I know many of you are kind of "ho-hum" about the SB Nation regional sites that were just launched. While I think that, in general, we all agree that they look good and that good people are associated with them (like Sean Yuille from Pride of Detroit and Ed Valentine of Big Blue View), most of you are here because you love to talk about the Indianapolis Colts. I mean, it's early June, and the football chatter in here seems no different than if it were early September. Since the focus is almost always on Indianapolis football around here, the lunching of sites that are focused on New York, DC, and (barf!) Boston sports are not really high on everyone's OMG! list.
But, as you know, SB Nation plans to roll out more regional sites between now and July 1st. Places like Kansas City (June 14th), St. Louis (June 15th), and Minnesota (June 16th) will have such sites deployed during that time. It's very good that more Midwestern cities are getting some regional love, not just the coastal megapolis centers... plus Chicago.
However, despite a fairly good Midwestern presence in the regional sites realm, we Hoosiers are kind of left out in the cold at bit.
Personally, I understand why cities like St. Louis, Minneapolis, and others are getting regional sites over Indy. They are bigger markets with larger fanbases, overall. And, at the end of the day, that is the bottom line.
You'll also notice that cities like Cincinnati, Milwaukee, and Charlotte are not scheduled to get sites between now and July 1st. Each of those markets are bigger than Indianapolis (which is the 33rd most populous metro area in the union, for those of you who care about that sort of thing). As of right now, I am not aware of any plans by SB Nation to create a regional site for Indianapolis, or for the heartland area of the Midwest in general.
However, if they did want to make such a site, what would you want to see? Talk with me about it after the jump.
I've always been the curious type, and I'm always interested in what people want to see and read about when it comes to websites and blogs. And since this group has absolutely no problem telling me what they do and do not like, I'm curious as to how you think an SB Nation regional site for our area should offer.
Now, I'll preface this by saying that I have absolutely no say in how any regional sites are made, designed, and rolled out. None. Zero. It's a totally separate crew that makes decisions on that stuff. There is also no guarantee that I would have any involvement with such a regional site in terms of editing or contributing content. For some around here, I'm fairly certain you think that's a good thing (hehe). So, this discussion is all about what you would want in terms of content and focus with ZERO guarantees that it will ever come into existence.
OK, all that said, let's talk.
What should be the sports focus categories? Logically, teams like the Colts and Pacers should be there? But after that... what?
So, the site focus for Indianapolis is likely Colts, Pacers, and probably Butler basketball. However, SB Nation does not have a blog that covers Butler (ahem, for anyone with an itch to blog Bulldog hoops). So, with only two major sports to cover (sorry, but minor league hockey and baseball simply do not count), Indianapolis simply does not offer enough for a regional site to cover.
Now, if you want something that expands to the entire state, then you can start including places like Indiana University, Purdue University, and Notre Dame.
But, I know several Hoosiers in southern Indiana who are big Louisville Cardinals fans. My father was born and raised in New Albany, IN, which is essentially a suburb or Louisville, KY. There are also many Cincinnati Bearcats fans in Southern and Western Indiana, along with many Ohio State fans. With Columbus and Cincy in the mix, you now have to include the Bengals, Reds, and Blue Jackets. But, once you start adding in southern Ohio and Kentucky, you are no longer talking about a regional site just for Indiana. I haven't even mentioned the University of Illinois, which is in Urbana-Champaign and has absolutely nothing to do with the Chicago sports market.
So, that's Indiana, Southern Ohio, most of Kentucky, and a dash of Illinois. Oh, and Notre Dame, which is a universe all its own, according to their fans.
From SB Nation's blog make-up, they have people writing about the Colts, Bengals, Pacers, Reds, Hoosiers, Boilermakers, Cardinals (Louisville), Bearcats, Wildcats, Fighting Irish, Buckeyes, and Fighting Illini.
So, what you have now, if you go that route, is a SB Nation: Indiana-Illinois-Kentucky-southern Ohio regional site. Kind of crazy, isn't it?
What some of this regional discussion highlights for me is just how different the people are in the regions we are discussing compared to the borders placed around us. Folks in Southern Ohio aren't much different from people in northern Kentucky or southern Indiana. Fans in Indianapolis root for IU and Purdue just as much as they root for the Colts or the Bengals. For me, our "region" isn't tied to one city or even one state, but a collection of pieces of various states to make up one big Midwestern, heartland market.
So, with that, I ask you guys your opinion: What would you want in a regional site? Would you read such a site if it also covered Kentucky basketball and Bengals football? Would you only read it just for the Colts coverage? If the same writer or writers here were involved in that regional site, would you still hit it everyday to read their content over there as opposed to here?
Please offer your thoughts.