Passion for sports shines through in Natalie Taylor’s work

So, what’s a nice girl from Van Wert, Ohio doing in a place like this? And by “this” I mean, outside of the Thrashers locker room interviewing players as well as other on air activities for the team.

Well, if you’re Natalie Taylor, what you are doing is providing Thrashers fans with updates and information about the team and the players. And it’s something she really enjoys doing.

Natalie Taylor is in her second year covering the Thrashers

Natalie Taylor is in her second year covering the Thrashers

Raised in a small town, she grew up knowing just about everyone there was to meet in the community. Her father is a county manager for the Ohio Department of Transportation…responsible for snow removal… and her mom was a homemaker.

“My younger brother and I kept my mom pretty busy with after-school activities and staying involved with us”, Natalie told me when discussing her family. “Thank goodness because that’s a big reason why we have the confidence and relationship with our parents that we do. In fact, when it’s not in the middle of an Ohio winter, they love to come down to Atlanta and make it to as many Thrashers’ games as possible. And you can spot a lot of my family wearing Thrasher-gear up in Van Wert”.

Taylor attended Bowling Green State University where she studied broadcast journalism. “I always wanted to be a reporter, an anchor”, She recalls. “Not necessarily sports, per se, but I got involved with our athletic department…started working with our football program, our basketball program and, ironically enough, Urban Meyer was our football coach at the time”.

Urban Meyer? Hey, that’s not going to sit well with our UGA fans around here, Natalie.

“Oops…sorry”, she replied with a chuckle.

Truth be told, Natalie is a Buckeye at heart but really enjoys the SEC and especially Mississippi State Football these days. “I became friends with Dan and Megan Mullen while he was one of Urban’s assistants at BGSU and Megan was the first sports anchor I interned with in Toledo, OH. In fact, I was even in their Wedding almost 5 years ago and they want to make it to one of the Thrashers’ games in the next few weeks. It’s funny how my alliances with teams continue to change and grow based on my relationships…just another great aspect to covering and working in sports”.

And the sports business kind of found her as much as she found it.

“[Sports] was just such a fun atmosphere that I thought this is just what I want to be a part of…I want to be able to share in something that people are so passionate about, away from their jobs, away from their families…what people go to for enjoyment”.

As she began to get more involved with college athletics, including BGSU’s hockey team, it became clear to her that her original passion of television journalism could be combined with her newly found interest…sports.

“I knew I wanted to be in television…even if I wasn’t in front of the camera I would still have a job behind the camera. I love television… I think it’s just a fascinating business. To be able to inform people of something they care about is something I’ve always wanted to do”.

And when it came to opportunities in the field of sports… “The doors just started opening”.

Natalie got one of her first taste in the business when she interned with Fox Sports Pittsburgh. There, she was able experience the NHL behind the scenes from a pretty good source. “I had the pleasure of spending time with Mario Lemieux and the Penguins and was able to get my first professional introduction to hockey that way”.

She then moved back to Bowling Green to complete her degree. Upon graduation, figured that since there weren’t a lot of media openings in northwestern Ohio, she would need to take her act on the road.

Natalie and Dave Neal pose in front of the Heisman trophy

Natalie and Dave Neal pose in front of the Heisman trophy

“I had my resume in hand…from the work at Bowling Green, the Mid American Conference, and while I was in Pittsburgh and decided to move to Atlanta [in 2004]. Atlanta has a lot of professional sports teams, CNN, FS South/SportSouth, Comcast”.

Her first gig here was working behind the scenes at a production house, “Great opportunity…learned everything from audio to editing, was really able to sharpen my skills on air as well…I started doing SEC gymnastics and track and field…doing bits and piece of events here and there. But my ‘full time’ job was producing and doing production work”.

“I actually then started doing stuff with NASCAR…got involved at Charlotte, their Legends Series…things on stage and on air for them…and for NASCAR.com”.

Then came her break with FS South/SportSouth, whom she had done some work for as well.

“They came to me in 2006 and offered me my first contract”. At first, Natalie reported on SEC sports during a weekly show they did for the conference’s athletics.

