Living the Dream as an L.A. Clippers Fan

steve-perrin1What’s a dream job for someone who’s worked in the corporate world most of their life? Perhaps it’s following one of your favorite NBA basketball teams and blogging about them for a living. Steve Perrin, a witty family man and an avid supporter of the L.A. Clippers (often  overshadowed by the well-known L.A. Lakers) values the ability to share his thoughts and rally sports fans from all over to support his “underdog” home team. He also recently had the opportunity to attend our on-campus focus group session and blog about his personal experience with the Sports Channel and other aspects of Windows Media Center.

Prior to joining SB Nation’s ranks in September 2006, Steve was a CTO for and still takes on various consulting opportunities. Read on to hear more about his natural transition into sports blogging, how the DVR has changed his family life, and the three little words that would make his TV on the PC experience a slam dunk…

What compelled you to start Clips Nation and what do you enjoy most about sports blogging?
There are at least four factors that are significant in the creation of Clips Nation.  (1) For some strange reason, I have an unhealthy interest in the Clippers. (2) I have strong opinions and a need to make those opinions known.  (3) I like to write.  (4) I have time to write.  Let’s face it, blogs live at the intersection of those four things.  For several years, I just wrote unsolicited and unwelcome emails about the Clippers to my friends.  Little did I know that the blogosphere would suddenly appear just to satisfy my personal need for attention.
What I really enjoy about it is the community.  I have active members of my community from all over the world – the UK, Argentina, Peru, Australia, Italy, Germany – the only known Clippers fan in all of Sweden is a Citizen of Clips Nation.  How cool is that?

You mentioned becoming a die-hard Clips fan in the early 90s. What has been your most memorable TV moment for the team?
The Clippers are on TV?  Whoa, I’ll have to check that out.
Sadly, given that we’re talking about the Clippers here, the most memorable moments tend to be sad memories.  Even when they made the playoffs, I tend to remember the elimination losses to the Jazz and the Rockets back in the day, or the Raja Bell three that tied game 5 in Phoenix in 2006, or Shaun Livingston’s knee injury (there’s something I’ll never forget no matter how much I wish I could).  I suppose this all says something about the psychology of Clipper fans.

As someone who tends to support the “underdog,” is it even more rewarding to share triumphs with a broader online community? How do you keep the enthusiasm for the team alive through your blog?
I’ll let you know when we have a triumph.  It’s bound to happen some day.
I’m actually pretty serious on this one.  I started my first Clippers blog during the 2006 playoff run, but I didn’t have an online community at that time.  Literally no one read it.  My first comments occurred during the off-season.

I joined SBNation in September 06, and the Clipper triumphs are few and far between since.
But that’s exactly why the blog is necessary.  It’s not like you can walk into a sports bar in LA and get a serious conversation going about the Clippers.  Even if you want to criticize what they’re doing, the analysis remains at the level of ‘Clippers suck’ because no one gets past that in Lakers-obsessed LA.  The blog allows those of us who actually care (and there are quite of few of us it turns out… it’s a big world) to converse about our team.

How has your TV viewing experience changed over time?

Two things have impacted my viewing habits over time – having a family and having a DVR.  The ClipperWidow (she gets to be the ClipperWife again very soon now) hates basketball… that’s not actually true… she hates how much I love basketball.  Let’s just say, it’s better for my marriage if I watch less basketball than I did when I was single.  And let’s be clear about one thing – I realize that I’m not that pleasant to be around while the Clippers are losing, which is most of the time.  Fortunately, the DVR helps mitigate these issues.  Whether it’s recording the game while the family is watching something else, putting the kids to bed without missing any action, or simply watching the game later when no one else has to be around my surly self, the DVR is a miraculous thing.  Ironically, as my blog community has grown, it’s begun to draw me back into the real-time world of live sports, in order to join the conversation on the game thread, a case of the two advances in technology pushing different agendas.  But more often than not, I still watch the games on the DVR.

What are your thoughts on watching TV on the PC and how do you see it benefitting sports enthusiasts like yourself?
Three words – REAL TIME STATS.  When I’m watching the game, I want to know what a player’s stat line looks like when I want to know it, not just when the graphics guy in the truck wants to show it to me.  Please tell me that you’re working on a live box score that is updating constantly – and that is synced with the playback of the game as well.  So if I’m watching the game late at night, 3 hours after it’s already over, I can watch with the stats synced to the video.  You are working on that, aren’t you?


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