Does Anyone Really Give a Damn About “Insider”?

This post has been edited, for humor’s sake, to appeal to sensitive flowers who struggle with opinions with edge and candor.

That darn Rich Hammond. We win a Cup and the guy leaves. I thought his writing could have been better and he sure was a skinny guy with an interesting profile.

…wife just walked in and she looks attractive in her Kings shirt…be right back…

But although Rich could have been more outgoing and I sure do wish he had a hockey background and was a more interesting read, he did kind of make Insider his own. It wasn’t so much “Insider” I felt I was going to but I was dropping by at Hammond’s place. I guess what I am saying is I got used to him…gosh…

When he left, my initial thoughts were oh well, maybe it’s for the best. It’s time for the L.A. Kings’ front office and people in charge of these things to hire someone who is not just a journalist that knows some things about hockey and can talk to the casual fan but someone who can give us more than just quotes but hockey analysis that is interesting and entertaining and even occasionally funny.

They didn’t have to be Surly.

Golly, he sure can go too far.

But we scream, chant, say bad words, stand, jump, pump our fists and occasionally lose our temper at games, home and away, drinking establishments, even our living rooms. You think those same fans, who are the die-hards and casual fans who want to be more than that, then want to visit a website that is not very entertaining?

I don’t think so.

Look, I am not saying Rosen is dumb or anything. But you know, he really should check his spelling, break his paragraphs up a little more and make the hockey talk more interesting and original. Gee whiz, if this fine fellow was the Insider, we would get all of the benefits of quotes and comments but mixed in would be other interesting stuff.

Which brings me to my point…

What is your opinion on Insider? I go to Hoven when I want quotes, smart commentary sprinkled in and all of the “need to know” stuff. I go to Lisa Dillman from the L.A. Times for her insight. I go to Insider…actually, I really don’t go to Insider as much as I used to.

Wife is getting frisky. See you later everyone.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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28 replies

  1. I used to go to insider to read the comments more than anything else. It was a good place for an out of town fan to vent while watching games on TV. Then Hammond put me on moderation (for something that would be considered insanely tame here) and I never got taken off so now I don’t even bother.

  2. Hoven is the man. He always brings the ish. As far as I’m concerned, he’s our ‘Insider’.

  3. I liked reading Hammond until the Kings hired him. Then, he became little more than a mouthpiece for the organization.

  4. … With Rosen, the Insider now has a guy with actual credibility; someone who understands what’s actually going on on the ice, and understands (and sometimes uses) different methods of evaluating it.

    With Hammond or Hoven, that would definitely not be the case.

    So, I suppose it comes down to … do you want an Insider guy who actually knows what he’s talking about, or not? Pretty simple. I don’t care all that much about it, but I certainly care more now than I did before, which was not at all.

    • Rosen is more qualified than Hammond but that is like saying Ron Jeremy’s dick is more experienced than a virgin’s. Problem is he isn’t using it. The hockey prose is pedantic. Same scrum quotes. Same elementary analysis. He played the game. You wouldn’t know it reading him.

      • … I don’t think that he needs to step in and immediately set the World on fire. It’s clear to me that he knows a lot more than he lets on, but he’s dealing with an audience who read Hammond’s work for years and would be utterly unable to grasp most of what he’s talking about if he raised his level of analysis. Don’t see anything wrong with slowly settling into the role he has, and on top of that, no one really knows if the Kings’ organization is deliberately limiting him or not.

        • I doubt he or the organization are trying to slow cook this. Let’s see where that site is by the summer. If you’re wrong, you buy me a beer. If I’m right, you buy me two.

  5. Love how your priorities are lined up, Bobby.

  6. Disgraceful. What would motivate you to write this Bobby? You mentioned the lowest common denominator. This is the definition of it. I can’t imagine John Hoven would endorse such base and divisive filth. I sure as hell hope not. This isn’t entertainment. It’s hate.

    The Kings fan community should strive for a higher level of discourse and not resort to pointless infighting and personal attacks on our own that serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever. That’s what other teams are for. The very concept of insulting one reporter (Rosen) as a means to compliment another (Hoven) is not only transparent but childish and self-aggrandizing. Seriously, who the fuck do you think you are?

    The question you should be asking isn’t, “Does anyone care about the Insider anymore?” That answer is beyond clear. The site receives far and away more traffic and participation than any other Kings blog. Perhaps more than all other Kings blogs combined. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The Insider is not about who runs it, it’s about the fans who participate there. That has been proven by Hammond’s departure and Rosen’s hire. It’s as popular as ever. Why? Because it’s the LA Kings official blog. Period, end of story.

