As you know, I recently put out a call to anyone that was interested in joining the BFTB staff as regular contributors. Usually, when I do this in the offseason, I get 2 or 3 responses. This time, after promising to be nice about it, I got 35 responses.
It would've been completely insane to hire 35 people. I tried to come up with a number that made sense. Less than 30, for sure, but more than 3. 10 seemed nice and round, because it is both of those things, so I started with that. I whittled the list of 35 down to 20 rather quickly, but trimming it down from there was even more difficult.
For those that applied that haven't heard back, I appreciate your interest and am sorry that you could not join the staff. There were 20 of you that were qualified, and most of you only lost out because of a lack of sports writing experience or you wanted to cover a topic that someone else is already covering. I encourage those that applied to take to the FanPosts and prove me wrong by writing great stuff over there. That will get you added to the BFTB staff very quickly.
I eventually got my list of 20 candidates down to 11, and 1 of those guys decided not to respond when I asked him to write a few sentences introducing himself to the BFTB audience, so.....THIN ICE for him.
Here are the remaining 10 new guys, that you can call "The Weekend Crew" (although some of the really good posts will go up on weekdays), "The B Team", "BFTB Interns" or simply "The New Guys". I've broken them into three groups for you.
These are the guys that you're probably familiar with already because they have been around BFTB for quite some time, commenting and even writing up some FanPosts.
In his words: "I have been watching the Bolts since the late 60's with some clear memories of games and players since 1971-72. What I think I bring to BFTB is perspective. The other thing I bring is a clear realization that without being solid in the trenches, your team will suck. My grandpa taught me how to watch this game and I have loved football since a young age."
I've always felt like BFTB needed a staff member that wasn't so....young and stupid. SDNativeinTX often acts as the voice of reasons in our comment section and now he'll do so as a BFTB contributor.
David F. Marver (@ChangeThePadres)
In his words: "Here's what I'm looking to do: An analytic history of 11th pick, a mock draft model that I created (theoretically three posts), and a series of posts looking at really old football articles in San Diego newspapers (like going back to the Chargers inception old). I've done a lot of reading of micro film for the San Diego Union (pre merge to ut) and saw some awesome ones worth posting/revisiting."
MICRO FILM!! Guys!! My brain is all Alfonso Ribeiro right now. Also, I'll try not to give it too much hype but, I've seen some of David's mock draft model and it is the greatest thing you have ever seen or will ever see in your entire life.
Kyle Posey (@The_KP_Show)
In his words: "I'm a big sports fan, fan of the Chargers because I was born there, was kind of forced on me, football fan altogether, never gets old to me and always learning more and more. I think I can attract a new crowd and teach the readers more about players and schemes. I look forward to breaking down the games like SDBM does/did. I plan on creating topics to pull readers in and keep the comment section full."
Kyle's been kicking around here (as Mr_Posey) and on Twitter for a while now. I've always enjoyed his takes and am excited for his first few posts, which will focus on which positions are most important within the Chargers' scheme and why.
These are the guys that I interact with, as BFTB, on Twitter quite a bit. Each of them has experience blogging about the Chargers in some capacity.
Nick Shepherd (@NickNRickShep)
In his words: "I grew up in San Diego, and have been a die-hard Charger fan for life - I vividly remember watching every minute of the 1-15 season, the Ryan Leaf debacle and our eventual resurrection by Lord Tomlinson. I was a fullback and linebacker at Coronado High School, and was regulated to mostly blocking for 3 years at Claremont McKenna College. With all the knowledge that's been knocked out of my head (4 concussions! Consider me Stan Humphries-Lite!), I'll do my best to bring a running back's eyes and perspective, break down a few plays, scout a few players, and generally be a cantankerous asshole."
Cantankerous [EDITOR'S NOTE: Cantanekous is the greatest typo of all time.]asshole quota has now been met. Pop the champagne everybody.
Nick has been tweeting back and forth with me daily, or close to daily, to discuss anything and everything that goes up on the site. He's also existed in the BFTB comments previously as NShepherd. As much as I hate stealing Nick away from the good people at BoltBlitz, I couldn't turn down his application. His perspective as a former high school and college player is invaluable.
Jerome R. Watson (@SkinnyDuzIt)
In his words: "I am 27 years old, been a fan since I can remember. Raised in a Chiefs household but was given the opportunity to pick my own team. I coach Pop Warner football here in San Diego and didn't agree with the Norv firing. What I want to bring to BFTB is perspective, spunk and homework."
Jerome is pro-Norv and pro-homework? BOOOO! Seriously, though, I've been trying to get Mr. Watson to join BFTB for a long time. We're all going to learn a great deal from him. Be sure to follow him on Twitter and tweet at him your predictions for Melvin Ingram's sophomore season.
