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17 May On Jen and Josh

As many of you have seen or heard, Puck Daddy lost Jen Neale and Josh Cooper last night due to budgetary considerations, which also affected the job status of others around Yahoo.

 

It sucks, majorly, but it’s the reality of our surroundings in the sports media these days. There aren’t many details to get into beyond what Jen and Josh have shared, or plan on sharing going forward. Suffice it to say, if given the chance, I’d work with them again in a heartbeat if the opportunity presented itself.

 

Cooper is one of the most personable individuals I’ve ever encountered. He entered digital media after working in print, hit some bumps and worked his ass off to find his voice. He did important work and engaging work, and I marvel at the way he was able to make connections around the NHL without being on a specific beat, from agents to general managers to those in the League. He’s super talented, and we’re going to miss him, but he’s going to make another spot really happy they brought him on.

 

Also, the dude can quote “The Room” chapter and verse. It’s eerie.

 

Jen, simply put, was one of the most important hires we made in the last nine years. Her writing was vibrant. Her insight was offbeat. Her experiences were different than those you’d come across in the hockey media. And her input on decisions internally, whether it was how to tackle an issue or simply a diverse voice in the editorial process, was vital.

 

It’s not lost on us how important her role was, and it’s obvious from the reactions to her note on Twitter last night that her presence meant something to so many readers. Jen had to put up with metric ton of shit in this industry and always handled it with exceptional grace. She’s a great friend, and the kind of person one strives to emulate.

 

As everyone else does in this industry when changes happen, we press on through challenges and try to exceed the standards of coverage you’ve come to expect from Puck Daddy. Even if, today, we do so with a heavy heart.

 

Thanks for reading and supporting our silly blog,

– Wysh

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23 Aug All My Nonsense From Rio 2016

Rio

Rio

You know, it’s the little things you miss when you’ve been covering the Olympics for nearly a month. Your family. Your dog. The Food Network. A bed that isn’t two double beds crammed together in a generic hotel room, where they had last night’s dinner on the breakfast buffet (seriously, fried shrimp and pizza). Cabs you can take without worrying they’re part of a network of criminals determined to steal your iPhone. Water you can, you know, drink and stuff.

I arrived back from Rio De Janeiro this morning. It’s my fourth Olympics with Yahoo Sports, and I’m in constant awe of how much quality work our staff creates in such a short period of time. And it’s not just event coverage. It’s Eric Adelson going to the bathroom where the Ryan Lochte incident occurred, or any number writers overcoming language barriers to spin incredible tales.

For me, the thrill of the Summer Olympics (this is my second, along with London) is learning on the fly. About athletes. About sports. About storylines. It’s like an ever-changing coverage, and reminiscent of my newspaper work on high-school sports vs. my hockey work. I pretty much know the particulars when I walk into an NHL press box. I’m plugging into the Matrix to download “Rugby 7s” when I walk into that Olympic venue.

And the pace … wow. Eighteen-hour days from the moment you get on site. I wrote more stories on buses in between events than I did at actual events.

I’m proud of the work I do at the Olympics, because I’m striving to provide coverage that goes beyond what you’ll see on NBC. To transport you to the host city. To give you a sense of the ridiculous, but also of the reality of the Games’ problems — cover the goofy hats at the Megastore, and then cover the IOC’s corrupt ineptitude, sometimes in the same morning.

Above all else, I’m proud to have told some really great fucking stories.

Here are all the pieces from the Rio Games, including some videos and podcasts. In total, I wrote or videoed or podcasted 81 things while in Rio. Which, I believe, was more than my total number of hours of sleep during the Olympics but sightly less than the total pounds of red meat I consumed.

Thanks for reading and listening, and supporting my non-hockey work. Now, back to pucks!

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