How My April FIGHT! Magazine Feature On Boston Bruins’ Tim Thomas Came Together

Fight Magazine - April 2011 - Josh NasonIf you love hockey and MMA, I am fairly confident you’ll like my interview with Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas in April’s FIGHT! Magazine. The story of how it happened is quite something as well.

I remember reading an Ariel Helwani Q & A several years ago on Thomas and wanted to do more of a feature piece on him for FIGHT!. I pitched, they accepted and off we went. But pro athletes in the “traditional” sports are a bit tougher to track down than their MMA counterparts, sometimes to a maddening degree.

Thankfully, this wasn’t the case but it still took a while. I used to work for a pro hockey team and understand the athlete’s workday pretty well. There’s a lot of hard work but there’s a lot of downtime too. I was glad to be able to work everything out, which is more than I can say for another Boston team that I was attempting to work with. That story will hopefully have a happy ending…someday in 2015.

After leaving several messages on voicemail and getting nowhere, I took to Twitter (of course!) and asked if anyone could help out. I hate doing biz in public like that, but desperate times call for desperate social media efforts. And hey, it worked!

The next day, I got an email/call from Eric in their PR department and after several months of trying to figure out a good time for a phone call, we found a window when the team was in Vanouver on a long layoff.

Tim called me on a late-Thursday afternoon and we had a great 30-minute chat about his love of MMA, where it came from and basically anything but hockey. Having worked in the sport for so long, I knew it was going to be fun. Hockey players are very similar to MMA talent in that they are tough dudes who enjoy being tough dudes. For the most part, they can have normal conversations like most normal people and that’s refreshing.

The shifting of conversation away from hockey was done by design as Thomas and many other athletes talk about their professions constantly. Especially in the Boston media, they are doing interviews non-stop about the same subject over and over and over again. I thought it’d be a nice break for Thomas to discuss something other than the ice, even though we did chat a bit about his scrap with Montreal goalie Carey Price earlier this season.

So I encourage you to pick up April’s FIGHT! and check out the feature, along with the other great writing in there. As always, let me know what you think and be on the lookout for another big athlete piece in May’s FIGHT! as well.

Josh Nason is a freelance MMA journalist who contributes to FIGHT! Magazine, WrestlingObserver.com, BloodyElbow.com and several radio shows/podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @JoshNason.

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Listen To My F4W Interview With Joe Warren, Read My Bellator 39 Coverage With Eddie Alvarez, Pat Curran

Another busy few weeks for yours truly with a fairly good-size announcement coming shortly. And apparently, I became obsessed with Bellator Fighting Championships recently?

Joe Warren interview with Bryan Alvarez (subscription needed)

In my continuing bi-weekly MMA interview show on WrestlingObserver.com with Bryan Alvarez, we talked to Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Warren for 30 minutes on all kinds of stuff. We covered Bellator, his break in the business at an old age, appearing at a TNA wrestling event, knowing Kurt Angle and more. It was an awesome show and another reason why you should subscribe to the site.

Bellator 39 Preview: Pat Curran Sees A Win-Win Situation Against Eddie Alvarez

Despite the read totals being quite miniscule, I really liked how this turned out. Even though he lost, I think this is one of my favorite features I’ve written in 2011. One of the reasons I love writing is uncovering stories and introducing the public to people flying under the radar. Curran is one of those guys, so I’m happy to help tell a little of his life story.

Bellator 39 Preview: The Unique, Strategic Position of Eddie Alvarez

I couldn’t connect with Bellator Lightweight Champ Eddie Alvarez for a one-on-one, so I took some quotes from a conference call and fused them into an opinion piece. I really loved this one as well and the numbers somewhat seemed to support it.  Alvarez is a talented man on an island, surrounded by the Zuffa sea. For some reason, he’s in no hurry to jump in.

Bellator 39 Live Coverage and Results: Eddie Alvarez defeats Pat Curran

Pretty self-explanatory. Fun night with plenty of great fights, but the best part was sleeping in a hotel on the way back. (Seriously, I was tired!) I’ll cover Bellator anytime as they create a fun atmosphere in small enough venues where the people get into it and can see everything.

April’s MMA Schedule Highlighted By UFC in Toronto, Bellator’s Big Month

It’s a busy month, but not by UFC or Strikeforce. Yep, it’s Bellator!

Audio Appearances

My latest WGAM MMA Minutes are up, but for more free audio, here you go.

 

Josh Nason is a New England-based freelance MMA journalist that contributes to FIGHT! Magazine. He frequently does radio/podcast appearances and asks for your “like” for ESPN Boston to cover MMA.  Follow him on Twitter.