On April 28, 2010, I wrote the first few posts on this blog, which, as my “about” page explains, is my family’s idea of a place for me to vent on the world of sports instead of yelling obscenities at the television. I was unemployed when I first started the blog, so there were many more posts in the early days. In fact, I posted regularly almost every day back then. Nowadays most of the new posts come during football season, or when there’s a sports story worth noting. In going back over the five years of writing, I noticed that when I had more time to write I commented a lot more on national sports news, while recently most of my thoughts have centered on the local pro teams here in Buffalo, the Bills and Sabres.
Since I was an avid sports card collector as a child, the “Classic Sports Card of The Day” features were a natural to be a regular part of the blog, and it’s been fun tracking down old cards of sports heroes from the past. I remember owning a lot of the cards that I’ve featured here. The most unique card that I featured has to be the card of Triple Crown winning horse Secretariat. Being an “old school” sports fan, the other daily feature – the “Classic Team Logo of The Day” – has always been interesting for me. There are a lot of websites out there that are dedicated to old sports cards and sports team logos, and I really haven’t given enough credit to them for helping me research and find plenty of the material I’ve used on my site. They include www.CheckOutMyCards.com , www.VintageCardPrices.com , www.Logoserver.com and Chris Creamer’s www.sportslogos.net .
Going back over the “feature” stories I’ve written over the years, I’ve obviously had a lot to say about a lot of subjects, including the plight of black athletes in the 1960s, the coddling of modern day pitchers in baseball, the relocation of pro franchises, remembering legendary sports figures who’ve passed away, concussions in sports, the old American Basketball Association and weeklong posts during Super Bowl week chronicling Super Bowl moments of the past. There’ve been many others also, but one of my favorite themes have been my “list” posts, where I pick my five “greatest” in different categories, such as greatest goaltenders, players who changed the game, favorite sports movies, top point guards, best coaches, etc. I haven’t done any of those in awhile, and reading some of the ones I’ve posted in the past has motivated me to try to continue doing them in the future. Another favorite of mine is something new I started during the 2013 football season. After four years of predicting the results of NFL games each week (and not doing badly, I must say), I decided instead to start a weekly feature I called “Throwback Thursday”, in which I picked a matchup scheduled that particular week in the NFL, and wrote an article about a game from the past between those two franchises. It was challenging to come up with a memorable matchup each week but I really enjoyed that challenge, and plan to continue the feature in the 2014 season.
In the comments section of my site, I have to thank family members who have supported it and sent comments, since a majority of the replies sent on each story are from them. The blog is actually just a hobby and I don’t promote it at all so I don’t expect a lot of reaction, but there have been some interesting and unexpected replies, and shares, at times. For instance, Bills’ linebacker Manny Lawson shared a portion of a Bills’ game review, in which I praised his play, on his site. In a “classic logo” post I did on the old ABA Dallas Chaparrals, I mentioned one of their star players, Glen Combs, and he later linked that post to his site. The website Bleacher Report, a sports site associated with Time Warner and Turner Broadcasting, has used many photos from my site and actually given me photo credits (even though the photos are usually stock pictures from the internet). It’s kind of cool that somebody over at that site must have Rayonsports on their radar as a source for material for their own site. One of the most satisfying replies I’ve received over the years came after I posted a story prior to the start of the NFL season about the 1946 NFL season, one in which a lot of historic changes took place, including the integration of the league when the Los Angeles Rams signed two black players – Kenny Washington and Woody Strode – a year earlier than Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball. The post included an old picture of Washington and Strode posing during their college days at UCLA with teammate Robinson. Washington’s grandson sent me a reply, saying he’d never seen that picture of the three of them together, and thanking me for remembering his grandfather’s legacy.
It’s been fun to have this outlet for five years now, and I plan on continuing to write my opinions on the sporting world for hopefully at least another five years.