I’m really excited to have Dan Buffa for this interview. First off, I extend a big “Thank You” to him for his participation. Dan’s a well-known sports mind around St. Louis; an STL native that is very active in our sports community. It’s a pleasure to bring light upon him to our readers.
There are many ways to feed your passion when it comes to sports, whether it be reading a well-written article while you’re having your morning coffee, or maybe catching some good talk on a podcast or the radio during your lunch break. Then, there’s always the chatter on social media. With that being said…
Dan is a sports columnist for StLouisGameTime.com and KSDK News, primarily covering Cardinals Baseball and Blues Hockey. He’s also a contributor at St. Louis Radio Station, 590 The Fan. I, personally, have enjoyed not only Dan’s work that I’ve read, but his approach to the social media world as well. Be sure to follow @Buffa82 on Twitter, and bookmark doseofbuffa.com.
Ray: “Dan, Tell us a little bit about yourself. I can tell you truly enjoy what you do. You’re a bright guy with strong opinions. I’m interested in learning how you approached contributing to the sports community. I’m glad you did, and I feel you serve the community well. Where did the passion come from?”
Dan: “My passion originated in middle school. I had a great English teacher who allowed her students to unleash their creativity powers on writing assignments. I loved digging into an essay for all it was worth, and seeing what was behind a subject or topic. I wrote sports and entertainment for the Brentwood High School paper, and now I do the same for KSDK News. I started blogging in 2011 with doseofbuffa.com just to get my words out there. Soon enough, people like Daniel Shoptaw and John Nagel gave me writing opportunities, and then Laura Astorian and Brad Lee let me come aboard St. Louis Game Time in 2015 to write about the Blues. I simply love giving my opinion, hearing other opinions, and then starting a discussion. It’s the lifeblood of what we do as commentary writers. Start the conversation! What started around 2007 as large email blasts to a group of friends on Hotmail is now something I do for a couple great websites.
Ray: “I can’t say enough good things about our own local sports news machine that is StLouisGameTime.com. Personally, I took much influence from the twitter presence of the STLGT crew, long before I ever considered creating Blues Rants. Game Time (as I like to call it) has a rich history. Tell us about that. How exactly did you become to involved? I’m a strong believer that a team is only as strong as their leadership, too. So, tell us about the STLGT crew.
Dan: “Like so many, I read Game Time before I wrote for them. They are simply the most brutally honest Blues commentary artists out there on the web and in print. I was writing a little Blues for KSDK when I reached out to Laura in 2015, and she brought me aboard the SB Nation website. The reach and spread one gets with an article is unlike no other site on the web. SB Nation, supported by Vox Media, knows SEO and how to get your article out there.
Later that year, when the season kicked off, I contacted Brad Lee about writing for the paper, which has been running now for over 20 years and stands as the ONLY fan-run paper in the NHL. Lee let me bring the Dose of Buffa to the paper, and I have been doing that for about three seasons now. It’s a fun atmosphere to be a part of.
These aren’t people being paid to write and feel a forced obligation to do so. These are tenacious, passionate, and dedicated scribes who do it for the love of the game. The paper vendors who stand outside Enterprise Center during rain and snow showers are the true heroes. We do it because we love it. Brad and Laura are great leaders, so that makes it easy to write for them. As a head coach would say, hockey consumption is a process and you need solid leadership.”
Ray: “The passion surely shows, and there’s plenty of knowledge that comes along with it. Props to Brad, Laura, and the team. All of us at Blues Rants are excited for what’s to come in the 2018-19 season. Let’s mix it up a bit. What would you say excites you most about the Blues’ upcoming season? Why?
Dan: “I’m most excited by the creative attacks this Blues team can throw at a team on any given night. They aren’t one injury away from falling apart anymore. The line depth with guys like Pat Maroon, Ryan O’Reilly, and Tyler Bozak provides Mike Yeo with a number of options to mix and match. The goals per game output should definitely rise in 2018-19.”
Ray: You make a good point. The forward depth has me excited as well, and being all around better up the middle. Let me ask you this… When it comes to writing about the Blues, where does your inspiration come from? What sequence of events left you with blue blood? Tell us what makes Blues Hockey so great.
Dan: “Writing about hockey in general isn’t as easy as other sports. It makes you dig into more than what you can see with the naked eye during a game. I would say there’s a satisfaction from doing the work, finding a good mix of stats and opinion, and trying to be as honest as you can. At STLGT, we are free to write like hockey players speak, which means freely and with passion and profanity. The anything goes format makes it more enjoyable to write and for people to read. I’ve loved the Blues since I watched Brett Hull score a goal at the old barn. The physicality and grace on the ice coupled with the camaraderie in the locker room is easy to adhere to and love.”