Each month we highlight the best of the best blogs on SB Nation. For the past month of September, these four sites were perfect examples of how to cover a team.
Without further ado, here are your September 2014 featured blogs.
September might be the slowest time in the NBA calendar but for the Phoenix Suns the month was filled with news of one star player leading his team in international competition and another's nerveracking contract situation. Dave King's crew at Bright Side of the Sun rose to the occasion with the full gamut of coverage of the Eric Bledsoe saga with analysis, rumor reaction, timely news when the deal got done, and final impact insight.
The site also produces not one but two podcasts and has added professional quality video to its lineup. And finally, through a combination of relationships, team knowledge and a "nose for news" Bright Side was the first to market with this amazing story about how the Suns made a unique offer to a set of twins on their roster. Fans rewarded the effort and skill by making this site our fourth-largest in the network despite covering a lottery team in a mid-sized market.
Managing Madrid has been one of our rapid risers recently, and it's not hard to see why. Lucas Navarrete and his crew have found a way to tap into Real Madrid fans' hearts and really seems to understand what makes that fan tick (or click, as it were). Stories like this one explaining why Xabi Alonso's move to Bayern Munich stung so bad get at that very issue. He's also done a wonderful job of expanding his Facebook presence, picking up 50 likes in the span of a recent match. This is all great stuff, obviously, and we think it can only get better.
Arkansas football was laughing stock last season, thanks to poor results on the field and a coach who couldn't keep his foot out of his mouth. Now, nobody is laughing at the Hogs, and the program's dramatic improvement has been chronicled excellently by Arkansas Fight. AF has hit the Hogs from every angle over the last few weeks, providing great analysis, the funny pictures, the recruiting stories, and more, on their website, twitter and facebook page. The result? Blog traffic grew over 100 percent compared to this time last year. If the Hogs grab an upset or two in the SEC West, the sky is the limit. Great work you guys.
Pensburgh set themselves apart in September by growing their Facebook traffic by an amazing 355 percent, which is a result of great practices. But it also doesn't happen without good writing, and this Evgeni Malkin story is a great example of the consistent work Jimmy and crew create.
And that's it for the first month of Fall. Congratulations to all the featured blogs and thank you for your great work. You give our entire network a great name.