Some see it as just a cry for attention. Others see it as a defilement of a national symbol and the country itself. Some don’t have the curiosity of what had led to many NFL players (and other athletes in other sports leagues, later musicians and entertainers) to take a knee during the US National Anthem. Why be “disrespectful” to what’s been engraved on American society as a sign of love and dedication to the stars and the bars and the country it represents? Why have these people, in the highly public places of their respective careers, seemingly insulted the men and women of the US military who have fought for and died for the country? If there is a cry for attention through the act, that attention is to be aimed at the questions. Continue reading
Category Archives: Sports
I got Kent Wilson from FlamesNation to participate in the hockey blogger Q and A that I’ve been casually conducting this month. Kent’s one of the strengths of The Nation Network and blogging in general, having his hand in the 2014 “summer of stats”.
What follows is a little insight in how Kent found his way into blogging and his views on the season ahead for the NHL.
It is a season for beginnings, and I don’t just mean the rookie class of 2017-18 (that’s a yet-to-truly-know brood; it’ll clarify in the weeks to come) but the franchise class of 2017-18.
The birth of the Vegas Golden Knights is also the birth of professional sports in Las Vegas, Nevada (being the first major-league team in Sin City, USA) and so far the population has been quite receptive of what is yet to come. Ticket sales revenue is ahead of other franchises — 20 of’em – and you can find all sorts of excitement and interest on the start of Golden Knight hockey.
Ken Boehlke of SinBin.Vegas has been covering the forthcoming franchise it was a sought-after commodity for Las Vegas (his start will be exactly 2 years ago on August 26th). Below you’ll find his odds and ends and opinions regarding writing, the league, and more.
One of the routine areas that draws fans to the web to find out what they can are rumors. Some are made up, some are hearsay, some are those casually expressed “I’m hearing…” remarks that you see on Twitter from major members of hockey coverage.
The man at the blogging level who made a name for himself and found a firm niche in covering reports on potential player movement in the NHL is Lyle Richardson of Spectors Hockey, who you likely have also seen on such sources as Fox Sports and Bleacher Report among others.
Richadson is another one of the forefathers of the hockey blogosphere, starting around 2003. Want proof? I reposted this article for him during the NHL lockout of 2005, having originally run in November 2003.
While there are a lot of questions still to be had about player movement and eery franchise in the league, the questions are a mix about the man, blogging, and guys named “Joe” and “Jaromir”.
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.
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.
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
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
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:
What is your overall opinion of the coverage & broadcasts of the #NHL on NBC Sports / NBC Sports Net?
— John Fontana (@Johnny_Fonts) July 24, 2017
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.
Let me start with a link to an old article on Raw Charge by one Mister John J. Fonts Esq. (me, it’s a pseudonym ): Suffering Mike Milnury and the NHL on NBC. It’s an issue that doesn’t get highlighted enough during hte regular season. That, or a base group of fans complain on and off about Milbury, but things stay the same; there are issues with the style of Mike Milbury (whom had his own issues during his NHL career) and yet he continues on with television coverage on US Network TV (ESPN and then Outdoor Life Network / Versus / NBC Sports Net
The last few days have put a special spotlight on NBC Sports broadcasts as the NHL was at its climax – the Stanley Cup Finals of 2017. Leave it to Mike Milbury to line-cross and give his personal dislike of a player just enough attention in coverage to sully things and make the way for the spotlight to be his in the worst way possible. Continue reading
In my time as managing editor and lead writer at Raw Charge, I got pushed onto a load of public relation emailing lists with only a fraction of them being relevant. Though my contributions to Raw Charge are now vastly dialed back, I still get all the PR emails from the wide variety of lists that I’m on.
Case in point: Tuesday morning’s lead email in my inbox reads:
Tampa Is 2017’s 2nd Worst City for Basketball Fans – WalletHub Study
And my reaction to that is to roll my eyes while uttering, “Well, duh.”
This wasn’t the first time I had gotten this PR email – a variation of it, with different data had been sent out during 2017’s NCAA basketball tournament (or just slightly before) to declare the Tampa or general Tampa Bay marketplace the 2nd worst college basketball market (via WalletHub), which remains an eye-rolling declaration and a piece o information akin to drought conditions lacking water.
I mean, that’s it, isn’t it? Tampa/St. Petersburg lacks ties to the NBA and the local college basketball team (the University of South Florida Bulls) isn’t engraved on the collective consciousness of the Tampa Bay region like other major schools are in the country. This isn’t trying to say there aren’t basketball fans in Tampa Bay, it’s more a case of saying it’s a shallow market and with good reason: We’re not tied to the game in the way other markets are tied to basketball. The Orlando Magic may be all of 90 miles away, but that doesn’t mean a large fraction of the Tampa Bay metroplex commute that distance to games on a regular basis.
WalletHub’s full report on the Best and Worst cities for basketball can be found here, but personally? I encourage a click-thru. If they thought to put Tampa Bay, a non-basketball market, on the list and send out PR emails to drive home the notion, I put into question the entire notion of why they’re judging specific markets. Do they mark Reno, Nevada as a poor football town or Houston, Texas as weak with hockey? It’d help if the markets were involved in the sport before you push analytical judgment upon them.
Insecure, narcissist and self indulgent. These words are commonly thrown toward current United States President Donald J. Trump (as they should be). Yet what’s inspiring these words at the moment is reflecting on a city; one town in a grander regional area that wants to be on top. It’s a town that wants prominence in the region through a national spotlight, even if that spotlight is dimmed by way of the city itself.
St. Petersburg, Florida’s population is almost 250,000, 16,000 more than Reno, Nevada (“America’s Biggest Little City”). It’s part of the grander Tampa Bay metroplex. Its quest to one-up Tampa (the larger city in the Bay area) was part of why the town constructed the venue known now as Tropicana Field. Never mind the fact there was no slated pro sports team to play within the building when construction was approved in the mid-1980s; St. Petersburg had to force the location if and when (if ever) Major League Baseball expanded or relocated to Tampa Bay.
Being a Tampa Bay resident for so long, having seen and experienced life with the Dome and St. Pete in general, I cringe and shake my head now. Topping another city to lock in control of a potential jewel only shows a lack of self awareness. St. Pete has one, basic fault that keeps it understated in a the wider region; a very simple fault that’s on display at Tampa Bay Rays games and which is why a new stadium is a hot point with the club and why relocation outside of the region is a possibility….