An E-mail Interview with Mike Grinnell of Barstool Sports
By Patrick Hoffman
I am proud to present to you folks another e-mail with a Barstool Sports hockey blogger.
Mike was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us how he got into hockey, who is favorite team (s)/player (s) are, how he got into covering hockey, how he got his gig at Barstool Sports and much more.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed conducting it.
PH: Growing up, how did you get into hockey?
MG: I was born into hockey. My dad played, my older brother played, my two younger brothers played and still continue to play. Some of my earliest memories were at a hockey rink. Falling asleep on milk crates during practice, going from Pop warner practice right to hockey practice. I grew up in a hockey rink.
PH: Who is your favorite team/player?
MG: Ray Bourque and the Bruins. Had every Bourque jersey (Boston AND Colorado) as a kid.
PH: Considering The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave is filled with tons and tons of hockey memorabilia, what is your favorite piece of hockey memorabilia that you own?
MG: Ray Bourque 2001 Colorado Avalanche Stanley Cup Jersey and my club hockey jersey. Can’t forget the back glove boysss.
PH: How did you get into covering hockey online?
MG: It's actually funny. When I was in 2nd grade, my teacher yelled at me cause all I wrote about in class was hockey. She told me I need to learn to write about something else, I told her to kick rocks.
But seriously, when I realized I wasn’t good enough to make money playing, I wanted the next best thing which essentially was paying to watch it. So I took journo classes in high school and joined the media outlet Dirty Water Media in college and helped launch Dirty Water Sports.
PH: How did you get a gig with Barstool Sports covering college hockey?
MG: I have wanted to be a barstool blogger for a long, long time. The passion, the realness, the fun it seems like the barstool bloggers have was something I needed to be apart of.
I had been trying for a few years, sending articles and blogs I had previously wrote for other outlets to basically everyone at the company. I knew a few people that worked for the stool, but that literally meant nothing.
When it comes to this industry, everyone says its all about who you know. That is such BS. While knowing people is huge, it means nothing if you can’t perform when you need to.
So when I joined Barstool as a podcast producer, I left my other writing gigs and started my own blog on my own website. I could write how I wanted with no restrictions at all. If I wanted to open a blog with three F bombs, I could.
I also found a niche in the hockey community. With my social following growing rapidly in the hockey community due to Spittin’ Chiclets, I figured lets stick to blogging about just hockey and in particular college hockey.
I have always loved college hockey, growing up in Boston is a college hockey hot bed. The beanpot was the two best days of the year, every year.
So I decided I’d put my love for college hockey into writing, I started blogging a ton about NCAA puck and would just send them all over to Kmarko. One day he finally answered and it was probably one of the best emails I have ever gotten.
I can't thank Kmarko enough for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime.
PH: What is it like writing for Barstool? It seems to continue to grow and grow, which I think is great for the sports media industry as a whole.
MG: It is a dream come true. Being from Boston, I grew up reading Barstool.
Sports are supposed to be fun and Barstool makes sports fun. You honestly feel like you are talking to one of your buddies in the locker room or someone at a bar when you are reading a blog.
Mixing sports and comedy is genius and I am so blessed to be apart of it. Every day I wake up and don't understand how I got so lucky.
PH: For the people North of the Border that do not know, why do you think college hockey is so great?
MG: The crowds. I love the fans, the atmosphere, the chants, all of it. It Is like European soccer or NCAA football.
The talent is getting better and better every year. I think that, in large part, is due to USA hockey and the success they have had.
But overall college hockey is an amazing sport and I wish Canada was more involved in it.
PH: What are your thoughts on this year's college hockey season?
MG: This year is great. So many real good teams. From Denver to St. Cloud State. From North Dakota to Notre Dame, the level of hockey is great.
PH: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us puckheads?
MG: Listen to Spittin’ Chiclets every Friday on iTunes & barstoolsports.com and keep an eye out for my NCAA hockey rankings released every Monday on Barstool Sports.
Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.