For the first two years, Taylor reported for the show. Then she was promoted to co-host with Dave Neal. “I had a great time doing that show. We covered everything from football to basketball…we still did the Olympics sports and women’s sports…it was great and I love studio work”.

“And so I was just plugging away doing that, when I got called into my boss’ office. I honestly thought it was about [doing] sideline for southern conference football”.

But instead, she was asked how she felt about hockey, specifically the Atlanta Thrashers…and her arm didn’t need any twisting.

“I said…yes, let’s do it”!

She then met with the people from the Atlanta Spirit, “And they decided to move forward with having me do stuff for their in-house show, then Fox signed me on to do all of their home games”.

She’s now in her second year with the Thrashers, and she couldn’t be happier with what she’s doing.

“I love meeting the people…and not just the players and the on air personalities I get the opportunities to work with, which I’ve been so spoiled in that area. But also the coaches, the trainers, the people behind the scenes in the control room at Philips Arena…great group of people that I’ve been able to work and become friends with. But to be able to cover Thrashers hockey…I really have such an appreciation for this sport now and have completely fallen for this sport”.

“And when people ask me ‘what’s your favorite sport’, they always assume I’ll say NASCAR because I had done pit reporting for three years…or football because of my work in the SEC”.

“Nope”, she says smiling and shaking her head, “It’s really hockey because I think there is a raw element to hockey…and the speed…and I have a chance to go behind the scenes and see how it all works, to see the training, to see everything that goes into it, to see the dedication and the time these players and coaches put in [to succeed]…and plus I get to stand right on the boards and watch the games”.

That’s got to be a blast, eh Natalie?

Taylor enjoys bring news and information about the Thrashers to their fans. here, she talks with Zach Bogosian prior to a game

Taylor enjoys bringing news and information about the Thrashers to their fans. Here, she talks with Zach Bogosian prior to a game

“It is”, she replied with the look of someone who still genuinely gets a thrill out of being so close to such a fast and exciting game. “Like with NASCAR, when I’m down in the pits, it’s really something for all of the senses…to feel the speed, you can feel it in your chest, you can feel the noise. Same thing with hockey…you can experience the speed, you can see what these players are able to do and see what athletes they really are… I’ve really been blessed to be able to cover these sports and have such a respect for them”.

Another aspect Natalie loves about her job with the Thrashers is the fact that, even though she is working in the “sports business”, hockey and the NHL still seems to put the “sports” part above the “business” part. The players are so much more accessible and personable and that makes her job just that much more fun and enjoyable.

But by focusing on the part of the job she enjoys so much…the sports side…also affords her the ability to also deal with the business side.

Part of her job, as she puts it, is that… although she is a reporter…she is also a promoter of the sport and the team in this market. “Yes we are journalist and we tell the story, but it’s a great position that I’m in, which is why I always put a positive spin it. And so I think that’s allowed me to have the positive interaction with Don Waddell and people from the business side that wants this to succeed as a franchise and a corporation. They know I’m not there to dig and find the negative dirt. I’m there to try and promote [the team]…and so that’s the best part, that I get to put that positive spin and have fun talking to these players and get their stories out there and be able to interact with everyone else”.

As for player interviews during intermission, the subject matter discussed all comes from her observations and thoughts regarding the game.

”Basically, I go to every morning skate. At that time, I’m able to talk with the players afterwards, find out any story lines, like tonight [January12] we have all the lines shuffled around. After talking to the players we then talked to coach Anderson about it”…As I talk to the coach I take notes and bullet point what his ideas are for the game, what needs to happen…like today, he said ‘play tougher in front of both nets’…so I’m going to keep that in the back of my mind”.

“Then I go home in between morning skate and the game, go through my notes, do any more research that I need for the game…find any stats that really stand out that I can formulate to a question earlier…come back, we have meetings and we figure out what story lines we’re going to follow. Then when it’s game time I able to follow it, listening to Darin Elliot and Matt McConnell in my ear if it’s televised or Dan Kamal if it’s on radio…that’s the reason for the earpiece”.

So even though the job is fun, it’s also a great deal of work and effort. It’s just that it never appears that way when one watches her go about her business.

