Welcome to The Buffalo Star
Smarter is better.
That’s been a credo I’ve tried to follow in everything I’ve written over the past 12 years. It’s what I believe any sportswriter should aspire to accomplish.
And it’s a major motivation behind this new creation, The Buffalo Star.
My mission is for this digital sports page to become the most trusted source for intelligent analysis of your local sports teams.
With that goal in mind, I’ve spent pretty much every minute of every working day for the past few months putting this all together. To that end, I’ve assembled a great staff of contributors who I believe will give credible insight that you won’t find anywhere else.
When I first got serious about getting this off the ground, Kevin Oklobzija was the first person I knew I wanted to be involved. Between the phone calls, texts and lunches, he’d probably tell you I was rather persistent. But fortunately he was interested from the get-go, and having a first-rate reporter with his experience and talent is a big win. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
Although I haven’t handed out titles, Kevin is pretty much the de facto lead writer here as you’ll see more from him than anyone else. He’ll be doing mostly Sabres coverage, but he’ll also have his pulse on the Amerks and may even do some Bills work on occasion.
Without a doubt, my closest confidant professionally during the entire preparation phase has been Matthew Coller. From first suggesting I contact Kevin, to giving advice on everything from fee structures to site names, he’s been a tremendous ally. And to top it off, I’ve hired him to do a biweekly column with the smart statistics slant he’s been known for going back to his days at WGR Sports Radio 550.
But having these two superstars on board wasn’t enough, so I dug deeper and landed some other quality weekly/biweekly contributors.
Sean Tierney is one of the brightest hockey statistical analysts out there. Rivers McCown is the same for football and was highly recommended to me by Football Outsiders boss Aaron Schatz. Denis Gorman is a pro’s pro who does solid work for AP. Ryan Nagelhout, to me, is a hidden gem as a journalist and storyteller. Chris Ostrander has no shortage of opinions on things like game presentation, jersey design and Canalside development. You’ll see pieces from other folks from time to time.
But that’s enough for now about us. Let’s get down to some straight talk about you.
There’s a large crowd of Buffalo sports fans who are dissatisfied with the options they have for written coverage. Times have changed, but most of the old guard hasn’t. Adaptation to modern thinking just isn’t happening enough. On top of that, many readers feel like they’re being talked down to by the very writers who rely on them as paying customers for their product. And some just simply want a new voice to provide a different perspective on their teams, without all the drama and narratives.
If you’re a member of this group that demands better, then please join the club and sign up. Quite frankly, the mission won’t be successful without you. This thing isn’t being funded with venture capital seed money or big investors. I’m paying these fine writers out of my own pocket, and dedication to altering the Buffalo sports media landscape is not cheap.
Let me tell you what you can expect for putting your faith in me and this venture.
The focus is going to be on quality, not quantity. In terms of numbers, that means we’re aiming for about 50 great pieces per month, instead of the 50 sometimes good/sometimes fluff articles per week you’ll see elsewhere. This isn’t about getting as many clicks as possible, it’s 100% about serving the needs of subscribers. I’m not kidding when I say I want to treat my supporters like digital VIP’s.
Two things that I’ll strive for are transparency and respect for the readers. I want you to feel like you’re part of something (because you are, actually). This equates to a number of things…
- A clean, visually appealing site with no annoying popup ads or autoplay videos
- A never ending quest to bring you value with original content
- Writing for you, not at you
- Reporting of rumors only from trusted and reliable sources and outlets
- Not just listening to your feedback, but acting on it
- Keeping you in the loop on behind the scenes stuff regarding the site
This will grow, and coverage will expand, as the subscriber base increases. How far we can take it remains to be seen, but the sky’s the limit. It depends first on how well I perform at bringing you value, and second on how many of you are willing to support it.
If this is appealing to you, then jump on board. Even though all content will be free for the first week, I’m offering some “grand opening” incentives to the first 200 subscribers, so please don’t wait.
Let the fun begin…