I can’t imagine being a professional sports journalist. Well, I take that back. I can imagine it. I think sometimes how much fun it must be to get paid to report on something you love. (Well, more pay than a mug and a t-shirt anyway, which is all Wally has offered me so far. ;))

As anyone who has any knowledge of sports journalism knows, it is harder for female journalists covering men’s sports to get respect than their male counterparts. They have to deal with chauvinism of all sorts, from people thinking females don’t belong in a locker room , to women who get press credentials who really shouldn’t , who then proceed to screw things up royally for women who are competent, hardworking, talented journalists. There have definitely been inroads, but often it’s one step forward, two steps back.

So, there are already problems inherent for a woman choosing to cover men’s sports. Not the least of which is Joe Namath hitting on you on national television, eh Suzy Kolber?

And then there’s people like THIS . When I watched this (h/t to @TomPelissero and @gerdiaz) I almost threw up. Repeatedly. She looked like she wanted to ‘ride the train around the bases’ with David Freese, as @missannielynn said, didn’t she?

I realize this person is a ‘morning show host’. I realize the level of fluff required that seems comes along with that. (Trust me, I’ve watched Hoda & Kathie Lee since I’ve been on my little ‘vacation’ aka unemployment. I know. Feel sorry for me now?) She’s not a ‘sports reporter’ and the intent of the piece was not to ask David Freese tough questions about why the Cardinals keep kicking the proverbial shit out of the Brewers. (Why IS that, by the way?)

Thee level of stupidity and drivel that this particular piece rises to takes the proverbial cake. “Do you think I’m pretty?” NO. YOU’RE NOT PRETTY AND THIS ISN’T CUTE. You are, in fact, making women ‘journalists’ look STUPID and you, additionally, don’t seem to be worried about the fact that you are coming across as a complete and utter idiot. And in the process, you make the case for why some people won’t take women reporting on men’s sports seriously almost as much as someone like Ines Sainz. This is some serious dreck.

As a professional female journalist told me (who may or may not be named Jen Lada), “I’m just stunned that any conscientous reporter would want to attach his or her name and reputation to such a juvenile segment. More than anything, to me, it reeks of laziness. Especially with such an obvious OBVIOUS comparison between an MLB (particularly the Cardinals’ 2011) season and a roller coaster ride – one of the most well known metaphors in sports! Is it a fluff piece? Yes, but as a professional, you can always inject some integrity into a story. And frankly, it’s our responsibility to do just that. Hold oneself to a higher standard. I’m sorry for being so critical but she clearly had no interest in being credible – something that was evident the moment she announced that her “bestie” was tagging along. She may be a very competent young lady but she certainly didn’t show much of that here.” No, she certainly did not.

I can call Mike McCarthy “hawt” on Twitter. I can (and now will) joke about my unexplainable crush on him in this very blog post. Also, I’ve marveled at the attractiveness of certain professional athletes. But I’m not a professional journalist – and – even as a fan and a blogger I would never sink to the level at which this woman (seemingly happily) arrives. I do see, however, in some male bloggers a tendency to take the female ones less seriously. In the case of the Pocket Doppler Angels, that would be a very serious mistake.

She’s a perfect example of what is still making it hard for women to achieve success in sports reporting as easily as men, whether it be in print or video. Would you want someone this vapid in your team’s locker room? I wouldn’t either. I can’t believe David Freese even got on the roller coaster with her. (Of course, he also plays for the St. Louis Cardinals, so he’s already got issues. I kid, I kid.)

Come on ladies, don’t do this to yourselves. Don’t be the ‘stupid girl’. It’s not worth it. And you’re continuing to make the road to respect and success harder for others who actually take this type of work seriously.

End rant.

 

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  • Katie

    Colleen, I seriously almost died watching the video of it.

    I feel so bad for him during the entire awkward interview!! How does she even get permission to do an interview like that? Do his PR team, or Cardinals media staff not pre-screen these things? He’s a young player who I’m sure is used to getting hit on, but not by someone who should have at least a working knowledge of journalistic integrity!

    How frustrating for real female sports reporters out there who would give anything to have a one-on-one interview with a baseball superstar.

  • Colleen

    He had the deer in the headlights look. That poor guy. And, as you say, how frustrating for someone who would have loved to ask him legitimate questions as well as ride on a roller coaster with him.

  • K-Fey

    I agree with most of your points, but I’m sorry to say that I’ve definitely read the female bloggers of this site dip into a similar style. It’s not on the same level as the video posted, but as an example, I remember some remarks of a personal nature made in a post about the release of Korey Hall that caused me roll my eyes. He plays an increasingly superfluous position and between him, Quinn Johnson, and Kuhn, there were two roster spots really being wasted, and I’m glad Thompson realized that (now if only he could apply some of that to TEs). Maybe the writer could see that, but it was not coming across in her writing. To me the piece was more about a personal attachment than the transaction and what it meant to the Packers. I just don’t think that kind of material has much place in journalism, if at all. I come here to read reasonably objective analysis of Wisconsin sports, not about the writer’s personal preferences. There was, and still is, good work being done by this site’s writers, including women. Men are guilty of this type of journalism as well, but I read a large amount of amateur and professional sports content daily, and I see it more from women (pros like Susan Slusser and Carrie Muskat notwithstanding). That kind of fluff reduces the overall quality of the site.

    Unfortunately I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the “Dancing with the Stars” updates fall within the line of fluff as well. Donald Driver has been my favorite Packer for a decade now, but I could care less about the show so I don’t read the articles. Despite the homage-a-Uecker title, PD seems to always favor Packer coverage, and the offseason is no different. I came here for the Brewer coverage from SimpleKindOfFan (who I’m sorry to see has left) and others, and I enjoy the morning links. Outside of a fine article about Gallardo and the Cardinals yesterday—by a woman I might add—the posts I’ve seen here lately are all Packers related. But this isn’t football season: aside from the draft and here-and-there transactions, there’s not much to cover. Why fill it with fluff?

    I will add that I was glad to see that Bucks coverage was improved this year, from zero to a decent amount.

    • http://pocketdoppler.com/ Wally

      K-Fey,

      Thanks for stopping by and reading, it is appreciated. That being said, I would be remiss, if I didn’t respond to some of your comments. Listen, we don’t try to be CHTV, Disciples of Uecker or any of the other great sites that perhaps have a more, shall I say ‘analytical’ theme to them. While we do have that type of content, we also have more opinion oriented & lighter content as well.

      That ‘fluff’ as you call it, is just as well written & thought out as anything else out there & I stand behind it 100%. Those columns, along with everything else we do, is what makes Pocket Doppler different then the other Wisconsin sports oriented places out there. Hell, The Big Lead does reviews of Game of Thrones, how is that even remotely sports related? At least there’s a Packers player on DWTS. I intended PD to be a combination of lighter content AND more traditional, ‘reporting’ type pieces. I think we’ve accomplished that combination exactly as we wanted & I thank all of our contributors for getting us there.

      As for other content on other teams, I’m always open to talking to people about contributing if they want. You think you can provide better content, prove it and let me see it. In any case, again, thanks for reading.

      -Wally

      • K-Fey

        Thanks for your response, Wally. I enthusiastically accept your challenge: I’d be happy to provide you with a writing sample if you give me a Brewer-centric topic you’d like to see me address.

        I understand that PD is not an analytically bent site, and that’s fine, there is certainly plenty of that on the net. But sabermetrics and other advanced stats aren’t necessary to provide good Brewers coverage, which I feel is currently lacking after SimpleKindOfFan and his wonderful weekly column departed.

        I understand the Brewers play second fiddle to the Packers in this state, believe me. And for good reason: the Packers are the most successful football franchise ever, and I shouldn’t need to explain how that contrasts with the Brewers. However, they too have a tradition in this state and many very loyal fans, myself included. Pardon me for thinking that a site that bills itself as a Wisconsin Sports Blog should cater to a team that draws 3 million fans yearly more. The prominent NFL-over-MLB attitude in this country is one that I abhor for reasons including player safety, and I can’t stand to see it perpetrated by fair-weathered Wisconsinites. I love the Packers and I love the Brewers. Last fall, I watched the Brewers in the playoffs over a week 4 Packers matchup. Similarly, when the defending champ Packers opened against the previous champ Saints, I tuned in over a Brewers-Phillies game with huge playoff implications.

        To everyone else, I’m sorry if I offended you with my response, it was certainly not my intention. However, it is apparent to me that some of you who took offense were quick to retort after giving my statement a cursory perusal, and then grossly overreacted by painting me as some sort of masochistic buffoon who considers any female’s writing fluff, and who reads Daybreak Doppler only for the scantily-clad ladies. Good grief. These remarks, which amount to flaming, incensed me. But in the name of the productive dialog that I was trying to engage in, I’ll let it go.

        What you apparently considered flaming, was in actuality taking the time (and believe me, I did) to put forth a well articulated and logical argument (which I did without having to resort to personal attacks). This is an element that sadly neglected in most internet journalism, an idiom that includes sports blogging. Since I’m greatly disappointed that some took my remarks as sexist, I will reiterate some points: you’ll notice that I said that men too are guilty of fluff journalism. You’ll also notice that I started my argument with the acknowledgement that my example regarding Korey Hall in no way approaches the awful David Freese feature. It certainly doesn’t, and for one to say that I couldn’t tell the difference between the two is flat-out wrong. I can’t even fathom how that absurd conclusion was drawn from my comments.

        I guess we will have to agree to disagree at this next point, though. While it’s certainly fine to blog for fun, and some people here are quite good at it, I am of the opinion that journalistic standards and integrity should be maintained even if it is being done for fun. My standards may be higher than most, but after all, this is being published for all the world to see. So, shouldn’t a writer always put their best work out there? I for one enjoy reading this type of quality writing, especially when it comes to my favorite sports teams, all of which hail from my home state. I spend an inordinate amount of time reading such content every day.

        You’re free to write about your personal feelings towards Packer players, but my mouse will click elsewhere. I come here to be informed; the fact that a blogger loves a lesser-known football player is immaterial to me, and probably plenty of others. To Kelly, are you really interested in driving readers like me away, as you say you are? I did, in fact, read many of your Post-Mortems during the season. I wonder if you might like the opportunity to revise your statements.

        You are all still certainly free to keep your fluff, but just know that this reader would rather read your more informative material. But please, disregard this sole opinion as an outlier that clearly doesn’t matter, instead of taking it as the constructive criticism that it actually is. If any PD writers want to discuss this further, I am certainly open to continuing under the condition that the dialog remains civil, a characteristic that doesn’t often lend itself to web comment sections. Since my email address is required to submit comments, I assume you all at the site have access to it. I welcome any emails, which will in return give you my real name that some of you requested and allow you to bandy about the internet.

        Sincerely,
        K-Fey

        • http://pocketdoppler.com Ceallaigh

          K-fey,

          Would I like amend my comment to you? Well, I’d like to change a pronoun up above to read the following: smack ME with your male privilege.

          Other than that, no, I don’t amend it. I’m sorry, K-fey, you don’t get to play victim by trolling in to here with your broad brush, paint some really obnoxious stereotypes about female bloggers and then get offended when you get called on your sanctimonious crap. That’s akin to walking into my living room, squatting a stinking one right on the carpet and then acting wounded that I’ve asked you to leave.

          I don’t think calling you on your shenaningans is going to drive other readers away. Thanks for reading my postmortem, but I am still standing by my above comments.

          That said, I think I covered this topic sufficiently in August if you’d like to read that little bit of “fluff” too:

          pocketdoppler.com/2011/08/28/sailing-the-seas-of-cheese-sing-sister-sing/

          • K-Fey

            I wish I had the luxury of deflecting any criticism directed towards me as veiled sexism. Then I would be freed of any obligation to engage in thoughtful, logical dialog about sports media. I could take a page out of your book and just flame you, but I have to deliver an address at a college graduation reception.

    • Anita

      The women who write here do it for fun. We’re not getting paid. This is not a profession. We’re not journalists. We’re not trying to be objective. If you were paying me to write about, or interview someone, then I would be objective. I’m not writing here to pad my resume in hopes of changing careers. It’s for fun, and most of the time, I try to be humorous. I don’t write investigative, informative articles. I lean mostly toward a column, which is done in my opinion.