As for the interviews, “If there’s a goal scorer then obviously we are going to want to talk to him…or if it was somebody with a great assists…or if was somebody that fits in with what we were talking about before the game we’ll want to talk to him. So I put the questions together, run it by my producer, run it by PR and make sure everyone is happy where we’re going”.

“There are some go-to players who you know you can get some good answers from…not just those who will give you the ‘business corporate speak’ answers”. And there are some that the camera “simply loves”…among those are Ron Hainsey, Zach Bogosian, Jim Slater and Eric Boulton.

Natalie and Rookie on Amelia Island

Natalie and good buddy Rookie on Amelia Island

Ever been turned down by a player or the organization to chat with them during breaks?

“Yes…if fans don’t see a player interview, [outside of a technical difficulty], it’s most likely because it’s been declined because they wanted the players to focus on the game during intermission”.

And goalies?

“Goalies are never an option. They are very superstitious players and we never request them. [If we need to discuss goaltending] I’ll normally talk to coach Steve Weeks”.

As for the Thrashers themselves… Natalie feels that, while still a work in progress, they are capable of very good things. “This team has proven that they can win, we have strong players, we have an explosive team. They simply need to continue to work on team chemistry and individual execution”.

As for the recent holiday slump they just went though, Natalie says, “I think you have guys who are getting so much pressure about why their numbers aren’t where they were last year. I think they are all working very hard…but I think it’s just a mental thing with a few of them”.

“I think all it’s going to take for this team is to get two wins under their belts and then they aren’t going to be questioning [there abilities] and their confidence will be back up where it needs to be”.

Is this team, as many have described them, “fragile”?

“Oh I don’t know, I wouldn’t say ‘fragile’…like I said, I think individually these guys all know they can play, they’ve proven it”.

Taylor also works with HDNet, Mark Cuban’s network, and does NASCAR, football and basketball for them. “It’s a great company that I’ve been able to be involved with for three years now. I actually finished covering the United Football League that just finished it’s first season, which was certainly interesting and fun”.

“And when hockey season is over, I’m actively looking…so if you know anybody, Bill…”

Sports, as you can tell, is a 24-7 thing for Natalie. But when she does have “free time” she enjoys spending it working out and with her black Lab named “Rookie”, named so because he was her first dog.

“He’s a big football player…quite the athlete…so he requires a lot of my time as you can imagine, try to get him out of my small apartment to work out”.

With the abilities to take down another dog in an open-field tackle?

“No…not that much, but he’d definitely be a good wide receiver. He is very talented in that area”.

That’s a good thing for Rookie…because sports have become not only Natalie’s occupation, but also it’s her passion and life.

61 comments Add your comment

jason

January 19th, 2010
12:50 am

Really? Oh lord. I’m going to go throw up now.

Sadtoseeitthisway

January 19th, 2010
2:05 am

The Thrash are playing four games in six days, three against division foes. And “now” its time to run a feel good story about the pretty face locker room reporter. We all like Marilyn, but there`s a two week Olympic break coming up. The local scribes are going to digging deep for something of interest about the team by then. It makes you ask. Who`s in charge? How about a story about the team and a better than average effort only to run into a hot goaltender.

Sadtoseeitthisway

January 19th, 2010
2:11 am

OOPS! I called her Marilyn, it`s Natalie. It shows I was paying attention to the visual and not the reporters name. Sorry, kiddo.

Dwayne

January 19th, 2010
6:40 am

Moose, what a heartless besterd loser, Swiss cheese, Finn choker, som-of-a-beatch, no heart, cow teet pulling, can’t see a puck go between his legs, Stevie Wonder clone, no talent GOAL KEEPER, because he could’nt stop a soccer ball if his life depended on it. Send him back to the minors, he’d clear waivers because no one wants a 4rth stinger on their team.++DWAYNE++

LAC

January 19th, 2010
7:04 am

First waddell and his daughter and now natalie… Rawhide, please do an artical on my dirty socks please….

docsbro

January 19th, 2010
7:32 am

Hey Rawhide nice article thanks. There is only so much you can say about a sinking ship, and I think it is being covered here. Dwayne??? Really??? Moose is definitely not a #1 but he battles and is a true pro, comes to work and plays his tail off. Think how bad this team would be right now if he hadn’t been standing on his head all season. But he has played more than he should have had to and is starting to wear down…no spring chicken.

