In case you haven’t heard by now, a Pens fan favorite is in trouble. Late Thursday night, Seth Rorabaugh made the announcement via Twitter that the future of his Empty Netters blog is in jeopardy. While he did not reveal the reason, he did say that he has a meeting with some of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette management on Monday about the future of the blog and that things did not look very optimistic.
Since that announcement I have watched as an amazing show of support has sprung up from across the US, Canada, and the world. Pens fans and people who hate the Pens, bloggers and more traditional media reporters, hockey nuts and people just interested in supporting bloggers of any type. This is an obvious testament to not just Seth’s talents, but the professional reputation that he has built for himself.
As hockey fans, we understand how difficult it is to find coverage of the sport. I must say, in my opinion, that his is one of the best. Especially for Pens fans. I was going to post this when I got home from work last night with the e-mail addresses of who to contact at the Post Gazette. But, by that time (actually by 6:00) Seth had asked people to stop e-mailing and the direct contact information that he had provided to The Pensblog had been removed. Apparently, the PG had been so bombarded with e-mails in 7 hours that it had reached the point where he didn’t want everyone’s efforts to backfire.
In case you have never read Seth’s blog, I highly encourage you to do so.
Seth does an amazing job. He does game match-up previews, game wrap-ups, league summaries from the night before, and comes up with all kinds of interesting hockey related news. Seth’s game blogs are amazing. He’s like the play-by-play guy and the color guy all in one, but he’s funny. And he manages to find links and video clips to go with his references and humor. How he does all of that while live blogging is beyond comprehension. Here’s another thing, Seth is the king of obscure references and stats. In the offseason, he will often compile those stats into tables. It’s really quite amazing. And, I really haven’t done the breadth of his blog justice. His blog alone could easily win you any game of NHL trivia. His knowledge goes beyond the Pens and shows his obvious love of the game.
Because of the reputation that Seth has built for himself, he has been able to bring his readers some great features and access. He has earned access to players and members of the franchise, past and present. He is able to get interviews with the players and staff. Last year he was able to run a great feature called “Mellon Arena Memories” with current and past players and key franchise members that evoked both laughter and fondness for the old barn. That’s just an example of the respect that he has earned from the team.
Beyond that, Seth is a true professional. Anytime you send him information, he makes sure to always get back to you with a thank you. Anytime you meet him, he is polite and gracious. He has been more than kind to local blogs in linking to them on his site. And, he really liked our name.
It’s time for everyone to give back. I encourage all Pens fans, hockey fans, and bloggers to get behind Seth in his fight. For right now, please respect his request to refrain from further e-mails to the Post Gazette. I will keep you updated on further ways to help. For right now, just visit the blog and keep giving it hits.
There is an online petition started if you are interested: http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/emptynetters
Now that we’ve saved the Pens, let’s Save Empty Netters!