Welcome to BFTB's first annual Kevin Acee Day.
I know what is running through all of your minds right now. What's Kevin Acee Day? Will BFTB be negative? Positive? Do we have some dirt on Acee or a story about him slapping a hobo? You'll have to stick around at BFTB all day to find out, because in my mind I somehow have the time today to do 4-5 KA-centric posts.
Let's start in the beginning. I lived in San Diego from 1998 to 2006. I know eight years is nearly no time at all, but over that span I absorbed the San Diego Union-Tribune's sports page on a daily basis. By "absorb", I mean I would read everything. Every article, every box score....whatever. And while I remember some of the great stories I read in that sports section over that period of time.....I can't seem to remember ever reading a Kevin Acee article.
This kindof makes sense. While I read every article, I found myself caring mostly about the Chargers and Padres (as I do now). Also, over that timespan I probably read thousands of articles from Nick Canepa, Jim Trotter, Tim Sullivan, etc. According to Kevin's interview with us from the preseason, he spent most of my U-T readership time writing features and covering the SDSU beat. This means I was either reading him less and/or caring less about his subject material.
When I moved, I obviously absorbed the U-T less. I would read their Chargers or Padres articles if they looked interesting, but it really became a once-a-week thing. I would tell people, like my dad who still read the U-T every day, "You can learn a lot more about the team by reading about them from different sources from around the internet." Not only was that statement pompous, but it was completely incorrect for one reason: Kevin Acee.
When I stumbled onto BFTB just a month or so after it's inception, there was a lot of "Acee bashing" going on. After a while, I realized that I was concurring with people in their negative thoughts about a guy who I had barely read at all. At that point I decided, "I'm going to read this Acee fellow on a day-to-day basis, if only to make his arguments look foolish and make myself look smarter." Again, it was an assumption made after thinking (due to the criticism) that Kevin was one of those beat writers who is in the team's pocket and/or has no intention on writing anything that the real fan's don't already know. It was my second assumption on the topic that was blown to bits by Kevin.
I started reading his daily articles, and I was very impressed. Now, you guys have read my writing long enough to know that I'm a pompous asshole who isn't impressed by much. No offense to the City of San Diego, but I read what he was putting out each day (when Chargers news finally started to pick up) and thought to myself "Why the hell isn't this guy writing in a larger market?" The short answer is that Kevin's from San Diego, and like many of us who have been forced to move away he would take whatever small downside there is to come back and live/work in San Diego. Let's chalk it up to the "San Diego Discount".
After I took over BFTB, Kevin went nuts. While the old-school journalists were busy ripping on (or, in some cases, ripping off) blogs, podcasts, commenters and the like, Kevin was taking action. He saw the writing on the wall (or one of his bosses did), and he decided to relabel himself. He took Twitter head-on, making sure to answer just about any query sent to him.....in 140 characters or less. He started doing daily video reports from training camp, which turned into video reports before and after every game. He started interviewing players on video, in a sushi restaurant, asking the questions that educated football fans were dying to hear the answer to. He also let some of his Twitter followers ask questions as well.
Kevin is no longer a journalist, he is now a journalist/blogger/vlogger. Other guys (coughCanepacough) might make fun of the change in title, and those guys can chuckle themselves all the way to the unemployment line if things don't turn around. Mr. Acee is "the new journalist" and should be teaching a college course on how create, grow and keep a captive audience. It takes an incredible amount of time, effort and dedication to do what Kevin is doing.....which makes sense since he's essentially doing the job of 3 men.
Anyways, that's how we're kicking off today. Feel free to throw your thoughts of Kevin (good or bad) in the comments below. Any stories you have of meeting Kevin, or if you're good friends with him and have a great embarrassing story about him (Jenny Cavnar, I'm looking at you), should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll throw the best stories together for the last post of the day.
Coming up next, the story of the first (and only) time I met Kevin Acee.....twice.