World Be Free

January 19th, 2010
7:51 am

Nice piece Bill-she seems like a good kid. The piano teeth get to me sometimes, but overall she does a pretty good job. Not as good as Keith singing the nation anthem (KEITH!). She’s not part of the Thrashers’ problems right now.

There’s been some talk about bringing up talent from Chicago. Assuming there is talent in CHI, it may be time to bring up someone who is going to bring some much-needed energy to this team. These guys need a jump start and Slava needs a spot in the press box next to Todd White, for an extended period of time.

Doris Zhitnik is playing a little better, but I am still not sold on the former #10 overall pick. At 6′7″, we should be knocking people all over the place, especially since he can barely skate past the center line. He is going to get real lonely on Schnide Island.

World Be Free

January 19th, 2010
7:58 am

Hey Brendan, Edmonton and Calgary are tough to figure. Edmonton has too many overpaid-underachieving players, which is tough for a Canadian team that always seems to have cash issues. Calgary plays good for awhile, then falls off. I did not see their game with San Jose last night, but a 9-1 loss means there’s something wrong with this team.

Kovy for Dion Phaneuf? Those are 2 pieces, a nice start to a larger deal.

Jimbo

January 19th, 2010
8:42 am

Nice story about someone who does a good job.

APPARENT FROM LAST NIGHT’S GAME. NEITHER ANTROPOV NOR PEVERLY SHOULD BE IN FRONT OF THE GOAL ON POWER PLAYS. BOTH STEP BACK AND GIVE THE GOALIE AN UNOBSTRUCTED VIEW OF THE SHOT. GET SOMEONE WITH “SOME GUTS” TO TAKE A FEW OFF HIS BODY.

h

January 19th, 2010
8:45 am

Nice piece Bill. A good change of pace.

Rawhide

January 19th, 2010
9:16 am

Sadtoseeitthisway – In regards to the subject matter…in the two and a half years I have had the priviledge of hosting this forum, I have tried to give those who take time out of their day to stop by here something more than just a few words of observation followed by “so, what do you think”? I just believe you guys deserve a little more than that.

In the past, I’ve presented such pieces on Dan Kamal, former Flames Tim Ecclestone and John Kincade of 680 The Fan. (Not to mention a couple pieces on Rich Peverley and Maxim Afinogenov). I think people might like to know a little bit more about these on air personalities and read what they have to say about the team…seeing that they have a vantage point just a little closer to the players and organization than do you and I.

I’m hoping to do the same for Matt McConnell and Darren Eliot among others.

As for the timing of the post…yeah, I’m just going to concede that point. But given my work schedule, my son’s JROTC academic team and rifle team schedule (whom I like to support with my presence), helping my older son choose a college and other obligations…this past 3-day weekend was really the only time I had to do this.

Anywhoooo, I do appreciate your contributions to this blog in the past as well as your comments here.

docsbro – You’re welcome…oh, and I think Dwayne was just having some fun parodying another frequent poster here.

WBF - Let me echo your praise of Keith’s singing of the national anthem. He’s is top notch!

LAC – Ummmmm….no.

Reliable Source

January 19th, 2010
10:12 am

I knew I saw the two of you in CNN Center last week. LOL!

Nice story. I’d love to see you do one on the Darren/Matt duo in the TV booth.

Ice Daddy

January 19th, 2010
10:13 am

It’s interesting that you include the word “work” in the title because she has had to work hard at this job. When she first started I said “Who is this chick and when is she getting fired?”. She appeared clueless and seemingly had no knowledge of hockey or even how to conduct an interview. Then she got to a point where I didn’t notice her at all which is better than where she started. Lately, she’s been conducting good interviews with insightful questions or at least questions that are on topic.

And, to Bill’s defense, I’d rather talk about her than last night’s game.

