Now, the title of today's post might lead you to believe that my first offering here on Rink Rap, and for World Sports Blogs, is a set-up. You know, use my own blog to self promote. Place the ball on the tee and knock it out of the yard, all for my own good.
In other words, ask the question: "Why choose to read and follow Rink Rap?"
And then inundate you with the reasons why.
Well because I have 20 years of experience covering the NHL. And my blog will be fun and often zany, as well as informative and opinionated. And many of the top people---players, coaches, broadcasters, front office execs, scouts, writers, etc.---will stop by for interviews. You know, that kind of shameless self promotion.
Of course, I wouldn't insult your intelligence by doing that. The thought would never cross my mind to subtlely lure you in and then zap you with all of that pat-on-the-back information...
No, instead the title of today's post is really about "Why did Jim choose the name 'Rink Rap' for his blog?"
And with that I can provide a little historical background into Rink Rap, with no real puffing out of the chest.
First off, I can not take credit for the name Rink Rap. So if you like it, well there is someone else to praise. And, just as importantly, if you hate it, there is someone else to blame!
Chris Botta---whom many of you know for his terrific work on Islanders Point Blank, and who was an Isles exec for 20 years,---was hosting a hockey talk show called "Rink Rap" on Long Island's WGBB-AM when he was also starting out as the editor of The Islander News (remember that blast from the past?!). He asked me to co-host with him, which I did for two years before before the financial backers of the show stopped backing and, instead, backed out.
Though the show was no more, I had caught the bug and couldn't shake it. With a real dearth of hockey talk on the airwaves in early '90's New York radio, I ventured out solo and created my own program. Without asking---Botts never said anything, so I am assuming no grudge on his part---I named the show Rink Rap.
As it turned out, Rink Rap aired for four years and provided me with the exposure I needed to jumpstart my career. I really believe that all the good things that have happened to me in hockey since---becoming the play-by-play voice of the Islanders, covering the sport for The New York Times, hosting the NHL Live talk show, and now being the beat writer at the New York Rangers official web site---have come about because of Rink Rap.
And perhaps most important, Rink Rap was fun. There was so much zaniness behind the scenes---mainly at the hands of my producer, Wild Bill Parrinello (yes, I finally spelled your name right, Billy)---and so many laughs, it is impossible not to look back and think of Rink Rap with a smile.
But we delivered the goods, too. In fact, the debut of Rink Rap featured the GMs of all three local New York area teams at the time---Neil Smith, Don Maloney, and Lou Lamoriello---on air for live interviews that night.
So that is why this blog is titled Rink Rap. Resurrecting a good name---and great memories--from my past.
And looking to create more of the same moving forward.
It should be a fun ride. Let's take it together.