Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Beat Goes On?

It has been a spring of uncertainty for the members of the NYI Blog Box.

As the regular season drew to a close with hopes of an extension into the playoffs long since evaporated, we wondered collectively what our fate would be as credentialed bloggers.

Had we served out a one-year term in this new media experiment? Would we all be asked back next season for another go round? Were there some criteria by which some of us would return and others would be blogectomied?

These questions were answered, rather emphatically I'm told, during a pre-game meeting on April 1 (fingers crossed?). At this gathering, the Islanders' media relations staff informed those bloggers present that the Blog Box is ongoing and, as charter members, we may continue to take part in it.


And so we moved on with nary a thought to the health of the Blog Box.

That it is until today when Greg Logan of Newsday reported that Chris Botta, the club's VP of Media Relations, had resigned.

I believe Mr. Botta has credited Corey Witt with the genesis of the Blog Box. But make no mistake--without Mr. Botta's support and championing of the endeavor, there would not be a Blog Box.

To most, the resignation was startling. It was unexpected and puzzling. Here was a man who had served his hometown team for 20 years and survived the tumult that has engulfed one of the most unstable franchises in sports. He called working for the Islanders his dream job.

Mr. Botta had served in his current role for the past nine years. He had far more to do than serve as a liaison between the team and the press. He had to make sure the press was even there.

When members of the media treated the Islanders unfairly, Mr. Botta was the first to speak up and he did so with vigor. And tact.

It is very easy to speculate about why a man would leave his dream job after 20 years at a time when the job may have been as exciting as it has ever been. I could give you a list of possible reasons that range from the mundane to the maddening.

If you are interested in such buzz, you know where to look and you have probably found it
already. The more maddening buzz is fairly loud and probably with good reason. For his part, Mr. Botta only told Logan that he chose to leave for personal reasons and it was time to end an incredible ride.

I think, for now, the best thing for me to do is to thank Mr. Botta for serving the Islanders community so admirably. I wish him the best of luck in pursuing his next professional challenge. And I hope that he has left under circumstances that permit him to continue supporting the Islanders.

As for the Blog Box? The latest word is that we have nothing to worry about. This new form of beat will go on.

And if something should change between now and October, you can be sure that we'll still be here, credentialed or not.

No comments: