Two weeks after the Phillies won the 2008 World Series — 3,445 days ago — I was sitting in my college dorm room and I was pissed off.
There were roughly 789 Phils blogs back then; before Twitter or even before Facebook let your grandpa sign up, these were the places you went to talk about the things you cared about. I was a college sophomore in Connecticut and, for the love of God, I really didn’t wanna talk about the Rangers or Bruins anymore.
I wanted to talk about the Flyers. There was pretty much nowhere to do it. And hey, I was in journalism school and blogging seemed fun. Why the hell not give it a try?
So I started a blog. I called it Broad & Pattison, after the intersection that’s now a cellular phone network advertisement but at one time was right where the Spectrum sat in South Philadelphia. Three months later, James Mirtle — tall, Canadian, then the manager of the SB Nation hockey network — asked me to come over here and start a Flyers blog. The broadandpattison.com domain name was not available (and in 2018 it still looks exactly like it did in 2009, by the way), so we came up with the rebrand of Broad Street Hockey.
That seemed to work, and away we went.
I’m really not going to keep this long, I promise. But today is my last day atop the masthead here at BSH and I feel the need to reminisce a bit.
If I’m being totally honest, I haven’t really been in charge of this site for much of the last calendar year as other responsibilities in my role as SB Nation’s editor of NHL network have taken up my time. Life often pulls you from what you enjoy the most, I’ve learned.
If you have enjoyed this site at all this season, you owe all of that credit to the people you’ve seen here all year: Kurt R., Kelly Hinkle, Steph Driver, Maddie Campbell — ugh, I said I wasn’t going to go long, but lol of course I lied — Joe Pergola, Craig Forsythe, Bill Matz, Jay Polinsky, Emily Quast, Kyle Frey, Mike Dusak, Jake Fahringer, Allison Jenkins, Brad Keffer, Kate Frese ... hey, holy shit, even Ben Rothenberg is on the list.
I need to call out three people here, in particular.
First off, Kelly is pretty damn amazing at BSH Radio. Marry her wit with her immense knowledge of the Flyers and you have one of the smartest people out there talking about this team. More impressive to me, though, is that Kelly’s byline has appeared on BSH pretty much every weekday for .. what, four years? Think about that for a second. She’s published words on this website 1,342 times and those words are always right there waiting for you first thing in the morning. Her consistency, but most importantly her dedication, are what makes BSH a must-read destination for Flyers fans every morning. I don’t know where this site would be without her.
Steph saw a problem around here at the beginning of the season: for a bunch of different reasons, we were a bit short on the content. People have lives, things were busy. But you see that list of staff members who have contributed to the site this season? They’re here because Steph wasn’t going to accept it otherwise. She took the time to build out a writing staff here that rivals any other group the site has ever had, and it’s the primary reason I feel incredibly confident leaving BSH in good hands. (The podcast is OK, too, Steph.)
And what is there to say about Kurt but “wow”? He’s been the mastermind behind the scenes here for pushing five years, and I can’t think of somebody who is more of a five-tool player than him. He writes, he edits, he manages social media, he plans our content calendar, and he executes huge projects like our bi-annual Top 25 Under 25. He seriously does it all. Sports media isn’t an industry where anything comes to people easily, but if Kurt ever wanted to, he could easily make a full-time career doing this work.
Even back in the days when my byline was a fixture at this website, I didn’t come close to doing it by myself. You see the amazing list of individuals above, but there are so many more. OG’s might remember when myself, Ben,
Dan Morency and Geoff Detweiler were sitting around these parts complaining about John Stevens. The Flyers, believe it or not, went to a Stanley Cup Final during the history of this site, and those days brought us Eric Tulsky, now a trader traitor and employee of the Carolina Hurricanes. Charlie O’Connor, Albert K., Kevin Christmann, Collin Mehalick ... I’m beyond sentences at this point and really, I’m just taking the opportunity here to thank these folks from the bottom of my heart. I’ve also linked my favorite stories that they’ve written here. Go click, it’ll be fun.
These people are friends, but most importantly, they are so much more accomplished as human beings than a silly hockey blog will ever let on. I feel personally blessed to have had such incredible people join this site over the years, and I cannot wait to see both what they continue to bring to this site in the future but also what they do for the rest of their lives.
In November 2008, I sat in my room in the Mountain View residence hall at Quinnipiac University and wrote the post that starts the archives on this site. Almost 10 years later, it’s creepy how much of it rings true.
I like Philadelphia. It’s part of who I am, and its sports teams are part of who we all are. The Phillies proved that two weeks ago.
I like the Flyers. There are baby pictures of me in Flyers gear. There will be old man pictures of me in Flyers gear. It’s been a rough ride with this team sometimes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I like blogs. Bloggers have a certain freedom that members of the conventional media do not. Bloggers can say things like “John Stevens is a bumbling idiot” and still be able to write the next day. A writer for the Daily News can’t say that, though. This is why I like blogs... in most cases, they’re the true voice of the fan.
I like writing. Since I’m in college and a journalism major, that’s probably a good thing.
I’m leaving BSH and SB Nation, but I’m not going far. On April 30, I’m heading to NBC Sports Philadelphia to serve as their director of digital content. You all know that place — it’s where you watch the Flyers, Sixers, and Phillies games, and Ed Rendell after the Eagles too. It’s not necessarily the type of place where you write a “Welcome to the site!” blog post like I did in 2008, but I like to think that if I were to do that there, I’d still write a lot of the same things.
I do still like Philadelphia a lot, and ... well, it’s safe to say that our sports teams are still part of who we all are. I even still like the Flyers, believe it or not. And I still wholeheartedly believe that traditional sports journalism outlets have a lot of work to do to catch up to places like BSH, where we come every day to talk freely and candidly about our teams. That’s what’s made BSH special over the years. We’re all fans of this dumb team, and we’re here talking about this team together. It’s a community in the truest sense of the word, and I thank every single person that’s ever participated in that community. You’re what makes this place great, and as much as it’s possible, I hope to bring that element to what is already an amazing group of people covering sports in our city at NBC Sports Philadelphia. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun and I hope you’ll follow along.
I couldn’t have more trust in the friends running BSH into the future. Steph, Kurt and Kelly have had the reigns all season and they certainly have better hold of this site than Dave Hakstol has ever had of the Flyers.
Please keep supporting this site, and I hope to see you all at Stanley Cup para— lmao, ok, bye.