Meet the fan bloggers
Three weeks ago, when we announced the creation of Box Seats, there was no way to anticipate the incredible outpouring of interest we received from the D.C. area's fans. More than 600 of you replied to our first call-out. We then selected 75 of those who caught our eye and asked for a sample of their work.
Selecting the official Box Seats fan bloggers from this list was a nearly impossible task. I think we all forgot how smart and funny the fans around here can be. After some battles among the editors, we finally picked our final 12. Their brief bios are below.
We hope that you'll enjoy reading the posts from our first batch of fan bloggers -- content that will no doubt be different in tone than our staff reporters' blogs. We say "first" because, if this experiment is successful, we hope to add more bloggers in the future. So, for those who weren't selected this time, we hope to be in touch sometime in the near future.
Stephen L. Carter: Stephen is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale, where he has taught since 1982. He is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School, and was a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
He has published four best-selling novels, and seven works of nonfiction, on topics ranging from the role of religion and politics to the role of integrity in our daily lives. His book on the ethics of war will be published in January 2011. He is a frequent contributor to the op-ed pages of leading newspapers (including the Washington Post), and he blogs regularly at The Huffington Post.
Stephen lives in Connecticut, but he grew up in Washington, and has been a Redskins fan since his childhood. He is a long-time season ticket holder, and rarely misses a home game. Now and then he attends road games, too. His wife and two children indulge him in this passion - goodness knows why.
Evan Bliss: Evan was born in Washington, D.C., and currently resides in Bethesda. He received his BA from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, majoring in English with a minor in Sociology. While at Kenyon, Evan was a four-year starter at attack for the men's lacrosse team. In 2000, Evan co-captained Kenyon to their first conference championship and second NCAA tournament appearance in school history. When he graduated, Evan owned four scoring records, three that still stand.
As age eventually dictates that we must learn to use our mind more frequently than our body, Evan had to put down his lacrosse stick for a pen and a guitar. Evan now spends his days writing and recording original musical compositions and performing regularly up and down the East Coast.
Ryan Broadwater: Ryan was born and raised in Manassas and currently resides in Centreville. He graduated from Brentsville District High School in 2005 and was a two-sport standout in football and track. Ryan attended Christopher Newport University and graduated in December 2009 with a Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing degree. He has been a life-long University of Maryland fan and supporter ever since he can remember. "The first hat ever picked out was a Maryland one because I was ingrained with Terp pride," Ryan said. "I am a current season ticket holder for the Terps football team and have been for the past 7 years. I have also been to 3 of the football teams bowl games, as well as frequenting many of Terps basketball games when time permits. Maryland sports are my passion and I look forward to providing an in depth "on the ground" focus from the common fan."
Kevin Broom: Kevin jumped on the Bullets bandwagon back in 1978 and has failed to find the exit since. By day, Kevin is a public relations executive for the recreation vehicle industry. By night, his musings on the NBA have appeared on an array of basketball and sports sites including Hoopsworld.com, RealGM.com, and SportsIllustrated.com. He's a leader of basketball's statistical revolution, especially in quantifying individual defensive contributions. His first novel -- a murder mystery set in Washington, DC -- is scheduled for publication early next year.
Ryan Cooper: Ryan is from Greenbelt originally, though now lives in Catonsville, Maryland, with his fiancée, Kate (they're getting married at the end of October), their cat, Fez, rabbit, Gimli, and Guinea Pig, Ralph Waldo Oinkvechkin (we call him Waldo). He's a graduate of Eleanor Roosevelt High School, and a proud University of Maryland alum, so he's been a "local" guy all his life. "I'm very honored and thrilled by the opportunity given me to write for such a prestigious news organization, The Washington Post," Ryan said. "I'll try to do my very best to represent the newspaper, the Capitals, and my family in the best way I can. I know you as readers won't always agree with me, but I hope my posts can make you laugh or, at the very least, make you think. Or just hate Jeff Schultz less."
