Ladies and gentlemen, take your seats for the cavalcade of self-congratulation that is the 2009 Human Highlight Blog Hawks Blogging Awards!
Let's roll out the red carpet for all of our stars who made a difference out there in the Hawks news, opinion, and other "important" Hawks related material.
Ah yes, only the glare of being near our mighty sun can surpass the majesty of this day---the pageantry of the awards, the recognition of one's (largely unpaid) contribution to the Bird Watching of an entire season, the thrill of victory and the ambivalence of not-victory.
Without further ado, let's get to the first award:
Best Supporting Blogger:
This award goes to the blog that, while not necessarily focusing on the Hawks, added value to those who wished to get more Hawks related information.
And the winner is---Lang Whitaker of SLAM! Magazine.
Lang is an unabashed Hawks fan, but has credibility when he speaks (through the written/typed word) about the Hawks. Yes, Lang has a section on the Hawks official website, but through his space on SLAM! and through Twitter and other source (including radio this year w/Steve Holman), Whitaker provided a national voice with real Hawks cred for the people.
We also want to add that we saw a strong late season push by Bradley's Buzz from the AJC.com Mark Bradley---as he is the rare newspaper veteran that will link independent blogs in his "Net Buzz".
This award goes to the blog that sports the best wardrobe when on assignment, which automatically rules out ESPN's John Hollinger, who we believe wears the same combo to every game (well, that's what we heard!).
And the winner is----Peachtree Hoops!
Drew chooses from an array of Hawks jerseys when attending the game, must wear attire for the true Hawks blogger.
This award goes to the blog that sports---get it---the best design--the most fun. This would involve having the blog be more than just the standard Blogger template, with simple font and nothing under the title---kind of like--oh, wait---
And the winner is----The Vent!
Any blog that can work in the color pink and make it look good in an NBA blog is tough to beat.
Best Player Contribution:
Acknowledging the player that directly gave the best information to an independent sports blog.
And the winner is---Speedy Claxton!
The (if you believe him) soon to be former Hawk provided the HHB and others worldwide with his take on him not being active even though healthy and a heads up as to being active for the final two games of the season in his Twitter contributions.
The blog who is most optimistic and cheerful about the Hawks, providing a refuge from those who may have perused the HHB, Hoopinion, or Hawk Str8Talk.
And the winner is---Hawks BasketBlog!
Led under the direction of Micah Hart, the BasketBlog was a constant stream of Hawks information and a positive take on the team, even after some difficult stretches. Not all blogs should be doom and gloom after losses---and Hart's Hawks BasketBlog delivers the refreshing alternative while not losing any credibility in doing so.
This recognizes the blogger whose gifts were most missed throughout the season--for one reason or another.
And the winner is---The Vent!
She may say that all angles are being covered by the rest of the Hawks Blogging World, but CoCo is wrong. Financial disagreements regarding the value of an Internet connection and other reasons aside, her voice and opinion, while being seen in the Comment Areas of fellow bloggers, were missed on her own forum.
The People's Choice Award:
The people file in, they read, and on this category's blog, they comment--and comment---and comment. This award recognizes the blog that has the most interaction with its readers.
And the winner is---Peachtree Hoops!
Led by the best in game comments area and the most fervent, frequent commentors, Peachtree Hoops has easily become the go-to place for the Hawks Nation to be themselves and get their own opinion out to the world.
Drew's entertaining, everyfan's approach to his blog has obviously been noticed as a safe haven for these folks, and the numbers and activity support it.
The best real information coming from a blog.
And the winner is---Hawks Blog!
Sekou Smith does a sensational job bringing the beat writer to the blog in his AJC.com space. Sekou provides inside information on the areas we want to read about.
Appreciating the core blogging art of ranting about their craft, hobby, or in this genre's case---the Hawks.
And the winner is---Hawk Str8Talk!
To rant and be cohesive in your thoughts, that's good. To do that over the span of 3,000 words, that's true ranting and what you can find on the Str8Talk express. The HHB can't hardly get to 1,000 words without run-on sentences and limericks.
And now the big awards (aka--the ones given in the last hour of the overblown, six hours too long TV award shows):
Acknowledging the best writing in a blog over the course of the season. This includes best analysis, sharp observations, and entertaining material.
And the winner is---Hoopinion!
More so than other blogs who do this very well, Hoopinion provides relevant information in an easy flowing, quote and footnote style without being too wordy and without missing many angles or burying any key info.
Awarding the blog that has given away the most time and recognition over the course of the season.
And the winner is---Hoopinion!
Bret consistently and unabashedly has given time in his forum, one that is likely more read than any independent Hawks blogs, to other writers such as us. He doesn't seek out any this for that--he simply links and quotes from others, often giving them credibility they don't necessarily deserve (such as our humble area).
Blog Entry of the Year:
Best Single Blog Entry of the season.
And the winner is---State of the Hawks Nation, Peachtree Hoops!
This entry delicately balances the desire to want to celebrate the accomplishments of the Hawks to date, while wanting permission to be able to critique the current to deliver the hope for the future. It's a position that all fans want to resolve internally and this post delivered the ability to bring out those internal tug-of-wars.
Blog of the Year:
Best Blog over the course of the season.
And the winner is---Hoopinion!
Bret LaGree doesn't take much time off, being as dependable as AC Green in terms of providing content at all times for the Hawks faithful. His site is always informative and provides the statistical analysis that the rest of us either avoid or don't have time to chase down.
In short, Hoopinion is the first place Hawks fans should go to begin their Hawks day.
This season, the Hoopinion blog has been anointed as an ESPN affiliate and has begun to infiltrate even the mother site itself in the Daily Dime offerings during the Hawks' playoff jog. In the meantime he left his other habitat, Peachtree Hoops in the hands of the excellent Drew Ditzel, and thus provided the Hawks fan base with (2) places to find good Hawks material.
Congratulations to all who took home awards tonight! Gift bags, the afterparty, and any feedback from this season's gala can be found in the Comments Area.