January is a football month. Yes the Super Bowl doesn't happen until February but playoffs and hype machine is all during the first month of the year. Thus we have a football-heavy featured four blogs for the first month of the year.
We have to start with yesterday's giant game. SB Nation was lucky to have two great blogs in the Super Bowl this year -- Field Gulls and Pats Pulpit. Field Gulls is known for their in-depth Xs and Os coverage of the Seahawks but they also pick up on all the quirky things that happen during Super Bowl week (hello, Marshawn Lynch). Pats Pulpit has had a unique challenge in covering both the Super Bowl and DeflateGate. Like Field Gulls, they do a great job of mixing the serious analysis with the not-so-serious. There has also been a nice series on the Patriots Super Bowl history (which is a lot longer than most Super Bowl histories).
Land-Grant Holy Land brought stability to a hard beat for SB Nation to lock down for so many years, that of the undisputed national champion Ohio State Buckeyes. Under the leadership of Matt Brown and Luke Zimmermann, LGHL has established itself as a mainstay in OSU circles, becoming one of the largest, fastest growing free publications in its space in just three years time. Whether they're breaking original news or publishing gorgeous, authoritative football previews, you're all but forced to ask yourself who has it better than Ohio State fans? Nobody.
And speaking of lucky fans, Nashville Predators have been really lucky this year given that their team has been one of the surprise teams of the NHL this year. Three of the fellas from On the Forecheck were on scene for the 2015 NHL All-Star Game in Columbus this month, something that can't even be said of the newspaper media from Nashville. Their coverage was fantastic, covering all the events and their own players perfectly. But more interesting is that they saw the trip as a scouting effort, seeing as Nashville will host the 2016 All-Star Weekend. The OtF guys came away with strong impressions of Columbus, but learned a lot about how their team and their city should host the 2016 event.
And that's the strong start to 2015 SB Nation need was looking for...with football and hockey leading the way.