Hockey is Hockey: With NHL Aspirations, Hilary Knight Looks to Motivate, Inspire and Grow the Sport

“I look at the boys and men who play [hockey],” said USA Olympic silver medalist Hilary Knight in a phone interview with The Pink Puck last week, “and I envy them. They have no idea. They don’t know what it feels like.”

But things are changing.
Olympic Women's Hockey: Why Gold Matters

What is the pinnacle of an NHL athlete’s career?

This isn’t a trick question. Your brain probably just said, “Winning the Stanley Cup,” and your brain is right. Awards are nice feathers in a player’s cap, maybe nice incentive for a higher salary. But little boys on skates don’t grow up dreaming about winning an ESPY or even an Art Ross. Little boys grow up dreaming about Lord Stanley, hoisted high over their heads, to the roar of a home crowd. They dream about their names, etched and permanent in tiny script along its rings, a stamp that says I was here and I did this. They dream about bringing that beautiful, carved promise back to their hometowns and letting their neighbors put babies in its mouth as summer peaks and cools and then fades again into the new season, into the first breath of their skates back on ice.

Here’s another question: What do little girls on skates dream of?

I feel like I should let you know what you’re in for. This is a long story about a juggler. It gets into some areas that matter in all sports, such as performance and audience and ambition, but there’s absolutely a lot of juggling in the next 6,700 words. I assume you may bail at this point, which is fine; I almost bailed a few times in the writing. The usual strategies of sportswriting depend on the writer and reader sharing a set of passions and references that make it easy to speed along on rivers of stats and myth, but you almost certainly don’t know as much about juggling as you do about football or baseball. We’re probably staring at a frozen lake here.

A few juggling videos are embedded below. I hope they help. We may fall through the ice anyway.
One Lucky Otter...

Three years ago I made the decision to go to this relatively small state school located eight hours away from home in Seaside, California, just north of Monterey. I was and still am an aspiring sports broadcaster. I saw California State University, Monterey Bay as my opportunity to build both an academic profile and put together the foundation of my career. I figured the close knit campus community would be conducive for fostering relationships with staff and fellow students, I was right.

Prior to stepping on campus, I already knew what my goal was. I aimed to become the “voice” of the Otters at some point. Now, how should I go about attaining this position? As they say, it’s all about who you know. I set out to learn from those who I saw as leaders on campus. Their skills and insight would lead me in the right direction. I started as a DJ at OtterMedia which is advised by TAT professor Steven Levinson. While there I hosted “All Sports Things Considered,” my first guest was none other then Athletic Director Vince Otoupal.

My work at OtterMedia led to an internship at KAZU, which broadcasts NPR for the Monterey Bay Area. There I learned from one of the best, News Director Krista Almanzan. Her true professionalism and passion to do what’s right as a reporter were great traits to observe and ones in which I aim to emulate.

I would go on to interview various coaches and players on the show while coordinating with Sports Information Director Mindy Mills. My role with athletics would evolve as I began to work on video content for their website, In October of 2010 I was asked if I was interested in announcing the basketball games. I didn’t have to think twice.

I now work with Otter Athletics as a member of the Athletic Communications staff. My duties include developing video content for and coordinating on-air spots for local radio. Kirby Garry who is in charge of External Operations as an Assistant Athletic Director has been one to show me that the sky is indeed no limit. I owe my gig with KIDD-ESPN Central Coast to him.

Really though, I aim to convey that CSU Monterey Bay has been the right school for me. At this campus a student has the opportunity to meet the President of the University and have a meaningful conversation. President Diane Harrison is always kind enough to say hello to me at sporting events and she is a frequent attendee, whether it’s at the Otter Sports Complex or the Kelp Bed.

That was a little wordy, I know. In this blog I’ll include what I’m learning on a regular basis and you’ll see what type of content I’m producing. So, come by and please do offer your insight as it’s much appreciated.

Go Otters!


So, after the debacle of Caleb Hannan’s article about “Dr. V” that led to her suicide, Grantland released a letter from the editor and they released a second article about what was done wrong.

The letter from the editor, which should have been a formal apology at the very least, is mostly a mealy-mouthed series of excuses for why they screwed up, and you should be nicer to our poor baby writer Caleb Hannan, even though he’s in his thirties, because Grantland failed him, and by the way their features editor is really talented. Learning experiences, it says. It talks about “moving forward.”

The letter from the editor suggests that they should have gotten a trans person to, you know, read the article before it went live–but I don’t know what they expect would have come of that? Because the response would have been something like, “You can’t run this. This is offensive. This is a staggering lack of basic empathy,” I would imagine. They say that they should have, but they didn’t because they knew what the response would have been, I suspect. They knew what the response would have been and there’s probably some cache to be had from an article wherein the subject commits suicide in part because of the article.

That was the response from editorial.

Meanwhile, Christina Kahrl wrote a piece for Grantland explicitly about what they did wrong. It’s pretty good. It is better written the either the letter to the editor or the original article. It is clear and lays out exactly what Grantland failed to do, how they should have handled the situation. She positions herself clearly as a trans person and talks about it in relation to the sports industry, which Dr. V was a part of. It’s unfortunate that it had to be paired with an official response which was so hamfisted.

