Friday, March 4, 2011

All Things Avs blog: things get uncomfortable

Not really sure where to go with this blog entry. In it, AD starts with a personal story (which in itself is not so unusual) that gets very personal, divulging to his audience some severe depression and suicidal thoughts he went through a number of years ago. It's tough to criticize a person for opening up like this, but then again, I question its appropriateness in a blog that's supposed to be about the Avalanche. I really don't mind some personality coming through in a blog, but this is such a personal story that it threatens to (and ultimately, does) overwhelm the subject. As I've said before, it's "All Things Avs," not "Some Things Avs, and Some Things Adrian."

I did really like the bit about Keith Jones noticing something was up that night and talking to AD about it... I think it's a good insight into the relationship an athlete and a reporter can have, and I enjoyed both that section and the idea AD was going for with it. But, if that's the sort of thing AD wanted to relay, it could have been done while still keeping that story as the focus, rather than the focus turning towards Dater himself.

Things really take a turn for the worse, however, when Dater tries to relate his feeling depressed and suicidal in the Avs' locker room to how Lilies might feel at the possibility of being traded. Really? A guy considering ending it all is in the same ballpark as a guy who might get traded within the next couple days? That's really a stretch, and frankly, I worry it's a bit insulting to those who have suffered true depression. If Dater hoped there would be any weight to the initial, personal parts of the story, he really sabotages it here, essentially trivializing his own struggles by suggesting that Liles' emotions at maybe being traded are somehow similar. Unless it turns out that Lilies was suicidal about the possibility of leaving the Avs, this ends up being really rather far off-key.

Things like this really make me question Dater's ability as a writer... when writing something like this, there should be a common thread that runs throughout it, from beginning to end. Dater tries to find one, but the thing he settles on ends up kind of wrecking the feel for both his personal story and what he was trying to say about Liles. So while I am glad to hear that AD's apparently worked through his issues, I do think that he could have done better with this entry.

The remainder is fairly standard, "will he or won't he be traded" stuff, primarily about Liles. Nothing new, nothing informative, but I guess it's OK. He closes with a very oddly-worded phrase

"You’ll all have a better memory in that room some night."

Again, while I can figure out what he was probably trying to say here, it's written so oddly that I find myself shaking my head in confusion rather than nodding it in agreement.

Overall, I give props to Dater on this one, actually. He made an attempt to do what I think should be done with a blog like this: to combine his personal thoughts about the Avs with some insider information and present it to the reader. If he can find a better balance between those "personal" and "insider" sides and create a more cohesive, flowing story, I think he'd have been on to something. The result was spotty at best, but I feel the effort deserves some recognition, so this entry gets a


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