I'm a little late with this one, what with the excitement of hockey season starting again and whatnot, but the Gwinnett Gladiators twitter feed scored one for the little guy the other day. The big boy? The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
I have my own opinions about their news coverage (I read it because it's basically my only option for decent-ish metro Atlanta news), but aside from Mark Bradley and Jeff Schultz, I've found their sports coverage borderline useless. Lots of chest puffing and tooting the horns of teams that have accomplished somewhere between jack and squat, really. Their Thrashers coverage was good -- Chris Vivlamore tried with the resources he had -- but it was only good when you referenced it against team coverage in other papers. When you referenced it against sports coverage in the AJC, it was abysmal. The only times that the team got major coverage were when it arrived, when Dan Snyder died, when it made the playoffs, and when it left. That's it.
This lack of coverage really did make it difficult to grow the team, and the lack of growth made it difficult to warrant any more coverage. I get it. Write where the money is, GO DAWGS, and all of that nonsence. But a year and a half after the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg, for the AJC to poke at their fans, well -- what the hell? Thank God for the Gladiators:
You see, the AJC sure as hell doesn't cover minor league hockey. Or college hockey. Or high school hockey. Or any hockey. But let's laugh at those who enjoy the sport, and laugh at the people who still are upset by the loss of their team. Ha ha ha ha ha. Hysterical. Laugh at your readership. Great way to get subscriptions up.
A major part of the problem is that certain members of the Atlanta Spirit established a history of attempting to sue certain sports desk writers at the AJC. Then there was the thing between Levenson and business writer Kristi Schwartz. The relationship the ownership had with the paper was not a good one, and Atlanta Spirit shares a lot of blame for that.
Thaaaat's a huge shock. I'm sure it took him every ounce of effort for him to do so. I wish Schultz and Bradley were able to utilize their talents at a paper whose readership appreciated them.
Last season, on the advice of Jeff Schultz, I wrote to the ajc sports editor about decent Glads coverage and received a very snotty reply.