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Bloggers Have Their Say at Hofstra University’s Mets Conference

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When Hofstra University held its scholarly themed Mets Conference on April 26-28, they included writers, historians, players, professors, and broadcasters. What is even more interesting is that sports bloggers were included in the mix. As a sports blogger who is also co-head sports editor at Blogcritics Magazine, this opportunity made it apparent to me that Hofstra is way ahead of the game and deserves commendation for giving credit to a growing segment of writers (sports and otherwise) who can no longer be ignored by those in the Ivory Tower or anywhere else for that matter.

As part of the daily program at the conference, “Brown Bagging in the Bullpen with the Blogosphere” was an opportunity for attendees to sit down with a “bullpen roster” of sports bloggers to talk about all things Mets. Representatives from blogs like Amazin Avenue, Faith and Fear in Flushing, and The Lohud Mets Blog were on hand to talk baseball with the fans. Their presence sent a loud and clear message to scholars, sports writers, and fans everywhere: bloggers are part of the conversation – and a scholarly one at that – at this conference and in the bigger picture.

Credit must be given to conference co-directors Dr. Richard J. Puerzer and Dr. Paula M. Uruburu, who had the vision and sense of propriety to appreciate the bloggers and their impact on the public in sports and all genres of writing. Gone is the time when I or anyone else waits until tomorrow morning to read about today’s game in the newspaper. We whip out our Blackberrys or iPads and are reading up to the minute news. The “skeptics” who try to belittle bloggers are becoming more and more agitated by these developments, but the writing is on the proverbial (and virtual) wall, and they know it.

For Mets fans this conference was a golden opportunity to be shown appreciation in a time when the Mets organization struggled with financial issues connected to the Bernie Madoff scandal, as well as coped with an injury list that seemingly required a triage tent. The attendees were treated to a good natured and overwhelmingly positive venue to consider the Mets from a cultural and historic perspective after fifty years as the National League team in New York City. If there was ever a time when Mets fans needed something like this, it was now.

I think Hofstra University, the co-directors, and everyone else connected to the conference should be praised for honoring the Mets; furthermore, I commend them for including bloggers in the program and showing the world that what they write about matters a great deal. Long after this conference has ended that will be a legacy not forgotten by Mets fans or anyone else.

Bloggers are here to stay and are gaining more and more respect as this conference makes evident. Now the rest of the world better get used to it.

Photo Credit- Hofstra University

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About Victor Lana

Victor Lana has published numerous stories, articles, and poems in literary magazines and online. His books In a Dark Time (1994), A Death in Prague (2002), Move (2003), The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories (2005) and Like a Passing Shadow (2009) are available online and as e-books. He has won the National Arts Club Award for Poetry, but has concentrated mostly on fiction and non-fiction prose in recent years. He has worked as faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with Blogcritics since July 2005, has edited many articles, was co-head sports editor with Charley Doherty, and now is a Culture and Society editor. He views Blogcritics as one of most exciting, fresh, and meaningful opportunities in his writing life.
  • Greg Prince

    This conference was the vision of Dana Brand, one of the most eloquent bloggers in all of Metsdom. Dr. Brand, a professor at Hofstra, worked with Dr. Puerzer to make this conference a reality and was clear from the start that the blogging community would be an intrinsic element of the event. Sadly, Dr. Brand died last May, but his vision — with a great assist from Drs. Puerzer and Uruburu and many others — became reality, bloggers and all. (The box score would read BRAND 6 IP and our collective bullpen by committee getting us through the ninth.)

    The three days at Hofstra reminded me of the existing dichotomy between Mets fans who are aware of Mets blogging and immerse themselves in it (as contributors as well as readers) and those who have no idea it exists. I’ve blogged about the Mets almost every day for seven years and tend to forget that what seems like the norm to me is news to others. In a retail politics fashion, it was gratifying to bring new readers into our world one at a time during the conference. Seven years from now, no matter how established we are in some minds, we’ll probably still be telling people we exist.

  • Victor Lana

    Yes, Greg, Dana Brand was the inspiration for this event. He wrote two great books about the Mets as well. It is a shame he was not there, but I’m sure he was in spirit!

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