Wisconsin center John Moffittblogs about college football every Wednesday at UWBadgers.com. Now, he's letting SIOC readers and fellow players know what it takes to turn gridiron life into blog-worthy material.
The most important thing for a football player-turned-blogger to remember is to write down an idea as soon as it occurs, because with so many hits to the head everyday at practice, the memories fade fast.
Sometimes it's hard to think of topics, so do whatever you can do for blog ideas. I've asked my mom for blog ideas since she has a different point of view than I do and has a sense of what other fans might want to know.
When that hasn't worked, I've stolen stories from Matt Lepay,the Badgers' radio play-by-play voice. It's not stealing if you hand it in first, so after our away games I walk by him four or five times during the flight home and steal story ideas from his laptop. So far, he's had to redo his blog three of four times. For some reason he never wants to interview me anymore...
You can't listen to everything the critics have to say, but you do need to take some of it to heart. It's OK to take some ideas, but you need to have most of the blog be your own stuff. It has your name on it and you want it to represent who you are on and off the field.
It's important to be entertaining, or at least to say you are so you don't have high standards you need to reach every week. I learned this the hard way. After starting off the blog with some serious entries, I began throwing a lot of comedy around, and now I stress out some weeks trying to make every blog better than the last one. Sometimes, what seems funny at 3 a.m. after watching five hours of the Home Shopping Network isn't really funny at all, its just weird. But when I stress, I always remember coach Bielema's mantra about going 1-0, so I just make sure I go 1-0 on my blog each week.
To blog successfully, you need to leave your pride at the door. As people already know, I'll write a lot of embarrassing stuff about myself (like the fact that I feel like I scare stray woman when I cross their paths). The sad part is that it's really easy to do because it's pretty much all true. I don't think the Internet will be around that much longer, though, (it's totally just a fad) so no one will see or remember this stuff in a year or two anyway.
There are a lot of doors that I go through every day (some harder to get through than others), so sometimes it's hard to figure out at which one I need to check my pride, but I would say most of the time it's the locker room door. We have a student-manager that sits by the door as you walk into the locker room and I always give him my pride (he thinks I'm just giving him a handful of clothes). I do remember a couple of times this year that I've forgotten my pride at home after waking up, and on those days I feel naked and then feel even worse for the manager because I have nothing to give him.
The scary thing about blogging as an athlete is that you want to be entertaining and give people an inside look at the team, but at the same time you can't give away your game plan for the week. You have to know when and where to draw the line. I personally like to walk with one foot on each side of the line, and to this point I haven't gotten pushed off.
One topic I've stayed away from is talking about our offensive line coach. Coach Bob Bostad is a great guy, but he's way too serious to deal with the blog. I think he beats up guys bigger than me just to get into trouble. I know he's way too worried about the game plan to care about some big goofy lineman writing about him in his blog.
It's important to pick your fights, be entertaining and let people see the inside, but not too far inside.
I always make sure to ask teammates before I mention them in the blog. Before making fun of a guy or mentioning him in a story, I always run it by him so that no one gets embarrassed or offended. People want to be portrayed in a certain light, and I can help them achieve that goal on the Internet.
Finally, don't think about the blog all day. It's important to blog and think of new ideas and new ways to presentthoughts, but football always comes first. You don't want to lose focus on the field with thoughts of blogging on your mind.