Thursday, October 02, 2008

Blogger Interviews: Rick Stiles George of Stiles Points


We're running a segment here at The Big Picture where we'll interview some of the biggest names in the sports blogosphere. What's the point? Well, these guys spend countless, thankless hours writing, so a little recognition from time to time is well warranted. Think of this as the blogger's version of a reach-around or something.

On the hot seat we have blogger and super Big Picture commenter, Rick Stiles George, from Stiles Points. Rick is an Ohio man but roots for the Michigan Wolverines and the New York Yankees...don't ask! He's been at the blogging game for a while, so treat him like the veteran he is: cheap shots welcomed!

1. The rundown:

Name: Ricky Stiles George
Age: Will be 40 years old on January 1st
Location: Niles, Ohio which is just outside Youngstown, Ohio
Occupation: Director of a department at Youngstown State University
Favorite team: Michigan Wolverines and New York Yankees
Favorite posts(3-5): I have to say when I interviewed some "big time" journalists like: Christine Brennan of USA Today
Bill Livingston of The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer
Furman Bisher of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Jerry Izenberg of the Newark Star-Ledger
Time spent per day blogging/reading blogs: I would love to spend more time blogging but I work a full-time job which often is about 40-50 hours a week...I try to spend at least 1-2 hours per day, but some of us don't have the luxury like the full-time bloggers do...

2. You were in the blog game long before most -- in the autumn of 2005. But then there was a hiatus and things seemed to pick up consistently in early 2007. Why'd you start the blog in the first place? Why'd it go dormant for a while? And why start it back up on a daily basis?

I have a bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s in criminal justice from Youngstown State University, but my true love is journalism and writing…about six years ago, I started writing a weekly column called “Random Thoughts” in which I would email my opinions to friends, family, and media people…eventually that evolved into blogging and having an actual site…

I got away from blogging because I could not find the time and did not want to half-ass it…I want to do quality work, not just throw some garbage on the site just to say I posted something…the fire came back after I got the interview with USA Today’s Christine Brennan, who was so pleasant to talk with…

3. Your writing is professional, articulate and -- what we're really going for here -- clean. Few swear words, not a lot of talk about female private parts, etc. But as a commenter, you have a foul mind -- we love it! Explain the different roles as a blogger and as a commenter.

First, I thank you for the compliment…I try and run a professional blog because I am not sure if a kid may be reading my site…for instance, my good friend in North Carolina has a young son and I sure don’t want him reading something that was smutty or vulgar…so when I blog, that is my official voice…

I feel I am honest, but fair with my comments…I often say things that people don’t like to hear…like Howard Cosell would say, “I tell it like it is”…I know that I attack Ohio State and Jim Tressel a lot, and I get flack about it from OSU readers and even my friends…they say I am biased because I am a Michigan fan…but they often forget that I have also been very critical of Michigan…so just as they may think that I write with a bias, I think some readers read with a bias…

As far as a commenter, that is when I try to be a bit funny and off-the-wall…it is sort of my alter-ego, nutball side…

4. There are all sorts of wonderful blogs out there. A few you'd recommend?

I am not a big fan of the elite ivory tower blogs like The Big Lead, Kissing Suzy Kolber, etc…(I believe Deadspin has gotten better since Will Leitch left)…there is a clear divide in blogging…you have the blue collar bloggers who work a full-time job and try to squeeze in blogging any time we can find a few minutes…then there are the white collar bloggers like The Big Lead and Will Leitch who have the time to blog and are interviewed by the mainstream media as the “spokespeople” for all us bloggers…but, when you email them they don’t have the time to respond back…to me, The Big Lead and Will Leitch have become these “mainstream” bloggers…

Anyway, these are my favorite blue collar bloggers…I am not trying to kiss up, but I really do like The Big Picture…I think you have a nice mix of humor and news… The Money Shot is another solid blog…for great NFL news, I recommend The Zone Blitz …this kid has a lot of moxy, intestinal fortitude, and talent -- he can go places -- but he is a head case though…

5. Most rewarding parts of blogging? Most frustrating?

It is rewarding when I get an interview with someone like a Brennan, Izenberg, Livingston, Bisher, etc…it is nice to know they cared enough about some blogger from Niles, Ohio to take the time from their busy schedule to talk with me…

Two things frustrate me: 1) seeing these white collar bloggers not giving us blue collar bloggers any love…they forget they were once struggling bloggers…2) people who think blogging is for young people…I’m ready to be “over-the-hill” but I feel I am still in my prime…

