Starting this week, I'm sliding into a new schedule geared around my Page 2 columns, which will run regularly on Wednesdays and Fridays (and maybe even three times a week, depending on what's happening). I'm going to use the Cowbell space for smaller bits that don't fit in a column book reviews, thoughts on movies or TV shows, quick reactions to time-sensitive material, Celtics and Red Sox stuff and so on. But the majority of my time is going to be spent coming up with stuff for those Page 2 columns and my magazine column, which was the whole reason ESPN brought me back last spring in the first place. I'm also going to try to write a mailbag every 2-3 weeks, so much of the normal Cowbell fodder will end up in that mailbag, anyway.
My biggest problem with the Cowbell gimmick other than everyone on the planet has a blog now, so it's lost a little bit of its luster is that I keep getting carried away when I write them. The initial plan was for the postings to be quick hits (350-500 words) but I can never help myself. Like the Nash rant last week that ended up being 2,100 words and should have been its own column. In retrospect, I could have spent more time on it, honed it down, added some jokes and made it three times better. So it was a wasted opportunity. And that's happened like 20 times during the past few months.
Also, when you're rushing to get stuff up, you fall in the habit of throwing opinions out there without really thinking about them. For instance, I wrote last week that it was incredible that Shaq has won only one MVP if I wrote that in an actual column, I would have checked the voting, then gone through his seasons to make sure he got boned over two or three times. As it turned out, Page 2's David Schoenfield ended up pursuing that angle and came to the conclusion that Shaq had been treated fairly in the voting. After reading that column, I can't even disagree every year, either someone was better than him or he was victimized by circumstance (the '99 lockout happening in his prime, or missing 22 games in 1998, or even the media's being seduced by Iverson in 2001). The point is, I would have checked this out before I wrote it. And that's the biggest difference between writing a column and writing a blog you miss the little things and the postings are never as good as they should be.
If you fell in the habit of checking the page every day to see if something is coming up, we're going to do a much better job of alerting you when something other than those Wednesday/Friday columns is being posted. Just check the top right of the Sports Guy's World page for instance, if I have a Cowbell coming on Monday afternoon, we'll post something in the morning that says, "New Cowbell coming Monday afternoon." If I don't have another column coming until Wednesday, we'll post something on Monday that says, "New column coming Wednesday." Also, the New Intern will still be posting the Daily Links, we'll still have the Quote of the Day, and we might start running a few guest columns just for kicks.