February 14, 2009 28 Comments
LOS ANGELES — I hope you will indulge me for a few minutes as I get a bit personal here.
Way back in the late 1980’s, well before the Internet was known as the Internet, I wrote my first recap of a Los Angeles Kings game.
That was a little over twenty years ago and it was nothing close to a solid piece of journalism. The “story” was written and posted on the long-defunct GEnie online service, once owned and operated by General Electric, back in the days of electronic bulletin boards and 2400 baud dial-up modems (thankfully, I never had to use a 300 baud modem).
Back then, just for fun, I was writing up my observations of each game along with detailed descriptions of each scoring play. My game reports had a fairly decent following and eventually found their way onto the National VideoTex Network online service (also defunct long ago).
About the same time, Kings fan Stan Willis, who was in Long Beach, California at the time, was running an e-mail list (often, but inaccurately, referred to as a “listserve”) devoted to the Kings and in between all the messages from subscribers discussing the team, just as you would find today on message boards on the World Wide Web, Willis posted detailed statistics that were hard to find in those days.
I joined up and started posting my game reports to the list and they were a pretty big hit. Eventually, the list grew and moved to another server at Stanford University, courtesy of then-Stanford undergraduate Nelson Lu. After he graduated, Chuq Von Rospach gave the list a home on his servers at plaidworks.com.
It was during this period that I began to polish up my act, so to speak, working to view the Kings as objectively as possible and reflect that in my writing, trying to adhere to the same standards that any journalist would and my writing benefitted from it. Read more of this post