Thursday, February 09, 2012

Call for Nominations (4th Annual Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament)

It’s that time of year again...Umbrella Day. Apparently, Umbrella Day is an annual “holiday” that occurs on February 10th. I can’t find much online about Umbrella Day, so I guess you can play the videos for Rihanna’s Umbrella or Bus Stop by The Hollies (an umbrella is featured prominently in the song) at the bottom of this post. It’s also time for the fourth annual Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament.

I started this little extravaganza in 2009 as a way to highlight some of the best blogs that cover and discuss Pittsburgh sports and to encourage collaboration between very talented writers. Although some people have taken this tournament way too seriously over the years, please note that this is designed for entertainment only.

I plan on starting the fourth annual tournament next week, but I wanted to set the ground rules and get some feedback about who should be included in this year's tournament. There will be 32 blogs in the tournament with the following blogs almost certainly in the field:

Behind the Steel Curtain
Blog 'n' Gold
Bob Smizik's Blog (see note below)
Empty Netters
Faceoff Factor
Igloo Dreams
Nice Pick, Cowher
Pens Universe
Pitt Blather
Pitt Script Blog
Pittsburgh Sports and Mini Ponies
Puck Huffers
Raise the Jolly Roger
Rum Bunter
Steelers Depot
Steelers Gab
That's Church
The “Mc” Effect
The Steelers N' At
This Is Getting Old
Three Rivers Burgh Blog
Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke?

As you can tell, this is not 32 blogs. I have an idea about the remaining spots, but I’d like to hear who you think should be included. Please leave your suggestions in the comments section below or e-mail me at seanramblings at yahoo [dot] com.

Here are the ground rules and some notes about the tournament:

1. Blogs in the tournament must be in existence for at least one year as the bloggers in this tournament have paid their dues. While it’s easy to start a blog, it’s not as easy to stick with it. This is not to discourage the new bloggers out there. There are some great blogs that have only been around for a few months that should make the cut next year.

2. The blog must discuss Pittsburgh sports at least half of the time. Close counts.

3. The blog must be active and updated regularly. I don’t have a specific definition of regularly; however, if a blog follows a specific team during the season but has a three-month gap in posts during the off-season, it is not eligible.

4. The blog’s primary author cannot regularly write and get published in a newspaper. This is the Dejan Kovacevic Rule. I don’t want to diminish all of the work that Dejan and other writers/bloggers at the Post-Gazette, the Tribune-Review and other publications do but they also have much greater access to players, executives, etc. as well as resources for in-depth stories.

5. At least for now, when a blog wins once, it can’t win again. The Pensblog cruised to a relatively easy victory to become the first ever Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament Champion. Bucs Dugout edged out a victory to become the second champion while Pirates Prospects won last year. I like giving other blogs chances to win, so don’t freak out when you scan through the list of Pittsburgh sports blogs, and The Pensblog, Bucs Dugout and Pirates Prospects are missing. If there's a 10th annual Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament, maybe we'll bring back all the former champions.

6. I know that many people don’t like Bob Smizik, but he meets all of the eligibility qualifications. Plus, his posts generate more feedback and comments than nearly any other Pittsburgh sports blog. Yes, most of these posts focus on criticizing Smizik, and he’ll probably get knocked out in the first round again due to the anti-Smizik vote, but his blog is in.

7. I included Black Shoe Diaries, a blog dedicated to Penn State sports, as part of the tournament in 2010 due to the large number of Penn State fans in Western Pennsylvania. After receiving some comments stating that State College doesn’t equal Pittsburgh, I didn’t include BSD in 2011. Considering all of the Penn State coverage over the past few months, I’ve flip-flopped again, and I feel that BSD should be in.

Finally, the Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament is looking for sponsors. If you or your company/website want some extra exposure, please let me know. I'm certainly not above selling out for a worthwhile company or organization.

Thanks for reading and supporting the Pittsburgh sports blog community! I look forward to hearing your comments. In addition, thanks to Cotter for designing the incredible logo. Now, enjoy some umbrella songs.


Anonymous said...

How about

Anonymous said...

I think Mc Effect should go up against RumBunter in the first round since Mc Effect is also a writer at RumBunter. Just a thought.

Tim said...

How about Buker's Penguin Poop blog & Metzer's From the Point blog?

Anonymous said...

What about And isn't the emptynetters blog part of the trib? That shouldn't count.

Unknown said...

How about Steelers Hotline by your favorite criticsm target "Mr. Steeler"