I usually don't like to toot this site's horn for the simple reason that I am part of a much larger network. Roughly 30 other people blog with me in our own area of our network (NFL team coverage) and dozens and dozens more cover leagues and schools scattered across the world, from FIFA to NASCAR to Notre Dame to Ping Pong. And, in comparison to NBA and MLB blogging, NFL blogging is in its infancy. Matt at Blog-A-Bull has been blogging since 2002. Tyler (aka blez) at Athletics Nation has blogged since god knows when. Considering the NBA and MLB regular seasons and playoffs are much longer than the NFL season, they are naturally more conducive to blogging. There seems to be always SOMETHING to talk about, and it usually involves a game that just happened or will happen soon. Football is different.
We are only guaranteed 16 real games, and if we are very lucky we get a few more in the post-season. After that, it is a looooooooong off-season, usually with lots of questions about how the team will get better. Adjusting to this is the challenge for us NFL team bloggers. It's easy to blog when you have a game every other day. It's damn hard, and requires a lot of imagination, to blog when most of the time is dedicated to the off-season.
So, why am I ranting like this? Well, recently I was informed that Stampede Blue is ranked in the top 100 sports blogs on the Internet. If you look through the list I've linked for you, you'll see there are a few general NFL blogs (Kissing Suzy Kolber, NFL Gridiron Gab) but no other team-centered NFL blog. There are several team-centered MLB and NBA blogs listed, like Blazers Edge and McCovey Chronicles. But despite all the networks out there that have "team" bloggers, only one NFL team-centered blog is listed in the top 100: Stampede Blue.
Now, this has nothing to do with hit counts, fan base support, or even do writing. The criteria for the blog rankings at wikio.com is such:
Blogrolls are not taken into account and Wikio only considers links from the last 120 days. We thus hope to provide a classification more representative of trends in the blogosphere.
Moreover, the weight of a link depends on the linking blog's position in the Wikio ranking. With our algorithm, the weight of a link from a top blog is greater than that of a link from a blog that is less well ranked.
Our rankings also include Top Blogs for several categories: Technology, Politics, etc. New categories will be added on a regular basis.
What I do know is this: Slowly but surely, the NFL team-centered blogging community is maturing. I started doing this in 2006, and it was damn hard to write about anything from February to August. In fact, posts on football blogs were about once or twice every other day, if that. Now, content is fresh. Daily posts about draft prospects, team needs, coaching changes, playbook ideas, new stadiums, league news ("Spygate"), and player development are now consistently part of the NFL team-centered blogosphere. Content is fresh, interesting, and much more detail-oriented than several local sports papers provide. The 2008 off-season is leaps and bounds better than the 2006 one, and Stampede Blue breaking into the top 100 is a sign (at least for me) that team-centered football blogging is starting to arrive.
One final note: Apparently, Stampede Blue's "stock" dropped 38 points recently, meaning it was once ahead of blogging like AZ Snakepit, Sactown Royalty, and Viva El Birdos (a just a notch behind Jake's own Bullets Forever). I don't know what I did to have our stock drop so much. Maybe Bob Costas owns wikio.