Monday, June 26, 2006

Granite Fringes Has a New Home

In October of 2005, I started writing a column for Sports Media Watch called Granite Fringes. The idea was to chronicle and analyze how media covers sports that don't get a lot of media attention. I called these sports fringe sports, as in sports away from media centers. Large media outlets in large media markets pay them little attention, but smaller newspapers, blogs, TV and radio stations cover them and do so very well. My column tried to find those fringe sports and that fringe media covering them. On my better days, my columns were a little funny and had something worth reading in them.

After Sports Media Watch stopped publishing in April, I figured I'd just drop the column. But I actually missed writing the stupid thing. So in order to find a new forum to keep exploring fringe sports, Granite Fringes has moved and changed its name to Fringe Sports Central, or FSC.

We build communities around sports. The Green Bay Packers are communally owned by the people who live in Green Bay. Red Sox fans know that they have a friend in every city in the country because they belong to Red Sox Nation. Sports are a way for us to connect with other people.

This is particularly true among fringe sports. Small towns come together over fringe sports like high school football and minor league baseball, basketball and hockey. Fringe sports like lacrosse and college hockey create intense loyalty among their fans. Check out the camaraderie electric football - freaking electric football - has created. Fringe sports matter because they have the power to tie us to the people around us. They bring us together.

They can also be weird as hell and damn funny. And that's going to be a big part of this column too, along with what these fringe sports are, how they're trying to connect with their fans and grow, how the media covers them, and how their fans build communities around them.

I'm going to republish all of my Granite Fringes columns here, and then start writing new material. Among the topics that I'll be covering:
  • Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Competition
  • Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game
  • Follow-ups to my column on LaxPower and my review of media coverage of the Eastern League
  • College hockey preview
  • More coverage of minor league and high school sports
  • Plenty of other weird sports junk I haven't found yet

So keep checking back here, there'll be lots of overanalysis of the random, obscure and unknown in sports.


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