On June 6, 2007, the Anaheim Ducks won their first franchise Stanley Cup. It was the first Cup for the state of California. To be honest, when that game occurred, I was not much of a Ducks' fan. I watched it only because of a friend who shared a deep Ducks passion.
A passion so deep that this fan shouted when Andy McDonald (a man this fan was quite fond of) scored for the Ducks. Speed forward to this year, this fan would be so upset with the trade of Andy McDonald to St. Louis, I would become enraged and write my opening hockey article. (http://www.bleacherreport.com/articles/17141-Balanced-Attack-of-Ducks-Missing-One-Key-Piece-to-Puzzle-100408)
This article itself is not about that opening article, or even about the Ducks themselves a year ago. But it is more about the impact that event - which then meant nothing, but now means everything - has played on my life.
I paid no real attention when the Ducks lost Teemu and Scott. I followed them more than I followed the Stars; to be honest I just did not have the time to follow them. I had a lot of drama in my life at that point. Once the drama disappeared and the spring semester began, I dove into the NHL again: listening to Ducks games on the radio, regardless of the local time.
I grew to know the players. I grew to know their playing styles and information I had once thought I would only know about the late 90’s Dallas Stars that I had grown up watching. It seems I was wrong. This hockey brain is still capable of such daunting memorization (something my family often points out that should be applied to my education).
I have only been a die-hard Ducks fan since a month or so before the playoffs began, but even in this short time, I have in some circles become a top authority on everything Anaheim Ducks. A far-cry from that freshman in college watching the Ducks win the Cup as the “only thing on TV”.
Today, I’m a sophomore looking to begin a journalism career and one day get paid for his opinion and analysis on the Ducks. My opportunities on Bleacher Report are endless. They are a release from the stress of normal life and a way to get my foot in the door to a journalism career in Southern California.
First, my hard work and analysis on the Ducks helped gain me the Community Leader position for the Anaheim team I so held dear. Than it soon paid off again with an editing Internship. This is quite an achievement for a guy who at this point, is not even a journalism major as far as his school is concerned.
It would again pay off, as I would get to know Adam Brady, the Director of Publications and New Media for the Ducks and Honda Center. He and I speak via e-mail weekly; we plan to do a Q&A session during the offseason, and a couple times during the season, hopefully.
Ever continuing to be a small thorn in Adam Brady’s side, I also recently recommended he toss it up the chain that the Ducks should use the song “Indestructible” by Disturbed as pregame music for the Ducks season home opener. It yielded a very kind email back from the gentleman in charge of it for the Ducks. Hopefully, this will yield a very kick ass intro video!
With Ducks information sometimes seeming like it pours out of me, I even made my own blog/website. The site is entirely devoted to the Anaheim Ducks and Bleacher Report. The Puck Drop, as it is called, is a webpage I am hoping devoted readers and Ducks fans alike will flock to for even more information from me on their favorite team. Feel free to check it out and email me your opinion Bleacher Report, I’m always up for improving it. Regardless of if you are a Ducks fan or not.
My hard work would even go as far as a TV Interview over the phone! Dave Eid, the Sports Director for WGME TV in Portland, Maine had seen my work on the affiliate news regarding the Ducks. He wanted my take on it as a sports journalist. I felt on top of the world, especially after the interview. I have yet to hear the audio, but hopefully it turned out well for Dave.
My greatest achievement though is working as a NHL Community Leader along with Bryan Thiel. When I began my writing, Bryan posted on my wall after a couple comments back and forth:
“…The passion is definitely something that is necessary in this field, and when you've got it....well it'll make switching your major all the easier and enjoyable.”
That passion has driven me to the point that finds me working side by side the individual who I looked up to as a mentor. So thanks Bryan, for nurturing my work and being a close friend in this great journey of sports journalism.
My accomplishments may seem to be a bit of bragging, but I do not mean them to be. Instead, I hope these words of wisdom will ring true to all, and especially new writers. Your hard work and passion will pay off. In a little over a month, I had a lot of lucky opportunities. All thanks to Bleacher Report. I once saw it a glamorized blog, but its not. It is truly much more.
Articles on Bleacher Report do get Internet reads. So, the next time you work hard on an article and only see 50 reads, keep in mind one of those reads might be a TV or personality with the organization wanting your opinion on a topic. A year later, I’m no longer ignoring the Ducks. Instead, in some circles, I am a top writer and analyst for them online. Imagine what a year may hold from now...
With the summarizing of some of my accomplishments, I’d like to thank some people who have helped me through the beginning of this journey. I know these people will continue to be guidance in my growing journalism career.
Bryan Thiel: for all his advice and help. Zander: for always putting up with my chit-chats and emails. Chandra: for all your editing, regardless of the hour. Chanel: for being my back up editor and helping me work on Puck Drop. Miah: for the chats and attention to my new articles. Danielle: for your challenging opposing view in the Pacific Division. MJ: for feedback on my articles. Adam Brady: for putting up with all my questions, and crap. Aron: for giving a new writer a chance on becoming something important to Bleacher Report, an editor. Dave Eid: for helping me realize Bleacher Report can yield powerful results, and countless others that can’t currently think of, but you’re not forgotten! Thanks go out to all my fans and readers! You’re the reason I feel like the dream of writing Ducks hockey for the Los Angeles Times is possible.
Most of all I want to thank Aria Grant. Aria, you turned me not only into a Ducks fan, but brought the hockey fan out in me again. I had long since given up on my hockey dreams, but somehow you brought them out of me again. It is something I will never truly be able to thank you for.
Image: Courtesy of ducks.nhl.com.