This is what they call "low hanging fruit".
Yes, the job of the sportswriter has changed over the years. So, for that matter, has the job of just about everyone else. And while we here at Sportsthodoxy do not dispute that a great many sportswriters are fine, upstanding, hard-working folks (Mitch Albom and his treacly nonsense, and Jon Heyman and his careful retyping of Notes From The Scott Boras Underground aside) who do indeed pour their hearts and souls into their craft, we find ourselves slightly skeptical of the weight of Deford's premise. We do, however, remain impressed that Peter King of SI can in fact hammer out thousands of words a week, even if roughly a quarter of them are about Starbucks, and we will not mention that the magnificent Matt Forbeck and the steadfast Steve Long can churn out that much material every day without blinking.
And yes, this time of year is a bit slow on the sports calendar, what with the hockey season starting up, college basketball starting conference play, the NFL coaching carousel in full spin, the championships of the Caribbean winter baseball season and suchlike, and between Lance Armstrong's confession of lying and Manti Te'o's...something, it seems like the bad behavior is at the fore. Not like, say, the weeks leading up to bowl season, which any glance at College Football Talk can tell you is full of players getting suspended for various off-field exploits, or the annual off-season Parade Of Arrested Bengals, or the annual bouts of geshrying over steroids in sports like baseball, baseball and baseball, or, well, there you go, then.
But beyond that, it's a great piece.