Despite all of the things I say against some of the other bike polo blogs out in the world, the truth is I really am in awe of them. While the majority of what I cover here on Lancasterpolo is absolutely made-up drivel, they seem to put time and energy into the work they put out.
That being said, I wanted to learn a bit more about how they came to join the ranks of the Association of Bike Polo Journalists and what makes them tick. The first one to respond (and thereby the first to go up) is Aaron Hand of 321 POLO! (MY NEMESIS, BTW):
Tell me the origin story of your blog/how you got started writing about bike polo.
To be honest, I don’t know the true origin story of 3-2-1 Polo. It was created in December of 2010 by Sean Ingram of Fixcraft. My first interaction with 3-2-1 Polo! was in April of 2012 when Sean approached me about doing a bike check for my Marino Bike (http://321polo.net/2012/04/bike-check-aaron-hands-custom-marino/
). After the article was published, I expressed my interest in writing to Sean in hopes that I could be a contributor.
He was stoked on the idea so I began to write some articles that I felt the bike polo community would be interested in. After writing several articles, Sean asked me about my interest in taking over the blog. He saw the blog becoming more popular and was afraid that it would lose credibility being ran by one of the polo product companies. In August of 2012 I officially took over, with the help of my good friend Christian Losciale.
Why do you keep doing it?
It’s hard to say why I keep doing it. Maybe some deep down part of me hopes that the sport will become mainstream overnight and I’ll be able to use the blog as a way to become a pundit for ESPN. Maybe some other deep down part of me doesn’t want to let down Sean and myself for being a quitter. But the most likely reason that I keep doing it is because I’m obsessed with this sport. My girlfriend often halfheartedly jokes that I love bike polo more than her. And while that’s not true, bike polo is a very close second haha.
I love this sport. I love keeping people in the know of all the latest news about products, tournaments, and developments.
What value do you think you’re providing bike polo–or are you even worried about doing that?
Like I mentioned above, I love being able to keep people in the know. I feel that I am providing a good source for people to find out all the latest and greatest coming from the polo world.
Are you ever surprised by the reaction of your readers? What instance in particular surprised you?
It’s really hard to guess how readers will react to articles. Sometimes I spend hours researching for an article and then it gets one like on Facebook and barely any hits on the website. I feel so sure that people will love it and BOOM, nothing. Other times I post a simple picture and it gets 10 shares and 90 likes. I know people care about the sport but it’s hard to hit them with an article at the exact right time for them to be interested in it.
Where do you see bike polo going in the future?
I would love for it to turn the “Big 5″ into the Big 6. Realistically, I see it becoming (at best) an Olympic sport. Not one of the cool sports like curling or gymnastics, that get lots of TV coverage, but more like triathlon or speed walking. People will be able to see it if they are at the Olympics but people at home will barely know the sport exists. The glass-half-full part of me will always fight for it to be up there with the Football, Basketball, Baseball, etc.
What would make you stop running/writing on your blogs?
$1 million buy-out from ESPN or Nike or Sports Illustrated. Although I would have a clause in the contract that would allow me to still write. Sometimes papa’s gotta express his opinion!
What’s the difference between your polo-self and your polo-writing-self?
I wouldn’t say there is a real difference. The polo-self guides, shapes, and forms the polo-writing self.
How do you frame your blog (what I mean is: if you had to write a mission statement for your blog, what would it be)?
The heading on my Instagram sums it up pretty well: “Bike Polo News from Bike Polo Dudes”. I feel Sam Ball and I have a great down-to-Earth approach to writing articles. We report on the basics; show what bike polo is, who it’s made up of, and where we want the sport to go.
Other blogs: competition or family?
I see Lancaster as both. They are like the twin brother that is competing with me for the parents attention. Yeah, we get along and are friends, but there is a that deep down desire that makes me work hard so that I can get more hugs.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I know competition drives success and growth, but I think it would be fun to join up with my fellow blog brothers and sisters to start BikePoloNews.com. I feel my site is great at reporting on the basics because I’m constantly on Facebook and League of Bike Polo looking for the latest news. I feel Lancaster is great at in-depth articles because Matt is a great writer (that one was hard to admit) [editor’s note: I bolded that. And I want it on his tombstone]. Goalhole is great and bringing all the players together and showing the fun side of bike polo. As the big three, I feel that combining out powers would both create the ultimate bike polo news website and let us all have a little more free time away from our individual blogs.