Balotelli, Tears, Racism and an Unapologetic Sports Media

“Racism is really terrible but…”

Big *BUT*.

So last night Mario Balotelli cried on the sidelines of an AC Milan match. Within minutes there were initial reports that his tears were due to racial abuse. 

The internet exploded and many people (rightly) expressed outrage.

Racism in football is a huge issue. Mario, himself, has been the victim of horrible abuse in the past. 

His professional life and his personal life have been under attack since the Superstar has become a Internationally recognizable sensation. 

It turns out that in this specific instance, his tears were due to his poor performance and not the suggested abuses.

The original tweet was deleted and the comments (trolling) began.

My problem with this is not that Balotelli showed emotion or that some reactions were shocked and horrified. But the reactions to those reactions were ignorant, reductive and dismissive.

Many Sports writers immediately began a series of critiques of the (over)reactionary measures of the online world. 

In their observations they use words like “nonesense” and “And don’t leap to conclusions” and “we have to combat racism but….”

Readers were asked to question the situation and not be *waitforit* …harsh. 

Obviously, our benefit of the doubt should be with supporters from Napoli. ?!?!?

*insert MASSIVE #hijabdesk*

They have a tremendous history of horrid attacks on players. Serie A have a terrible history of racism convictions

The manner in which this incident is being used to warm people against overracting is ridiculous.

The focus of this situation should be to remind supporters, players and clubs o be steadfast and weary of any allowance of racist commentary and abuse.

Instead journos are aghast at the way that the situation was blown out of proportion. 


What is required is a constant and vigilant focus on ending racial discrimination in football, instead of reiterating how people “jump to conclusions”.

People “jump to conclusions” because there is a horrible pattern of apathy towards such incidents in football.

Only within the last year have FIFA and UEFA come forward and addressed this issue as a priority.

It’s no wonder nor surprise that we public is unwilling to stand by and watch.

As for the mostly white, privileged reporters who are quick to declare the hyper-folly of anti-racism folk, it is easy to denounce something when it doesn’t affect you at all.

It is also easy to hide behind a shield of “honest reporting” when so often, the racist bile published originates from your computers. 

That the hero of many sat in tears at his performance is heartbreaking.

But the reaction of those dismissing the alarm of racism in football, is enraging.

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People: NHL Playoffs Edition

Okay, hockey fans. It’s time for a family meeting.

I know that things have been tense lately. We’re all getting a little snappy as we head out of the regular season and head into “That Time of The Year,” as our teams band together to make us proud or fizzle out with the kind of sad whine your dog makes when he doesn’t get to eat any of your bacon.

In the hockey season of life, friends, the last games of the regular season are like being at a bar after 2 a.m. on a Wednesday: you probably know if you’re getting laid, you probably know if you’re not, and at this point you’re mostly just doing your best to avoid a hangover.

As the season ends and we stumble blearily into the playoffs, let’s all do our best to keep the lights low and our voices down. Remember that seasons are long, and if your team didn’t make it, well, there’s always next year, buddy.

Anyway, with that in mind, here is a friendly list of conversation topics to avoid AT ALL COSTS, no matter what team your friends may be fans of.

Professional chess requires a level of peak mental alertness that most of us achieve only in the throes of searing tooth pain. And that level of heightened concentration must be sustained over the course of a four- or five-hour game.

Seth Stevenson in Slate. Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.
What Noora Raty's Retirement Says About Women's Hockey

Räty shut out Team USA–who has never left the World Championships without a gold or silver medal–in the 2008 World Championships with 30 saves. Räty’s shutout came the same year that the American team beat the Canadians for just the second time in 11 matches; in other words, an already-juggernaut team at their absolute strongest.

“As long as I get a shutout, we can’t lose,” Räty told the Minnesota Daily last March.

Noora Räty is among the best goalies in the world, male and female. She is 24.

She is retiring.

I have a thing for Independent League baseball, It just interests me. The players that play arent playing for millions of dollars, and in the end theyre getting paid not much better than minimum wage. These guys love baseball, Their on a long, hard, brutal road that is minor league baseball. If the stars align just right, some of these guys make the Bigs. Most live the dream of getting paid for playing baseball. Personally I would love to play any level of baseball and get paid for it. Whether its in front of 80 fans or 50,000. It would be an absolute honor to be good enough to get paid to do something i absolutely love. Or, get paid to have Fun.

This is a photo of Edinburg Baseball Stadium near where i live. Its one of 2 stadiums that hosts professional baseball (Both same independent league). Unfortunately I havent been in 2 years, or have a camera that i can call my own, so this photo was not taken by me. 

If everything goes as planned for me, My job will allow me to travel to many stadiums like these, or perhaps those of even higher levels (Minor leagues, MLB) (If my dream comes true) 

I wish to be a sports journalist, or a baseball broadcaster. Sports (Baseball mostly) Is something I know will never tire me, and every aspect of it fascinates me. I only want it to become an even bigger part of my life as i grow as a person.