OTC: That Dent In My Couch Is About To Get Some Time To Heal Itself

My Off The Couch column and the comments section that follows each column has always been a source of pride. I enjoyed the chance to share my thoughts with those who bothered to read my work. I write with a pointed opinion and I expected nothing less from those readers who agreed or disagreed with my stance on a subject.

The comments from readers – both pro and con – were just as entertaining for me and many of my readers.

Somewhere along the way that changed.

Instead of attracting intelligent, passionate and humorous repartee, my OTC column comments section has recently devolved into mostly immature blather. It just is not something with which I or my column wants to be associated. There are plenty of websites that welcome drivel – and even mine can handle some. But this constant deluge of dunces embarrasses me.

I am not much of a proponent of censoring those who read my work so shutting down the comments or blocking particular contributors is not an option. It might simply be time to move on.

There are a number of other writing projects I have wanted to spend more time on and this appears to be as good a time as any. I will continue to be active on Twitter and even occasionally post here on this website. But for now it appears time for me to get off the couch.

[email protected] and Twitter @greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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164 Responses to OTC: That Dent In My Couch Is About To Get Some Time To Heal Itself

  1. Sunny Crockett says:

    Greg,

    I hope you rest up a little and reconsider.

    I’ve actually followed you since your columns actually ran in the Overland Park Sun which must have been mid to late 90’s. I still recall you had a feedback phone # at the end of those columns. You did an article on how Chauncey Billups deserved to be Big 12 player of the year. For some reason I called in and left a message on the voicemail that Chauncey Billups was a great player and deserved props, but Jacque Vaughn had done more guiding his team to the Conference Title and that Billups team finished in last place. I my opinion Vaughn had done more for his team. I said the CU Buffs would have been last place with or without the statistics and contributions from Billups.

    I get a home a few days later and my answering machine was filled up with a long message from you restating your case about Billups and all the stat categories he led. You went on and on, but then conceded that I had made a very good point about Billups team finishing in last with or without his stats. It blew me away that you took the time to call like that and you were real civil in your reaction. I could tell you were just a giant sports fan like me who enjoyed taking shop.

    I also remember reading you in the KC Star. I remember extending some late Saturday nights to stay up late enough to grab an early KC Star that had been delivered to a grocery store so I could read your column in there. This was pre internet days I guess!

    Anyway, I am one of the masses who reads a lot, but rarely writes in. I kind of gloss over the comments. There are some guys with comments and takes I enjoy, but a lot of the comments you gloss right by.

    I know you just need to recharge and reboot. Hang in there. You have a fun style to follow. There are a ton of us out there who rarely comment but read from afar who have followed and enjoyed your work for years!!!

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Crockett

    • Hearne says:

      Mr. hall….you act as if you’re a huge blog with huge readership when in fact the
      stats show your blog as a failure except for the 10-15 regular comments you
      get.
      You’re not all that and for a man who lied to his readers you should be ashamed
      of yourself.
      You’ve got a small time blog in a small time town and pretend you are somebody when
      you are just reciting what those who are smarter than you have said.
      Move on. You really won’t be missed because some other know nothing will
      take over.
      We’re not crying any tears. In fact, since we hardly read this blog we and millions
      of others won’t miss it.
      Good luck in the future wherever your self professed writing skills take you.
      Bye. Ain’t gonna miss ya.

    • chris says:

      What Crockett said.

  2. Greg K says:

    Thanks for keeping it real Greg, especially fun when it includes Bo Pellini.

  3. Garch says:

    yes .. the whole issue of comment sections is being looked at — here’s recent Wa Po article–

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/11/21/the-case-against-comments/

  4. KCdan says:

    Please reconsider. I have really enjoyed OTC for several years !

  5. scoobbb says:

    Greg, sorry to see you’re taking some time off, but I understand. I also understand about the comments. Seems like the comments section anywhere is a mix of trolls, spam and amateur comedians trying desperately to be clever.

