1 Year Anniversary! My Top 10 Favorite Posts

     One year ago today, I finally decided to take to the blogosphere to share my insight and beliefs on the world of sports.  It was a big change in the sense that for the first time ever anyone who wanted to could look at my take on sports events and issues, but really, it’s no different than what I’ve done throughout my life.  Over the last 16 years, I’ve been consumed by sports and have been willing to share my thoughts with anyone and everyone at any given opportunity.  The difference now is that I am able to broadcast my thoughts to a much wider audience, which I am thankful for.
     It’s been a fun and interesting year with many ups and downs.  I received a lot of positive feedback immediately with my World Cup posts, some of which remain the most viewed posts to date.  Since then, it’s been up and down in terms of how much I’ve been writing, and how much feedback things have gotten.  But in the end, I’m just happy to have this creative outlet.
     The first year has definitely been about experimenting.  I’ve done previews, predictions, reviews, recaps, columns, podcasts, and have even tried out a couple series of posts.  Additionally, I’ve written about over a dozen different sports, and over 100 posts overall.  I’ve learned to be flexible in the different things I can write, and have also been developing my own personal writing style.
     Year two promises to be even better than year one.  The goals for year two are to continue writing like I did the first year, but on a more scheduled basis (three posts in four days and then nothing for two weeks and repeat isn’t a great strategy for building an audience), do more podcasts and Youtube videos, and finally to do a better job of spreading the word and getting interaction on the website and social media.
     To celebrate the one-year anniversary, I’ve decided to create a list of ten of my favorite and best posts and share them, so newer people to the blog can have a look at the posts that I’ve enjoyed writing most, and I believe are the most relevant and strongest overall.  In chronological order, here’s the best of year one.

#1- Stop Saying Sports are Rigged by Referees!  Original post date: 6/12/14
http://toplevelsports.blogspot.com/2014/06/stop-saying-sports-are-rigged-by.html
     This was just my third ever post, and tomorrow will mark its one-year anniversary.  Written in response to allegations that Brazil’s opening game of the World Cup was rigged in favor of Brazil, I talk about how referees are humans which sometimes make mistakes, how I believe that there is still some integrity left in professional sports, and defend a profession which far too often faces criticism.

#2- The 6 Biggest Problems with the MLS  Original post date: 7/22/14
http://toplevelsports.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-6-biggest-problems-with-mls.html
     Sure, the MLS is a quickly growing league in terms of both player quality and popularity, but it still has its fair share of issues.  Here I breakdown the changes, mostly structural, which I would like to see be made to the MLS, the majority of which would be conforming to the norms of top European soccer leagues, the most successful leagues in the world.

#3- Why the “One and Done” Rule Needs to Go  Original post date: 8/14/14
http://toplevelsports.blogspot.com/2014/08/why-one-and-done-rule-needs-to-go.html
     I’ve long had a problem with the “one and done” rule, because of how it weakens the college game by loading up the same few teams every year just to have all the best players immediately leave for the NBA, and how it rushes players into the league before they are mature enough.  I expand upon those arguments and list other reasons for opposing the rule in this post.

#4- Women’s Professional Sports Popularity Issues  Original post date: 9/10/14
http://toplevelsports.blogspot.com/2014/09/womens-professional-sports-popularity.html
     The reception to this post genuinely amazed me.  Excluding podcasts, this post has been read more times than any other I’ve ever written.  It’s not close either.  This one almost doubles second place, which is also on this list.  I talk about the reasons why women’s sports aren’t as popular as men’s and what needs to be done to fix the problem.

#5- Pete Rose Should be in the Hall of Fame!  Original post date: 11/7/15
http://toplevelsports.blogspot.com/2014/11/pete-rose-should-be-in-hall-of-fame.html
     Here’s the second most read post the blog has seen through one year.  Here I remind readers of Pete Rose’s career statistics and accomplishments, as well as give an overview of the gambling scandal that caused him to be given a lifetime ban from professional baseball.  I then argue why I believe the punishment doesn’t fit the crime, and why sports betting shouldn’t be illegal anyways.

#6- The Issue With Hockey’s Scoring System  Original post date: 1/28/15
http://toplevelsports.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-issue-with-hockeys-scoring-system.html
     When I first created the blog, this was one of my first ideas for things I wanted to write about.  I explain why the hockey scoring system incentivizes teams to play for overtime rather than actually winning games.  By awarding an extra point for the team who wins in overtime, more points are available to be won by simply going to OT.

#7- Why College Basketball is my Favorite Sport  Original post date: 2/4/15
http://toplevelsports.blogspot.com/2015/02/why-college-basketball-is-my-favorite.html
     This post is pretty self-explanatory.  I explain all of the reasons why college basketball is my favorite sport, including how there’s always a game on, all the cinderella stories, and of course, March Madness.

#8- Eliminate Hack-a-Shaq?  Original post date: 4/28/15
http://toplevelsports.blogspot.com/2015/04/eliminate-hack-shaq.html
     After watching the series between the Rockets and Clippers, and seeing all the hate Hack-a-Shaq was getting, when in reality it is a viable strategy, I decided to do a full analysis of the technique hated by so many for slowing down the game.  I even used my calculator and AP Statistics to help construct a probability chart for this one.  It’s probably the post which took me the longest to write, and definitely a personal favorite.

#9- NBA Coaches Are Going to Get Paid  Original post date: 5/23/15
http://toplevelsports.blogspot.com/2015/05/nba-coaches-are-going-to-get-paid.html
     When news broke of Billy Donovan’s five year, $30 million contract with the Thunder despite no prior NBA coaching experience, I realized something.  New coaches in the league for the first time such as Brad Stevens and Steve Kerr are shaking up the league, and it could lead to a serious salary boost for the league’s best coaches.

#10- Gripes with Sports Fans: Wishing for Injuries  Original post date: 5/31/15
http://toplevelsports.blogspot.com/2015/05/gripes-with-sports-fans-wishing-for.html
     This is the first entry in my new series, Gripes with Sports Fans, detailing the things that annoy me the most about other fans.  Here I take a strong stance against wishing for players to get injured and being happy when they do, on moral grounds that it just isn’t right, or even human, to be happy seeing another person in serious pain.

     Hopefully I’ll be able to write more posts like these in the coming year.  But until then, Happy Birthday, Toplevelsports!  My baby has turned 1!

     Connor

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