A hockey blogger Q and A with Laura Astorian of St. Louis Game Time

Continuing the Q & A series that was unveiled Wednesday, another of hockey bloggings assetss chimes in on life in covering not one but two teams in her blogging career. Laura Astorian, who has been a void of both the St. Louis Blues and the Atlanta Thrashers. It’s one thing to cover multiple teams in one town, but to stand up and show love by way over coverage for two teams in the same sport at one time is a hell of an accomplishment.

Laura currently runs St. Louis Game Time on SB Nation (which is also a game-day publication for Blues games; that is done by Brad Lee). She’s a great follow on Twitter too for take on the sport, the entertainment industry and what not.

What does Laura think about the NHL’s plan to forgo the 2018 winter Olympics? What tips does she have for those who want to get into blogging? Read below.

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A hockey blogger Q and A with J.P. of Japers Rink

While I pour over headlines of the hockey blog universe on a daily basis, I’ve been noticing something missing in the summer of 2017 that usually runs as an ongoing series in the hockey blogosphere: question-and-answer sessions that don’t just run the course of talking about other teams, but illustrate networking in blogdom.

Today I’m (hopefully) starting a series of Q & A interviews with some of the hockey blogosphere’s top members. The questions aren’t locked-on-the-franchise talk but touches on blogging as well as the wider NHL with some points that often play out in regular discussions that have been prominent this summer  among idle fans.

This introduction interview is with Jon “J.P” Press, founder of Washington Capitals blog Japers RInk.  Jon has been at his game as a hockey blogger since the 2004-05 NHL lockout. That idle time was pretty tough for fans to live through, and yet it gave birth to known members of the blogging universe as well as the mainstream media.

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America is better than the hate being bred

With events transpiring today in Virginia, I want to take a moment just to state what I find is a truth in society:  People are people are people. No race is supreme to others, no gender tops the other, no sexuality makes someone better than another and no one’s beliefs make them holier than thou  (though all too many times in this country and around the world, religious beliefs are the basis for division and acts of hate).

One of the great characteristics of America history is how it was looked upon by immigrants as the land of opportunity. That was not aimed at one specific type of immigrant, nor a specific country of origin. So many of America’s great accomplishments were achieved through the eclectic social masses of this nation. You can’t look past that, nor can you defend one-over-all within the borders of this society – to do so proves your absence from it.

Standing together is what has made this country great. The press for division which has embodied 2017’s politics is damning it.

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Dependability is offline at Tampa Bay Online

The site known as Tampa Bay Online – www.tbo.com – has been around for decades. TBO was once tied to both Tampa Bay NBC affiliate WFLA News Channel 8 and former print publication The Tampa Tribune (both media entities were owned by Media General). Let me stress that with the decades aspect of Tampa Bay Online as TBO started out in the early 1990’s in a form that was accessible through the Prodigy dial-up network and America Online. It’s sort of hard to explain things before the internet as you know it now – some people were exposed to it well before the general public. I was introduced to the Net through Prodigy and later AOL.

Back to the topic, TBO has been around a while as a media hub (to say the least). With the Tribune leading the charge so often, the flavor of news and writing from the Trib (with its right-leaning slant) was always on display but its general news coverage was complimented by video coverage of news stories that News Channel 8 reported on.

Yet a downfall has been rampant for a while: Media General sold the Tribune in 2012, and while the new ownership vowed they were here to stay, it didn’t play out like that. I’m not sure if there was an official end-partnership between the Trib and WFLA but things scaled back and ceased after the Tribune moved away to its own property. In the spring of 2016 the Tampa Tribune was acquired by print news rival, the Tampa Bay Times. The Tribune ceased to be while certain columnists, reporters and employees were imported to Times staff while others were dismissed. TBO.com has continued operations since then but has become a quizzical online destination for news information in the area. Continue reading

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Best of the Bay and the Bolts for 2017

I may have touched on this Best of the Bay thingie while talking about music (sweet music…music everywhere) but the topic of note is the one that my name is usually linked to: The Tampa Bay Lightning. Creative Loafing’s 2017 reader poll doesn’t lack nor neglect notable aspects of the Bolts – directly or indirectly – which sets the table for Lightning fans to show support for cogs they know regarding the club.

Mind you, there may be more nominated aspects and assets with ties to the franchise (Amalie Arena, or perhaps a locale within the arena). What’s being cited here is from the section called People, Places, Politics which features categories pertaining to public figures, locations and sports. Continue reading

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Members of the Tampa Bay music scene

I’m a regular in a Reddit subgroup that represents the entirety of the Tampa Bay area, /r/tampabay.  Most of the citizens of the cities in the Bay area aren’t members of that group, they’re in the singular cities like /r/tampa, /r/stpetersnurgFL, or not in a city subgroup as all (hey, power to the people – it’s not like everyone goes on Reddit to talk about local life).