Smoothie

January 19th, 2010
10:15 am

A very nice piece Bill! And the article was a good read as well!

Sorry, couldn’t resist that bit of Craig Ferguson humor.

Anyway, despite how annoying she was at first, she has settled in and either she has toned it down a bit or I am now just tone deaf from all of her screaming at me down at the Bulb. But seriously, she seems like a real nice gal and the camera doesn’t do her justice — does it do anyone justice? Saw her at Casino Night and she was smiling up a storm. I didn’t chat with her but we exchanged “hi, how are yous?”

After reading the article, I see that she is a lot more than fluff and genuinely enjoys her job and the game of hockey. She actually seems to have a pretty strong passion for the game based on her comments. It’s too bad we can’t get the “regular” media to recognize what a great sport hockey is and give it more exposure. Perhaps a “piece” like this will spread the news to a few more casual observers.

moriler

January 19th, 2010
10:23 am

Hot. Would hit it. Twice.

Oh, the GAME? Er. Right. right. Today we’re going to discuss a word. That word is “one-timer”.

Does it bother anyone else to see our guys receive a pass high in the zone… on the power play or just after a good forechecking sequence… and stickhandle around so the defenseman has time to get into the line of fire, thus resulting in another blocked shot or another pass? I swear on one power play I saw us pass back and forth every time, and _nobody_ except Kovy set up for the one-timer — and everyone’s expecting him to do that, so they cheat their position on him anyway.

Look, I know not all passes are right in the wheelhouse, and we don’t have a lot of left-handed shooters. And sometimes you have to pick it up on the backhand rather than risk letting it fly past you just to keep zone presence. But FFS, shot-blocking is way up these days. It’s even a stat now. Guys are wearing more leg armor than ever, and you can _bet_ there’s a few D-men with stuff stuck down the back of their skates so they can take one to the calf if needed.

Think maybe it’s time to start working on the one-timers so these shots get through to the net and give us a chance to pick up some rebound specials? Bah.

On the positive side, the guys put in a pretty good effort last night overall — Vokoun and the Panters (sic) were willing to win 1-0 though, and Vokoun really stood up big. Told my g/f at the time “This reminds me of the old neutral zone trap… a team would get up one goal and then just sit there picking their noses. Slow as hell and boring.”

As far as Kozlov goes… I’m worried that he’s done. He missed two passes back to the point at important times, and yeah, he doesn’t have the legs anymore, but his stick and brain used to be the _good_ stuff. I don’t think sitting him will necessarily solve anything, I think it just might be that time for him where his hands have started to no longer quite do what his brain tells him to. :/

Rawhide

January 19th, 2010
10:46 am

moriler – As for you “one-timer” comments…I think this is especially true in regards to Kozlov. Many times this season I’ve seen a great pass made to him on the right side and instead of snapping off a one-time shot, he’s settled the puck and “though about” what he was going to do. All this has done is given the goalie time to move from right to left, set himself to make the save.

As for Vokoun, yeah…he was on his game. Some of those saves in the third were from close in. Moose did great last night, too.

Smoothie

January 19th, 2010
11:09 am

moriler – I could not agree more. Be ready to shoot the puck at all times! I’d rather see Hainsey (left-handed shot) and Kane (lefty) on the PP right now with Kovy, Antro and Pevs behind the net. Finny should be relegated to the 2nd unit. His passes are too unpredictable for even his own team. 2nd unit: Kubina, Enstrom, Little, Finny & Army

Please Coach Anderson, for the love of God, stop giving Kovy a full 2 minutes on every PP and get Kozlov and White as far from our special teams as possible. They are 4th liners this year at best…truly sad.

Bill – thanks for ignoring my comments! I see how it is! :wink:

Rawhide

January 19th, 2010
11:19 am

Bill – thanks for ignoring my comments! I see how it is! :wink:

Smoothie – Huh-whaaaa…? Oh, um…yes…er, ah….nice comments there Smoothie.

Red Light

January 19th, 2010
11:20 am

Obviously, some people just don’t understand how much time and effort it takes to compile these type of features! Nice job Bill.

