Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The TYT Plan

As promised back when the men's and women's schedules both became official, I want to share some of my plans for the coming season with all of you.

First, the hard reality: I'm one guy, not a staff. I live in Ohio (a handicap in numerous ways, not just relating to this blog). Furthermore, I'm not exactly a wealthy man, in fact I'm your typically poor grad student at the moment. That's actually nice in some ways, as I generally have more free time to do this than I would otherwise. But again, one guy, out of state, limited finances, some restrictions on time.

This coming season is going to be fantastic, though. It's something for which we've waited for a long time, and I plan on being around it as much as possible. So here's what I'm thinking about how to approach the schedule.

Some quick definitions are in order. Basically, "live blog" means I'm parked at home in front of a computer, live-blogging the game on this site using the Cover It Live platform, as I did for most games last season. "Recaps" are only done as a last resort, generally in cases of conflict, or if I'm traveling somewhere else that weekend. They mean that, for whatever reason, I couldn't watch the game live, but of course I'll still present a summary of what happened. "Attending," obviously, means that I plan to be there. This will take the form of a live blog plus postgame quotes if I'm credentialed or a recap - hopefully something above and beyond typical - if I'm not (I can't promise that I'll be able to get media access everywhere).

Here's an example of each, if you're still not clear:

Attendance: M: Penn State 9 vs. Mercyhurst 1 // 2/11 Mercyhurst Postgame: Guy Gadowsky // 2/11 Mercyhurst Postgame: The Players
Live Blog: M: Penn State 4 vs. Oklahoma 3 (OT)
Recap: W: Penn State 5-2 vs. Liberty 1-3

Non-attendance live blogs are always conditional on my ability to procure a stream of the game. If I can't do that for whatever reason, those revert to simple recaps.

Kaillie Goodnough - a teammate of Emily Laurenzi's at NSA - will lead the Syracuse defense
into the Ice Pavilion on October 13th and 14th. Attending those games seems like a no-brainer.

Attending

October
12-14 Men vs. AIC (12th), Women vs. Syracuse (13th, 14th)
19-20 Men at DIII Buffalo State (19th), Men at RIT (20th)

November
9-11 Men vs. Air Force (9th, 10th), Women vs. Robert Morris (10th, 11th)
24-25 Men at Union
30-December 1 Women at Mercyhurst

December
28-29 Men at Pittsburgh College Hockey Invitational

January
19 Men vs. Vermont in Philadelphia, PA
25-26 Men at Michigan State

February
8-9 Men vs. Alabama-Huntsville, Women vs. Lindenwood

March
1-3, 8-9 Women at CHA Tournament (for any possible location except Lindenwood - move any games at LU to "live blog")

Live Blogs

October
5-6 Women at Vermont
25-27 Women vs. RIT (25th), Men at Army (26th), Men at Sacred Heart (27th)
30 Men at DIII Fredonia State

November
2-3 Women vs. Sacred Heart, Men vs. DIII Buffalo State (3rd)
16-17 Women at Lindenwood

December
7-8 Men at Holy Cross (7th), Women at St. Lawrence (8th)
15 Men vs. Robert Morris

January
4-5 Men at Connecticut
11-12 Women at Union
15 Men vs. DIII Neumann
29 Women vs. Princeton

February
1-2 Men vs. ACHA Ohio, Women vs. Mercyhurst
15-16 Women at RIT
22-23 Women at Robert Morris
24-25 Men at Wisconsin

Recaps

October
13 Men vs. AIC in Wilkes-Barre, PA
19-20 Women at Sacred Heart
26 Women vs. RIT

November
30-December 1 Men vs. ACHA Arizona State

December
7-8 Women at St. Lawrence (7th), Men at Holy Cross (8th)

January
4-5 Women vs. DIII Chatham
11-12 Men vs. USNTDP
25-26 Women at Syracuse

February
15-16 Men vs. ACHA Oklahoma

Obviously, I reserve the right to alter or cancel any of this, right up until 30 seconds before puck drop. Sometimes I can't make planned trips, sometimes I can't watch the game, sometimes life gets in the way, sometimes my parents drop unbreakable plans on me with less than 24 hours notice, and sometimes I get burned out and just bail to get trashed <cough>11/19/2011 Delaware at PSU</cough>. But as of today, I do plan on completing all of this. It's an ambitious plan, but hey, this is a once-in-a-lifetime season. Here's how it all breaks down:

Attending: 14 men's games (5 home, 8 away, 1 neutral), 10+ women's games (6 home, 2 away, 2+ TBD)
Live Blogging: 13 men's games (5 home, 8 away), 17 women's games (6 home, 11 away)
Recapping: 8 men's games (7 home, 1 away), 8 women's games (3 home, 5 away)

On Thanksgiving weekend, hopefully, it will be all about the U.

I built the plan around attendance. Obviously, that first home weekend as well as the events in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are musts. RIT is a program I like a lot, and I wanted to make that trip from when the game was announced. Union, by last season's standards anyway, is the best team on the schedule and seems like an obvious trip. For the women, Mercyhurst is a day trip for me. I tried to cash in on the weekends where both teams would be home, with preference for strong opponents. Once I decided on that, I filled in live blogs for games where I'll theoretically be at home, moved the conflicts with travel to recaps, and hashed out whatever men's-women's conflicts remained after that.

