Blog: Hockey on the Fly
Writer: Andre Delsol
If there is anything you ever thought you wanted to do, no matter how ridiculous anyone has ever told you it was? You should start making plans to do it.
That’s what Andre Delsol did and, lucky for those who wander the blogosphere, he chronicled his adventure. From planning and preparation to execution and thanking those who helped make this whirlwind trip into reality, Hockey on the Fly displayed every step of Delsol’s journey through all 30 NHL arenas in a mere 29 days.
HOTF is well-organized, especially for those who are finding the blog for the first time. The main body of work can be found under the Articles tab. There readers will find the project broken down into “The Goal,” “Pre-Trip,” “NHL Arenas,” and “Post-Trip.” The arena blog posts are organized in the order Delsol visited, so it may take a little digging to find specific arenas. As you go through the posts, it will not take long to hunt down his visit to your favorite arena. (Hint: There is a schedule tab that lists the 30 games in chronological order.)
Want to know just how insane it is to coordinate travel plans to every NHL city? Check the Travel Schedule. Delsol listed his modes of travel and the departure/arrival times in each city. This page also includes a graphic map of his journey – all 23,269 miles (37,446 km).
Since Delsol was also going after a Guinness World Record, documentation of the trip was important. He captured every arena and the entire photostream can be found at HOTF. Like the arena listing, the photo sets break down the photostream for each arena, making it easy to sort through the venues.
Overall, HOTF served its purpose to document Andre Delsol’s trip to all 30 NHL arenas. Fortunately for the rest of us, it serves as a reminder of how important it is to keep chasing the things we dream and doing the things we love.
Final Thought: Although he readily admits how subjective it is, Delsol ranked and rated each arena. His rankings are interesting and have the potential to fuel a number of off-season debates among friends.
So, that’s Hockey on the Fly in my words. Here are a few words from Andre.
Rebecca: Why did you decide to start Hockey on the Fly?
Andre: The idea for the blog came about as I started to plan for my world record attempt to see a game in all 30 NHL arenas in 29 days. I realized that something this crazy just had to be documented in every way possible, so a blog felt natural. I started by writing about the planning stages of the trip, then once I hit the road, my articles took on a different angle (which I’ll talk about later).
Rebecca: How long have you been writing HOTF?
Andre: My first article was in November of 2010, just one or two weeks after I came up with the idea of the 30-game road trip.
Rebecca: What do you think HOTF offers readers that differs from other blogs?
Andre: My blog offers readers a subjective look at my experiences and opinions of each NHL arena. It’s unique because I was able to see all of the buildings in under one month, so I was able to reference other buildings and get a great comparison of all 30 buildings.
Rebecca: What feature do you think “defines” your HOTF?
Andre: What defines my blog is my open approach to each building. During the trip, I tried not to write too literally about each venue. It would have been easy and quite boring for the readers had I just re-capped the buildings, talked about the food I ate, how comfortable the seats were, etc…. Instead, I tried to find a story line in each city, something that makes each NHL city unique and different. Sometimes that storyline was a father and son taking in a game, sometimes it was an experience with an usher. In all the articles, I tried to write a personal experience that marked me, other than just the literal evaluation of a building.
Rebecca: Is there a particular post or story that you are especially proud of – i.e. a scoop story, inspired writing, great interview, etc.?
Andre: I’m extremely proud of the majority of the articles, because they each mean something to me personally. But narrowing it down to two, I’d say the “Pepsi Center – Denver, CO.” post was probably my favorite. It really touched upon how fans develop and mature throughout their lives. It also spotlights what is truly important about “being a fan”. It’s not so much about our team, the players on the ice and the jerseys they wear, but rather about the memories we share with our friends and family through good or bad.
Rebecca: Once the off-season starts, why should readers continue visiting your HOTF?
Andre: My blog might be interesting to readers in the offseason because perhaps they were too caught up in the action during the season to follow the trip. The trip was epic and timeless, and is documented will throughout the blog. So, readers who might not have heard of it until now can still enjoy what took place.
Rebecca: As a blogger, are there any other blogs you read or find inspiration from?
Andre: I’ve always appreciated Rick Reilly’s writing in the sense that he always finds a personal side to a story, as opposed to just the mechanical regurgitation of stats, strategies and analysis. I frequently find myself inspired by his style and have tried to mimic that approach when possible along the way.