Brandon Worley is a busy writer. If he's not tending to the Dallas Stars fans at Defending Big D, you'll likely find him writing great NHL stories for SBNation.com. And if he's not doing either one of those jobs, he's likely helping our writers in our NHL network as the NHL league manager. In short, Brandon is a key to making our hockey engine go. And with the Winter Olympics right around the corner, Worley and the other SB Nation hockey writers will take center stage. So without further ado, let's get to know Brandon Worley.
Tyler Bleszinski: Tell me about your role here at SB Nation, both as a blogger for Defending Big D and as the hockey league manager.
Brandon Worley: Well, my primary role is as the Managing Editor for Defending Big D. It started off with just myself as the lone writer and a few loyal readers, but in the past year we've grown at an incredible pace. We now have four other incredible writers and a constantly growing community of fans that are truly as close as family.
As the hockey league manager, basically I'm the liaison between our hockey blogs and our SB Nation superiors as well as to the many media contracts we've established over the past year. I ensure that SBN Hockey is featured and represented on our Yahoo! Sports team sites, as well as on NHL.com. I'm also here to help facillitate our many great bloggers to get the access they need to cover their teams and the sport, whether it's credentials to games and events or conference calls with former players and coaches.
Bleszinski: You also do work for SBNation.com. How tough is it to wear all the different hats?
Worley: It's extremely fun and very satisfying to be a part of something as special as SBNation.com is becoming. It helps when you are working with some talented and enthusiastic peers. What's been great is how we've essentially built this detailed and rich sports website from the ground up, and how in just a few short months it's become an extremely popular destination for seekers of breaking sports news.
As far as the "different hats" aspect goes, it can be tough. It's certainly more responsibility than I ever imagined I'd have when I started with SB Nation, but it's an extreme honor to be able to have this job and I couldn't be more proud to do it. It helps when you have the best hockey websites on the internet backing you up. That makes the job much, much easier.
Bleszinski: How'd you come to be at SB Nation?
Worley: I first came across SB Nation in early 2007. I was just finishing up a sea tour for the Navy and was looking at getting back in touch with the sports teams I loved, and reading the Dallas Morning News online wasn't enough. A Dallas Cowboys forum linked to Blogging The Boys, and I was instantly hooked. I became a regular reader of BTB, Lone Star Ball and Mavs Moneyball immediately, and loved the option of being able to contribute myself (back then they were called diaries).
Blogging the Boys put out an open call for new writers and I decided to apply. When Dave told me I had been selected I felt like I had won the lottery. It was obvious that BTB and SB Nation were on the cusp of something truly special and I couldn't believe I'd have the chance to be a part of that.
I was a writer for BTB for about a year when I applied for the chance to start up a Dallas Stars blog with SB Nation. A few short weeks later, Defending Big D was born.
Bleszinski: How'd you come to be such a big hockey fan?
Worley: My mom was a big fan, and she got our family into the sport. I always loved football, baseball and other sports, but hockey was the one I was really good at. I know that every "true" hockey fan grew up playing the sport on frozen ponds in Canada, but I grew up sweating through my goalie pads in the streets of Texas in 100 degree heat. I'm not even joking.
Bleszinski: Even more specific, how'd you become a Dallas Stars fan since I know you live in Connecticut?
Worley: Grew up in Dallas, Texas. When the Stars arrived in Dallas in 1993, my family latched onto the team and the sport and never looked back. We worked at home games, played hockey every chance we got and dreamed of someday being able to skate on the ice at Reunion Arena. I played hockey in high school. I've diligently followed the Dallas Stars every single season since they came to Texas, and don't expect to stop any time soon.
Bleszinski: Who is your all-time favorite Dallas Star?
Worley: There was a time that I would say it was Joe Nieuwendyk. Yet this summer when Sergei Zubov departed for the KHL, I realized just how much I would miss the quiet Russian. I'm as diehard a sports fan as any other, but never had I faced the actual emotion that was elicited when I wrote my farewell article to Zubov. He's one of the rare players that comes along just once in a lifetime, and I doubt we ever see another like him again.
Bleszinski: What's your all time favorite Stars moment?
Worley: Game 7, 1999 Western Conference Finals, Avs @ Stars. The Stars rebounded from a 3-2 series deficit to not only win game 7 at home, but to emphatically win with a 4-1 victory to send the Stars to the Stanley Cup Finals. This was the hump the Stars could never get over in previous seasons, this was Eddie Belfour proving he could lead a team to postseason glory. This was by far the most intense and exciting playoff series I've ever witnessed as a Stars fan, and this game will always stay with me.
Bleszinski: How do you solve the Stars current woes?
Worley: Find some way for Tom Hicks to sell the Texas Rangers and his Liverpool team, and get the Stars the finances they need to make the moves necessary to fill the holes they have. This isn't a team in need of a vast overhaul; some personnel tweaks and a few moves for the current roster, combined with the addition of some two top-end talent on defense and at right wing will go a long ways towards making the Stars competitive once more.
I'm not there yet, but I'm also starting to doubt whether Marc Crawford was the right coach for this job.
Bleszinski: Who will come out with gold in the upcoming Vancouver Olympics?
Worley: The money is on Canada, but I think Sweden has the chance to win again.
Bleszinski: Tell me something about yourself that would be surprising for readers.
Worley: I'm currently in the United States Navy. I spent five years on board a submarine, and now I'm trying my best to balance being a full-time blogger with shore duty, where I am the Leading Petty Officer of a Naval Submarine Museum and Library. I find I'm always busy.
Bleszinski: Thank you so much for your time.