6. Dream job? Go.

This is a tough question…probably to have a job like Mel Kiper where you are considered the “expert” in a certain area…seriously, Kiper is an example of the American Dream…the guy busted his tail and made a niche for himself…he is now on ESPN radio and SportsCenter all the time…the best part, his business is still family operated…his wife helps with compiling data and working on the draft guide…

7. What's the ultimate goal of your site/your writing?

Every blogger has a different “voice”…some use humor…I am a blogger who wants to be the clearinghouse for quality information and historical perspective…for instance, last week I ran a preview of the Auburn-LSU game…in that entry I had the game notes for both teams and the SEC, news articles from both Birmingham and Baton Rouge newspapers, a video clip of last year’s game, and a video clip of ESPN’s preview of the game…anybody could have came to my site and been one click away from all this information…in due time, I also want to develop more historic pieces about sports in general…
8. College football's been fun so far, figuring you root for Penn State, Oklahoma or an SEC squad. What are the best storylines so far? Who are your surprise teams early in this 2008 season? And how about a National Championship pick?

First off, I am a Michigan fan all the way…with that being said, I think the coaching change at Michigan is definitely a storyline…here are a couple of other story lines:

· The fall of Rocky Top…Tennessee football is falling fast under Phil Fulmer…

· JoePa gets new life -- the rise of Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark, who is from Youngstown, Ohio, makes life a bit easier for the old man…

· The fall of Ohio State – just as Michigan last season, the Buckeyes are going to underachieve…they will not win the Big Ten…

· The Mahoning Valley Connection -- this is an interesting head coaching item…Bob Stoops (Oklahoma), Mike Stoops (Arizona), Bo Pelini (Nebraska), and Bear Mangino (Kansas) were all born and raised in the Mahoning Valley, in which Youngstown, Ohio is the main city…

I don’t see any surprise so far…I think Penn State or Michigan State will win the Big Ten…The U is starting to show signs of life again…as far as the BCS title game, I will go with Southern Cal over Missouri… (Editorial note: This question was asked before all the upsets began last week).
9. You're having dinner with an athlete, coach and chick you'd wanna fuck. Who are they and why?

I’m not sure if you mean dead or alive, so I will answer it both ways…if I could somehow go back in time and have dinner with someone who has since died it would be: (athlete) Joe DiMaggio because he was my dad’s favorite player…(coach) Bo Schembechler because he was a Michigan Man and embodied what college football is all about…(chick) even though she is still alive, but old -- it would be Elizabeth Taylor when she was in her prime…she was absolutely incredible in Butterfield 8

Of people who are living, (athlete) Mariano Rivera because he was the heart and soul of those great Yankees teams from the late 1990s…(coach) I am going a bit off the board here and say The Boss – George Steinbrenner…The Boss is the greatest owner in sports…the people who hate him are jealous because they wish their favorite team had an owner who wanted to win instead of worrying about making money for their own benefit…(chick) I have the best in my girlfriend Mallo-Cup…

(Past interviews; also found on right sidebar: Dawizofodds; Matt Ufford; The Mighty MJD; Jamie Mottram; The Big Lead; The Cavalier; Will Leitch; Dan Shanoff; Dan Steinberg; Brooks; Unsilent Majority; J.E. Skeets; Henry Abbott; The Dugout; NFL Adam; Bethlehem Shoals; Orson Swindle; Big Daddy Drew; Brian Cook; Awful Announcing; JoeSportsFan; Matt Mosley; Chris Mottram; Dave Lozo; Christmas Ape; Jason Gurney; Hugging Harold Reynolds).

8 comments:

Bob Mantz said...

Good Job with this. THX

_Bob

GMoney said...

I'm glad that you addressed the one topic that always bothered me. That, of course, being Stiles professional nature on his blog and the fact that he types with his boner over here.

Well done, you two.

Sue S said...

Great job on this interview! You are refreshing and intelligent. I can't believe that you haven't been discovered by a great company to be a professional blogger or sports writer. I have been reading his blogs for years and they are the best! These companies don't know what there missing in Rick Stiles George!

JMC said...

all i care about is who he would rather do

writing my dissertation said...

I think the Michigan Wolverines have featured 77 players that have garnered consensus selection to the College Football All-America Team.

writing my dissertation said...

I think the Michigan Wolverines have featured 77 players that have garnered consensus selection to the College Football All-America Team.

Anonymous said...

Dick Gorge is an idiot!

Paul Smith said...

Good job with this article! By utilizing resume services nyc, you can be always sure that your advertising document is well-composed and detailed!