The New York Rangers started the NHL season on fire and have come back down to earth a bit. The Rangers roster underwent a bit of a radical transformation over the past couple of years so the Rangers remain a fascinating team in the NHL. Blueshirt Banter's blogger Jim Schmiedeberg is the subject of this week's better know a blogger.
Tyler Bleszinski: Tell me what you enjoy about blogging about hockey.
Jim Schmiedeberg: It's hard work, but extremely rewarding. I'm fortunate enough to have a great support group of writers and readers who help tremendously in making the site a great place for Ranger information. I love seeing the hard work we do get recognized by others, and from a hockey fan's perspective, if there is anything cooler than having your name and website mentioned in The Hockey News, or talking to Ray Bourque about his son who was just picked by the Rangers at the NHL Draft, I'd love to know what it is. Running Blueshirt Banter has opened doors for me that I never thought possible.
Bleszinski: What do you find challenging about blogging?
Schmiedeberg: Always wondering if at the end of the day you've written something worth reading and commenting on. It's never good for the ego to spend a lot of time writing what you think is a terrific piece, and having no one comment on it.
Bleszinski: You have been able to interview a few different people connected with the team. What has that been like and who has been the best interview?
Schmiedeberg: We were able to get our foot in the door with the Rangers thanks to our radio show. We interviewed Dave Maloney, a former player and current MSG analyst. It was definitely a challenge, because I don't think Dave knew what to expect from us, and he probably felt like he was being thrown to the wolves by the Rangers, but we were able to loosen him up and by the end of the interview I think he was pretty comfortable with us.
Bleszinski: What the Rangers team looking like for 2009-2010? Do they have an identity yet as they started off on fire and have tailed off a bit?
Schmiedeberg: I think we all got spoiled by the Rangers fast start, but in reality even during their 7 game winning streak most fans realized that the team had its issues. Now they have a few players injured, so there are plenty of challenges in the near future for them. But I do believe they are headed in the right direction for the first time in years. There is a solid young core to this team that should be there for years to come.
Bleszinski: How'd you become a Rangers fan?
Schmiedeberg: I owe it all to my Dad. He took me to my first game at MSG when I was 8, and I still remember it was a 5-3 loss to the Kings. We used to go a few times every season, and he would always leave notes on the kitchen table for me with the final scores. Little did he know that most nights I was listening to the game on the radio under the covers. I learned a lot of what I know about the Rangers thanks to my Dad and listening to Marv Albert and Sal "Red Light" Messina.
Bleszinski: I'm assuming this is an easy one to handle for a Rangers fan, but what's your favorite moment as a fan?
Schmiedeberg: Standing in a group hug with my brothers and friends after the final face-off of Game 7 in 1994, all of us with tears streaming down our faces. I've been lucky enough to see all 3 of my teams win championships, but nothing will ever compare to 1994.
Bleszinski: Who is your favorite current and all-time Rangers' player?
Schmiedeberg: All-time would have to be Adam Graves, he gave his all every night. My current favorite Ranger is probably Ryan Callahan, I see a lot of the same qualities in him.
Bleszinski: You don't just blog, you're also working in another medium. Talk about the difference of how to do both the writing and the audio commentating.
Schmiedeberg: The radio show has become a great addition to the site, and it has really helped to get us further recognized. It really started as something of a toy, but we're getting more and more successful at finding solid guests, and I think it complements our site nicely. We are finding out that our readers and listeners enjoy the news and analysis we provide on the site, and then they can tune in to our shows and hear us talk to all sorts of people who have connections to the Rangers past and present. We've been able to develop an outlet that gives Ranger fans something no one else does: a site where they can participate in the news and analysis of the day, and then radio shows where they can interact with us and with our guests.
Bleszinski: Tell me something about yourself that your readers might not know.
Schmiedeberg: Well, I couldn't do this without the support of my wife. She's not much into hockey, but has supported my passion for the Rangers, the site, and the radio show from the beginning, and has never complained about the hours I put in, the constant phone calls, or my need for peace and quiet when doing the shows. I know most people that read blogs think that all the guys that run them are single guys living in Mom's basement, but the truth is that many of us are family men, so it's important to have the support of a good woman behind you to do this, because it takes up a lot of our time. I am lucky enough to have that.
Bleszinski: Thanks so much for your time and I'd say best of luck to the Rangers, but I'm a Devils fan and I might explode in a billion pieces if I said it. So I'll just say, best of luck to you!
Schmiedeberg: Well Tyler I've always said Devils fans are just Ranger fans that couldn't get tickets, so I know deep inside you mean well.