Kareem El-Alaily: Kareem is a die-hard Caps fan residing in Alexandria. Having grown up in Northern Virginia, Kareem's early years were spent playing football and basketball. But as a 12-year-old he witnessed an event that forever changed his life: Dale Hunter's Game 7 goal against the Flyers. He immediately bought a hockey stick, learned to skate and developed an addiction to the Caps, one that hasn't dwindled despite the constant playoff let-downs. As a management consultant, Kareem is well-versed in quantitative analytics; consequently, many of his blog posts will take deep dives into very relevant, but non-mainstream hockey statistics. He is also heavily involved in college club ice hockey, having started the hockey team at his alma mater, the University of Virginia. You can find him skating Sunday nights at Kettler.
Ryan Korby: Ryan is a transplanted Nationals fan living in Hoboken, N.J., working in the New York City area at a financial software company. Ryan grew up in Centreville without a local baseball team to root for, so when Washington got the Nats he happily volunteered to go pick up hats for the whole family from the small team store set up in a trailer outside of RFK Stadium. Ryan is interested in the statistical analysis of baseball and you'll see some advanced stats creep into his blog. He finds triples and wall-scaling catches in the outfield the most exciting plays in baseball. His favorite parts of Nationals Park are the Frank Howard statue and, of course, the Red Porch.
Lee Friedman: Lee grew up in Silver Spring and except for a brief detour to scenic Carlisle, Penn., to attend Dickinson College, has lived in the D.C. area his whole life. Lee's basketball "career" met a premature ending in 6th grade when the CYO league he was playing in decided that players needed to belong to the church that their team was affiliated with. Following in the footsteps of Sandy Koufax and Tamir Goodman he made the ultimate sacrifice for his religion and quit the team. Growing up, Lee modeled his game after Mel Turpin and his hair after Steve Colter. Lee's hobbies include the Wizards, sports involving ping-pong balls and '80's TV sitcoms.
Jeff Maurer: Jeff is a comedian and DC United fan living in Vienna, Virginia. He performs regularly at local venues including the DC Improv, Arlington Cinema 'n Drafthouse, and Hyatt Regency. He has been featured on Sirius Satellite radio, won the 2009 Funniest Fed Contest, and was a semifinalist on season seven of Last Comic Standing. He has been a soccer player and fan his entire life and has followed DC United since moving to the area in 2000. He's a decent passer and has a good strike from distance, but is glacially slow and has no left foot.
Rick Nelligan: Rick is a 22-year-old college student, born and raised in Montgomery County. He graduated from Quince Orchard High School in 2006, and hopes to be attending the University of Maryland in the near future. "I'm an extremely passionate sports fan and never afraid to show it. I've loved sports for most of my life and grew up playing basketball and football," Rick said. "I love all things D.C. sports, in one arm I bleed Burgundy and Gold, and the other Red, White, Black and Yellow. I became a Terps fan the year that Coach Friedgen was hired, and have had the pleasure of witnessing our trip to the Orange Bowl and actually being in Georgia for our Final Four run in 2002. After college I plan on starting a career in anything sports related that I can get into, whether it is coaching, journalism, scouting, or just handing out programs."
Nicole Weissman:A lifelong Washingtonian, Nicole is most interested in the impact D.C.'s teams and its players have on our community. She will be writing largely about the Caps, providing a fan's perspective on community relations and what it means for D.C. to be the home of the reigning NHL regular season champions. Nicole's all-time favorite Caps are hard workers and devoted community members like Steve Konowalchuk, Olie Kolzig, and Peter Bondra.
Nicole is a recent graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, where she soon realized that when it comes to professional sports, there's no place like home. Now back in D.C., she works in strategic communications and public affairs at Powell Tate, with a focus on nonprofit communications and corporate social responsibility. Nicole looks forward to getting to know Caps fans.
Jason Woodmansee: Jason is a marketing guy working at a sporting goods company -- with a serious Redskins problem. This problem has led to short-lived blogs such as "Stop Shuler" -- a site "dedicated" to keeping Heath Shuler from returning to D.C. as a Congressman, and "The Coach is KILLING Me!" -- a site warning Chargers fans that the Norv Turner Experience will end badly. Recently, he's been spending his time with other sports fans on Twitter (@jasonwoodmansee), where his previously stated desires for Donovan McNabb leg injuries will probably come back to haunt him. Jason lives in San Diego with his wife and three children, where they make a tradition of watching Redskins games over brunch.
Washington Post Editors
September 9, 2010; 10:53 AM ET
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