NHL Writers: Bleacher Report's Second-Rate Citizens?

Patrick Cwiklinski@@patcwiklinskiCorrespondent IApril 28, 2009

UNIONDALE, NY - NOVEMBER 26: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the New York Islanders on November 26, 2008 at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Please note: By writing this article, it is in no way my intention to disrespect other sports and glorify hockey, it is only an opinionated column that is meant to shed some light on the state of the NHL on BleacherReport.com. If I have offended you or your sport in any way, I apologize.

If you're like me then you might be feeling a little discouraged. 

Why is that you ask?

Well for starters I'm in no way, shape, or form a veteran of Bleacher Report and I don't claim to be, but from my...er...let's see now...eight months as a member of this fine sports writing establishment, I have noticed a few things.

You see, the fact of the matter is, I'm a big ol' hockey nut and it's because of this that I mainly write about hockey.

Shocker, isn't it?

Anyways, whenever I write about something I always try to do the best job possible as I know many other members of Bleacher Report's NHL community do. But sometimes I get the feeling our work is going somewhat unnoticed.

You can probably guess what I'm getting at here.

The truth is the NFL and MLB mainly run this website and that's fine and dandy with me because those are sports that I watch and have a ton of respect for. What I want to know is what about the NHL?

When I'm writing a hockey story, I write it knowing full well that article reads are going to top out at about 200, maybe 400 if I make some kind of top ten list that attracts people.

That doesn't bug me because I know that not everything I write is something people are going to want to read.

But the playoffs are on for crying out loud.

A while back I wrote the article Does Michael Vick Deserve a Second Chance? I'm not trying to be full of myself here as much as I'm trying to make a point, but it was a hit. It was a very popular story that got thousands of reads, hundreds of comments, and a bunch of POTD votes.

At first I thought it was because I wrote about such a controversial topic that it became a success, but looking back I'm not so sure.

Obviously the Michael Vick affair was huge and I wrote the article at a time when the topic was still very hot. But, there are days when I wake up and wonder if it had involved a hockey player, would it have had the same impact?

How about, Does Sean Avery Deserve a Second Chance?

Granted, Sean Avery didn't have dog fights in his backyard but let's say, theoretically, he did. Would it have had as many reads as the Vick story did, as many comments as the Vick story did, and as much front page coverage as the Vick story did?

I doubt it.

Because after looking at the number of reads of NHL stories compared to NFL stories, I don't like my chances. However, I refuse to believe there isn't a big enough NHL fanbase on this website that wouldn't be compelled to read it and comment.

Maybe I'm wrong.

Maybe hockey fans are a rare breed on this website and maybe we'll never make it over a 1000 reads unless we're senior writers with over 300 articles or making a list of the top ten greatest hockey players.

Are we second-rate?

Does this make us less than the NFL writer who gets about 600 reads within a half hour?

Not a chance.

Sure, the NFL has over 7000 members, and the MLB over 6000, while the NHL has just a little over 3000. There might be more fans of football and baseball in North America.

Those are givens.

But my point is that as people who follow the great game of hockey, you should not get discouraged just because you don't get as many reads or comments for your NHL story as a NFL one.

Don't take it personally. Because that's not a reflection of your writing skills, it's a reflection of the popularity of the sport on this particular website. 

So in other words, keep your head up and keep writing about whatever you feel comfortable writing about, hockey or any other sport for that matter, and never let anyone tell you that you're a failure because you didn't make it to the front page.

Because, as long as you tried your best and thought you did a great job then that's not the only thing that matters.

You matter.


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