So here's the thing: Rumors are flying about the Atlanta Spirit trying to sell the Thrashers, the Hawks, and Philips Arena. The newest rumor claims that the Thrashers are being offered separately. The Spirit kind of/sort of deny this and say they're simply looking for minority investors.
They do admit they're working with a firm to find some suitors, though. Thanks to yesterday's NY Post report, we know that the firm is called the Raine Group, and is based in New York.
Are they trying to sell it all or are they just trying to find other investors? How do we know what's true?
There's been some talk in recent weeks about the journalistic viability of the blogosphere, bloggers as proper reporters and journalists, etc. Everyone wants those press passes, understandably.
Well, fellow Thrash-bloggers, here's your chance to scoop the regular media. Because the AJC sure as hell isn't going to try to discover what's actually going on. Most journalists aren't willing to do the extra work that getting to the bottom of this mystery entails.
You want to be a journalist, or at least a reporter who offers something more substantive than "The Thrashers were nice enough to invite us to talk to Chris Thorburn today?" Chase this story down. Send the Raine Group an email. Tell them you write for a well-known weblog that covers the Thrashers, and you want to know if there's any truth to the rumors about the Atlanta Spirit---their client---trying to sell the package they own.
Now, we, the Blueland Chronicle, can't do this. A "boutique merchant bank" like the Raine Group wouldn't engage a blog filled with Ten Gallon Dick's and accounts of drinking, and rightly so. I'm talking to the two or three Thrash-blogs that actually resemble journalism.
Hell, pick up a phone and CALL the Raine Group. Tell them you write for an imaginary Atlanta-area newspaper or magazine. I don't know, call it the Atlanta Business Jihad, or the Gwinnett Spy and Telegraph. Offer some low-level employee anonymity. Have a fake business card made and head up to their office on the Avenue of the Americas. You may not get particularly far, but at least try. Come to think of it, you'd be surprised at how far you can get. I once got Jason Smith's agent on the phone. This is an actual fact!
There's more to journalism than asking players questions, and certainly more to it than waiting to re-print whatever the Thrashers press people say. Ben Wright is rightly praised for his dutifulness in keeping fans up to date with the latest team information, but it's good to remember that he's not a neutral or independent source. No one who works for the Thrashers can be an independent source, by definition.
Now get to work on those fake business cards.