Enjoy your time reading the quality work of Jeremy Fowler covering the Vikings for the Pioneer Press because this weekend is his last rodeo at it. As Fowler announced on Twitter today he is leaving to be a College Football Insider for CBS Sports, which is a tremendous gig and we at TVA send our congrats.
Fowler first rose to the national scene covering college football in 2010 when then Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer grew upset that Fowler mentioned in a column how wide receiver Deonte Thompson stated that quarterback John Brantley was more “real” at the position then legend Tim Tebow. Their conversation got so heated that Meyer and the coach threatened to throw him out of practice to later say, “If that was my son, we’d be going rounds” and called Fowler a “bad guy.” The YouTube link has over 200k views if you want to check it out. In Fowler’s defense he was quoting a wide receiver who would be happily receiving more targets, as Tebow has never been a prototypical pocket passer. Fowler later replaced Sean Jensen (who now covers the Chicago Bears for the Sun Times) and has delivered quality content for the last 2 years.
So what does this mean? The opportunity covering a team for a local newspaper isn’t what it used to be. Yes, there are a number of quality beat writers throughout the NFL that represent a paper, however the quantities are disappearing. The majority of talent either leaves national syndicate such as CBS in this instance or they’ll work for a different form of media such as a radio station. Everyone needs to get their sports news throughout the day via a website or Twitter instead of waiting the next day for the paper to arrive provided that household doesn’t own an electronic reading tablet. Just look at what has happened at the Star Tribune with Chip Scoggins being moved to full-time columnist and Judd Zulgad leaving for 1500ESPN where he hosts a radio show giving way for Tom Pelissero the be the key point of contact on the team. Now the Strib has replaced Zulgad and Scoggins with Dan Wiederer and Mark Craig; however they fail at understanding football Xs and Os and are have yet to break a major story. And now we have to wait for the Pioneer Press to replace Fowler, which won’t be easy.
So Jeremy; thanks for one last time. We’ll be sure to keep following you on the college football scene, even if it means no longer being able to read your work on the best day of the week.
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig