A Passion for the Pittsburgh Penguins

the-usual-seat-for-game-nights1Our fifth TV On Your PC Sports Club teammate, Frank Della Femina, is the go-to for all things Pittsbugh Penguins. His team-dedicated site, Pensburgh.com, is a community for passionate Penguin fans to talk about daily news and even post their own stories.

Frank’s interaction with his readers extends to meet-ups at games – something he very much enjoys and exemplifies his passion for the community. He also feels that the evolution of TV on your PC leaves no excuse to miss a game, which is something we agree with as well. 🙂

Taking time out of his busy schedule, Frank chatted with us about how he got started, what he loves about his job and how his viewing options have expanded with the evolution of TV.

Q. Tell us a bit about your background in sports blogging and how it turned into running Pensburgh.com.
Pensburgh started as a little blogger account back in August 2007.  At the time I was freelancing for a few magazines, newspapers and websites in my area but I wanted to take on a bigger task.  Something that would keep me writing every day.

I guess you could say it all started with a few simple questions.  Following a team, voicing an opinion and backing it up with facts is something I could do in debates with friends, but could I do it daily for a blog?  By nature I’m a hyperactive person, but could a blog sustain my interest?  Could I draw an interest from readers and keep them coming back for more?

Other factors played a part as well.  Above all I wanted to join SBNation, a growing network of sports blogs.  Tyler, founder/editor-in-chief, didn’t want just anyone jumping on board.  He wanted to see a dedicated fan, writer and someone in touch with other sports blogs.  In turn, I familiarized myself with other Penguins blogs and general hockey sites.  A comment here, e-mail there; just little things to get the site out to others.  Over time Pensburgh slowly integrated itself into the hockey blogosphere and the traffic picked up.  Around November of 2007, I reached out to Tyler once again and he was happy with the progress.  The network put together Pensburgh.com and the first official SBN post hit the Internet just in time for the outdoor Winter Classic between the Penguins and Sabres on New Year’s Day, 2008.

Q. What keeps you going? The readers? The Penguins? The passion? All of the above?
Definitely all of the above.  The readers of Pensburgh are great and very passionate about the Penguins.    Unlike news-oriented sports sites, Pensburgh’s focus is on building a fun community.  Users can post their own stories, links and comments.  It keeps them coming back, and sure keeps me chugging along.  Running a blog or reading and commenting on one is a great way to interact with other fans, but it can also develop offline as well.  I’ve already met up with a few readers at games and intend on meeting up with even more down the road.

Q. With the continuing evolution of TV on the PC, how has your TV viewing experience changed over time?
For the most part I still watch Penguins games in the traditional, living room atmosphere.  There are times when I will listen in on WXDX.com, simply because the play-by-play of Mike Lange is so nostalgic.  On a few occasions (i.e. while working shhhh) I’ll watch a live stream online.  If anything the evolution of TV on the PC leaves me no excuse to miss a game.

Q. What do you think about the whole idea of watching TV on your computer? And what Web sites/services do you use?
I think it’s great.  Like I said before, it really leaves no reason to miss a game.  Back in the day I’d have to set a VCR timer if I couldn’t catch a game live.  Now I have the option of watching or listening to the game online.  Every season I purchase the NHL’s Center Ice, so that takes care of my TV coverage.  But for online purposes I might use NHL Gamecenter or try to catch a stream of the game on some sort of hosting site like JustinTV.

Q. What benefits of watching TV on the PC would you find most valuable to your readers, and sports fans in general?
Watching a game on a PC really gives an all-in-one feel for any sports blogger or fan.  Most sports blogs, Pensburgh included, believe in hosting open threads.  This is basically a chat room where people come to discuss the game as it’s happening.  Think of it as a cheering section at Mellon Arena.  People react to goals, penalties and fights just the same as they would as a member of the live crowd.  It’s a lot of fun shooting comments back and forth with fellow fans.  Sometimes fans of the opposition stop in and cheer for their team while also tossing a few jeers in the direction of Pensburgh readers.  What better way to react than to storm the other blog’s comment section?


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