FanPost

Salutations: Thank You Danny Kelly.

Field Gulls are lucky to have Danny.

This SBN site is tempestuous, intelligent, arrogant, stat-driven, and at times, flat-out comedic.

In other words, its a damn good blog.

Danny probably has one of the most difficult SBN communities to manage. His readers are often both intelligent and cocky which is a lethal combination that can either frustrate the hell out of you or make you into a snarky pr*ck. Fortunately, Danny has removed himself from that equation and has retained some editorial integrity. Remember, Seattle is known for being one of the most educated and well-read cities in the nation. You're not dealing with your average fan. These are people who still insist on asking that "follow-up" question despite you answering the question thirty times before. Statistical analysis is an absolute and this makes Field Gulls unique. I know they love their DVOA and they loved it even before Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. Winning didn't drive this statistical outburst, the community's interest created it which should tell you something right there. I personally think advance statistics in football are over valued. In baseball, it makes a little more sense; basketball, even less. Because at the end of the day its about talented players executing more plays than their opponent. I would say I am somewhere in between "Moneyball" and "Trouble with the Curve." I see advance statistics as a useful indicator but not as a lawful constituent.

Danny's contributing writers are strong and, at times, tragic. Field Gulls seems to have about three thousand contributing writers and a few of them are good bloggers. They know their stuff and are protective. However, they can come across as snarling Pomeranians in comment section when they feel the posted material is being unfairly attacked. If you post an article, expect it to be dissected and perhaps even dismissed. Posting in blogging community is like dropping your pants and walking butt naked into a busy strip mall. The key is to not go ape-sh*t when people will laugh and point at the package and call it small even if it isn't. Don't pretend you're at a nudist colony when you're not. Like I said, this isn't an easy forum to deal with. Danny, from what I've observed, has kept himself distant but not too distant where he won't respond. Remember, its not that you responded, its how you responded. He seems to understand this communication principle. Part of Danny's job is also about giving his fellow writers leeway to make their points but also reigning them in when its "too much." A managing editor's most difficult job is not about creating incisive slashes at an article, but rather telling a fellow writer (who usually believes his work is amazing) that he needs to do a better job. Despite what you might think, taking a chisel and hammer at someone's pride is always a dirty and disgusting business. Tempers flare and resentment can propagate.

Having to deal with rival blogging communities is always interesting. I like to think of SBN communities as City-States. They're independent and can govern the way they want but not so big where they're self-sufficient. They need to trade, barter, and, if necessary, go to war. You just have to let it happen because this is what its about. Its not "survival of the fittest" but rather "revival of the masses." One key to growing a blogging community is discussion and this sometimes means a little spark of controversy. Yes, you let that rival fan come into your Ikea superstore, listening to Limp Bizkit, and having him break stuff. Ruffle the damn feathers. Have him break your cheap Scandinavian table. Ships of wealth don't get built on stagnant ponds. They're built on churning seas. Its as simple as that.

Unfortunately, Field Gulls readers sometime insist on going to war at every chance they get. Danny and his crew of moderators have to deal with this and its not an easy task. There seems to be a good deal of dislike for Seahawk commentators, especially by their rival 49ernation blog (calling it as I see it). Believe it or not, people get all kinds of riled up over QB passer ratings, rushing yards, touchdown dances, athlete's wives, and who has better cleats. That's fine. Sports and blogs are an outlet for fans' passions. I truly believe that venting frustrations can and should happen through blogs such as this (I unashamedly do this) because its better than sending a remote through your tv or a bowl of onion dip at your hated brother-in-law who still insists on wearing a Steelers jersey to every Seahawk home game he happens to attend. Words can be brutal but they can be moderated. Physical and vocal abuse cannot be erased. Danny has to deal with two very passionate fan groups and he and David Fulcillo (who happens to love stirring the flames a bit with his articles) have done a fairly good job in trying to keep things from getting too out of control. Its not an easy task and they should be commended on it. Hell, even the national media has noted several times that the fan bases dislike each other online. I think, a lot of sports people, read both 49er and Seahawk sites and its pretty easy to see why they get their conclusions.

Also, Danny is just a plain a good writer and editor. There is a reason why he is getting some of SBN's national articles that aren't just Seahawk-centric. They're NFL-centric and in case you haven't noticed, the NFL is a pretty big deal. SBN is also one of the most respected blogging sites. It means something. One of my favorite SBN writers is Ben Golliver for the Blazersedge (Portland Trail Blazers). He wrote fantastic articles that were clear, truthful and entertaining. They were often insider-oriented (he had a media pass to home games) and could give you content that other journalists couldn't give you. His work as a writer was noticed and he was a favorite by the Trailblazer executives. He's named dropped a few times by Neil Olshey. He has now become a lead NBA writer for sportsillustrated.com. But he still insists on writing for Blazersedge which is a delight for all NBA fans. Why I say this is because you could have received a college student as your main editor/writer. If you don't believe me, go and check out some other SBN sites. They literally have college students handling their site because no one else wanted to.

The reason I write this article is because I think its been a good season and I have enjoyed writing and reading several things related to the Seahawks. I think a lot of it has to do with the Field Gulls site. Its been both entertaining and frustrating and that's how I like it. Danny gets it. I don't always like his and his writers' stuff but I am reading and its been fun seeing how its grown along with the Seahawk fans and the team. Salute.

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