Anyway, a couple of months ago on the less-populous /r/tampabay subreddit, a new-resident sounded a disdain for the lack of original musicians in the Tampa Bay area:

So, I’m starting to think there just doesn’t exist any kind of local music scene here at all, unless you consider septuagenarians playing jurassic-rock covers a “scene”. Please tell me I’m wrong. The only show that I’ve gone to in a year and a half was when I flew back to Ohio to visit. This is depressing.

This opens up a question of where in the Bay area they were looking for performances and when – it’s not like it’d happen every day of the week. It’s also not like you can expect original music by local band members to be available at a golf resort or at a bar/pub/club/tavern deep in suburbia.  Oh, it likely happens but you’re more likely to get cover acts in small time locales like that.

Lack of local music scene, though? No… That’s not the case. Continue reading

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Filed under Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay

Topsy Tourney; Thoughts on hockey and the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics

In a way, ice hockey can be much like soccer/futbol. Oh, I’m not comparing playing on an ice sheet to playing on a huge field of grass, nor players wearing a ton of gear to men in shorts and shirts and somewhat-regular shoes. It’s the fact there are so many tournaments of an international variety that come in to play at all levels of the game that is the similarity. Some are annual, some are vastly irregular and others are on a regular schedule a few years apart… Like the Olympics.

The Olympic games are just a variant of grandiose sport-specific tournaments like the World Cup in Soccer which is played ever four years.  I’ll cite the World Junior Championships in hockey, which is an annual tournament of junior-aged players (upper-teens to 20 years old) doing battle, country versus country. There’s also the World Championships which is a toned-down general hockey championship that utilizes players that aren’t involved in the playoffs in pro leagues around the world and those who don’t have to rest and recuperate from a trying season in their respective leagues.

The World Cup of Hockey is an irregular tournament of national teams played in late summer or early fall which can amount to preseason action for the big name talents from around the globe (though that’s not entirely true – the Euro leagues have started by this point while the NHL is in preseason mode). The irregularity sort of dims this and a thin history doesn’t do it any favors either.

And then there are the Olympics… Continue reading

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Finding entertainment from a politically-inexperienced president

A man with no political experience finds his way into the Oval Office and becomes President of the United States of America. He’s got to learn more than just the day-to-day job at the office, which is vastly different from the day-to-day world which he’s used to.

Yeah, that sounds awfully familiar and vastly understated for the moment, doesn’t it? Perhaps it’s the previous version of the above summary that help some people give Donald Trump so much leeway to be so out-of-character and non-traditional as President? The problem with that is how the previous version wasn’t egotistical and profit driven, nor was he so ideological or politically driven that he alienated so many.

After 114 words, you should be wonder who the hell I’m making reference to with this “previous version” stuff… Continue reading

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Tweeting an NHL-related poll

The timing may seem a little odd to do this now as we are in the middle of the summer doldrums of the NHL and ice hockey in general, but this afternoon I’ve posted a little poll on Twitter asking  public opinion on coverage and broadcasting of the NHL on NBC Sports:

I’ve already posted this summer with a negative opinion about a certain personality of NBCSN, and I made him a key figure when criticizing the network in the past. I’ve toyed with writing a new article regarding the network but that seems like a useless feat if general opinion of their on-air hockey experience is taken in a postie way.

The poll will be open until Monday, July 31, 2017. Vote, and perhaps retweet things.

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National security violated, and that’s not a partisan issue

Can we stop playing games here and address an ultra serious situation in the United States of America at the moment? The national security of the nation has been compromised. Investigation and action are necessary to deal with the issue and that breach involves the acting President of the United States. That’s a factoid, period. There is no debate other than twisting the story to try to feed those in denial or those paranoid.

Denial and the prospect of collusion acceptance is furthering the nation into political  mire that teeters just above third world status. It’s funny how it contradicts the rallying cries of “make America great again” and “drain the swamp.”

Do you disagree with that? How things didn’t really happen or that they’re allowed because it would have been fine if a candidate from the other party had partaken in the issue? See, this is where you can be critical toward the media – the one that you watch and listen to, your hard right/alt-right element of the press – because bending the truth for loyalty toward a member of the US government whose political campaign encouraged the compromising of the United States Electoral System is wrong. And for me to call it wrong sure as shit isn’t a partisan inspired factor.

Let me further stress that: The Trump-Russia scandal is not a politically partisan issue. As I’ve already said, it is an issue of the national security of the United States. Continue reading

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