Saturday Lunch Swing Around SBNation: Uncommon Sportsman

Good lunchtime, and yes that's a valid greeting. Or if it wasn't before, it is now. Last week I was poking around SBNation for a profile on one of our other blogs and settled on the golf blog, Waggle Room. This week I'm going in a much different direction and I think you'll be pleased. SBNation has over 200 blogs and is getting ever closer to 250 as I write this, right now at 241. We have an ever-growing number of blogs and an ever-growing community and in my opinion, it's the best place for sports coverage on the net.

We have football blogs for every team you can imagine at the professional and collegiate level, we have baseball blogs, basketball blogs, we have golf and tennis blogs, we've got blogs covering mock drafts and blogs covering fantasy sports leagues. We have blogs for just about everything and then some. This next blog fufills the "and then some" clause in the previous statement.

This week I investigated a little-known blog here, Uncommon Sportsman. It's well... it's a rather unique blog covering all the sports that don't already have a blog here on SBNation. What sports, you may ask? Read on, because it gets rather awesome.

 Uncommonsportsman_medium
Editor: Axion

 

The first thing I saw when I went over to Uncommon Sportsman was this article. Go ahead, click it. It's the 2010
National Best Bagger Championships. That is seriously awesome. Uncommon Sportsman covers just about any obscure sport you can imagine: bagging championships, wife-carrying, Survivor, Amazing Race and so much more. So maybe you've never thought about checking up on the bagging championships or the latest international darts tournaments. Why not? It's the football offseason and I honestly can't think of anything I want to do more than find out more about badminton, as an avid tennis fan I think I could get into it.

The community over there isn't very large but maybe we can change that a bit. Fooch and the rest of us front pagers got you down for some reason? Head over there with the colorful Axion and get some comments going. It's hard to be passionate about certain sports but everything Axion comes across over there is treated as a serious sport. Still, the site doesn't need to be legitimized in my eyes. It's got a light-hearted feel to it but there is indeed stories on a regular basis and coverage of several well-known sports. The Olympics are getting coverage right now, I seriously suggest heading over. For more information about site, I'm going to post a few questions which Axion answered for me in regards to the blog.

***

How did the blog get started?

Well, the blog was started a little over two years ago by Dex and jbox of Gaslampball.com, the Padres' SBNation site. Their favorite sports argument is "is [blank] a sport?" so Uncommon was created to answer that question, and many more. The initial post is kind of the mission statement, but we've evolved somewhat since then.

How did you become editor?
Now that I think about it, it's a long story. The short version is I was the only other one here writing. I was a loyal reader of Gaslampball for about a year prior to the launch of Uncommon. They launched Uncommon with a bang and a lot of the GLB readership came over to check it out, but most everyone forgot. They continued their thankless efforts, and through my normal browsing habits, I'd find odd stories and submit them. I guess I did that with enough regularity that they got tired of having to click all the way over there to promote my posts, so they just started leaving the back door unlocked so I could come in and mess all over like a transient. jbox is a big Amazing Race fan, and after he wrote the 13th season for the site, I was inspired to write Survivor and started with the finale of Survivor: Gabon.

At first I was just finding random stories around the web about obscure or unpopular sports and submitting them, but as SBNation expanded, we didn't have to do cycling, golf, figure skating, MMA, or tennis anymore, so we just started focusing on things they can never take from us, like reality TV "sports", competitive eating, wife-carrying, things like that. We've added some more writers to increase the scope beyond what I can think of to write about, too. For instance, Jonny Dub just covered America's Cup, which I forgot was a thing.


How much time do you put into it?
I spend a few minutes each day looking for stories to submit. If something inspires me to write more than a few sentences, I'll spend about an hour writing something.

Did you have a passion for these random contests and sports?:
I would say no, not more than anyone with a curiosity about obscure sports. I think my passion now lies in defending any kind of competitive activity as a sport. "What do you mean, "sitting in a 110° sauna isn't a sport?"

How serious are you about the... not so serious stuff?:
It's funny, I never really think about it too much going into a story, but now that I think about it, I give them an inverse tonal treatment. If there's something really ridiculous out there, I'll write about it like it's very serious and not to be taken lightly, but for the ones where people are clearly taking it/themselves too seriously, I don't mind just making fun of them.  It's always important to remember that no matter how ridiculous, awful, or pointless something may seem, someone will confess their love for it. I hope that one day, that person finds this blog.

What kinds of sports do you cover? (list as many as you can):
Amazing Race, Survivor, competitive eating, wife-carrying, noodling, chess boxing, spelling bees, cricket, Over The Line, Lingerie Football, various kinds of running, boating, fishing, fringe Olympic sports, Guinness records that are vaguely sportish in nature. I think the intent was to start with just badminton, darts, and hot dog javelin, judging by the logo we launched with, but we've since scaled it back (or up) to just, "the sports that SBNation doesn't have a dedicated blog for."
***

So that's what I have for you today. It's a good blog, good atmosphere, and a rather interesting premise. Not to mention Axion himself who seems like a guy I can talk with for a long, long time. Best I can tell his avatar is actually a picture of him he drew himself, looking into the mirror. It's a pretty good portrait, one he should be proud to have on his mantle. If you wonder what I'm talking about, look at his SBNation profile page here. So head off, check out Uncommon Sportsman, participate and help that blog and this blog network grow. Hope you're enjoying your lunch, I'm off to eat my dinner. 'Later, folks.
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