      Of course my Dancing with the Stars updates are fluff. The SHOW is nothing but fluff, but guess what? I can see how many hits each article posted here gets and the amount of hits the SITE gets on Tuesdays, so people must be interested in the “fluff.” People wouldn’t read it if it was straight journalism, considering the subject, which is a cheesy reality show. The fact that a member of the Green Bay Packers is a contestant makes it relevant to people interested in Wisconsin sports. It’s my opinion and I make no bones about it. That’s what bloggers do. And what is wrong with a female, unpaid, blogger expressing her opinion of Kory Hall? How is that any different from having a photo of a scantily clad female accompanying the morning links that you enjoy so much? You didn’t mention objecting to that, I see.

      And as far as the heavy Packer slant. That’s life in Wisconsin. The Packers are king no matter what time of year it is. The NFL is boss and the other leagues wish they could compete with that. A Brewers playoff game could not outdraw a Packer regular season game in the ratings last fall. That’s simply the way it is. Why do you think ESPN radio in Milwaukee broadcasts “Green and Gold Today” all year round, and even in the quiet months after the draft, and before the start of camp, still manages to fill an hour each day? People in Wisconsin will talk about, and obsess about, the Packers year round.

    • http://pocketdoppler.com Ceallaigh

      Wow, smack you with your male privilege and must cut to the chase and tell us to all go in the kitchen and make you a sammich while your at it.

      I have a simple kind of solution for you if you don’t like the vapid content. Go read a different blog.

      If you want analytical content, I direct you to my Post-game Postmortem. God forbid we bore you with fluff and filler. For your convenience, you may want to avoid my tag This Post is Mainly Filler

      But don’t ever write me off as a fluff writer because I have a set of ovaries. I know the advantages of the 3-4 defense to the 4-3, can give a good analysis of the Packers offensive line and and can justify why I think the Wildcat is gimmicky and outdated. Do I write about the Brewers or Bucks? No, because I don’t follow either close enough to render real analysis, criticism or, well, interest to render an opinion.

      But don’t tell me I can’t write about zombies from time to time or get my mock on. I am not a professional writer. I have a day job, two monkeys and a geriatric golden retriever to keep me busy with what really matters in life. The fact you are offended we don’t give you analysis on the teams you want to read about, I sure as heck am not going to lose any sleep over it.

      I take great pride that Pocket Doppler has such a female presence. There is a paucity of female sports bloggers and PD has decided there isn’t some penis litmus test around here.

      Since you’re bellyaching we don’t have enough Brewers content at this site, by all means, submit a sample of your writing and try your hand at sports blogging. We’re always looking for new talent.

      And for god’s sake, if you going to flame Colleen for her content, at least have the decency to sign your real name. It’s so easy to flame and send when you don’t have that sort of accountability.

      —Kelly

    • Colleen

      My longest post about Korey Hall related to the fact he was from Idaho. Where I am from. It also related to the fact my father died. One year ago. Today. On the nose. Yeah, that’s pretty damn personal, isn’t it? I wasn’t trying to get in Korey’s pants, or say how he should be my boyfriend. That would, in fact, be really inappropriate. As I stated above.

      I don’t do draft analytics, I don’t break down tape, I just have an opinion. I’m ‘just a girl’ if you will. If you don’t like it, as Jason Wilde says, please feel free to ‘unfollow’ i.e. not read.

      I don’t mind criticism, but I most definitely do not suffer fools gladly.

      That said, thanks for reading my mindless drivel.

  • Anita

    Another example of a “stupid girl” is the 25 year old who was sleeping with the married Arkansas football coach (Bobby Petrino), and got a high level job in the athletic department over many more qualified applicants, simply because she was blond, pretty, young….and sleeping with the football coach. As if it wasn’t hard enough for well qualified women to get jobs with high level athletic programs. Thanks for setting everyone back, ya hooch.

  • http://www.cheeseheadtv.com/eat_more_cheese Jayme Joers

    I like to write fluff pieces. When I know they are fluff pieces. Anita, Colleen and I used to post a series called Dreamy Dudes of Doppler. Pictures of hunky looking guys with words that really didn’t matter. Like the pictures that are posted daily of scantily clad women on this site, they were appropriate in their place.

    It’s all about context. I don’t consider myself a reporter. I don’t get paid for most of the things I write. I don’t have a journalism degree. I am a blogger; I write from my perspective. Other bloggers write from their’s. In most cases there is supposed to be a little bit of bias, or tone, or opinion.

    If I were a real journalist, or when – on occasions when I consider myself very fortunate – I do interview a professional athlete, coach, person of importance, my level of professionalism rises with the occasion. I would never turn a professional interview into a public dating ad, with me gushing over the person.

