Welcome back to Ask A Blogger, my interview series with bloggers about the #bloglife and basketball. To see previous interviews, go here.
Today we are joined by Chris Barnewall of ESPN True Hoop’s Hawks Hoop and SB Nation’s Rufus on Fire. Chris writes good words and you should read them, but whatever you do, make sure you do not follow him on Twitter. (@ChrisBarnewall). LET ME REPEAT: DO NOT FOLLOW CHRIS BARNEWALL (@ChrisBarnewall) ON TWITTER DOT COM. Okay, now that we’re on the same page, let’s see what Chris has to say.
1. In just a few sentences, can you tell us who you write for/what your job is?
I’m a blogger/writer/contributor/whatever you like to call us writing types for Rufus on Fire, the Bobcats blog, of SB Nation and HawksHoop, the Hawks blog, of the ESPN TrueHoop Network. I also attend school at UCF and work a retail job. I enjoy long walks on the beach and making sure people never follow Jack Maloney on twitter cause he’s an awful person. (Ed. note: h8rs gonna h8) Thanks for having me!
2. How did you first get interested in/started with writing about basketball?
Well I’ve always had an interest in sports journalism but news papers were dying and that always pushed me away from it. But one day I was sitting in sociology class bored out of my mind. It was the trade deadline and Dwight Howard was going to make his decision if he was going to sign the qualifying offer with the Magic or not. I was obsessed with getting updates. I got on ESPN.com and found this chat called Daily Dime Live, more commonly known as DDL. Zach Harper was running it at the time and he did a really good job of making it fast paced and I even got a few of my questions answered. DDL happened close to every night. So anytime I watched a basketball game, and as a lifelong Magic fan I watched a lot, I would pop in to DDL. Now this is where my interest in sports journalism comes in. After learning about the blog community I decided I wanted to be one of the people to mod this chat. I started up some random blog with Bo Churney (now my editor at HawksHoop) which we named Clutch Jeans. From there we honed our writing until we made it where we are now.
3. How does a normal day of blogging go for you?
There’s really no such thing as a normal day for me. Between school and work my days are always random. But for the interest of your question, I’ll answer this ignoring the days I have work.
I usually focus my morning and a good chunk of my day on school, going to class, doing homework, etc. If I can I like to check out a replay of a game from last night on league pass so I can stay up to date on the league as much as possible. Ben Swanson, my editor at Rufus on Fire, sends out a schedule every week. If I have a game to preview I usually try and write that up before the slate of games begin for that night. If I have a recap, to warm myself up for the games that night, I get on twitter and start talking basketball with everybody else on twitter. If I’m working on a feature or anything analysis wise then I usually find an afternoon where I’m free and write it from start to finish. I rarely stop and pick up on a post a day later. Every time I do I feel disconnected from what I was previously writing.
I try, in some form, to write every day. Whether it be twitter, a journal full of random bullshit and thoughts, or an actual blog post. I make it a priority to keep my writing sharp. One thing that overwhelms people about blogging is the whole “writing every day” thing. When you realize not every single thing you write is going to be posted to the internet, it’s a lot less overwhelming.
When the actual games start, if I have to cover a game for Rufus on Fire I jump on to their twitter account and live tweet the game as it’s happening. I make mental notes of what important things are happening later on for my recap. I basically do the same thing when I have to recap a game for HawksHoop but I do it from my own twitter account instead. If there’s an ESPN game then I jump on to DDL to help moderate and talk basketball on the chat with Andrew Lynch, Matt Cianfrone and Cole Patty. If I don’t have recap duties then I usually find a slate of games I’m interested in (the Magic and teams I cover have priority) and watch those. When games are on I am watching as much basketball as I can handle.
After games I usually try to digest what I watched and think about it, I then make stupid jokes on twitter cause…well that’s kind of the point of twitter.
4. Switching to basketball things, what is one low-key thing in the league (player, team, set, etc.) that you really like watching right now that casual fans may not know about?
Kemba Walker, Kemba Walker, Kemba freakin Walker. Ever since being drafted by the Bobcats the point guard out of UCONN has been forgotten about by the common fan. It’s sad that the guy who did this
in college has been so forgotten about. Walker is in my top 5 favorite players to watch, he has the prettiest pull up jumpshot in the league, amazing speed, and is always fun to watch. Also, he did this
. Casual fans need to start paying attention to this guy.
5. Obviously this has been a rough season for the Magic, but why should fans be hopeful moving forward?
GLEN DAVIS IS GONE! NO MORE GLEN DAVIS! Also, the Magic have tons of solid young pieces, and tons of draft picks over the next few years. With as many young players they’re going to have, they have to hit on a few of them sooner or later. This team has a bright future, it’s just gonna take some patience. For now, enjoy moments like this
and this guy
Bonus Question: What is your favorite Pearls Before Swine strip?
This is the toughest question you’ve asked me. They’re all amazing, but my favorites always involve the crocs and zeeba neigbha. Poor Bob…
© Stephan Pastis
So there you have it. Thanks again to Chris for joining us, and whatever you do, make sure you don’t follow him on Twitter: @ChrisBarnewall