If you've been paying attention over the last week, you've seen a couple pieces penned by new authors at Blazer's Edge. Truth is, we've taken on a whole new staff and it's time for you to officially meet them.
After Ben Golliver moved on to national work we had quite the influx of inquiries about joining the Blazer's Edge writing team. These folks come from different backgrounds and have different levels of experience, but each showed a certain spark...something that made them stand out. I told them they're going to love writing for you and I think you'll enjoy discovering that spark as they do so.
Here's a little bit about each staff member in their own words, including some staff members you've known for a while who are taking on new roles. You'll get the chance to hear more from them in a Roundtable discussion this afternoon. For now, please welcome them warmly.
[Note: A couple of our longer-tenured staff forgot to submit biographical blurbs, so we may have made up one or two of those. But maybe not. In any case, if we did it'll be so seamless that you'll not be able to tell the difference anyway. But let that be a reminder to folks to read their staff e-mails. And if anyone wants to add to their bios in the comment section, feel free.]
The News Team
Our news team will be in charge of gathering and posting news onto the front page.
"Willy" came up through the ranks of Blazer's Edge readers. He writes:
I grew up in Vancouver, WA and, like many kids my age, my fandom really began with Brandon Roy. Before the 2006 season, I was pointing to the Jail Blazers as the epitome of everything wrong with the NBA. Three months later, a step-back jumper was my go-to move and I tried to finish everything with my left hand. I've bled red and black ever since.
Prior to Dave's invitation to join the staff, the only sports writing I had ever done was on this very site, adding my thoughts to the column of Fanposts on the right hand side. The fact that I'm even here is a testament to Dave's commitment to community and the value of all its members. That philosophy is more than just lip service and it's part of what makes Blazersedge so special. It's a lot to live up to, but I'm excited for the challenge and to continue learning from all of you.
Here's to a new adventure and a deepening commitment to Rip City. While I suppose the only difference is where my work appears on the screen, it feels like a lot more than that.
Evans is an import to Blazer's Edge and Portland itself! He'll bring experience and an interesting perspective:
I'm a bit of a carpetbagger to Portland and the Blazers, but I hope you won't hold that against me.
I recently moved to the Pacific Northwest after nine years in Boston, where I covered the Celtics for BE's sister site at SB Nation, CelticsBlog, among other outlets. I also frequently write about general NBA topics for Hardwood Paroxysm.
While I came of age as a sportswriter covering the Pierce/Garnett-era teams in Beantown, I've always been a big fan of all 30 teams, the Blazers absolutely included. I've always admired the Blazers from afar, and I'm excited to get started writing about them on a regular basis. Looking forward to a great season.
Scott Horlbeck (@scott_horlbeck on Twitter)
Scott does a pretty good job of explaining himself:
What's up everyone!
My name is Scott Horlbeck and I'm originally from the Bay Area. I attended the University of Oregon and graduated in 2012 with my degree in Journalism. I've written for Dime Magazine, ESPN TrueHoop and my blog that my mom said was "amazing." I've played basketball my entire life and won three intramural basketball championships in college (humblebrag). I'm not a Blazer fan, but I've been surrounded by them since going to the UofO and now living in Portland (all my friends are Blazer diehards). I'm looking forward to writing for Blazers's Edge and hopefully entertaining everyone for a while until Grantland calls and then I'm gone.
You know Sam as our video guy, a post he'll continue to fill. He'll also serve on the news team, at least for the short run, pulling double duty. His bio:
Hello Blazer's Edgers! I know you've seen my name/face on the website for a while now, but to give a more formal introduction: My name is Sam Tongue, a 20-something recent college grad living in the Midwest. I was transplanted for work in the media industry after graduation from Arizona State University, but I'm a native Oregonian and Cleveland High School grad (known around these parts as "the place where Phil Knight went to school"). My Blazer fandom runs deep, as does my passion for Oregon football (dad a graduate) and of course my Alma mater. You'll continue to see videos and periodic written material from me throughout the site. Thanks for having me in on the fun, and go Blazers!