On another note, I just talked to a good friend close to the situation in Carolina and despite the trip to the Eastern Conference finals (a mirage in his view), Rutherford has a list of six untouchables (Staal, Sutter, Ward, Ruutu, Pitkanen and Gleason) and he’s ready to jettison the rest of the ship between now and March 3. Not too surprising but that means Whitney, Samsonov, Cole, Cullen, Walker, Corvo, Jokinen, Ward and Wallin are bait.

Unlike some GMs, Rutherford fully admits that he overestimated the players he brought in and the injuries sidetracked any momentum that carried over from last year’s run. He’s man enough to take the blame: what a novel concept for a GM!

Smoothie

January 19th, 2010
11:26 am

I would love to have Jokinen and Whitney to at least temporarily replace White and Kozlov. Hell, Walker or Samsonov would be better than those two right now. But it doesn’t make sense to give up so many draft picks to a divisional rival when Kovy will probably jump ship and leave us adrift at sea. I’m getting sea-sick.

Dwayne

January 19th, 2010
11:48 am

Is Natalie married??? If not, and I can get this restraining order lifted from stalking Sandra Bullock’s house at Tybee Island(she’s hardly ever there) maybe Natalie would like a new # 1 fan.

LAC

January 19th, 2010
12:08 pm

Bill, I’m not pretty and you are right my socks aren’t either, But my freshly painted GP-38-2 railroad locomotive sure is, that I just bought for my railroad line in North Carolina !

Hockey Biltong

January 19th, 2010
12:10 pm

Dwayne- that was funny as sh*t!!!
Bill- you have gone over to the dark side…..

Rawhide

January 19th, 2010
12:20 pm

Dwayne – LOL! :lol:

LAC – SA-WEET!!! Just once in my life I’d love to ride in the cab of one of those bad boys and operate it down the tracks. How hard can that be…really? :cool:

Hockey Biltong – Never underestimate the power of the dark side of the Schwartz!

Daculafan

January 19th, 2010
12:30 pm

Bill – Good feature. I must admit when we had the opportunity to meet Natalie at the blogger event I was very impressed with her overall passion for sports and the Thrashers in particular. I think it’s great to show that she’s not just a pretty face but somebody with something to say.

As for last night I thought the effort was there…just not the result. If anybody wants to see my opinion then stroll on over to Fanthrashtic.

Once again…great post Bill…haven’t seen you lately…hope to run into you soon…

Christoph Schubert

January 19th, 2010
12:31 pm

Scheiße, sieht aus wie ich im pressbox wieder heute Abend bin!

Natalie Taylor interviewt NIE Spieler im pressbox!

Daculafan

January 19th, 2010
12:44 pm

Bill – Could you get Trixie to fix my link…I thought I did it right….apparently not….thanks

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

January 19th, 2010
12:48 pm

Mr. Daculafan – It has been taken care of. You see who does all the “work” around here.

GaVaHokie

January 19th, 2010
12:55 pm

Uh oh… might we be seeing a new Thrasher soon? The Wild just waived Petr Sykora and I know we’ve shown interest.

The Wild probably put him on waivers because they know they have a “taker”.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=306806

World Be Free

January 19th, 2010
12:56 pm

LAC-I am looking for a job in transportation, so if you know anybody…..

Wayne stuck in AL

January 19th, 2010
12:57 pm

I don’t know if you listen to Chuck & Chernoff, but Kang spent the entire second segment of the first hour calling for the firing of Don Waddell; Chernoff, on the other hand, was worried about people switching over to Boortz or Mara Davis (is she still on Atlanta radio?)

Smoothie

January 19th, 2010
1:18 pm

Hokie – I was wondering when this Sykora thing would come to a head. Their cheap owners might be cheaper than our owners. I would love it if we picked up Sykora. Perhaps we “tanked” last night’s game to get into 12th and have a better shot at claiming him. Problem is that Tampa gets dibbs over us and I can totally see them making a claim.

Fingers crossed! Sykora would really be a boost on the ailing PP!

