Blog: Nucks Misconduct
Writers: Bartenders – Yankee Canuck (Mike Y.C.), Sean Zandberg, and WAACH ‘Cast (Kent Basky); Pub Regulars – Missy, VanCityDan, nucksandpucks, CamCharron, and arby_18; Bouncer – Semi_Colon.
The other night, while continuing my reading through multitudes of posts on Nucks Misconduct, the following was my Facebook status: “Writing about hockey is easy. Writing about the fan base of a team you despise is not.” Obviously, I am not a Canucks fan (although, in 1994 while sitting in a bar on the Southside of Birmingham, Alabama, I did pull for the Canucks against the Rangers – but that may have had more to do with losing a coin toss and a slight crush on Pavel Bure than anything else, though).
Nucks Misconduct, the SB Nation Vancouver Canucks blog, is pretty standard as far as set up goes. SB Nation blogs do not stray too far from the formula (which is not necessarily a bad thing). Luckily, bloggers can tweak quite a bit regarding the information they display and feature. The Bartenders at NM include a Canucks Transplants Map, depth chart, a section on the Canuck’s affiliate Manitoba Moose, as well as the standings of the site’s Score Predicting Wizards for the 2011 Playoffs.
Some of the more notable recent posts include “Texts from Last Night” and “Where Were You.” In TFLN, nucksandpucks wrote about his experience when the Canucks finally put the Sharks away to take the Western Conference Championship. While a variation of the same theme, the “Where Were You” post requested and triggered a number of responses discussing what other people were doing that same night. As a sports historian, it is always interesting to read about how fans remember some of the pivotal moments they experience in their favorite team’s history.
The main three (Bartenders) do most of the posting, and the Pub Regulars often throw in posts. WAACH ‘Cast does a regular post, Your Morning Coffee. Here he provides readers with updates on the ‘Nucks and the goings on in the rest of the league, but he also throws in some video of his Band of the Day. In honor of the Stanley Cup Finals, this morning’s “Your Morning Coffee” was titled “Stanley Cup Coffee” (which, to be honest, included a picture that practically begged for a snarky caption) and featured quite the montage of Iron Maiden tunes.
There’s been plenty of chirping at Bruins fans, of course – hockey fans would expect nothing less, especially at this time of year. The commenters are definitely enjoying hockey in June. If you are visiting Nucks Misconduct for the first time during these finals, they are living up to their banner’s statement “Smug, Preening, and Demon-Cleaning.”
Final Thought: I almost feel as though I owe the folks at Nucks Misconduct a bit of an apology – while you did not convert me to becoming a ‘Nucks fan; after getting through the blog, at least I can say I might be a little bit more of a fan of Canucks fans.
So, that’s Nucks Misconduct in my words. Here are a few words from two of the Bartenders.
Rebecca: Why did you decide to start the blog? / How did you start writing for the blog?
Mike Y.C.: I’m a native East Coaster and found hockey during the Canucks/Rangers battle in 1994. Fast forward about a decade later I found myself increasingly turning towards blogs for information during the lockout. The idea of being a blogger really took hold during the Oilers’ run in 2006: the burgeoning Oilosphere was far more entertaining and frequently updated than any other professional website and the fact it was a collection of die-hard fans made it more intriguing. So I started blogging the following season with my outsider’s prospective (having never stepped in Vancouver in fact) and it sort of gained its own traction.
Kent Basky: I originally started as just another lurker. I used to do a Canucks-related podcast/blog of my own, and after making a few fan posts that the other readers responded positively to, Sean and Yankee invited me to be a part of the writing staff. While I was dismayed my contract demands didn’t get met, it was a big thrill for me, to be involved with such a great blog and part of the SB Nation family. Still holding out on that staff car and expense account, though.
Rebecca: How long have you been writing the blog?
Mike Y.C.: I started my own blogspot site following the lockout, eventually moved over to my own URL in 2007 and to SBN in January 2009.
