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SB Nation Featured Blogs: December 16, 2013

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Cincy Jungle, MLB Daily Dish, RSL Soapbox and Japers' Rink make the grade of excellence this week.

Hey, these sites rule y'all.
Hey, these sites rule y'all.
Phil Cole

Happy Holidays y'all! 2013 is winding down and this week we celebrate some of our blogs who have been excellent over the past couple of weeks for different reasons. This is the place where we celebrate that greatness.

Whether you want the news as fast as anyone or in-depth analysis or an award-winning podcast, our Bengals blog Cincy Jungle has it all. Josh Kirkendall has built an impressive list of contributors to Cincy Jungle and they can claim they're one of the most organized SB Nation blogs. What I like about Cincy Jungle is that they're always one step ahead of what the reader wants next. Bengals lose? This is how it affects their playoff standing. The punter gets hurt during the game? Time to look at free agent punters. Josh and his team really seem to understand how the news cycle works. If running your own podcast, I encourage you to check out Who Dey Weekly, which has a production quality second to none.

The curtain fell on the 2013 baseball season six weeks ago, but its second act, the Hot Stove Season, is fully ablaze. Nowhere are the coals hotter than at MLB Daily Dish, SB Nation's go-to spot for MLB trades, signings, and transactions big and small. While MLBDD is no stranger to curation and analysis, the site is now well entrenched in the breaking-news business thanks to high-school-student-slash-reporting-phenom Chris Cotillo. Recently interviewed for feature stories in The Washington Post and The New York Times, Cotillo was the first to report two major baseball stories this offseason. On November 27, he broke the news that starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco was signing a free agent contract with the Minnesota Twins. A week later, he beat veteran reporters twice his age to the story that Tigers pitcher Doug Fister had been traded to the Nationals. There's still plenty of offseason action left to cover, so keep a browser tab open to MLB Daily Dish for all of your baseball transaction needs.

It has been a crazy few weeks for Real Salt Lake blog RSL Soapbox, but Matt Montgomery has handled it wonderfully. They had the MLS Cup, which they did a wonderful job covering. But almost immediately after they found out that longtime coach Jason Kreis was leaving. To honor the event, they put in some very solid work to create this retrospective on his career.

Washington Capitals site Japers' Rink is one of our oldest hockey blogs, and they've historically been one of our biggest, too. They could've been happy keeping things the same as they've always been -- chugging along at a nice pace, putting out solid content, and providing a good product for their readers.

But in the last few months, J.P. and the crew have grown the site dramatically. They've added several new writers this season, bringing fresh perspective to a blog that is the oldest and most well-respected in the Caps blogosphere. They've added a number of new weekly features that have become instant hits as well. They didn't necessarily need the new energy to survive, but they certainly have created a better blog for it.

That's it. Have a great holiday week next week!