Twenty-one months ago, the idea occurred to me to start a website dedicated to Fairfield County sports, with a special emphasis on the FCIAC.
Today, that dream became a reality.
Thanks to the support on all levels from dozens of people, and a rollercoaster ride that was equal parts bumpy, exhilarating, frustrating and even tragic, The Ruden Report has evolved from a concept to a real entity.
Why start a website? A number of reasons. I saw the positive reaction to my Overtime blog for The Stamford Advocate, as well as the many top blogs by a number of talented writers around the state. The high school-age demographic rarely reads newspapers anymore. Adult readers increasingly are getting their content over the Internet. And there is obviously an insatiable appetite for local sports coverage, especially high school sports.
Then there was what I consider a void that needed to be filled. The most feedback I received at The Advocate was on feature stories and commentary pieces. But over the last few years I wrote fewer and fewer of them. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to. It was not that my editors didn’t want me to. The reality is when I started at the paper 20 years ago, we had a nine-person staff. It is now down to three people. You can do the math.
Therefore, my goal is to make The Ruden Report a unique entity. There are a number of good writers at good newspapers providing good coverage. So I plan on doing something different. There will be carryovers from Overtime, including the FCIAC Player and Team of the Week awards. There will also be new additions. We are going to have a weekly high school football show. There will be FCIAC football Plays of the Week.
I will still be out in the field covering games. But rather than just providing description, I am going to try and tell you why things happened. There will be more profiles of area athletes, more analysis and more weekly notebooks.
The task is both exciting and intimidating. The bottom line is when I work with high school journalists, the most common piece of advice I offer is to never have to say “What if?” It is time to follow it myself.
I hope you will make The Ruden Report another daily stop for sports coverage. If you like what you see, please let me know. If you don’t, I want to know that too. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments, story ideas or if you want to make any other kind of communication.
Is there a market for a local sports website? I think so. My business advisers think so. My hope is that you think so also and will take this ride with me.