    The question should be, “Why do I, Bobby, care so much about it?” I mean seriously, who else talks about this but you? I get that you are absolutely infatuated with John Hoven. He does a fantastic job and has a great following all by his own doing. He’s a self-made insider. Do you really think he needs you as his personal pit-bull? Do you really believe he wants a bunch of Rosen-Hating fans lining up at his doorstep? Do you really believe he wants to turn the Kings community into a two-party political nightmare? As I said, I sure as hell hope not. He’s far better than this kind of vitriol. Sure, he’s the “Mayor” but for fucks’ sake, this is not politics. It’s hockey and there’s plenty of room for he and Rosen and Gann and others to cover it. How they each do it is their own business, not yours.

    Perhaps it’s time you realized this and get over it.

    • The Kings fan community should strive for a higher level of discourse and not resort to pointless infighting and personal attacks on our own that serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever.

      … Then:

      Seriously, who the fuck do you think you are?

      … Well, OK then. No pointless infighting with that quote, at all!

    • And how dare anyone have a difference of opinion and say so without being polite!

      Who DO you think you are Scribe?!

      Gosh golly!

    • My opinion offended you and you have a different opinion. Understood. Thank you.

      Regarding what would motivate me to write this, check the top of the site for the names Surly and Scribe. That’s what we do here. Express opinions. This isn’t a place that collects other people’s opinions and posts them. There is original thought and discourse here, akin to what you offered in your comment.

      I would respectfully submit your conclusion that I am trashing Rosen and barking on Hoven’s behalf were both misguided. The post was designed to bring attention to what the Insider isn’t and what it can be. What you mentioned is called, where it is about the community. Insider is centered around journalism and reporting. If you don’t see it that way, then you see it very differently than I do.

      Regarding who the fuck I think I am? Just a die hard Kings fan so hopelessly in love with our team and its fans that I have the temerity to write about it sheerly out of that love, Paul.

  7. I can’t say I’ve been reading the Insider religiously, but that’s been true for a couple years now, but I will say I’ve been enjoying Rosen more than Hammond. He definitely gives off a greater degree of interest in the Kings and the game itself, whereas Hammond only ever clearly cared personally about a story, and “integrity”, whatever that is. Always found it ironic that the guy who insisted he would never be censored was so quick to censor commenters.

    Anyway, I think you are bit wrong Bobby. Rosen HAS been adding hockey insight to his posts. Often I’ve notices the morning after a game he will write some thoughts on the game and specifically how certain plays developed. While its nothing all that fascinating, certainly nothing too in-depth, it is more than we got from Hammond and it imparts his own personality to us and makes me more comfortable with him as someone who loves being around hockey, instead of someone who is fantasizing about baseball and rain delays during a Kings game.

  8. There are several good and varied Kings blogs, and they each do different things well. The Insider gig has the job of traveling with the team and posting lots of team updates, game previews and recaps with interviews. The whole point of the “insider” aspect of the Insider is access. We get some quotes and some key bits of news (so and so has been sent down, so and so has been traded, etc.). One interesting thing your post made me think about is that most of what we learn from LAKi — or what we used to learn back in the day — we now get first from Twitter. Maybe one of the reasons LAKi feels awkwardly old-fashioned or not-as-crucial-as-it-was is that Twitter+Hoven gives us more or less what we used to get exclusively from LAKi. Now, I happen to think that Hoven’s interview style is welcome, but I don’t know if I think he does a better job than Jon Rosen or Rich before him. I frequently hear an undercurrent of “your question is stupid” coming from Sutter’s answers to Hoven’s questions. That may be a flavor Sutter employs to lots of people, I don’t know. My point is that I don’t think the issue of LAKi vs. Hoven interviews is settled. And that’s fine with me, because we get both.

    Hoven has, for better or worse, put himself in the position of the cow giving her milk away for free.

    Anyway, like I said, the different blogs do different things. There’s really no reason to choose. It’s all there and it’s all free.

    • Great points, as usual Quispy.

      But what does Insider give you that you don’t get from elsewhere? Is there any valuable “inside” content in the context of interviews, news and notes? If the great majority of Insider’s information is the regurgitation of what I have already read on Twitter and from John, Helene and Lisa, what is there to see inside that I don’t already get outside? If the answer is “little”, then what is its point?

      It repeats what others have written, often before it.

      It’s not like what you and us do.

      It’s not an opinion rich blog.

      It has little entertainment value.

      It brings little to no analysis.

      • In many ways the Rosen LAKi is a new blog and as such is still trying to find its way. Just as my blog and yours and others had to fill in the cracks in and around what LAKi was doing because LAKi was already doing what it was doing, now LAKi finds itself in that position. It has a huge readership and access, but doesn’t know where it fits yet.

        Much of what defines LAKi 2.0 will be decided by how Lombardi chooses to use it. Just as he would tell Hammond certain things, and not Helene Elliott (to pick a name), or vice versa, to suit whatever purpose.

