TTU Awards 2011-12: Best Club Website/Blog
2011-12 was torrid for the blogs. Two trailblazing club websites, Viva Rovers and Boy from Brazil called it a day and the circumstances behind these closures made a significant impact, provoking a serious amount of existential, ‘why do we do this?’ mutterings. Then, just a fortnight ago, Ben Mayhew decided to discontinue his Greenwich Gull site although he will remain active via his Experimental 361 persona.
Thankfully, some terrific sites remain. Our own John McGee did a sterling job with his relaunch of Carlisle United soapbox, Bring Me the Head of Keith Mincher and last year’s winner FC Boro happily decided to make a return after a hiatus.
Elsewhere, Watford’s BHaPPY continues to set an extraordinarily high standard of writing, while The Exiled Robin (Bristol City), The Sky Blues Blog (Coventry City), Seat Pitch (Nottingham Forest), The Scratching Shed (Leeds United) and The Tilehurst End (Reading) continued to set high standards.
Design wise, it would be nigh on impossible to beat Steve Welsh’s simply magnificent Miniboro.com and The Notts Blog, Girl on a Terrace (Rochdale) and Fever Bitch (Kerry Andrew’s smart take on Wycombe Wanderers and other topics) provided zesty highlights. In League 2, The Washbag (Swindon) and Oxblogger (Oxford United) are just two of a number of good platforms.
But our 2011-12 winner is A United View of Football – it was a real coup for Ian Rands to scoop interviews with a host of ex-Blades such as Brian Deane and Jamie Hoyland and it’s a credit to Ian that his is one of the few club blogs that manages to step above the petty partisanship and in-jokery that let so many down – Ian expertly sidestepped the pitfalls that might have accompanied a less thoughtful writer when Ched Evans was jailed and his cheerful bonhomie is blissfully bereft of the prickliness that seems to plague some tweeters.
Not that that in-jokery is always a bad thing – one site which has plenty of this but which also entertains neutrals is Crystal Palace online zine Five Year Plan – having a larger team helps but we really appreciate Jim Daly’s scatalogical editorship and their line on some big campaigns has been admirable.