Beyond all of that, I'm planning a weekly post to keep up with the Ice Lions, as well as the coming ACHA women's team. That's actually above and beyond what I did for them last season, when I'd generally just sneak the D2 into Three Stars, with the exception of a handful of live blogs. Should either team make it to ACHA nationals, I will live blog those games as well.

Speaking of Three Stars, that will still go up on Mondays. Commit Cycle will return (thankfully with fewer players to track, because those are hard to put together) during the season, although I'll suspend Breakout Past by the end of September much like I did through 2011-2012. And of course, news will be posted when news happens, which tends to be at the most inconvenient times possible.

The reason I'm putting this out there now? Quite simply, I wanted to get this big editorial decision out in the open as early as possible, because I want your feedback. Does this work for you? Is there somewhere I absolutely need to attend but don't plan to? Is there something special you want me to deliver from these new, strange things called DI rinks? Do you think I've undervalued a recap game that should instead be a live blog? Would you instead rather see more recaps and fewer live blogs (there certainly are valid reasons for that opinion)? Can you subsidize my travel expenses (joking...kind of)?

7 comments:

  1. As a man of likewise limited means doing what you are doing for 5 or 6 years (i can't count); I would tell you to have no shame in putting up a "Chip In" or Paypal "donate" widget.

    I've found that readers who appreciate your effort actually are glad to get the chance to show you in a more concrete way than just a nice thanks in an email.

    And I would just relate my experience with "live blogging" when I'm at the arena. It kinda sucks. It's not a "fan" experience so much as a "work" thing. I don't know why when it's not really a problem for me when live blogging at home.

    With that said, your team isn't really going to keep using "Icers" as the name is it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Officially, no, Icers will not be used, Nittany Lions will be the name for both teams. That obviously won't stop ACHA era fans from using it if they want to (I won't be one of them, I always hated "Icers"), and I suspect some people might still call them that on an informal basis. Kind of interested to see how that goes. To me though, "Icers" is symbolic of everything we didn't want to be - now that we CAN be Nittany Lions, let's do that.

      You're absolutely right about live blogging at games. Not sure what it is there...I think when I'm at home, I'm secure in the knowledge that I just have the same view of things as everyone reading, while being there makes me feel like I have to deliver more for people who aren't. If you went back and look at my live blogs, you'd probably find that I'm saying something twice as often when I'm there. The other part is that I've had to blow off people who want to meet me, or see me if we've already met. Hopefully they understand. I'm still not sold on the idea of media access for the away games, because it might be better, for both me and you, if I fully take in everything, then just post from my hotel room that night.

      As for the "donate" thing, that's tough. When I first started, things were very clear to me: no PayPal, no ads, this is just a hobby. I'm definitely more open to both now than I used to be after a couple years of spending more on this than any other hobbies I've had! I'll hold off for now, but might open it up if I make myself broke.

      Delete
  2. That schedule shows a ton of dedication - serious props. Best of luck with it, and I'll be following closely all year long. Looks good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Looking forward to attempting it!

      Delete
  3. I think that's an incredibly ambitious schedule. I agree with OTB, mad props. Hopefully I will also be attending some of the bigger games (Pitt, Philly, some of the away, a home one or two if the opportunity presents itself, thanks to the mystery 5-game package opportunity...).

    If you can't do a live-blog while there, I definitely think a score-update is sufficient, given how into games I get when attending.

    Aside: I'm excited to see how the women stack up against Syracuse and Mercyhurst, two opponents they share in common with Cornell. Also, St. Lawrence women made it into the NCAA tournament last year, so they might be a team you'd be more interested in lieu of say, Princeton? Given how they ended up in the regular season (St. Lawrence who finished five in the regular season of the 12 team ECAC and ended up knocking off Cornell to be the Tournament champions. Or Princeton, who finished 7th in the regular season and got knocked out of the first round of the playoffs. Though admittedly, they made the playoffs unlike four other teams in the ECAC.) But given your grueling schedule, I don't know how feasible that is. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With St. Lawrence, that was more a product of the men's schedule than the opponent. Both games are a conflict with the men at Holy Cross, so I split the weekend to live blog one of each. If the women's team comes out on fire and those end up being huge games, I would definitely go live for both. Princeton, OTOH, is a Tuesday night. There's actually a decent chance I'll have to bump that down to a recap since I could very well (probably will, actually) have a class to attend. I didn't fully think that one through haha.

      It's a little crazy for sure...it doesn't seem like there's too much flexibility there, which I realize is mostly a matter of perception. If there are 3-4 games in a weekend at the Ice Pavilion, I should take advantage of that. The Philly and Pittsburgh games are the "event" games of the season. MSU is the first Big Ten series (technically not, but you know what I mean). I don't need a hotel for Mercyhurst. Union is the marquee team on the schedule. RIT might be the first to be cut, but they were among my favorite teams before PSU had one (I had one "favorite team" from each conference, UNO, MSU, Providence, Cornell from the others, FWIW), and I've wanted to do that trip since it was announced.

      Honestly, all of this is easy for me to say in August, and I'm sure some concessions will be made along the way. Hopefully not too many though!

      Delete
    2. Definitely understandable. I'm just excited for hockey season to START already. I don't know how well I'm going to be keeping up with the fact that the number of college teams I follow will be doubled. I definitely will look forward to recaps and liveblogs, though. :)

      As Aaron said over on twitter, we're aiming to get to the Buff State away game (as well as a few others, though he will have an easier time of it than I will for home games at the very least). The RIT game that weekend also looks fun.

      Concessions will be understood but yeah. Excited for the season!!

      Delete