    The interview would include my personality – like I said, I’m not a professional journalist. I recently had a great interview turned conversation about internet bullying with another reporter on an internet radio show. The interview wasn’t intended to go there. It was a topic brought up because I know it matters to both myself and the subject. I think that’s what makes bloggers special, and I think knowing that niche is important. We don’t have to conform to some of the rigors of the journalism profession. But most of us, especially all the men and women on this site, do manage to balance entertainment and reporting.

    I think it’s a shame that you, K-Fey, don’t see the difference between what the woman Colleen wrote about did and some “fluff” written by bloggers. You might not see it, but for many of us, the difference does exist. And for many of us, trying to have fun writing/blogging or trying to advance in the work place, having people not able to tell the difference between what this “news reporter” did and what bloggers write is why a “glass ceiling” exists and why we try to fight against this stereotype.

  • Thad Collins

    I’m a bit late to the party (I almost always am) and I am not attempting to jump onto the pile late like Nick Barnett or Ray Lewis, but I did want to drop a comment in here just because I think this is an intriguing conversaton and you are more than entitled to your opinion.

    First, (and I mean this with no snark at all) if you want to see more Brewers coverage, I would strongly implore you to submit a writing sample and join the PocketDoppler family. I can personally vouch that Wally is the very best and is very accommodating with what you want to post. I too would like to see more baseball coverage, but considering that I am from and live in New York City, I doubt the readers of PocketDoppler want my analysis of the New York Yankees. I’d love to see more Brewers writers especially because baseball season is longer than football season and it would good to have more balance.

    From reading your comments (fully, I assure you) I think your main beef wasn’t really the fluff, but the balance of content between the Packers and the Brewers. The only way to fix that is to get more writers who are interested in the Brewers AND get them to post regularly. I can tell you, I am a DIE HARD Packers fan and I have easily five articles in various stages of draft. It takes A LOT for me to complete a post. I need that motivation. Maybe this is the motivation for a Brewers writer to step up for Pocket Doppler.

    I think Wally brought up a good point. Pocket Doppler is not CheeseheadTV, AllGBP or even Eat More Cheese (referenced because it is probably closer to the style of PD). PD is really it’s own beast and while I do prefer very analytical sports analysis, I’ve found that I also had an appetite for a splash of personality with my reading. Pocket Doppler fills that need for me. As I said earlier, Wally is great with allowing a burgeoning writer to write what they want and when they want it. The writers that write for this site (man, woman, CENTAURS!!!!!) all have unique personalities and inject them into their writing. It would be a mistake to discourage them from doing such as a sober, analytical and objective edict regarding Pocket Doppler posts would clash against what makes Pocket Doppler so unique.

    I will admit that there are things on Pocket Doppler that I am not interested in. Anita is a GREAT writer and contributor to Pocket Doppler, but I’ve never ever watched Dancing With The Stars and I’ve haven’t read her posts on such. EVEN with a Packer on the show. Reality TV (especially dancing/talent shows) aren’t my thing, so I wouldn’t pretend to feign interest in following it. Now if Aaron Rodgers hosted SNL or Lang/Sitton/Crabtree joined the cast of ‘Community’ or ‘Veep’, I’d be all over Anita’s recaps. BUT what you won’t see me do is complain to Wally about the recaps on this site. Heck, I don’t even read the ‘Daily Dames of Doppler’ posts (mostly because I read this site at work and as you can imagine….NSFW). But I know that other people enjoy it and a Pocket Doppler reader is a Pocket Doppler reader to me all the same.

    I joined Pocket Doppler in the middle of last year as a Packers writer. While my posts are all pretty long winded and contain (what I believe to be) good analysis of the team, I DEFINITELY add my own personal “fluff” to my posts. To be honest, my posts would be a lot shorter, more concise and may even read better if I got rid of my own “fluff”, but :toddler voice: “I don’t wanna!”

    I don’t really want to get into a debate or even to attempt to define a blogger vs a journalist, all I know is that if I were on a “professional site” a site where I would expect the aforementioned sober, analytical and objective analysis, I think your comment would’ve been met with a bit less hostility. While your standards are appreciated, I think it’s important to put them in perspective with respect to the site you are reading. As a writer for Pocket Doppler, I strive to provide cogent analysis that generates reader interest, feedback and even debate. But it’s done on my own writing terms and with my own writing flair. I’d venture to say that my fellow Pocket Doppler writers and bloggers would feel the same.

