(Again, I know that blogger talk really only appeals to a select segment of our audience. If this isn’t interesting to you, feel free to click on another story.)
On Friday, it seemed like the future was pretty bleak for bloggers trying to gain access to the locker rooms and press boxes of NHL teams, but much like the credentialing process, it’s more of a case-by-case thing.
For teams who lack mainstream media support, bloggers can be a welcome resource to get their message out (or at least improve awareness of their “product”). The New York Islanders featured their “Blog Box” for years and On the Forecheck shares news that the Nashville Predators will experiment with a similar idea next season by creating a “Blogger’s Row.”
Yet, as Dirk Hoag notes, working in the press box/interviewing players in the locker room isn’t all fun and games. Some people might dream of the experience of witnessing a game without having to pay for tickets, but it is indeed a job with many of the stressful moments and worries that come with it (particularly if you’re on a deadline).
There’s no cheering on press row, and let’s be honest, hockey players aren’t generally known for providing the most interesting post-game quotes. Working a game is, indeed, work; there’s little time to enjoy the ebb and flow of the game, because you’re busy crafting a narrative of the contest, and trying to make note of questions to ask key parties afterward. Yes, the popcorn’s free, but it’s served in these tiny cups (I may try sneaking in a feedbag one of these days), and the view’s not very good. If you want to actually enjoy the game, you’ll have a much better time in the stands.
I can understand some NHL teams being reluctant to open their locker rooms and press areas to bloggers, particularly if they are already satisfied with their coverage. Being that they often lack journalistic experience, there can occasionally be a pretty steep learning curve.
Still, bloggers cover a very wide array of skills and experience levels; some are heartfelt fans with extensive vocabularies while others are beat writers in training and so on. Long story medium, teams should give bloggers a chance to prove themselves but have every right to avoid the potential headaches.
Yet, when you’re a fledgling team in a non-traditional market, beggars can’t be choosers. Good on the Predators for being proactive in generating more support. Considering their upcoming national anthem fan auditions, they might become The NHL Team of the People going forward.