Getting Schooled: Basketball Blog KnickerBlogger.Net as a Case Study

Getting Schooled: Basketball Blog KnickerBlogger.Net as a Case Study

Anastacia Kurylo (Marymount Manhattan College, USA) and Michael Kurylo (KnickerBlogger.Net, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-744-9.ch006
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Although the entrance of blogs into mainstream sports media has not been firmly established, there is evidence that blogs have attained a growing level of credibility particularly as a result of their role in facilitating sports fan communities. Applying the metaphor of a classroom, this chapter discusses how an alternative perspective voiced on a blog can, through the blog’s interactive features, create a community and enable the blog’s transition into the mainstream. Founded in 2004, KnickerBlogger.Net was designed to fill a niche by providing a viewpoint that was not covered by mainstream sports media. The argument is made that by being a “classroom” for sports fans, KnickerBlogger.Net has created learning opportunities and transitioned from an unknown blog expressing one person’s opinion to an affiliate of, a top sports network in the U.S.
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Background: Knickerblogger.Net

In 2004, Mike Kurylo, a mathematician inspired by the work of statistically oriented ESPN writers Rob Neyer and John Hollinger, founded KnickerBlogger.Net because he identified a lack of knowledge related to statistical analysis in most mainstream National Basketball Association’s (NBA) sites. Neyer and Hollinger were disciples of Bill James, arguably the grandfather of the modern sports blog, who self-published his revolutionary statistical work on baseball titled The Bill James Baseball Abstract (1985). Although statistics had been used in baseball and, to a lesser extent, basketball for decades, they were often misunderstood or applied incorrectly. James, Neyer, and Hollinger sought to provide better insight and newer methods for statistical analysis in sports to replace archaic ones. Kurylo focused his site on basketball statistical analysis.

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