Dwayne

January 19th, 2010
1:22 pm

Lots of health issues with Sykora. Would he be an upgrade over White? Slava? who? Not to much longer till we see the demise of ++STENDEC++. KARI KARI KARI, What is the best case scenerio? Trade him, but for what? I say, when he is ready, Moose to the press box, tell Opie the #1 job is his to keep….wink wink.

Wayne stuck in AL

January 19th, 2010
1:37 pm

RE: Natalie Taylor

Typical of your local FSN/regional sports channel: looks over brains

Brendan

January 19th, 2010
1:55 pm

Rawhide, thanks for this article on Natalie Taylor. I definitely think she’s shown improvement. She does her job charismatically, and with ethusiasm. Though, I do sometimes wonder if she was assigned a certain “persona/image” when initially hired. I hope she becomes completely “unshackled,” FREE to be “Natalie,” instead of what the Thrashers wish her to be. That is, “merely eye-candy” for viewing audience. I don’t think she deserves to be marginalized like that, by the Thrashers. She has a perspective; let her share it. That’s part of her job.

She seems like a lovely young lady. I wish her nothing but the best, in the future. It was very nice of her to take her time to do an interview with you, Bill. Really, truly … this forum has substantially evolved. Personally, I think it’s transcended what it was initially supposed to be. Which was? Just a fan, voicing a perspective on what it’s like to follow this team. I don’t recall Ice Princess, David Vecsey, or any other fan blogger ever taking it to the next level, to interview (1) John Anderson, (2) John Kincaid, (3) Natalie Taylor, (4) Dan Kamal, voice of the Thrashers, and now future interviews are scheduled. That’s amazing work, Bill.

Personally, the interview I most look forward to … would be that of Darren Eliot. What?! Yes! He’s not an idiot. He really isn’t. He’s a very sharp guy, who knows the real score, who has to keep quiet in order to keep a paycheck coming. But, a “candid” POST-WADDELL or Post AS, LLC Administration interview, with Darren Eliot, is something I’d pay to read. No joke. I’d love to hear an unfettered accounting of the Waddell years, with an UNSHACKLED Darren Eliot, would sound like.

Darren Eliot, if he’s reading this, might be thinking, “Yeah, me too!”

Brendan

January 19th, 2010
2:01 pm

WBF, it was a rough night for Albert, Canada-based clubs last night. The Avs blanked the Oil, 6-0. And the Sharks SMACKED Kipper and the Flames, 9-1. I turned it off at 7-0. Brent Sutter looked like a vein in his forehead might burst. The Sutters may seem “mild mannered,” but behind closed doors, I bet they unleash H#LL.

Geez Louise, that’s 15-1, Alberta teams were thrashed. I can only imagine what today’s morning edition papers are saying, throughout the province, which is RICH in hockey tradition.

Red Light

January 19th, 2010
2:03 pm

At this rate Brendan, Waddell will outlive all of us in Atlanta, including Eliot the apologist!

Brendan

January 19th, 2010
2:05 pm

Red Light, answering truthfully, Waddell’s still a young man. He might work into his 70’s, if he wants. All that has to happen … is for the Atlanta Spirit, LLC to own the team all that time.

DWTOO

January 19th, 2010
2:12 pm

If you have ever heard Darren Elliot on Versus he’s very insightful, interesting, and non-partisan. In the ATL he knows who pays the bills – never bite your employer in the posterior.

As for Matt Mc. – bring JP! Matt’s a good guy – but the worst homer.

World Be Free

January 19th, 2010
2:23 pm

I agree with some of you that Natalie has improved. Turning down the enthusiasm meter helped her alot. If she’s reading, sorry about the piano teeth comment.

Brendan, you know the Sutter’s all have a motor. It must be tough for all of them to stand behind the bench and watch players not give their all every shift. If the locker room walls could talk!

One of these days, I tell ya’ll what it was like to play against the Seneca Indians. That group was THE toughest and hardest hitting group of players I ever played against. They were tough, but very clean. I guess slamming my head into the boards was their revenge on the white man.

moriler

January 19th, 2010
2:29 pm

I agree, Eliot is sharp as a tack about hockey — but this isn’t really surprising, he was a goalie for what, 10 years? You don’t get to stay in the NHL that long without figuring out what works and what doesn’t, even if he was never a hall-of-famer.