    FYI, I don’t comment here often. I am a KC guy and a KU grad who moved to California in 1988. I found you when the Sportsguy did the link to your Neilbonics post many years ago. I have never lived in KC when there was sports talk radio, and only know most of the people you quote and critique via your column. Still, I read you regularly, because you keep me tapped in to the KC sports scene in a way I wouldn’t be otherwise, but more importantly because I enjoy your style and your editorial comments, as well as your passion for sports and for sports journalists doing things the right way.

    I’ll miss you and I hope you keep us updated as to what is next. Maybe you keep doing what you’re doing and take comments on twitter? I know twitter is even worse than comments on sports blogs but maybe you can find a way to filter through the comments and provide a few responses on your blog. I don’t know. Just spit ballin. I guess my point is that while I know you enjoy the interactions and hate to see how the comments section has devolved, I still enjoy reading you – comments or no – and maybe there is another way for the interaction with your readers to work.

    Thanks for a lot of good reading over the years, and have a great Turkey day!!

  6. Joe Blow says:

    I’ve been reading GH for a while, and commenting off and on — even sometimes when I shouldn’t. But this just seems like a weird reason to quit. I mean, the comments section? I don’t really see a big difference now vs. what it’s been the last few years. Anyone who’s ever been online — or at work, or in any type of group — knows that sometimes there are really annoying people who bring everybody down. But they come and go.

    I have to imagine that GH is just tired of doing this column for now. I’ve been obligated to do a weekly online column before, and even that got to be more than it’s worth. So a daily one requires a *lot* of work. I don’t always agree with GH’s takes, but the columns and the comments are usually entertaining. I just hope he’s being honest about the comments being the reason he’s stepping away…because simply wanting to work on other projects is reason enough. This justification just rings a little empty.

    I have a feeling GH will be back eventually, but, if not…twitter sucks and is a really poor way to follow people. It’s not even close to the same thing.

    • TiberiusGracchus says:

      Agreed….it does seem odd the more I think about it…as the CS as always had some low brow. And if it got tiresome you just scrolled through it and it didn’t seem to stop the people with legit comments from doing so. Some got very personal in their attacks after the London column. I think that might have been the tipping point. I don’t care what it is, if you are putting a great deal of time and effort into something and all you get in return are personal attacks and name calling it’s tough to keep going.

  7. Gravitas says:

    I’m sure it does take time for this blog– many excellent sites have those “donate” buttons — where people could kick in some $$ , which I’m glad to do for a blogger I enjoy–

    f’instance, I’ve been following this site during the Ferguson mess – and there’s a “donate” button at the top rt side

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/

  8. Dan says:

    If you ever decide to make a comeback, I will be all ears. Good luck on your other projects, Greg. Your daily dose here will be missed.

  9. John says:

    Where have you gone, Mr. Hall?
    Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you
    woo woo woo

  10. Rick says:

    It looks like good old Hearne is piling on Greg just like he did with the Bottom Line Communications guy about a year ago. When he knows you can’t return the fire he really loves to start kicking. So far he has written at least three columns attacking you.

    Best of luck Greg. You provided a valuable service and it was appreciated.

    • Jess says:

      KCC keeping it classy….

      • Old Man Kissel says:

        And that God they’re keeping it classy.

        “admin says:

        December 1, 2014 at 11:57 am

        He does indeed have a paycheck, Jimmy but…

        He had one while writing over here too, but he still wanted to be compensated for his work. Five days a week, 12 months a year for more than three years is a long time to work for grins.

        And with a disappointing readership that never really took off, how much fun can a white boy from Nebraska really have.

        It’s a grind – and a grind Greg no longer has to endure.

        Early on it was mainly a passion…back when Greg really didn’t have much, if any of a job. Clearly putting in his two cents worth as a persona named Husker was little more than a lark. Something fun to do.

        Then he got the idea of the media soundbites and started choking those out a couple times each week – at that point he was able to pickup a little chump change from the Star, Sun and Pitch for his efforts.

        And with larger readerships, there was a sense of accomplishment as well.

