The Score, that sports channel nobody gets because it doesn’t show anything, has launched what it calls the “thescore.com Sports Federation”, a network of independent sports blogs for the various Canadian NHL teams, the Jays and Raptors:
Toronto’s Score Media Inc. has launched theScore.com Sports Federation, connecting together a network of independent sports websites, and empowering them to reach a larger audience – with the help and support of a national multi-platform sports network.
Here are the blogs they list, not one of which (except maybe CISblog) I’d heard of before today:
- Down Goes Brown (Toronto Maple Leafs blog) – http://www.downgoesbrown.com
- Canucks Hockey Blog (Vancouver Canucks blog) – http://www.canuckshockeyblog.com
- Five Hole Fanatics (Calgary Flames blog) – http://www.fiveholefanatics.ca
- Sens Chirp (Ottawa Senators blog) – http://www.senschirp.ca
- Black Dog Hates Skunks (Edmonton Oilers blog) – http://www.blackdoghatesskunks.com
- Lions in Winter (Montreal Canadiens blog) – http://www.lionsinwinter.ca
- Fantasy Hockey Scouts (fantasy hockey blog) – http://www.fantasyhockeyscouts.com
- Drunk Jays Fans (Toronto Blue Jays blog) – http://www.drunkjaysfans.com
- Ghostrunner on First (Toronto Blue Jays blog) – http://www.ghostrunneronfirst.com
- RaptorBlog.com (Toronto Raptors blog) – http://www.raptorblog.com
- Dino Nation Blog (Toronto Raptors blog) – http://www.dinonationblog.com
- The CIS Blog (Canadian Interuniversity Sports blog) – http://www.cisblog.ca
Now, I don’t follow non-Montreal sports that closely, so I’m not in a position to judge most of these, but is Lions in Winter really the best Habs blog out there? Better than Fanatique, Habs Inside/Out or François Gagnon?
Yes, my three examples are blogs backed by Big Media, but that’s kind of the point. Without the access and resources of big media (whether conventional big-city newspapers like The Gazette or La Presse, or hip new media like Branchez-Vous), all you have is some guy talking out of his ass (with all due respect to my fellow ass-talkers).
Small, part-time do-it-for-the-fun sports blogs are much more likely to be successful covering niches that big media ignore: university sports, junior leagues, soccer/golf/tennis, etc. The audience is smaller, but it’s also much less fragmented.
UPDATE: Getting some awesome linkhate from Drunk Jays Fans and RaptorBlog, who I guess dilligently check their incoming links. I must admit, calling me “Guy Faguette” is a rock-solid argument and really shows me how much I erred in suggesting these blogs might not be the most professional.
Generally, I agree with you. Most of the sports blogs I read are by professional sportswriters or media types. But some team-specific blogs other things going for them than just information and authority. You know who I cheer for, and my case it’s Five For Smiting when I want the funny and The Universal Cynic when I want someone to call bs on the big media that follows the teams.
The only sports blog I read is Four Habs Fan: http://fourhabsfans.blogspot.com/
The player nicknames alone make it work reading. (My favourites are the Kostitsyn brother’s: Big Tits for Andrei and Little Tits for Sergei)
@ Guillaume – thanks for the plug :)
Steve you are totally missing the point. The whole point of the Score Federation was in fact to take independent bloggers who are great at talking out of their ass. Topham and Tobalev are long-term members of the Habs blogging community and provide a perspective that your 3 mainstream blogs do not. And they are damn good at that. That’s WHY The Score wanted them.
and Small, part-time do-it-for-the-fun sports blogs are much more likely to be successful covering niches that big media ignore
Sorry, FHF’s thousands of unique visitors per day disagree. And don’t say it’s just because of the half-naked women. There are half-naked and naked women all over the internet. FHF readers come for hockey and to be amused. They would not be coming for CIS basketball.
I have been told i have to come defend myself by someone who actually likes our blog.
Let’s be honest, you make a good point. A blog written by a guy who is talking out of his doesn’t really suit the needs of the majority of fans. just as I’m sure you are aware. As you rightly pointed out, we do this for the fun of it. That’s why we started, that’s why we continue. And over time, while writing and critiquing for fun we have actually developed quite a decent size following. It’s not something we expected, or necessarily aspired to, but ti certainly happened.
