Well, I'm off on vacation living it up in the warmth and sunshine, so SSDD's been left in the capable hands of Blogger's auto-post feature. Today kicks off a three-part series of interviews with Wings bloggers who live overseas. Check back throughout the week for the rest of the stuff I've set up for your reading pleasure.
My "guest" today is Guilherme from Red Wings Brasil. It's written in Portuguese, but I'm a frequent visitor thanks to the magic of Google Translator. I highly recommend that you check out their work.
How did you first become a fan of the Red Wings? Why did you choose them over other pro teams?
Like many others, videogames. I used to play a lot of Mega Drive, and chose the Wings because I liked the colors. That time the team was just "Detroit" for me, no franchise names. I didn't have cable back then, but some times I went to my aunt's house (with cable) and was able to see some games. The only one I can remember was March 27, 1996. Great game to grab a new fan. I finally put cable at my house in 2001, so the 2002 Cup was the first I ever saw.
How large is the community of Wings fans where you live? Are there a lot of other NHL fans?
I never met another fan in person. We gather at social networks like Orkut or Yahoo Groups. There are 2 communities on Orkut about the Wings (one with 470 members and another with 250), and the Yahoo group about the NHL have 245 members. Some members of those groups founded, in 2002, the online magazine SlotBR, where they write objetive articles about everything in the NHL. There are also blogs on the Rangers, Habs, Hurricanes, Leafs, Denver, Kings, Bruins and the Ducks.
What do you do to follow the team? Is it difficult to see games or find news about the Wings or the NHL in general?
Watching the games is a story in itself. Hockey was very popular in Brazil during the 90's, even bigger than the NBA. But in 2002 or 2003 ESPN International started dimming coverage. Games that were live on primetime began to be broadcasted in-tape at times like 3 a.m. Playoffs were still live, but that was it. During the lockout ESPN International changed bases: they started offices here in Brazil, so the programming was chosen by brazilians. ESPN turned in to a soccer-oriented channel (weird, since we already have ESPN Brasil, already soccer-oriented). NHL broadcasts stopped after the lockout.
Following the team then was only possible through the internet. For some years I only checked sites like nhl.com, espn.com or Yahoo!, but recently started to read blogs, both team specific and NHL in general. Watching the games is hard, we have to rely on illegal streaming and bumpy broadband, so a lot of times I'm left to online radios.
What made you decide to start blogging about the Wings?
This one will probably be best answered by Humberto. I just joined the blog this offseason, after I spent the last playoffs commenting everything Wing-related. My comments might be simple "who's on first line" or well developed texts, so the guys decided to invite me.
Have you ever had the chance to see them play in person?
Unfortunately not. Yet.
What is your favorite hockey memory?
The first Stanley Cup I ever saw, the 2002. It was the first time I could watch all the games, and the Wings had that ridiculous Hall of Fame roster, it was amazing. The best moment is probably the empty-netter by Brendan Shanahan, and him and Steve Yzerman copulating on the ice after it. Awesome.
Who is your favorite player on the roster right now? Why?
Absolutely Darren Helm. I got to know hockey through videogames, and Helmer is the prototypical cyberplayer: faster than hell, throws his body around, wins faceoffs, is vibrating, faster than hell (yes, again), and now he's getting confident he can score. I also like Zetterberg, and my only jersey is a #40. (by the way, I coined the phrase "Helm is God")
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just to thank for the opportunity. And I have to say I really like your blog, and while I envy all of the North Americans with hockey on TV, I envy you the most because you met The Captain.