong reasons, and Biddy’s following among the faithful has made him something of a celebrity.

Biddy, of course, is the publisher of HawgSports.com, the Razorback team site on the 247Sports network. Team sites are different than fan sites/message boards, and our profile of Biddy looks at the rise of this still relatively new component to sports journalism. Plus, Biddy provides us with a behind-the-scenes look at his operation and how he got started. It’s interesting stuff, plus it’s exclusive. For all you Hog fans who follow Biddy’s coverage on his site or on The Buzz radio network, and especially those for whom he’s remained a bit of a mystery, here you go. The curtain has been pulled back. (There’s even a shot of Biddy, pre-Mr. Clean.)

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Biddy’s site is a perfect example of the industry’s trend toward hyperlocal sports coverage. The site is called HawgSports, and it’s obvious that Biddy and his colleagues want the Hogs to win. But they report the good with the bad; they ask tough questions, report news related to Arkansas sports, and function pretty much just as traditional journalists do. The difference, perhaps, is the level of interaction with readers afforded by a team site.

Chris Etheridge, who teaches journalism at UALR, believes the challenge for this new breed of sports media is to remain independent. He provided some really insightful feedback when we asked him about HawgSports and the growing popularity of team sites like it. We’ll share, down the road.

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No school like the old school, they say. But they, of course, I mean anyone over 45. Chuck Magill is old school in all the best possible ways, and once again he graces our final page with a “Last Word” that’s part history lesson, part call to action.

Little Rock is not realizing its potential, he insists. Especially that potential which resides downtown. Good stuff, as always.

Questions? (When will you stop writing about the Hogs?) Concerns? (I’m worried that Tyler Hale is not being used to his full potential.) Vents? (Baptist needs to go back to Coke!)

I’m always open at MCarter@ARMoneyandPolitics.com.

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