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Simmons Says - Don't come at the King

I’m a huge fan of Mafia movies. Whether it’s ‘Goodfellas,’ or ‘The Godfather,” I’m going to get sucked in if I see them showing on TV. I’m also a huge fan of movies and TV shows depicting drug kingpins – some of my favorites are ‘The Wire’ and ‘American Gangster.’

While I’m not trying to learn a ton of lessons from these movies – I don’t think I’m going to be cutting off the heads of any horses or building an underground empire in McMinnville – I do find them very quotable. They have some great sinister lines – great for when you want to let somebody know you don’t care for them.

And that’s exactly what I want to do right now.

Michael Corleone once said, “You have to keep your friends close and enemies closer.” (Sure, he probably wasn’t the first, but still.) In that vein, I keep up with my old employer, even though I know the sports reporting product I put out daily is superior.

People still ask me what happened and why I’m not there anymore. I’ve answered them in a couple of posts already. I got a new question late Tuesday night though about the paper – “You think this has something do to you?”

I was sent a snippet of a column in the sports section. When I got to reading it, I definitely got the feeling I was being called out.

Here’s the thing – I know it’s going to rub some people the wrong way when I say the Warren County Sports Authority delivers the best sports coverage in town. The truth can hurt.

But it’s just the truth – and I have the awards to back it up. If Rob Nunley ever starts a sports website of his own, then I’ll think twice about saying I’m the best. Until then, it’s not up for debate – I know the competition.

When you’re going to take thinly veiled shots, then you probably need to take a lesson from Omar in ‘The Wire.’ He had the iconic line when somebody came for his crown – “You come at the King, you best not miss.”

So hey, let me interject my own FYIs for sports fans in Warren County.

FYI No. 1 – I’ll say this – the Warren County Sports Authority doesn't have 6,200 people buying our product, currently. Our site, in just seven months, has picked up roughly 10 percent of that in subscribers. With a 142-year head start, I’m not really surprised they get more readers than us (at least three days a week).

I can also say this – it’s a TON less people buying the paper now. I know for a fact that if 6,200 is the number of editions going out three time a week now, then that number is down nearly 1/3 in just four years.

I guess taking a number and multiplying by 3 to get an even bigger number for a week is more appealing than showing that number and realizing it's down nearly 33 percent in three years.

FYI No. 2 – The Warren County Sports Authority has had an app from Day 1 when we opened shop. It’s hosted through Wix – the site I use to run our site. It’s easy to use and has plenty of people on it without me ever promoting it.

Great job getting an app – it’s 2021 after all.

FYI Fact No. 3 – Having over 18,000 Facebook followers is very impressive. It ever well may even be the biggest page in town, which is claimed in Wednesday’s column. I’d hope something that has been around over 10 years – a timeline I know because I was there helping get it started – would draw in that many people.

At the Warren County Sports Authority, we have over 3,000 followers in just seven months. Math was one of my favorite subjects – if we gain 3,000 followers a year (and our first year still has five more months) for the next decade, we’ll have 30,000 Facebook followers.

That’s not a bad following for a reporting website that solely focuses on sports - and we got it without chasing ambulances.

FYI Fact No. 4 – The Warren County Sports Authority Twitter has 1,356 followers.

While we’re counting, let’s look at the activity Tuesday night when the region semifinal was being played at Charlie Dalton Gym – you know, a pretty big game that people like to know about.

WCSA Twitter posts – 43 (not counting RTs of people interacting with our tweets)

Competitor Twitter posts – 1

WCSA Facebook posts – 6 (including a Live interview with CJ)

Competitor FB posts – 2

It's a pretty popular thing too - people like it when you give them up-to-date information:

FYI Fact No. 5 – I can’t say I’ve ever clicked on my competitor’s video segments on YouTube. I have my own podcast to reach people weekly with candid interviews of players and coaches in Warren County. What I noticed when I searched YouTube for those videos is nobody else is clicking on them either. As of the writing of this column, the last three YouTube videos on my competitor’s page talking sports have no views.

FYI Fact No. 7 – If you really want to get up-to-date scores in Warren County, you’ll follow the site that puts out stories on the same day things actually happen.

Like I said earlier, I love quoting movies. I also remember quotes other people told me, like when my old boss used invoke a Mark Twain line - “Don’t pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.”

Fighting against somebody who controlled print products back in the day was a foolish endeavor – their reach was far greater and their words carried weight. Well nowadays, websites can print trillions of words a day. My stories are reaching a bigger audience by the week, based on the fact I keep putting out a great product.

If my competitor wants to really get people to read their sports stories, then they should do the easy thing – tag the Warren County Sports Authority. That’s where more and more people are going daily to get the best coverage.

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