What’s the solution to generating more local media coverage of your favorite sports team if your hometown paper won’t? If you’re Travis Hair, then it’s starting a dedicated sports blog.
Naturally, Travis’s love for his favorite team, the Phoenix Coyotes, is extended on FiveForHowling.com. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, but like anyone else, he does have his opinions on certain topics, such as the trend of watching TV on your PC. Check out our Q&A with Travis below:
How come you chose to write about the Phoenix Coyotes?
Well, I’ve grown up here in Phoenix. Before the Coyotes moved here I was a fan of the Phoenix Roadrunners a minor league team here in town. Back in the day it was in the IHL but it’s still here, just in a different form. The Coyotes came here in 1996 I was instantly a fan, even if they had a funky looking logo. It’s been great for hockey in general as now local high schools have hockey teams, there are a lot more rinks around town and people see it as a sport. I started writing about them just last year because there just wasn’t any coverage of my team. The local paper would report on games here in town, but just little stories. Then when they were on the road the paper would just syndicate AP stories instead of sending a reporter with the team. I just wanted to get more information out there.
What story has been the big hit on your blog? What do your readers love talking about?
The biggest stories on my blog have been some recent stories about the trade deadline as the Coyotes were very active with trading players. Also I’ve had stories picked up by larger blogs on Yahoo when I write things about some of the news reports coming out of Canada. They generally aren’t very positive so I try and debunk them as best I can. Those make for big news just from the exposure. The most active times are probably on the away game days since the locals aren’t at the game they look for somewhere else to talk about the game.
Is humor an important element of your blog?
Sports are just something that I do in my free time for fun. I find blogging to be an extension of that. If I wanted to be a regular sports reporter or take myself really seriously I just wouldn’t enjoy it as much. I like to laugh and to know I’ve made other people laugh too. Integrating that with my love of hockey makes the whole experience enjoyable for me as well as my readers. I try to include as much information as I can but I present it in a way that makes it fun to read and different from other sources of reporting. If I made it serious I couldn’t use LOLcats or Photoshop silly images. Why would I deprive hockey readers of such things? It’s also a coping mechanism as my team has been falling apart as of late.
Can you tell us what you think about the whole idea of watching TV on your PC for hockey fans?
I think that for a lot of people it could be a really convenient option. The NHL offers a lot of options to watch the games though too. In comparison to a lot of the other leagues, they’ve probably embraced online technologies in a bigger way than any of them. Much like you can buy Center Ice through your cable service, you can access the same thing but through an online service called Gamecenter. They also post highlights of all the goals, big saves and big hits to the nhl.com website following the games for free. Any integration of that into Windows Media Center would be fantastic as it would make navigating through content a lot easier. I think that for anyone with a tuner card, sports viewing becomes better because then you can record the games on your PC even if you don’t have a DVR.