Hello faithful reader! It has been a while since Grading Dater has published anything, and that's because we've been depressed. As the Ryan O'Reilly saga unfolded, the coverage from the Denver Post just got worse and worse. We had Dater posting an entire thing about how stupid and wrong the Avs were over the situation, and then he turned around and posted an article about how stupid O'Reilly was being, too... as if combining two completely biased articles from opposite viewpoints creates an objective reporter (hint: that's not the way it works). We had Dater posting a rambling letter (which, to AD's credit, he apparently attempted to translate into English for us) from O'Reilly's dad, essentially turning the Denver Post into the mouthpiece for the O'Reilly camp and their weird, weird ideas on how the world works. We had Dater blogging about all the possible "what ifs" that might occur within the next year or so, basically just slumping into lazy rumor-mongering rather than any real reporting. We had Chambers using the blog to promote some sort of soap opera he's trying to fabricate between Duchene and O'Reilly. ...All this sprinked with Dater's typical "Avs are losers" glumness and clockwork Stastny bashing when the team lost, peppered with the occasional decent work from Chambers (although he continues to make mistakes he should know better by now, such as "assistant captain" and the meaning of a two-way contract). So yeah, it was a tough time to be a hockey fan reading the Denver Post.
With the stupid O'Reilly thing finally-sorta in the rearview mirror, though, we thought that perhaps the Post would start returning to better coverage, but little did we know that the worst was yet to come. In this All Things Avs blog post, Adrian Dater goes so far beyond the pale of acceptable journalism that it seems clear there's no coming back.
In a recent game, Milan Hejduk was the recipient of a fairly blatant charge from Blue Jackets center (centre, for our Canadian readers) Derek MacKenzie, who received no penalty on the play. Unfortunately, Hejduk was hurt on the play and has missed a couple games. That's pretty much your story right there: Hejduk injured, no penalty called.
Dater, however, turns it upside-down and very quickly moves from the mild irritation one would expect from seeing a player injured on a play that should have been a penalty but wasn't called (which as any hockey fan knows, happens all the time), straight into fanning the flames of the ridiculous "NHL/Shanahan hates the Avalanche" bullshit that permeates the realm of a certain sub-species of Avalanche fan/cretin that gives the rest of us a bad name. It is now clear that if Dater is not the leader of this band of neanderthals, he is, at the very least, in charge of their Ministry of Truth.
Dater calls it "a joke" that MacKenzie received no penalty, and then goes off on a list of items -- most of them involving retired players in games which happened over ten years ago -- to make his point that the league just hates the Avalanche and has a documented history of screwing them over at every opportunity. Never mind that this makes absolutely no sense and never has... why, exactly, does the league want the Avalanche to lose? And more importantly, why does the league think the Avalanche need any help to lose? Have they not been paying attention?
Perhaps the most amazingly dumbfounding part of this blog is this: in the midst of all the Shanahan/Red Wing/Avalanche/suspension/conspiracy nonsense, Dater manages to slip in a plug for his book. Wow.
This blog is just complete and utter garbage, and even though for a while I had begun to think that Dater was above this sort of thing, it's quite clear that he is not. One of the retorts often typed when anybody calls Dater out on his shitty blog work is "you know it's a blog, right?" ...as if putting words in blog form makes it acceptable to just forget everything you've every been taught about journalism, objectivity, research, integrity, ethics, etc. So in an effort to stick up for the concept of blogs, check out the work here, and see what's possible in that format:
Are they biased? Yes, they are. Are they written by fans who bring a fan's perspective to their writing? Yes, they are. However, in this blog, you will not only get far more intelligent reporting on the state of the Avalanche than you will get in the Post, but you also get a much higher quality of discussion in the comments section. Why is that, you ask? It's for the same reason that flowers attract butterflies, while shit attracts flies.
All Dater is doing these days is creating, and then pandering to, some
of the dumbest hockey fans in the world. It seems clear that the Post
doesn't care, either... if Dater generates clicks on their web site,
they don't care what sort of shit he publishes. So the answer is simple, ladies and gentlemen: find your Avalanche information elsewhere. You, the Colorado Avalanche fans of the world, deserve better than what Denver's only major newspaper offers you in the way of hockey coverage. You will have to seek it out for yourselves, but do yourself a favor: ignore the Post. Ignore Adrian Dater, Mike Chambers, and the crap they sign their names to. All they and the Post have done is to create a generation of the most ignorant fans a team could imagine, and then continued to feed them what they were made of. We deserve better.