Since you're here, you probably know that Welcome to Loud City exists. And if you don't live under a rock, you probably know that Daily Thunder exists as well. But what about the smaller Thunder blogs, that might fly a little bit more under the radar? This is the first post in a two part series that takes a look at two smaller Thunder blogs that both offer something unique to the Thunder blog-o-sphere.
First up is the Oklahoma City Thunder Blog at oklahomacitythunderblog.blogspot.com, run by Ed Kleese. His blog mainly consists of extended thoughts from each game the Thunder plays, sometimes intermixed with adages from his personal life and thoughts on the NBA in general. A couple of my favourite stories of his are below....
10:45 a.m.: Leading up to today I told them I planned on taking them to Cracker Barrel prior to the OU game in Norman. As we left to get down there I told them I had some passes for free BBQ at the game; both immediately shot down this idea. It became very clear, very quickly that each had his heart set on Cracker Barrel. My Dad even told me he got online and decided what he was going to order late last week. I mean, seriously?
I knew I had two bullets in my chamber tonight and I didn't want to fire either of them too soon... Pizza and ice cream. ....
I think the score was 2-0 when I decided it was pizza time.
Of course, his blog contains excellent analysis as well, but some of the stories are too good not to share. I recently messaged Ed and asked him for an interview, which he kindly obliged. His responses to my questions are below.
1. How did you get into blogging?
I suppose it's because I'm too long winded for emails or message boards Since the early days of sports forums, I've enjoyed sharing thoughts and experiences with fellow fans, but found that some of my posts were a bit "formal" for the setting. I decided to start a general sports blog to post some of my more coherent or specific thoughts. Last year I had an email chain going with some friends that was Thunder-centric and it just made sense to have a place to put it all.
Below: More of the Interview!
2. There seem to be two approaches to running a blog: One involves writing like a journalist, and one involves writing with the voice of a fan. Which approach do your prefer? Or do you lie somewhere in the middle?
My approach is absolutely and 100% a fan's eye view. I studied journalism in college, but never pursued a career in the field because I quickly learned that I had no real desire to be a reporter. I covered a few sporting events at OU for the school paper, but didn't enjoy it all; and quite frankly, the articles I produced weren't very good either. The editorial things I wrote were more well received and that is where I have focused all of my writing since.
3. Do you intend to compete with the bigger Thunder Blogs like Daily Thunder and WTLC, or do you want to carve your own niche audience?
I am the least web savvy person you will ever meet. My blog will never compete with the blogs mentioned above on an aesthetic level. Those blogs have great pictures, links, etc. for followers to enjoy. Mine is strictly text-based and never really deviates from the viewpoint of one man's thoughts on the Thunder/NBA. I have a handful and friends, family, and folks from Facebook who check the blog regularly and it is slowly picking up some followers via the net. If it becomes a popular site among fans, then that would be great. But I have no desire to actively "compete" with other blogs.
4. What's the number one reason to go to your blog?
My blog is a little different in that it is no frills and pretty easy to navigate. Because there is nothing else to lure people, I try and make my thoughts interesting, insightful, and entertaining. I stick very strictly to the fan's point of view and often include entries that detail things like taking my daughter to a game or what I thought about the halftime show. And because I have no intention of reporting or staying neutral, I'm pretty open with my opinions about the team and league in general.
5. Who's your favourite Thunder player and why?
Is Sam Presti an acceptable answer? One of the biggest allures to pro sports to me has always been the team building aspect. I enjoy watching organizations develop personell, coaches, etc during the off-season and over the course of years. This of course culminates in the games/season themselves. I've never really been one to focus my affection on individual players, but rather the team and organization itself. That's why my biggest Thunder-related man-crush isn't on anyone wearing long shorts on gamedays; it's on a dude sitting in the stands or in the booth that looks like he should be filing my taxes. With this team in particular, it seems almost "dirty" to pick an individual favorite because it goes against the entire way the team was built and their standing mantra as an organization in general. With that said, I guess I'd go with Westbrook if I was forced to choose. Of all the players on the team, he remains the one with the most undiscovered potential (which is scary) and while some find his fiery demeanor off-putting, I've always felt it added a little spice to a team that can sometimes come off as dry.
6. How far will the Thunder go this season?
Before the year I picked them to win the west and lose to Miami in six games in the Finals. In fear of jinxing them, I will stick to that. But I'd be straight lying if I told you my expectations haven't been raised by this incredible start.
7. Anything else you might want to add?
You really shouldn't ask that question to someone who admitted in his first sentence that he's long-winded. I'll spare you for now, but leave you with this: James Harden is changing the game for the Thunder both on and off the court. His emergence makes them measureably better and more dangerous, but it also makes Presti's job harder. Can the genius GM find a way to not only keep all of this young talent under the cap, but happy as well? If anyone can figure it out, I think Presti is the man to do it, but it won't be easy.
Huge thanks go out to Ed for the interview, and definitely make sure to check out his blog over at oklahomacitythunderblog.blogspot.com.