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Introductions Are In Order

Sonics Rising has brought on four new writers to help bolster our staff.

Today officially ended the NBA offseason and there has been some preseason hockey been going on for a bit now, I felt it was time to give you an introduction to some to our new writers.  Two of them you know for sure and two of them you may know from elsewhere.

Todd Smith (@methockeyreport)
I am 40 years old. I am married with 6 children. I am an Allstate insurance agent, and small business owner (Bruised Ego Sports). I am originally from St Cloud, MN. I grew up playing youth hockey. I was surrounded with top level high school hockey, as well as D1 college hockey, and the Minnesota North Stars of the NHL. I have been a lifelong fan and supporter of local hockey, both as a sponsor and staff member.

In 2010, I founded a grassroots Facebook group called NHL Seattle. We are focused on raising the level of hockey awareness in Seattle and the Pacific NW. We have organized meet ups and group outings to local bars, ice arenas, and hockey games. More recently, I started the Metropolitan Hockey Report as a multi-media platform to provide regional news coverage of Jr hockey in the Pacific NW. I currently co-host a weekly hockey radio program, on KLAY 1180AM, with my friend Mark Miller.

My goal is to provide readers with a sense of the history of hockey in Seattle, the region, and our legacy or relationship with the NHL. I want to try to convey the passion that I feel for the sport of hockey, as well as highlight and blend the business aspects that are so important in professional sports today.

Jerome Johnson (@JeromeAJohnson)
The 206 is in the building! My name is Jerome Johnson. Gonzaga University has given me the opportunity to return to grad school and pursue a master's degree in the Communication and Leadership program. A degree in which is transferable to working in sports, preferably basketball. My prowess of hoops stemmed from playing, observing, and studying the game. I did not start playing competitively until six years old, but the love for the game transpired after attending my first game. I watched the SuperSonics knock off Lakers 92-91 on a buzzer beater. In that 1992 game I was five years old. The level of basketball knowledge instilled in me by eight-years-old was enough to fully converse with adults and gain respect for my opinions. It cannot hurt that my father, uncle, and cousin were long time high school hoops coaches.

I feel like John Starks, or a modern day Jeremy Lin. Young man who has unproven abilities, but driven to show the talent and hunger for an opportunity. Working the Jamal Crawford ProAm this past summer brought me more in touch with the local basketball scene. My role for Sonics Rising will be to follow the Clippers, 76ers, and embrace interesting debates with current news, draft history, predictions, and blunders (JaVale McGee). I have a very loose and relaxed personality, which will be prevalent in my writing. My style has made a digital transition. Expect video, audio, and some graphics to go along with my work. Again, I am very excited for this opportunity.

Taylor Bartle (@TaylorB1983)
Taylor is a former tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, is outfitted with various whips, chains, and a sexual appetite that will knock your socks off!  Taylor has satisfied women throughout the world, and the capital of Nebraska is Lincoln!

Editor's Note: Taylor's real bio will appear once he gets it to me and here it is!

My name is Taylor Bartle but most of you here know me as Taylor Made.  I'm fresh off a three-year stint in Brooklyn, NY, where I represented the zombie Sonics at the NBA Draft. I'm finally back to my hometown of Seattle, where I grew up watching the Sonics and pretending to catch lobs from Gary Payton on a tree branch in my backyard.  My fandom is skin-deep, literally.  I have a tattoo of the Sonics' skyline logo on my forearm.  Besides local sports, I'm also a fan of the Brooklyn Nets and, unpopularly, the Oregon Ducks. I'm very excited to be a member of the Sonics Rising team and to do all I can to see the return of the Seattle Supersonics.  Go Hawks.

Sonics Guy (@sonicsguy)
This man really does not need an introduction.  We all know who he is, we see him around, he's been part of our behind the scenes discussions from day one.  He's always out there spreading the gospel of our message and keeping our cause visual.  You can catch him at the Tacoma Comedy Club and he's going to bring a bit of that levity here to the site.

We're all really excited to have these guys on board.  Please give them a big welcome, feel free to ask them any questions that you want, follow them on Twitter and have an awesome weekend!