And oh, lord, yes, boot Matt McConnell. If I hear him say “good keep” one more time I’ll throw my empty* at the TV. It’s like a kid who just learned his first word. I completely enjoyed listening to JP do the World Juniors though. :D Good stuff.

* Well, you know I won’t throw a _full_. That’d be a waste.

LAC

January 19th, 2010
2:33 pm

Rawhide, I own and operate four shortline railroads in NC,TN,MO,OK.
We have a total of fifteen locomotives and about 200 boxcars.
Total route miles close to 600 miles and hope to aquire another line in Montana this year if my partners will come in on it.

If you do want to ride, just let me know, we don’t go fast, but we hit 40 in some spots, but when you have 50 cars of rock pushing behind
you, it is a whole lot different than driving a car… The NC line is in Eastern NC, so that is closest.

WBF, know lots and lots of people in the RR business, let me know your qualifications and I will be happy to assist you if possible.

Maybe I should paint a Thrashers locomotive… Well after a little more sucess, it just might happen… MAC does great paint jobs !

GaVaHokie

January 19th, 2010
2:35 pm

At this rate Brendan, Waddell will outlive all of us in Atlanta, including Eliot the apologist!

Apologist?… Seriously?!

Have you ever worked before? I’d like to see you walk around openly criticizing your employer all day long… see how long you keep that job.

Why would Darren want to criticize anything? He gets paid to commentate games… that’s a pretty sweet job… I’d shut the “F” up too.

++STENDELAC++

January 19th, 2010
3:24 pm

Well done as always, Bill. I applaud your efforts, but I have to say…she is awful.

It is clear with every word that comes from her mouth that she knows absolutely nothing about hockey. She asks the most generic, canned questions that could be asked of any player, in any sport, in any venue. Pretty face, or not I’d rather see someone who “gets” the game. She clearly does not.

Smoothie

January 19th, 2010
3:32 pm

Have we picked up Sykora yet? Jeez, I want something to look forward to. I can no longer get excited about Slava “slow as molasses” Kozlov, Todd “Charmin but hands of stone” White and a PP that does not include someone who knows how to crash the crease for garbage put-backs. Sykora can at least do that. He costs what, $700 K for the rest of the year?

No brainer. No way Kane and Bogo (well, Bogo might) earn all of their incentives / bonuses. Kari needs to go down on a conditioning stint in Chicago, which will free up a temporary spot for Sykora. When Kari comes back, Valabik, Ondrej and Pops all have two-way options do they not? In fact, I would send Pops or Bobo down first and see how Kari does. If Kari is “lights out”, then send Pavs down as well and bring up Kulda for a cup of joe. I would love to see Bogo play with his old pairing mate. Then Enstrom can continue to play with Kubes and Hainsey moves to the 3rd pairing but gets PP time to keep him happy.

Red Light

January 19th, 2010
3:50 pm

Hokie: If you’re a journalist, which I admit normally doesn’t extend to the broadcast booth, if a player is dogging it, you call him on it. If the head coach makes a questionable decision, you point it out. If a general manager gets two players in return for a top-line forward and they continually don’t or didn’t make the desired impact, you point it out. That’s all I’m asking. It’s called objectivity not cheerleading or bashing. I stand by my comment.

Brett

January 19th, 2010
4:16 pm

Cool article. I graduated from BGSU myself. Great to have another Falcon as a Thrashers fan. Maybe I can work the connection into a position with the Thrashers?

Brendan

January 19th, 2010
5:52 pm

One of my best friends went to BGSU. I even visited him there, once. Nice school. Great facilities. The biggest sports team might just be the Toledo Mud Hens, however. I miss Ohio, believe it or not.

Brendan

January 19th, 2010
6:14 pm

WBF, the Seneca Indians had a team? I have heard of “West Seneca, NY.” Probably not even close to being the same thing.

English Teacher

January 19th, 2010
8:47 pm

I am not a fan. When they would have her do arena interviews and “Keys to the Game” type stuff, she always sounded like a chicken. My friends think she’s cute, so I guess she’s got that going for her.