From a lowpost.net interview.
Jeff took time out from the C's win streak and Iverson watch this week to trade email messages for this Q&A:
How long have you been a Celtics fan? In other words, in which championship era did you grow up?
Since as early as I can remember, and the earliest years I remember are the 85 and 86 seasons when I was about 10 or 11 years old. I grew up tall (6' 5" eventually) so basketball was always my favorite sport (that's like a law or something). The Celtics had such a winning swagger about them that I was just hooked for life. I loved Bird's dominance, I loved the Chief's glare, I loved McHale's wit, and later I got to learn about Red and Russell and all the greats from years past. Of course, I had no idea I was in for another 20 years (and counting) of trying to recapture that greatness.
Parish was intense. From what I understand, he was quiet as a church mouse on offense and barking out orders like a field general on defense. I like that he didn't back down from anyone (see Laimbeer, Bill - oh man, someone needs to put that fight on YouTube). You need that kind of intensity to win championships. It somehow balanced McHale's easygoing attitude (not to mention all the whining he did to the refs). Throw in Bird's personality and I have no idea how it all worked, but thankfully it did. That was the thing with all of Red's moves. They always just seemed to work out. Until Bias of course, but we are all still recovering from that.
Which retired Celtic would you most like to have playing in his prime for this season's team?
No question it would be Russell. Bird and Cousy and several others would each do wonders with this team, but Russell is the ultimate game changer and team maker. He would dominate today's "centers" without needing to score. Think Ben Wallace with a PHD.
What's the craziest thing you've ever heard Tommy Heinsohn say?
Plus, Tommy is crazy like a fox. If he were younger, the team would be lucky to have a guy like him coaching the team again. They would run and they would play with swagger because of the way he believes in them. Basketball is so much about confidence. Once these young players start to believe in themselves, look out.
Are there any past or present Celtics that you don't like? How about Greg Kite? Or Rick Fox?
Rick Fox went to the Lakers, but I never really disliked him. I was always a fan of Antoine Walker, but few players have polarized their fanbase more than that man. More than anything I'm just relieved he's (probably) played his last game as a Celtic.
Bill Simmons: friend or foe?
Friend, no question. He has even been kind enough to give me some pointers along the way. And not just "good job, keep it up" type encouragement. More tough-love, constructive criticism advice like "don't settle for being decent, do your research and keep working on your writing." I respect that and I appreciate it greatly. He's still one of my favorite writers because he captures the feelings of being a (Boston) fan so distinctly.
You've been running CelticsBlog.com for nearly 3 years, correct? How did it all get started? At the beginning, did you have any idea that it would grow into what it is today?
Yeah, working on 3 years. I actually had another general sports site that I ran with my friends years earlier, but I think our readership could be counted on our fingers and toes. Still, it was a good experience and taught me the value of focusing in on one subject that I'm passionate about and finding that niche audience that shares my passion.
I had no idea it would get this big. Actually, the big break I got was when the Boston Globe site closed down the Chat Room that they had. A whole lot of fans liked going there every day and were left with no place to call home. I quickly found some chat software, stuck it on my site, and invited them over. Turned out to be a win-win.
Clearly the best part of my blog isn't my writing. It's the community of passionate fans.
Yes, you seem to have quite a following.
They actually are sometimes very hard to please. If I make a spelling mistake or don't fact-check my statements, I have hundreds of editors that make sure I know about it right away. But I wouldn't have it any other way. They make me a better blogger.
Which of the Cavalier's polls are you planning to spoil this year?
Does the blog ever interfere with your personal life or professional life? Or is it the other way around?
It is a fine line between hobby and obsession, so sometimes I can be accused of spending too much time on it. Still, I try to be very diligent about not letting my faith, my wife, or my day job take a backseat to my hobby (in that order). I have, however, found that I've become much less of a fan of the Red Sox and Patriots because I just don't have the time to spend thinking about them anymore. So of course my non-Boston fan friends make fun of me for picking the wrong team/sport. I'll have the last laugh though. Really, I will. Stop laughing. [Updated note: Ha ha ha ha ha ha!]
Which other Celtics blogs do you consistently read? What about other NBA blogs?
I really like the guys at CelticsStuff Live because they have some excellent podcasts. I download them onto my iPod and listen to them while I work out or drive to work. (Yes, this is an all-day obsession). Celtics17 is another good one. In particular they do a good job with game recaps. Red's Army is a photoshopping nut, and I dig that about him. I try to check in with the rest of them occasionally, but who has the time to keep up with all of them? Especially when the Cheap Seats section of my site is pumping out quality fans-perspective content too.