  9. I still go there for the guys I know. Havent met em, but feel like I know em.
    Its where I started when i lost my friends whom I watched with. (they moved)
    Insider is where I found S&S and KND,
    I would read MM, JFTC but never commented.
    So the insider holds a special place for me.
    I didnt really start replying on LAKI until late in the 09-10 season.
    I am happy now to have more to read and keep me enthralled.
    It was not until 09-10 I started really getting into the draft and AHL too.
    I grew up watching the Kings and only the Kings, my hockey hunger is growing.
    I find it hard to stick to one place. But I find that I still only care about one team.

    The insider it a community, not just a place to get breaking or exclusive news.
    I think I stick around more for the gang. Some are cool, some are batshit crazy.
    But its fun, its about the Kings.

    And Fuck I need to post here more too.

    • Yes, you do :)

      I used to comment A LOT on InsideSoCal back in 07-08 back when I just went by ‘JDM’. I enjoyed the community too, gang of hoodlums that it was. When the site ported over to LAKI though (and a little before that too), I started losing interest in commenting over there. The two main reasons being that with the site’s increased popularity it became harder for me to track a conversation, which was annoying – also, the more commenters meant more redundant nonsense. The other reason was I found more fun at HFBoards, which had a nice community in the day too, and still does, tho I’ve been told by some who still are on there a lot that its a shell of its former self. I like the forum format because discussions get more organized.

      However, just like with Hammond, and worse actually, I found discussion more hampered than encouraged because of stupid rules about thread ‘hijacking’ and cursing or not allowing to make certain kinds of jokes or this or that or whatever.

      Anyways, the result of all this was the creation of this blog, so in the end, those places served their purpose. :)

      • I know Quisp thru his site, and Paul only thru a friend of mine. It’s interesting to read the comments of everyone here and I’m not gonna get mixed up in the middle. I will however point out a few key things; mainly as Surly just brought it up…. I agree completely with what he’s said. I too got so lost in following the thread of a conversation that it just started losing me. I still check out bits and pieces there but feel like I could answer the questions for the players so I limit my involvement w it.
        What I like about two or three other Kings blogs is that each one has it’s own personality and I love the Kings so it fills in little gaps while I’m working at my computer, while LAKI starts to become a time drain when I begin to read any comments at all. That’s not a criticism of the guys making them…. It’s just a bit of disconnect for me is all.

  10. I agree with JT’s earlier comment. Rosen is settling in. Just in the last game he was trying out a different format for game updates and asking for fan opinions. Nobody is going to step in with all the answers and Jons gonna have to wing it for a while. I see a difference already and it’s only been a month or so anyway. The insider is successful because it is the ultimate fluff site which fans need too. I visit the royal half because it’s comedic genius from a Kings fan perspective. I don’t tell the world that Lisa Dillmans an ass because she’s not funny. It’s not her job to be funny.

  11. I liked the Inside SoCal blog, and got worried when it became the LAKI because it’s owned by the team and is somewhat regulated by the league, which is part of the reason Hammond left. He interviewed Westgarth about the lockout and the NHL made the Kings take the post down because Hammond was a Kings employee and therefore wasn’t allowed to comment publicly on the lockout. I thought as a straight, no frills journalist Hammond did a good job. I don’t need media people to be fans. I also like Hammond personally. I met him at one of the suite nights that he hosted and was really nice. The suite night was funny because they let people live blog during the game and to see people in there in awe of some guy named “Puck 73” as he blogged was pretty funny.

    Rosen is coming into his own. I still can’t get over how annoying he seemed when he interviewed people and gave his “insight” on FSW, so I need to get over that. He’s also copying Hammond’s annoying picture out of a hotel window thing. I still prefer Hoven, Dillman, Elliott and of course Surly & Scribe. Each has their own unique take and serve their own purpose, just like LAKI, which is to be a mouthpiece for the organization cloaked in the veil of being independent. That also means censoring comments.

    By the way guys, your descriptions of the other blogs on your Blogroll on the right side of the site are hilarious: “This site was intended as a proctologists answer to hockey writing.” Brilliant!

  12. This thread needs some more screengrabs and photoshops.

  13. I emailed Hammond once and called him out(in a polite and respectful way) about not coming down on the Kings for being complacent at the time, basically calling it like it was. Even the hack Helene Elliott was saying some things about the Kings at the time. He wrote back and stated I had no business telling him that and then banished me from the site. Trust me, that proved that the guy was a biggest HACK out there! Couldn’t take any criticism………. Who cares what he is doing now, cause I am sure it is the bland of the bland. Good riddance to bad rubbish I say

  14. Hammond was an asshole plain and simple. Good riddance!! Rosen had made the site better already.


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