Reflection on Blogging
The Hamilton Bulldogs have been an incredibly accommodating organization when it comes to this blog and far beyond what I think I ever could have expected. It could have been very easy for a fresh organization to reject the idea of having a blogger with limited writing experience observing the team from the press box, especially considering that the staff is fresh to the OHL environment. Instead of rejection, I was embraced as a blogger, a sign which I believe indicates that this is a very forward thinking sports franchise. I consider myself beyond lucky to have been to have been granted the opportunities that the team has presented me with over the past year.
This blog would be incredibly less interesting if not for the photography that that I am allowed to showcase on the site. The Hamilton Bulldogs are very fortunate to have an incredible photographer on staff, Brandon Taylor, who I believe takes the best action shots in the Ontario Hockey League. There is the also the incredible team of photographers that The Hamilton Spectator have on staff. They are providing some of the best work this city has to offer for sports photography. If you haven’ seen their new blog that showcases some of their best pictures, check out www.specphotos.ca. I’ve really enjoyed the work that John Rennison, Gary Yokoyama, Barry Gray and Cathie Coward have taken over the course of the season. There is also Glen Cuthbert, who’s work I’m sure we’ll all be seeing more of in the future.
One opportunity that this blog has exposed me to is the a bit of the radio world. I’ve been following Alan Mitchell’s “Lowdown with Lowetide” on TSN 1260 in Edmonton for the last year or so, and honestly try my best to follow in Lowetide’s footsteps as a blogger who can objectively critique a team and translate the work on the game into the radio sphere. Matt Holmes (@dogsradio) and Luke Vermeer (@TheLVermeer) have been kind enough to invite me to join them during the season to help analyze the team during the second intermission of the AM 900 broadcasts starting back in January. For many people, this wouldn’t be a big deal speaking on the radio about the local sports team, but personally, it’s like having a chance to see a childhood dream come true. I was one of those kids in high school who skip class to watch TSN’s trade deadline coverage, or the NHL Entry Draft. I look up to Bob McKenzie, James Duthie, Ray Ferraro as much as I did to Ryan Smyth, Fernando Pisani and Marty Reasoner (Maybe an odd choice in favourite players, but I was a defensive forward). Again, it’s been a fun year with new experiences, and I appreciate the chances people have been giving me.
If you haven’t listened to the radio broadcasts through the year, I’ve been uploading the our panel conversations to Soundcloud. We’ve had about we had about 15 or so talks during the year, this is what I have been able to upload (Link)
It’s been a very exciting process for me, being given a unique window to look through at the birth of an OHL franchise. I’m sure for the team, there were many ups and downs during the year, but for me as a rookie journalist, it’s only been a steadily inclining roller coaster. I’ve got to meet countless quality people in the industry who I’m not sure I would have come across by just staying within my education bubble. It’s going to be interesting to see how much I’ll be able to keep up this growth over the next year, as my personal big news is that my wife and I are going to be first time parents come October. This likely means that I’ll be reducing the frequency of blog posts during the 2016/17 season. It will be hard to justify spending a lot of free time at the rink instead of changing diapers and being a productive partner around the house.
That doesn’t mean I’m going to disappear though, I’ll still continue to create content as much as possible.