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Media Approval Ratings: John Clay


As the offseason continues to roll on, it is time to begin a new feature on the site, the Media Approval Ratings. Earlier in the summer, I made the decision to do a “Media Tournament”, where we would place UK media members in head to head matchups, to find out who were the best of the best. As I began writing those pieces, I realized that ultimately I couldnt do that without burning every conceivable bridge available in life, so I decided to alter the course a bit. With the news that Will Leitch is leaving, it seemed a perfect time to honor/grab his idea and do our own local approval ratings. This will work very simply. We put a media member out there….give his or her pros and cons….and then allow you to comment on their work and use the poll on the right to give them a yay or nay. We will hit all 32 that made the tournament during the course of the summer…those you like (think Larry Vaught) and those you dont (you know who). At the end, we will have the five most popular and unpopular UK sports media members. See, it couldnt be easier or more fun!

We begin with John Clay of the Herald Leader. Clay is a columnist/new blogger for the local floundering newspaper, who has been the most accepting of the new wave of internet media, as seen by the creation of his relatively good blog on the Herald Leader site. Clay has been good about recognizing the non-official UK sites, linking Sea of Blue early on and then…after some passing of time….even giving our site a plug or two.

As far as his actual writing, some pros and cons:


— Relatively balanced….not overly positive or negative….

— Understands the difference between “reporting” and a “column” and only interjects his opinions in the latter….a skill he could teach his Hall of Fame colleague

— Good sense of humor….we arent talking Chris Rock here, but he isnt Sinbad either….think your uncle who comes over for Christmas with bad jokes, but occasionally makes you laugh in the process


— Does have a bit of the “it was better in my day” syndrome where everything that happens now isnt quite as good as it was 25 years ago. This has less to do with his reporting ability, but is a phenomenon that happens to almost every human over 40 who realizes that youth has left them and now they must slowly become a curmudgeon

— Propensity for “lists” columns….the recent phenomenon for writers who have nothing else to say. I cant be too hard on the guys for this, because we do it all the time. But those columns always seem mailed in.

— Attempted to do “video blogs” with comments after the game that were just awful. I like the idea John of trying new media…..but the videos had a look that Kige Ramsey would have mocked, while also finding a way to be strangely bizarre and sort of difficult to watch. Here is an example:

I dont know John personally (he is solidly in the “doesnt talk to Matt at games” camp), but generally like him well enough. He would get a “yes” vote from me. What about you?

Vote to the right, and if you have comments, give them up…..

Article written by Matt Jones