Fans' View

Fans’ View: The Fans’ View experience

Photo: Daniel Studio

Editors note: We didn’t ask Scott to write this. We didn’t know he was writing it till we saw it show up in our queue of draft posts. When we read it, we considered not running it, maybe for obvious reasons, but then we figured, it’s the off-season, it’s the end of the year — why not?

Recently, several commenters have praised PSP and pointed out how fortunate we are to have a steady place to go for insightful analysis, comprehensive daily news, and well written opinion posts. I couldn’t agree more. Add in readers who are passionate soccer (or football, if you prefer) fans who offer up their own insightful and often amusing commentary, and PSP really is a special community.

I started out as someone who visited and refreshed the home page of PSP about a dozen times each day, just in case something new posted, or to find the 34th comment on an article that once had 33. I’m still that guy actually. But I’ve also had the good fortune to be a guest writer in the “Fans’ View” section for the last two years now. It’s been a fantastic experience, a challenging one at times, but always a rewarding one. I would recommend the opportunity to anyone, even if I hope to never ever relinquish my seat at the table. Here’s my take on how I got started and what it’s like to be a part of Philly Soccer Page.

Getting started

I answered a “help wanted” post about two years ago, which was looking for help in a variety of areas. Fans’ View looked like a winner, and one that I felt pretty qualified to do, as opposed to more specific assignments writing about local college soccer or the Ocean City Nor’easters. Submission of two sample articles/posts were requested, followed by some dialogue with Dan and Ed about my writing style and the types of posts I’d typically submit (to avoid having a pool of Fan’s View writers all writing from the same point-of-view). I soon learned that I made the cut, and my one sample submission turned into my first Fans’ View post on PSP.

The writing process

Each of us is asked to write every four weeks, on any topic of our choosing. Typically, that means a current take on the Union, but could also be the US national teams, World Cup perspectives, youth soccer, or anything else compelling and relevant to most readers. Once written, I submit a post to the queue for review and whatever editing magic may be needed. Pretty simple really.

The creative process

Here’s the more challenging part. During the course of two pretty lean years, coming up with a new angle on the Union that hasn’t already been written or said extensively can be daunting. It’s like proving your creative chops by coming up with the perfect fantasy football team name, but at least with that, you can change your name on a whim the next day to some catchy wordplay on the name of your latest free agent acquisition. Once a post is out on PSP, good or bad, it’s there for eternity.

Sometimes, you write a post about Keeping Curtin the week before they sleepwalk to a horrifying loss against the New York Red Bulls, where we concede a goal five seconds into the match — from our own tap no less. (Full disclosure: I stand by my opinion that keeping Curtin is the right call for this team right now.)

Other times, you feel incredibly validated after suggesting that the Union are U-turning towards ambition, two short weeks before Nick Sakiewicz is fired and about a month before Earnie Stewart is hired as Sporting Director.

On occasion, a case of writer’s block is solved by flipping through reader comments. One of the most enjoyable posts I wrote this year came out of everyone’s frustrated “That’s so Union” comments. My Google search history now includes things like “Where are Shavar Thomas and David Myrie?” and “how many seconds did Corben Bone play for the Union?”

Once hooked on a good concept, it comes down to preparation, organization, and packaging thoughts into something coherent that will capture people’s attention. PSP readers are clearly a passionate, educated group, and may politely let you know if you feed them something poorly thought out or ill-executed. The thrill of seeing your post hit is then followed by that anxiety ridden stretch of time waiting for comments to start rolling in – good? bad? Or worst of all, no comments. Hell, it’s stressful, but exciting and fulfilling to be a part of something great that so many people genuinely care about as much as this website.

In closing, if an opportunity presents itself to become a regular contributor via Fans’ View or any other avenue, consider it. It’s a blast, it’s a supportive environment, and it’s now easier to Google myself and find links than it is to find good intel on David Myrie. I’ll happily do this for however long Dan and Ed will have me. We truly are fortunate to have PSP.

24 Comments

  1. Full disclosure,I stand by my comment on your previous post that Curtin has lost the plot. Also, while I can say I am glad there is a forum for Union news and commentary, maybe there needs to be a balance with “The Negative Fan’s View”. A collection of essays from those of us who have seen our dreams of a local club flown into the mountainside of low budget reality. Those who don’t see the glass as half full, but question it is a vessel collecting any water at all. Oh wait…we have Twitter. But long form sounds nice too.

    • I’d rather have an objective fan’s view. Going in with a positive or negative agenda negates any credibility in the opinion.

