Here are our featured blogs for July, all of which found moments bigger than their team and sport to celebrate. You should read them:
Red Reporter | Cincinnati Reds
The July trade deadline is always the biggest moment for baseball and our MLB blogs around SB Nation. It represents a chance for probable playoff teams to pick up that one extra piece to fill whatever hole might prevent a run, and it represents a chance for teams likely already out of the playoffs a future on which to hang their hats. Like every big baseball moment, it's about hope.
That moment, hope, is why you should read Red Reporter, our fan blog for the Cincinnati Reds. Site manager Brandon Kraeling and his staff at RR captured that feeling -- and the pangs associated with a bad team trading away fan favorites.
They had the guts to call the Reds' season over following the All-Star Game and had a fantastic autopsy of the team prior to trading away their star ace, Johnny Cueto. With Cueto gone, RR explored what the team should do following his absence and introduced readers to the prospects the Reds got in return.
It's not easy being a fan of a bad team in the spotlight, but Red Reporter has created a wonderful community for those fans and is a site that exemplifies what it means to be a baseball fan.
Field Gulls | Seattle Seahawks
Sea of Blue | Kentucky Wildcats
Transitions in site managers always have the potential to become difficult, with major associated dips in traffic, especially when the site manager is someone like A Sea of Blue's Glenn Logan, one of the oldest and most respected voices on the college network. Fortunately, Glenn left and outstanding foundation and sometimes we're lucky enough to find a replacement like Jason Marcum, who learned from his successes at Cincy Jungle and has hit the ground running at SOB.
Back in June, he took advantage of a record number of Kentucky players being taken in the NBA Draft with posts like this excellent draft profile that ultimately did outstanding traffic for the site.
But covering one event well doesn't ensure continued high traffic, so Jason did this excellent football position preview series, has been hiting recruitng in both basketball and football, and his co-writers are providing in-depth analysis like this look at packaged screens in the Air Raid that lets fans know they can come to SOB to increase their understanding of Xs and Os.
7500 to Holte | Aston Villa
Being an Aston Villa fan has not been very easy lately. Last year, there was the loss in the FA Cup final and having a brush with relegation from the English Premier League. This year, they were tortured by a couple on-again, off-again transfers when both Fabian Delph and Cristian Benteke moved away for more money and a better chance at silverware.
But one thing Villa fans do have going for them is one of the best soccer blogs out there, and Robert Lintott and his team at 7500 to Holte delivered a big way this month. Their piece explaining what Villa had learned from the Delph saga is a perfect example of the kind of quality writing the blog is becoming known for.
Please give a round of applause to these awesome sites. Congratulations to Brandon Kraeling of Red Reporter, Danny Kelly of Field Gulls, Glen Logan of A Sea of Blue, and Robert Lintott of 7500 to Holte -- and to their dedicated, brilliant, hysterical staffs that make this all possible. Fantastic work.