We're halfway through 2014 already and yet I still can't stop writing 2013 when I write the date. Getting older problems I suppose. But yet here we are. It's been a great year for our blogs thus far and June was no different. We have four new sites to honor here. The featured blogs for this month are below.
The World Cup is a funny thing for a team-focused soccer blog. It's quite unlike virtually anything else in sports. While every sport has an offseason, it's not really an offseason due to drafts and trades and free agency. Other sports also take midseason breaks, but usually only for a few days and even in hockey the vast majority of the players participating in the Olympics are tied to a NHL team. An MLS blog walks a particularly strange line, as no team was represented by more than three players in the World Cup. How do you cover the biggest event in the game without alienating your core readers?
This is all a rather long way of saying, LAG Confidential has managed to do just that. A great example was Josie Becker's article on Michael Bradley's role in the USMNT, for which he drew much criticism. Josie did a wonderful job of explaining how Bradley may have actually been trying to do too much.
Our San Diego Padres team site Gas Lamp Ball faced two giant stories in June and showed why it is such a great community for fans. First, with the loss of baseball legend Tony Gwynn, GLB gave their readers a number of outlets to grieve including this tribute and this first-hand report from the memorial. Second, the Padres fired General Manger Josh Byrnes and GLB has completely blown away the coverage with this StoryStream with news, quotes, and GM candidates to keep fans on top of everything Padres.
MMA Fighting has had a remarkable few weeks. This week's MMA Hour features an incredible 90 minute Ariel Helwani interview with WWE legend Ice Cold Steve Austin. Plus the best coverage and analysis of the drug test related implosion of UFC star Chael Sonnen to be found anywhere - a story that Ariel broke. It truly was remarkable journalism.
The Heat fell just short of winning another NBA title and our great Miami site, Hot Hot Hoops, was there to cover it all. You might have also heard that LeBron James and his friends decided to opt out of their contracts and test the free agency waters. This has Heat fans nervous, obviously, but at least they have one great site and community that is on top of all the latest news and rumors and comes strong with useful analysis.
That's it for the month. Take a moment to congratulate these fantastic sites.