I’m not really sure where I should begin with last night’s blogger summit, so I’m going to do it blurb style.
I have to say, I didn’t do the greatest job in covering the event as it pertains to what I am going to write about. I’m sure you guys will find about 20 more posts about it elsewhere that are better than this one. I’ll be sure to read all of them and retweet them so everyone can get in on the action.
When I get in these environments, I have a tendency to get a little nervous and focus on one thing instead of trying to multi-task. I kind of feel like I’m just in a meeting and I forget to take notes. You hear stuff, you comprehend it, and then I forget to tweet it. I guess I concentrated so hard on asking decent questions that everything else was kind of a blur. I have to do a lot better in the future and prepare better. Anyways, I do want to thank the Sabres for letting Buffalowins.com enter their home. It is very cool on their part and the site really appreciates it.
(Note: I’m not sure if it was Fake Darcy’s idea, but I don’t want to be in the last row next time 😉
****I thought it was a really diverse event with bloggers bringing different angles to what they wanted answered. I thought it was a great setting and everyone tackled a lot of different issues. Here’s the thing about Buffalowins.com and allow me to not come across as gravitas (Matt Stewart’s word), we don’t wear white hats and we tend to never shy away from being the loudest of the bunch. Hell, we F’N can’t stand each other on the site. We are opinionated people who care about one thing…and that’s the hockey/football product. So, for the most part, I would rather ask questions related to the team, especially when they are struggling like this. There’s only so many times you can ask when the Winter Classic is coming back to WNY. Of course, some people on our staff may feel differently and like to ask fan related questions like those, but that’s where I am at.
****I don’t care about game presentations or Pegula saving the Erie Canal. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with those questions, as they do serve an audience, but I’m not interested in asking because of the way we cover the local teams on this site. With that, I hope the Sabres understand that everyone who blogs has their own angles that they want to cover. Some are coming as bloggers who want to know why the F’N Center is dead while others want to know if Ted Black is listening to Darcy Regier when he talks to Brian Burke about trades. We are a mix of tabloid/irrational journalism to super fans. It’s a unique community.
****I didn’t go to the first blogger summit, but from what a lot of bloggers said afterwards, this was a little different. There seemed to be more of a focus on the actual on-ice product. I asked Ted Black three questions:
1) What was the reasoning for not announcing the terms of Lindy’s deal instead of having other media outlets speculate about what was the actual deal? Answer: It’s Ted Black’s personal business policy and he doesn’t release that information. He added that it isn’t the same as a player contract that can be found on websites like Cap Geek. After his explanation as to why the team didn’t release coaching terms, he denied the story that Ruff’s contract was in the 7-year range.
2) I asked Ted Black about the injury excuse. He had mentioned earlier that teams like the Rangers/Pens had recent struggles because of all the guys they lost to injuries. I followed up by making a comment that teams like the Panthers/Wild have had injuries and yet, they are still at the top of their divisions. I asked if the Sabres would use injuries as an excuse at the end of the year. Mr. Black response was no.
3) I asked Ted Black about the reasons to why a local sports affiliate in Buffalo can’t work economically. Answer: In order for a network like this to be created, the network would take their ideas to the cable providers and the company would pay per month per subscriber. The amount of money depends on how many pro sports can be delivered, which is an issue in this area. The Sabres can only account for around 70 games. Black mentioned that the best way to have a local sports affiliate is if a baseball team is involved because they play 162 games a year. The NFL doesn’t doesn’t do local TV contract because they already have stock in the NFL Network. I followed up by asking Black if there was a way that the Sabres could partner up with a team like the Blue Jays or any other Toronto franchise since CBC is seen in the WNY and Channel 7 is seen in Toronto, but because of the MSG deal and FCC rules with Canadian/USA broadcasting, it wouldn’t be possible.
****The MVP of the blogger summit was Corey Griswold. I couldn’t even tell you what he exactly asked, as I was too busy pounding my fist in a “Go get them” kind of way, but it was a mix of being frustrated with the product/GMs not wanting to deal with Darcy and so on. Ted Black gave him a thought out answer, which I’m sure Corey will bring up on his sites at some point, so, I’m not going to spill the beans.
****In my opinion, I’d rather have access like this than having a seat in the press box. I’m not a game recap guy. I don’t like doing them as I feel they are watered down by other blogs and mainstream media publications. I think it’s good for bloggers like Shelby and Brandon, who are aspiring journalists to get experience, but for me, eh…I kind of suck at them. For me, I like being able to ask questions about the state of franchise and whatever hot topic issues are up.
****There was some debate prior to the summit on Twitter about what sort of questions the Sabres wanted bloggers to ask. I felt like their were two camps in which some bloggers wanted hard hitting stuff about the team while others thought it should be about the Sabres suggestion box they put on their site before the season started. I’m not sure if the Sabres wanted more questions about cotton candy and DVDs than the actually product, but I asked my 1960 followers about what they wanted asked, and the response was all about the team and one question about a network affiliate. In a way, I feel kind of bad because that may have not been the team’s goal, but like I just said, the hockey product was what people wanted to know about most and it’s what I’m most interested in. Maybe it’s best to do Sabres suggestion box summit during the summer or before the season starts if their goal is to get questions about stuff that doesn’t relate to the hockey product. I mean, when the team stinks, I’m not sure fans care about popcorn or music selections all that much.
****I don’t want to come across like the Sabres felt ambushed by some of the hockey related questions. It didn’t come across like that at all. They are big boys and can handle some hockey related stuff from bloggers. In the end, Ted Black said he respects that a lot of the bloggers will put in the time to cover the team and that even though they are struggling, they will NOT try and duck from questioning. For that, they deserve kudos.
***I think bloggers need to stop being afraid to ask questions about the actual team. Trust me, Paul Hamilton and Mike Harrington aren’t going to beat you up after a Lindy Ruff press conference. I know it’s nerve racking if you don’t have experience. Hell, my lip was quivering as I was out of breath asking about a local affiliate question. But, they answered it and gave me free beer afterwards, so, everything is cool.
****Another thing I realized last night was that there are like 200 Sabres blogs. Alright, more like 20 that were in attendance. I still think that the Sabres blogs need to work together better. A reason why I started adding people to Buffalo Wins was because I really wanted a place where a number of bloggers can write about the Bills/Sabres. I still don’t understand why bloggers don’t team up more on posts or even podcasts. Consolidate or streamline blogs, people.
Looking back to last night, there was no reason why all 20 of us couldn’t do a Cover It Live blog and have it on all of our sites and write what we had just asked Ted Black and his responses. It probably would have resulted in more traffic and just better all around coverage by us. This is also something that bloggers should incorporate if they are doing a live blog from a Sabres game. Just do it together. No one is bigger or better than the other..