This is a safe place, a place to celebrate excellence and an outstanding dedication to blogging as an art form. We will routinely, from now on and once every two weeks, put up a story celebrating these bloggers and what they've done to stand out among the 300 plus blogs we have in our sports network. If you've made this list, you're doing something right.
So without further ado, these are your featured blogs for the time period of September 9-22. Enjoy!
August is the slowest month of the NBA calendar and the Phoenix Suns are slated to be the worst team in the Western Conference this season. Despite those obstacles, Bright Side of the Sun had an amazing month which was rewarded by new readers flocking to the site (+226% year-over-year growth!).
Site manager Dave King and his excellent staff had a perfect mix of news coverage (Butler traded, Beasley waived), detailed analysis (Bledsoe film study, NBA position rankings), exclusive interviews (Jeff Hornacek, Channing Frye), and fun features (fan introspective, new uniform photoshoot) to fill the offseason and keep Suns fans engaged during the scorching hot Phoenix summer.
Week in and week out our Los Angeles Dodgers site True Blue LA sets the standard by which team sports sites ought to be judged. Site manager and principal contributor Eric Stephen steers the ship and truly gets what it means to blend professional journalism with fan perspective, the hallmark of SB Nation. From news to analysis to GIFs, True Blue LA is a one-stop shop for Dodgers fans, who have in turn made the site their own by drawing from Eric's example to create an inimitable community experience. And how is this for an amazing post: Can Yasiel Puig win the batting title?
Jason Butt joined Baltimore Beatdown, our Ravens blog, back in July and his first big event was Thursday's NFL opener in Denver. What a game it was -- a late one thanks to the 30+ minute delay -- as Jason and his team stayed up late to cover the 7-TD game into the next morning. Their team did a nice job identifying one of the biggest plays in the game from the Ravens perspective -- the decision not to challenge the Wes Welker drop -- and broke down why the Ravens should have had enough time to challenge the play.
It's not every day that one of our blogs is in the middle of a national controversy, but our Columbus Crew blog Massive Report managed to do just that for all the right reasons about a week ago. Their story about the American Outlaws -- the main supporters group of the United States national team -- and their plans to create a more standardized atmosphere around the country kicked off a firestorm of debate across soccer circles. But it wasn't just their breaking of the story that led to record traffic numbers, it was the follow-ups that kept people reading and gave a great picture of why these efforts were so hotly debated. Patrick Guldan and his team did SB Nation proud by staying true to their status fan-first ethos.
That's it for the featured blogs for the next couple of weeks. Sit back and celebrate their amazing accomplishment. We love seeing our sites succeed and speak to their audience. Enjoy and I'll see you back here on September 23 for the next edition of featured blogs.