Brian Bassett and TheJetsBlog.com
I have loved the Jets for a while, but it was a strange path in getting here. As a youngster, I was a Chiefs fan (Word, Okoye!) and my first football game was with my father and godfather [posts on TJB as The Ed(itor)], which was the game in which Jet Dennis Byrd was tragically injured. I tracked his story of recovery and following his progress made this native New Yorker / Jerseyite become a Jet fan.
I was born in Morristown, NJ, but grew up in Westchester New York. When I started this blog, I loathed my 9-5 job and had just moved to Boston, Massachusetts to live closer to my girlfriend (now wife). While I love the city of Boston, I was sick of the wall to wall Sox/Pats coverage of 2004, and needed a cathartic outlet, which is what the blog allowed me.
Since 2004, when the blog was lucky to get 100 views a month, it has grown to over 1,000,000 page views a month (April 2010) and we’ve had a lot of fun and made some great new friends along the way.
More than anything, this process and you the readers have taught me a lot about my favorite team, and I’ve learned through some hard lessons how to build and maintain a successful brand online. TheJetsBlog.com has been featured in the USA Today, the New York Times, FoxSports.com, ESPN the Mag, Sporting News Radio, WFAN and more.
1. What makes you any different from any beat information gathering mechanism for the Jets?
Where to begin?
First off, I am and will always consider myself a fan first, before considering myself a journalist and I am proud to do so.
I am not a Jets ‘insider’ in any way, shape or form … not to say that I wouldn’t jump at the chance! Most of the information that I gather is second-hand, most likely just like yourself. I do get lucky enough on occasion to interview players and such, get the odd scoop, but that’s rare. I approach the team and informing readers from a fan-first perspective analyzing the team and the media around the team. If you have issues or disagree with anything I write or say, I’m glad to hear your thoughts.
Second, I think that chasing the same story day in and out, exacerbating the issue can become tedious for the reader as well as the subject.
Third, there’s always something to write about regarding the Jets, sometimes one has to look a little harder or be a little more creative.
My goal is to try and find Jets information on the web and present to you it in a way that you would find entertaining and informative. If that gives you some time away from your daily stress, then my job is done.
2. Other than the Jets who do you like?
Unlike a large percentage of you, I am not a Mets fan. I am a Yankee fan as proud of the days of Balboni, Azocar and Hensley Muelens as I am of Jeter, Swisher and Sabathia. There was a time when I was a Knicks fan, but until they get out of their own way, I’ll give them a wide berth.
3. What gives you the right to start a Jets blog?
Absolutely nothing other than an obsession for the Jets. We are run by me, Brian Bassett and a host of other fantastic writers. I cut my teeth with great friend and Celticsblog.com‘s Jeff Clark on a now long defunct project called SportsRant. Basically we were trying to do a blog before we knew they existed, timing is everything, I guess.
Bassett is ably joined by many other Jet fans. Longest co-contributor is our friend Bent who is a Jets fan from the UK, along with a host of other bloggers.
5. Do you take suggestions from readers about player spottings, trade rumors, juicy gossip etc.?
Absolutely. Anonymity is guaranteed but if you would like your name mentioned, I would be more than happy to oblige. We also are happy to take suggestions from any information/articles you dig up on the web. Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. I have been living under a rock, what’s a blog?
A weblog is a constantly updated web site where posts are listed in reverse chronological order, so the newest stuff is always at the top of the page. Blogs are written not in the journalistic style, but more a familiar tone (in my case, sarcastic, hipster-doofus and uneducated/opinionated). The news is less the focus and the discussion trumps all.