Patrick Green (@PatrickPGreen)
In his words: "I will probably cast my opinion on most everything, from personnel decisions to in-game strategy. Also, since I'm an aspiring lawyer and it's an area of interest for me, I would like to provide whatever insight I have on the concussion lawsuits the NFL is faced with and, of course, how it relates back to the Chargers. Oh, and I would certainly jump at any opportunity to speak on some interesting legal trouble the Chargers or a Chargers player found themselves in."
True story: I didn't want to follow Patrick. I try to avoid following accounts of most 'Chargers fans', but Patrick kept getting retweeted into my timeline with good analysis and funny jokes. I don't want to say "Patrick is one of several extremely smart, passionate, and funny fans that we're adding today" because it makes it sound like he's not special. They're all special and they each have their own opinions and viewpoints, which is why I intend on letting them battle against each other on a regular basis. Patrick will more than hold his own in that respect.
These guys either didn't know what BFTB was until recently, or have been lurkers up until this point. They're clean slates, as far as you guys are concerned.
Jason Peters (@bledderag)
In his words: "I am Jason, and I've been a Bolts fan for as long as I've been following football. I remember watching the Chargers win the AFC Championship and play in the Super Bowl when I was 12, and living in Germany at the time (the games started after midnight local time). I majored in math, and love to both break down statistic and game film. I look forward to doing both for Bolts from the Blue."
Jason has informed me that he's already begun breaking down game film of Jarius Wynn for his first article. Jarius Wynn! That guy might just be a warm camp body. He played on like 6 snaps per game for the Titans and there's no way to know which snaps those were. These new writers are hungry, I tells ya.
In his words: "Born and raised on a steady diet of the San Diego Chargers --- back when the Jack Murphy Stadium was still "The Murph," and early season football meant sharing the field...and dirt...with the Padres --- I've remained a steely eyed and dedicated 3rd generation fan. I write a Chargers and Padres card collecting blog and I'm looking forward to bringing my passion for cardboard and dinged corners to Bolts From The Blue."
Trading cards! Don't ask me why, but I love trading cards (for professional sports, anyway) and their attachment to a certain part of history. Telling some of the Chargers history through randomly-round trading cards is something that Zach is a master at, and I can't wait for it to become a regular thing at BFTB.
Andrew Tschiltsch (@atrschiltsch)
In his words: "Born and pretty much raised in Southern California. Living in Chicago now after graduating college from Indiana University in May 2012. I'm a fan partly because I love football, and mostly because I had the unfortunate circumstance of being born to Chargers fans and they've had their hooks in me ever since. I want to use some NFL analytics to provide yet another point of view on the Chargers. I enjoy the site a lot, and this is one area I think could use some more posts to bring an extra level of analysis to the site.
Idea: The Norv Turner era was marked by many things, but what sticks out to me most was the inability to close out games. According to Advanced NFL Stats' Win Probability Graphs, the Chargers had a better than 50% chance of winning in the 3rd quarter or later in 6/8 losses (only 2 left out being ATL and CAR). We were favored to win in the 3rd quarter or later 6 times! And blew them all! So, I want to go through the 'decisive drives' of each of these games using the NFL All-22 footage to break down the most important plays."
First of all, memorize the spelling of Andrew's last name. There will be a quiz later on. Second, doesn't that idea sound AWESOME? A list of all the players that ruined Norv's Chargers career would be pretty sweet. $5 says "4th & 29" is on that list somewhere.
In his words: "I am a displaced fan from Escondido, watching the Bolts from East Tennessee where I educate our nation's future pizza delivery drivers and TSA agents (Psychology majors). I became a fan as a kid, watching the Bruise Brothers in my Louie Kelcher jersey. Sadly, the golden years of being a Chargers fan ended when I was 8 and my battle with childhood obesity has continued into my 30s. I'm hoping to add some non-expert commentary that will entertain a bit and inform a bit less."
I was almost hoping that CrimeTime didn't say where he was from so that I could make Papa Shango jokes about his mysterious background.
I'll be blunt, I hired CrimeTime31 because his application made me shoot water (thank goodness that's what I was drinking at the time) out of my nose, which is gross. If you're going to be that funny right at the beginning, you deserve a shot.
UPDATE: Hey, guess who finally showed up?
Christopher Koerner (@DJChrispy)
In his words: "Im 29 years old. I grew up in San Diego and have been a Chargers fan all my life. What makes me a fan is that I've been through the ups and downs and every year I come back for more, 2013 will be my first year as a season ticket holder. The things I want to bring to BFTB is posts that the readers will enjoying reading whether they agree or not."
I guess I can't hold it against Chris that he was late since I never actually gave anyone a deadline on when to get these write-ups back to me. Still not on the thickest ice. Lucky for Chris, he's awesome and versatile and the readers are going to love him.