        Given his first shot at a real paycheck – with Chad Boeger, Kevin Kietzman and the WHB boyz – Greg jumped at it. He even turned down an offer from Entercom to replace Danny Clinkscale and do talk radio plus some Royals broadcasting duties.

        Greg blew that one, because the goofy guys at WHB got their panties in a bunch a handful of weeks in and fired Greg. He well might have fashioned a sports broadcasting career if Jason Whitlock hadn’t talked him out of turning down Entercom.

        By the time he started writing for the Pitch,, Landmark and later KCC he had a real job and paycheck and could afford to be picky (and moody – Greg is nothing if not that,

        So he stormed out of the Pitch, quietly stopped writing for the Landmark and left KCC because he didn’t think we were making the sort of progress he’s hoped for and expected.

        So yes, clearly there was passion involved for Greg and while it wasn’t really a money play, he wanted it to grow into one…if only a small one. But Google ads with the traffic he had would barely keep his family in toothpaste and tooth brushes for a year.

        And writing practically daily for a small handful of readers wasn’t wildly rewarding either.

        You ask if he wanted to turn blogging into a full time gig…

        That’s exactly what he wanted and tried to pull off after the WHB guys fired him but after working day and night seven days a week for more than a year, he folded his “sports waves” website.

        The rest is history…”

        8`0 scoops 610 once again.

      • Mike says:

        Wow, is Hearne a giant fucking troll? Never have I seen someone that had the benefit of the silver spoon waste it on…being a social-scene reporter with semi-celebs and horseshit that matters to very little.
        At least now he can rename his moronic website KCTroll.com

  11. Craig Glazer says:

    Greg I always liked you. Sorry for Hearnes attacks and getting me involved. You have always been nice to me and I wish you the best.

  12. RickM says:

    Maybe at some point you can let us in on how you were able to translate and quote verbatim (I assume) all of those radio takes so quickly. Do you record both stations all day, then play them back? I assume you have a day job and a limit as to how much time to devote to it.

    Hell, there’s probably some digital trick that I’m not aware of, me being so analog.

  13. max says:

    Greg, I don’t comment often but have enjoyed your writing for years. Before all the nasty cyber cowards appeared, comments from readers were entertaining as well. Many years ago, non sport topics would appear on OTC. One in particular was a stretch where the Sopranos got a lot of comments. It was some funny stuff.
    Here’s a suggestion, run what you used to call classic couch, along with the comments. That was always fun to read. Just turn off the new comments and copy and paste for a while. You can still take a break and come back later.
    Whatever you decide, good luck to you. Take care.

  14. Dave says:

    Yes, Greg — as another long-time OTC reader (years!), I’d urge you to reconsider too. I couldn’t care less if there were a comments section or not — I love your observations and insight… come back, Shane!!

  15. Sports Radio is Dead in KC says:

    Greg – another long time reader, I understand your decision completely.

    I haven’t listened to 810 for years, but I would come to your site occasionally to see if Kevin was still scooping the rest of the free press with his truly outside the lines insights. How can someone be wrong on so many topics except for one, I guess, 810 scoops 610. That is such a high bar that they set there.

    Well, Greg, I just wanted to thank you for providing an outlet to view the inane world that is sports radio in Kansas City.

  16. Mike says:

    I second the above from S.R. is Dead.

    Greg, have you considered the Stern route? Instead of doing five days (or going off of it cold turkey), have you considered a lesser amount? I always thought at some point you’d do just a Tues and a Friday post, instead of five days. One for the weekend and Monday, and one for the week.

    Either that, or stay on hiatus until we reach a point where KK is really unhinged, and no one calls him on his bullshit. On second thought, that might only take days….

    Hell, I hope this comments section continues to grow with reader-supported quotes from some of the things they’ve seen or heard locally (and national), and we could comment from each other. I’d have to go re-listen, but some of KK’s little musings today about Beaty and the KU coaching job are worth it.

  17. ken says:

    Miss the OTC already

  18. Old Man Kissel says:

    So Greg… No SOFA Awards this year?????

    810 scoops 610 once again…

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