I’m handing the keys off on this week’s Social Saturday blog post to Richard Curbelo, a blogger and freelance journalist who has been covering Detroit sports for over two decades.
I have given him a few questions that should spark the interest of fans who wonder about the day-to-day life of a sports journalist. Here’s a sampling.
Name: Richard Curbelo
Job: Sports Director, Indbeat
Years covering Detroit sports teams: 21
Describe a typical game day for you.
The morning starts with the traditional skate, followed by going into the locker room to see how ready the team is for the game that night. I’m taken back by how loose they seem, yet so focused at the same time. After I file my story and whatever audio may accompany it, I try and get away from sports for a little while. I’ll watch current events on CNN, check out what’s on the Food Channel, all before coming back to the Joe for the game that evening.
What is your relationship like with the players and Mike Babcock?
It’s pretty much all business, though you do like the casual tidbits. I like to say my relationships with the players are genuine. I think they have a tough business to keep up with and a lot of people don’t know how mentally tough you have to be to play in the NHL.
As for Coach Babcock, I believe he is a great head coach and an even better person. He has a lot of interests, like hunting, outside of the sport that seem fascinating. I enjoy hearing his pearls of wisdom.
Who does a good job at covering the National Hockey League and why?
I’m a fan of Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News. I have seen his work for years and have enjoyed his progress in becoming one of the best writers in the Midwest and in the United States.
In your years of experience, who has been your favorite player to cover and why?
Henrik Zetterberg. I enjoy his business-like approach after games and practices. When you combine that with a willingness to win on the ice, it’s tough to beat.
Is there a moment that comes to mind in your career which would be a favorite?
The Wings winning back-to-back Stanley Cups during the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons.
How has the business of covering the Red Wings changed? How has social and digital media played a part in that?
Being in this business for over two decades, you have to adjust to what is there now that hasn’t been there before. It’s so quick and speed has become more and more important. It’s a 24/7 job where news can break at any point and anywhere. Like the players, you always have to be prepared.
What have you learned about social media and how it is applied to our organization?
It’s so easy for a Red Wings fan to access the team through social media platforms. All it takes is one click on your phone or computer to get the latest scores, features on players and their personalities. It’s also easier than ever for fans to connect with the team through things like Twitter, where Mike Commodore and Cory Emmerton answer fans queries on a daily basis.
What advice would you have for someone who wants to break into the sports, or sports media business?
You have to be knowledgeable on what social media is, because it is growing in influence by the day. Also, know all aspects of editing, always try to improve at interviewing and be sure to maintain a blog on a day-to-day to basis. Being the jack of all trades in many different areas can give you an advantage. And don’t forget that the hours are endless, so always be prepared.