So why do people disagree with you? Why do they read our blog? Well, if I may be so bold, I would suggest that it could be precisely because we are not big media and that we offer independent ad different views on given situations. I started the blog nearly 2 years ago because I was tired of the stale media coverage of the Canadiens. So homogenous that reading from the sources you cite above, though all excellent, still play like a single story. That’s why I started reading other blogs (like amateur Eyes On The Prize). It was then that I thought I might have something to offer. Some people like it, others (inevitably) don’t.
We make effort to choose our stories so as not to be redundant. Of course, that’s certainly not for everyone, but for people who seek something more – maybe a different view, maybe greater coverage of a miniscule aspect of play. As you point out, it is for a fragment of the audience (not more), but that’s fine with us. I think you, a fellow niche blogger would know this. After all, if I wanted coverage of news and events, I could go elsewhere. but if I like how you think, enjoy your take on things and generally find you interesting, then I can come and read your blog.
Finally, you should do better than to criticise something you have not even taken the trouble to investigate. It says you are a geek journalist, journalist geek – doesn’t sound like you to do things on no research. From your other posts, I can see you do the legwork. I encourage you to read our site once or twice, maybe take a game off from Gazette and Gagnon – to at least see what you are criticising. We’ll try to do our best to answer your high expectations.
I should also defend the Score in their choice of blogs. We are one of the junior blogs in their federation. I think the majority of them, for example have far better following than our site and many of the blogs are truly excellent places to get a good read. It would be gracious of you to at least go take a peak at some of them, as you did rather put them all in the same boat with Lions in Winter without a look as well.
Anyway, thanks for noticing us. As always, you are a good read.
Well defended. I still encourage bloggers to explore the less sexy sports teams that are ignored by big media, but if they can find a niche in their humour or insight about the Habs, that works too.
I hope you have the jam to publish Scott Carefoot’s rebuttal.
I’ll expect to see it tonight.
Otherwise you’re pretty much just a coward.
Do you even know how to read? Drunk Jays Fans makes your blog look like the novelty jokes I found on that one roll of toilet paper that I used to wipe my ass. That makes you an asswipe.
I think I’m a pretty big coward even if I do publish rebuttals.
Small, part-time do-it-for-the-fun sports blogs are much more likely to be successful covering niches that big media ignore
At Down Goes Brown, we try to occasionally write something about the Leafs that doesn’t contain the phrases “1967”, “draft schmaft” or “plan the parade”.
Trust me, in Toronto there isn’t a more ignored niche than that.
I find it ironic I found your blog through “a crappy blog” like RaptorBlog, as im sure many have today. And no, a blog doesn’t need big media connections to entertain us. If so I guess I could say your site should be shut down because of your complete lack of any sort of webpage layout!
This is a horrible blog, HORRIBLE. Stick to making poutine and leave the blogging to the rest of english speaking Canada.
Drunk Jays Fans is easily the best sports blog in Canada. I don’t know what goes on in Quebec, other than homoerotic massages and gravy felching, but you should probably have checked out the sites you called crappy before you did so. The french have never been good judges, and from what I can see, are even worse at blogging.
i used to work with mr carefoot. really don’t think we have to worry about this thing taking off.
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A lot of these guys who blog specific to their teams know what is going on the street level, can have some fun and more leeway with how they post. If one doesn’t like it, don’t read it, and find another watering hole to piss in. It is pretty simple and its the beauty of blogging and fragmented media. Big media does a good job of covering sports, however it is nice to get a different spin on things from different people.
Have you seen the Down Goes Brown injury diagram? That is some pretty funny stuff and something you will not find on mainstream media because they have to protect their interests and not bite the hand that feeds them but DGB is not that far off (not to mention it is funny). I started a blog for fun, the same way a lot of these guys did and it is taking off like crazy, and some of these guys are going to post material on my site. Personally, I am a Habs fan first, great hockey second, however my site is intended to offer different opinions, ideas, comments that do not necessarily reflect what the mainstream is having.
So I kind of like the fact the Score Federation is reaching out to some of these guys because that tells me they get where it is going and they are trying to harness it.
To all the writers, keep up the good work!
Alfie (you will understand why I have this nickname when you see the videos)…. Aka. Jaret Twiter.com/puckdrop