As for other team's blogs, I have to visit TrueHoop at least once a day. I have dozens of other blogs in my RSS feeder, so when a topic hits that I'm interested in, I can click there. Between that and lowpost.net, I barely need any bookmarks anymore.
I've discovered that sports blogs in general (and NBA blogs in particular) tend to link to each other more frequently than any other types of blog. Any ideas on why that might be the case?
Good question. I can't speak for other types of blogs (who has time to read other types of blogs?), but perhaps it has to do with the sense of community that draws fans together. The same reason fans seek out other fans of their team is why bloggers seek out other bloggers around the NBA. We feel a kinship for each other, admire each other's work, and feed off each other's positive energy.
Also, blogs are still new and fresh and a bit of an unchartered territory. Nobody is really sure what they are doing. So we like to look around and see how others do it. The thing is, there is just no cookie-cutter way of blogging. You've got Free Darko writing like he's got a PHD and Suns Gossip who has artwork that could have been done by a 5 year old. Wiznutzz is like a mash-up of Shakespeare and Dave Chappelle. YAYSports is a multimedia empire (in his own mind). JE Skeets is hilarious. See, there I go dropping names again. I just love my blogging brothers and sisters. I can't help it. (Cheers also to Sactown Royalty, Pounding the Rock, and Hornets 24/7 - I'm sure I'm forgetting someone really good too)
Technorati claimed to be tracking 57 million total blogs at the end of the last quarter. Why are so many of them devoted to the Celtics?
It seems like the perfect storm of fan-bases. For one thing, I really do think we have some of the most intelligent fans. For another, our fans are cocky enough to think other people NEED to hear our opinions. That "confidence" is underrated. Bloggers by our very nature are obnoxiously confident in ourselves to the point where we need everyone to love us (or at the very least pay attention to us). Finally, the success of the 80's (and before) definitely spread the fan-base all around the globe. So those that don't live local need to get their fix somewhere, and the Internet is the perfect place to do so.
Besides, I showed them how to do it right, and they all copied me. (See? There's that cockiness.)
Simmons would have liked that last bit. So, if Boston has the most intelligent fans, which other NBA city has the most cretins?
Trying to get me in trouble huh? I haven't a clue. Many fan bases haven't had teams for long (Memphis) or haven't had winners in a long time (Clippers) or have a reputation for being rowdy (Philly) but I haven't experienced enough games in other team's stadiums to tell you one way or the other. I wish I could hate on the LA fans, but when Kurt from Forum Blue & Gold turns out to be such a good blogger and all around good guy, it makes it tough.In fact, that is one beautiful thing about the link-sharing nature of blogs. It brings us together more than it divides us. That was one motivation in doing the NBA Blog Previews this last October. I value the other bloggers and their fan-bases and wanted to hear what they had to say about the teams they feel so passionate about.
Yeah, people seemed to have a lot of fun with those previews, and the blog spent a lot of time on WordPress.com's list of top blogs during October. How did you come up with the idea, and are you planning anything similar in the future?
Well, in stark contrast to my ego, is my humble side that tells me I know next to nothing about the other 29 teams out there. I could bust my butt and watch video and research scouting reports and read news stories all offseason and still not understand the other teams anywhere near the level that their fans do. So why try? I just wanted to hear what Matt from Blog-a-Bull Need4Sheed thought about Big Ben for that matter. thought about Big Ben or even what Natalie from
I could go on for days about this, but the bottom line is that I respect bloggers' opinions and I enjoyed the whole process.
I did do a fly-by "how's your team doing one month in?" review, but I admit I didn't put a ton of effort into it. I might do another one for either the All Star break or perhaps the trading deadline. At the very least, I'll try to spearhead something big for the playoffs and draft.
OK, last question ... Celtics Pride: great movie, or the greatest movie?
Meh. I thought it was cute in its own way, but it had very little to do with the Celtics and less to do with pride, so I find it hard to endorse it in any way.I wish someone would make a movie about Bill Russell's story. It could cover everything from the way he and KC Jones taught themselves to play great defense at USF, to his epic battles with Wilt, to his personal struggles with race relations. I just think his story would be great for the big screen. Then again, he's probably too private to let something like that happen.