Kent: I’ve been doing this around a year and a half now, missing a bit of time due to medical issues, but yeah it was around Christmas 09 that I started if my failing memory serves me correctly.
Rebecca: What do you think your blog offers readers that differs from other blogs?
Mike: We offer a little bit of everything: constant news updates, editorials, rampant photoshopping (usually the poor ones are mine), contests and charity drives, t-shirts, ticket giveaways and the ever popular gamethread. We average between two and eight stories a day. There’s often a different twist per day too, so overall we pride ourselves on killing your personal productivity throughout the day by checking in.
Kent: I think what sets us apart from other blogs is one of the great SBN features, and the thing that got me the gig: the ability of readers to contribute directly. We have a great core of hardcore readers, and are fairly well known for being fairly tolerant and hospitable towards fans of other teams. Oh, and our great selection of shirts in our NM online store (shameless, I know…)
Rebecca: What feature do you think “defines” your blog?
Mike Y.C.: It’s more than a blog by the conventional definition. Like all SBN sites, we’re focused on the community; it’s less about a blog post here and there as it is engaging our core users and converting lurkers into regulars. Our site is very much defined not by the breadth of content, but the commentators themselves and what they bring to the overall site experience.
Kent: Not sure if there’s one particular thing that defines NM, but a lot of little things. Our insistence upon referencing themes and music styles, our love of appropriately placed profanity, and the kind of gallows humour that comes from being a long-suffering Canucklehead springs to mind.
Rebecca: Is there a particular post or story that you are especially proud of – i.e. a scoop story, inspired writing, great interview, etc.?
Mike Y.C.: Not sure I can point to one. Inspiration comes from a few different areas. One I am definitely proud of isn’t even complete yet: it’s trying to define statistically what “grit” is, using a year’s worth of data to compare and contrast Vancouver’s bottom six from the past two seasons. On the other end of the spectrum who doesn’t like tackling a mainstream editorial line by line, pointing out the obvious mistakes and faulty logic? I’ve run out of targets in that respect, but I don’t think I’ll ever get a holiday card from Scott Burnside.
Kent: For me there’s 2: One was a post after the Alex Burrows/ Stephane Auger incident, where I tried to ratchet down some of the rhetoric coming from both sides by referencing ‘C is for Competence and Consistency, not Conspiracy’ and a post earlier this year where I spoke about my ongoing battle with depression.
Rebecca: Once the off season starts, why should readers continue visiting your blog?
Mike Y.C.: Most fans know it’s a year long sport; the offseason is just when the players take a breather and management drives the narrative, specifically in respect to contracts and the salary cap. Moving away from that there’s plenty of rampant rumor mongering and regular season projections to have in addition to keeping on top of your divisional opponent and rival acquisitions. The offseason is also when we throw open the door to more general topics: we’ve had world cup posts, baseball-related posts, pet posts, etc. Again it’s about understanding what your community wants and putting the posts in place to feed that need.
Kent: Well should the Canucks seal the deal, I suppose our smugness would be a good reason. Then again, that might be a reason to steer clear haha. Seriously, the main reason is for the people of this site, there’s always opportunities to talk about the team, examine the draft and free agency and preparations for the next season. Hockey season never ends for true fans.
Rebecca: As a blogger, are there any other blogs you read or find inspiration from?
Mike Y.C.: I do a lap around most of the SBN sites first thing in the morning and then check out the Score, Puck Daddy and Kuklas to get on top of most things. After that I rely on RSS readers, targeted keyword searches and Twitter for the latest.
Kent: As far as hockey blogs go, I try to keep tabs on all the other SBN NHL sites. I also like the Kurtenblog, Pass It To Bulis, Canucks Hockey Blog and Puck Daddy. I tend to sometimes veer towards particular writers than blogs as a whole. I think Kent Wilson of Matchsticks and Gasoline is a great writer, along with Bruce McCurdy [from Copper and Blue], and Joe Yerdon of Pro Hockey Talk (NBC Sports).