      • While I agree with the concept, I’m not sure one can find an objective fan of the Union. The last six years have tainted the jury pool.

      • Scottymac can you elaborate a little? First you state you want a negative fan view, as opposed to what I assume you think is the positive fan view. Then you say that the fans are biased because of the way the Union have been run, presumably in a negative way. From what I’ve read here most are objective. They want their team to do well, but are upset at how things have been run or turned out. I don’t know it just seems you are arguing from both sides. Could you explain a bit more. Sorry, I’m confused.

    • We’re open to anything. The keys are quality, reliability and a broad cross-section of views. If you’re interested, let us know.

  2. The thrill of seeing your post hit is then followed by that anxiety ridden stretch of time waiting for comments to start rolling in – good? bad? Or worst of all, no comments.
    .
    Ha! That matches my past experience as well.

      • James Lockerbie says:

        AH! The finger tapping, nail biting wait for the first comment under your latest Fan’s view. Thank you Dan and Ed for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts on the Union, my brother’s idea for a goal celebration and of course the ” Father Nick” piece.

        I have to say my favorite reader contribution was the Holy Union Bible piece. I would love to see an updated chapter to the book. I would encourage any Psp reader thinking about contributing an article to reach out to Dan or Ed they are great guys to work with. We are truly blessed to have them managing this site for all of us to enjoy.

        THANK YOU

  3. Nicely done, Scott. I really appreciate all of the hard work that everyone does at PSP every day to run this incredible site. It truly is a joy for me to come here every day and read insightful articles/reader comments.

    Happy New Year everyone.

  4. Amen to everything you said. Since that drunken moment of weakness when Ed called to ask if I would join the Fans View stable, I have had a blast.

    It never ceases to amaze me that when I was down to my last idea, I would be at PPL and something would always come to me.

    I was terrified how it would all pan out…I’m not a writer, but Ed is an amazing editor. For all those out there who would like to try it…I say if I can, you can!

  5. First and foremost, thanks. I’ve repeatedly said how much this site brings joy to my day. The dedication of the writers. The passion of the commenters. The minutiae about everything from Corben Bone’s seconds played to what’s wrong with the American youth system. Again, thanks.
    .
    As for the last paragraph, I think there are more than a few commenters that have the chops. But there’s two that I would like to encourage: OSC and el P. OSC for his rational, calming experience. More than once he has made me see something I wasn’t seeing. And el P for his passion and insight, let alone his ability as a wordsmith. I mention these two because I would truly like to read something in depth from two people who offer different perspectives than I. But there are others here who can offer just as much. So everyone, think about getting more involved.
    .
    Lastly, I offer apologies to the Realist Brian. Unfortunately, I have a tendency to blow my top once every few months. I read something (should be misread). My blood starts to get hot, and I blow my top. After consideration, I believe it was the F-bomb that set me off this time. Since most of us try to stay out of the blue, I think this is what triggered my rant. From one Brian, to another, Apologies.
    .
    P.S. glad to see you spell your name correctly, unlike the impostor Bryans.

  6. Buzz Lighthear says:

    Kind words. I’ve written two articles, one about the importance of diving the other about the hidden peril of turf. I’d tell you when I wrote them if I could remember where and when but Toy Story beckons.

    • Buzz Lighthear says:

      That was for you All4U… Damn thumbs and lines. I committed to not posting or reading this week but once Birds shit canned Kelly I couldn’t resist tracking the news.

      • Honestly, I think there really are a lot of people that post here that could contribute “professionally”. Those two were just the first on my list. But there are more than a few that would do the job well. And please, to the others, consider it. I think most here would enjoy another perspective.

      • Buzz Lightyear says:

        100%.
        .
        Some good thought and solid benders of language.

  7. Scott, Thanks for the shout out.

    We may be biased but we could go for more Nor’easters stories!

    • We could too. We just need someone to write them. 🙂

      In the ideal world, we would have a regular writer doing a weekly/biweekly/monthly column on every team in the region playing in the top 4 tiers of US pro soccer. It just hasn’t happened. Hard to find that many reliable, quality volunteers with an interest. Most want to write about the Union.

  8. We’ll get on that so that your readers can #FollowTheStorm

  9. I would like to add a comment. That is all 🙂
    .
    Just kidding. I always enjoy reading your stuff, Scott, and can definitely relate to your feelings about writing as well.
    .
    We need to have a PSP party sometime!

  10. Thanks Scott. I’ve always enjoyed reading you and MsKlem too. Good group and a very cool experience. A PSP party, tailgate, happy hour, or anything sounds good to me.

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