New Feature: FJM'ing Mike Preston

One of the main reasons blogs irritate the old-guard type sportswriters in this country is because they provide a platform in which anybody with an internet connection can tear down the work of these “journalists,” sometimes exposing them for the ridiculous hacks that they are. When a sportswriter publishes a piece nowadays, their words are available out there in cyberspace for billions of eyeballs, as opposed to just those eyeballs attached to people who subscribe to that particular newspaper or magazine. And, instead of said words being tossed out with the garbage twice a week and then largely forgotten, they remain in the binary world of cyberspace pretty much indefinitely.

The Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of sports-journo takedowns was the blog “Fire Joe Morgan.” As that site has entered retirement, the torch has been passed to others, such as “Fire Jay Mariotti.” These guys are absolute geniuses at times, and show little, if any, mercy for bumbling wordsmiths like Rick Reilly, Gregg Easterbrook, and of course, Jay Mariotti.

“Fire Joe Morgan” is so universally accepted as the gold standard in this practice that the style of line-by-line attacks on a piece has simply become known as “FJMing.”

Another guy who has taken the practice to new heights is omnipresent internet funny-man Drew Magary. Drew’s weekly roastings of Sports Illustrated’s Peter King over at Kissing Suzy Kolber are consistently the most commented-on blogs on the site.

I think, for the most part, these rippings are done mostly tongue-in-cheek. Drew, for instance, has several times expressed discomfort with readers harassing King in-person the way Drew does in his blogs. Nobody REALLY wants these guys to get fired, but sometimes they need to be held accountable for their drivel. Especially since there are so many more capable sportswriters (no, I don’t mean me) littering the internet, doing the work for pennies (or less), while people like King and Easterbrook and Bill Simmons rake in the dough while struggling to put together coherent thoughts and contradicting themselves every other week.

Anyway, all of that was a long-winded way to introduce something new around here.


The most obvious target for a B’More-centric FJM is Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston. Ravens fans have a funny relationship with Preston, as he is a guy that many of us LOVE to HATE.

“Did you see what Preston wrote? Man, I hate that guy,” is probably one of the most common phrases uttered around water coolers in Baltimore from September through December. Extremely opinionated, often contrary, and usually negative, Preston does what he is paid to do – get attention – very well.

But man, does he get under our skin.

For this first installment of FJM’ing Mike Preston, we’ll go with just this short little blurb he wrote as part of Ravens’ Insider‘s “instant analysis” of the Giants game:

Mike Preston: The Ravens’ passing game was strong, but I’m hoping this isn’t a repeat showing from last season when the Ravens started throwing the ball all over the place, and got away from the running game. Hopefully, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron learned from last year’s mistake, which also led to injuries to quarterback Joe Flacco.

You’re right, Mike. The REAL reason the Ravens have used Ray Rice so sparingly here in preseason is NOT because they are saving him for when the games start to count, or to prevent injury, or to keep his legs fresh, or any other sensible explanation. No, the real reason is that this really is the new Ravens offense. Joe Flacco can plan on throwing the ball 50-60 times every game in 2010, while Ray Rice will be lucky to get 5 carries a game.

Come on, man. After putting together incredibly run-heavy game plans in 2008, followed by a nicely balanced attack in 2009, did Cam Cameron really suddenly become Andy Reid overnight? You can’t really believe that, can you?

You don’t buy the conventional wisdom that Cam is using the preseason to develop timing and chemistry in the passing game? You don’t think its wise to get Joe Flacco as many “live” reps with Anquan Boldin as possible before September 13?

After all the good that the Ravens’ offense displayed on Saturday night against NYG, all Preston’s “analysis” consists of is “derrrrrrr, I hope they don’t get away from the running game?” REALLY? Really.

You suck, hack.


6 Responses to “New Feature: FJM'ing Mike Preston”

  1. Dempsey's Army Says:

    I still say Fire Joe Morgan is the heavyweight champ, even in retirement:

    Good post!

  2. NestMinder Says:

    Yeah, you’re probably right. Slipped my mind. I’ll update the post.

  3. Scott Says:

    I don’t love to hate Preston, I just hate him. I will also disagree about him doing “what he is paid to do” and say that he does a better job of annoying readers than getting attention. This is the typical conversation I have with my old man regarding any of Preston’s articles:

    One of us: “Hey, did you see what Preston wrote about ________?”

    The other: “Yeah. He’s such an asshole.”

    The end.

    I don’t think that it is beneficial for a newspaper to have one of their main journalists be an angst-producing attention whore.

  4. NestMinder Says:

    Sounds very similar to most conversations I have about Preston. The point is, as much as we hate him, we STILL read it. Usually, the answer to “did you read what that asshole wrote?” is “yes.”

    I think its a symptom of newspapers having to compete with blogs that you have guys like Preston getting larger forums. Newspapers are trying to get their share of that “internet money” ( and you’re more likely to send a link to an article that makes you say “LOOK WHAT THIS SHITHEAD WROTE” than to an article that you go “hmm, that’s nice,” and move on.

    That’s deeper than I want go get though. Let’s just say screw Preston.

  5. Jon Says:

    That is pretty good FJM’ing there. I equate Preston to a shock jock many times. He says things to get reactions.

    Nest, I know there is a lot going on with the Ravens as the season approaches but any love for the O’s as they just finished up a great month of August?

  6. NestMinder Says:

    Well, I’m supposed to have an “O’s blogger….”

    He’s traipsing around the southwest for work or some such nonsense.

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