    Personally, I will make a concerted effort to continue to provide more useful information/analysis instead of fluff. This is not something I feel obligated to do, but in a small way, I empathize with you and I do enjoy reading analytical content about the sport I love. So the least I can do is reciprocate.

    I HAVE A POINT, HOWEVER (I did warn that I was long winded, right?): I think the reason you are facing such hostility is because even though you did originally state that the Pocket Doppler content in question is not the same as the video interview that started this all, you unfairly compared certain Pocket Doppler writers to an overall trend you feel is not desirable (mainly, non objective journalism). Their response is warranted because it’s an unfair comparison. The video is set in a context where stoic professionalism is expected. Pocket Doppler is a site written by freelancers for fans. Pocket Doppler is a blank palate for us amateurs to paint to our discretion. Whatever that finished product comes out as is PocketDoppler.com. Nothing more, nothing less.

    I don’t mean for this post to be viewed as a defense of yourself or even of the commenters. Let’s just let it stand on its own.

    WOW…I only wanted to write three or four sentences…

    • K-Fey

      Thanks for your comments, Thad. You brought up some great points that require no rebuttal. I’m glad to see the balance opinion echoed, and yes, I would enjoy submitting a writing sample.

      The problem is, 100% of my current body of writing work is academic, and unless you’d like to read about Venetian performance practice of sacred Renaissance music, I don’t have anything to offer. In an earlier comment I invited Wally to give me a “prompt”, so to speak, for some Brewer content. While I still welcome that, I feel like I could put together a nice piece on new Brewer SS Alex Gonzalez. Perhaps you or another writer could direct me where to submit.

      • http://pocketdoppler.com/ Wally

        I’d be more than happy to read about Renaissance Music, perhaps something on the early masses of Josquin des Prez or the motets of Giovanni Palestrina or Jacobus Gallus.

        As anyone here will testify to, I don’t dictate topics or content because frankly I think it becomes like an assignment then & I gave up that vocation before it even started. Like I said before, if you have something you would like to write up on the Brewers or whomever I would be happy to look at it. Just email it to contact@pocketdoppler.com.

        • K-Fey

          I do have a piece on Josquin, but I’m not as confident in it as I am in my writings on Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli. My real expertise is instrumental music. I could also send you some methodological analysis of an isorhythmic motet by Guillaume du Fay, but even I hate having to read that.

          Instead, I’ll put something together about Sea Bass Gonzalez. And I won’t even talk about BABIP. I might talk about UZR though.

          • Thad Collins

            How about you provide an introduction primer to what sabermetrics stats like BABIP, UZR and WAR mean? A lot of people (myself included) see these stats used, but don’t really know what they mean or how to properly apply them. I think that would be a good start, no?

  • http://www.dicksfavoriteblog.com Richard Chang

    I agree w/ K Fey, women have no place internetting unless it’s googling a meatloaf recipe AND EVEN THEN it must be done by candlelight.

    • http://pocketdoppler.com Ceallaigh

      Oh, King Missile, don’t ever change, little Chang of mine!

  • K-Fey

    Thad, I couldn’t reply directly to your comment for some reason. Anyway, a sabermetrics primer would be a challenge, but even I have trouble with some of them. I direct most people interested in advanced stat definitions to FanGraphs, who have an eloquent glossary that I often refer to: http://www.fangraphs.com/library/

    In my article—which has been sent—I only talked about isolated power (ISO), one of the more easy-to-understand sabermetrics.

  • Anita

    Okay, you Sausage Vendors KNOW that if Donald Driver WEREN’T a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, there would BE no weekly update on PD, right? It’s not an annual thing each season. If another Packer decides to participate next season, you’ll see it again, otherwise, no.

    Just clearing that up. I’m getting the impression that some are criticizing Pocket Doppler for “allowing” a weekly update about a reality show on its site. It’s strictly a Donald Driver thing.

    And I’m not saying this to brag, I’m just stating a fact. It gets a respectable amount of hits every week (to my surprise). So, if it is bringing new faces to the blog, that’s a win-win situation.