You'd be amazed at the amount of material and work on-site that falls neither here nor there. For those moments--everything from facilitating Roundtables to copying transcripts--we have the services of the amazing Sagar Trika.
My name is Sagar Trika and I've been a Blazer fan for as long as I've known about basketball.
I started watching the Blazers upon the 2006 draft that netted the franchise Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge. While I watched for years on end, I only started writing in the summer of 2012.
My first piece was about Nicolas Batum's restricted free agency. That prompted me to read more about the team, introducing me to the work Dave and Ben did here at Blazer's Edge.
I am very glad to join the team and appreciate the warm welcome you all gave me when I became a part of the team in April.
The site is far too large for one person to manage alone. You've known Timmay forever as Lead Moderator and Gameday Thread guru. He's going to get help with both of those roles now and devote more of his time to co-editing the site.
I could say a lot of things about myself, but a single event in my life pretty much sums up all you need to know about me, my personality, goals and purpose:
I was tired of my lady, we'd been together too long. Like a worn out recording of a favorite song. So while she lay there sleepin' I read the paper in bed. And in the personal columns, there was this letter I read.
"If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain, If you're not into yoga, if you have half a brain, If you like making love at midnight in the dunes of the cape Then I'm the love that you've looked for, write to me and escape."
I didn't think about my lady, I know that sounds kind of mean, But me and my old lady had fallen into the same old dull routine. So I wrote to the paper, took out a personal ad. And though I'm nobody's poet, I thought it wasn't half bad.
"Yes, I like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain. I'm not much into health food, I am into champagne. I've got to meet you by tomorrow noon and cut through all this red tape at a bar called O'Malley's where we'll plan our escape."
So I waited with high hopes and she walked in the place. I knew her smile in an instant, I knew the curve of her face. It was my own lovely lady and she said, "Aw, it's you." Then we laughed for a moment and I said, "I never knew...
"That you like piña coladas and gettin' caught in the rain. And the feel of the ocean and the taste of champagne. If you like making love at midnight in the dunes on the cape You're the lady I've looked for, come with me and escape!
"If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain If you're not into yoga, if you have half a brain. If you like making love at midnight in the dunes on the cape then I'm the love that you've looked for, write to me and escape."
Feature Writers and Game Coverage
Covering all your games and writing features and analysis we have a pair of gifted authors:
Ryan A. Chase
Ryan is a veteran writer online and in print and we're excited to have him on board! His bio:
My name is Ryan A. Chase, a Chicago native with a proud respect for the city of Portland and the Trail Blazers.
After college at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, I wrote for The Examiner. I was responsible for covering the Portland Beavers minor-league baseball team in their last two years before the team departed Portland. After the Beavers left town, I was hired by Arran Gimba and Oregon Sports News, where I have written for the last three years.
I have been a fan of the Blazers since my arrival in Portland from the Midwest in 2002, long enough to see the end of the Jail Blazers era, the rebuild through Greg Oden and Brandon Roy, and their resurgence to the top echelon of the Western Conference. Portland fans are some of the best in all four of the major North American sports, and it shows in every home game at the Rose Garden... err... Moda Center.
I look forward to being part of the best source of Trail Blazers news and information.
Chris has been with us since last summer, writing season previews, game previews, and many fine feature pieces. His amazing work speaks for itself, but here's his bio anyway:
You know, I was going to write all about my professional background but I'm so distracted. This guy has been totally messing with my mom's head, going behind her back and writing personal ads, stepping out on her and meeting people. Then when she shows up to call him on it he totally plays like that was the plan the whole time. Bogus! I think she should dump him but she says everything's fine. She's a nice lady and this is wack, yo. Imma take care of business myself with that fool if he doesn't knock it off.
Blazer's Edge has always been a community-oriented, community-driven site. We'll be looking to fill a couple more formal positions over the next two months, but we also appreciate folks who keep a nose to the ground for news and post it in our Fanshot section. If you notice news breaking, either e-mail us or get up a Fanshot and we'll build off of your tips and coverage.
Be sure and greet our staff warmly. It's going to be a great season!
--Dave firstname.lastname@example.org / @DaveDeckard