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Posts Tagged ‘Coupeville Sports’

Some of my earliest advertisers — supporting Coupeville Sports since 2012.

You help me pay rent, I help you get your business out in front of readers!

With the holiday season upon us, I’m offering a 2-for-1 advertising special through Dec. 31.

Normally, if you give me $100, I give you an ad here on Coupeville Sports, and it’s good for the life of the site.

Which means, those who got in on the ground floor back in August, 2012 have gotten quite a sweet deal.

The lifetime guarantee is still in place, but between now and December 31, if you ante up that $100, you get ads on two blogs, as I’m selling advertising on Flat Butt Film Fest for the first time.

What’s FBFF, you ask?

It’s a return to my video store glory days, where I pump out 100-word reviews of films I like.

I publish five a day, every day — quick bites, with no negative reviews to waste your time.

You can check it out here:

Flat Butt Film Fest – One movie, 100 words

So, $100 gets you ads on both blogs, or, if you already have an ad on Coupeville Sports, $50 lets you get in on the ground floor of Flat Butt Film Fest.

On both blogs, the ads run down the right side of the page on a computer, while camping out beneath the five stories on the main page if you’re using a phone.

If you have a web site, I link to it, so when readers click your ad, they go straight to your site.

Where each blog currently sits:

Coupeville Sports
8 years, 4 months of existence
7,991 stories published

Flat Butt Film Fest
3.5 months
532 stories published

Contact me today at davidsvien@hotmail.com and join the revolution!

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I write the stories, they make the magic happen. (Photos by Shelli Trumbull, JohnsPhotos.net and moms everywhere)

It’s been interesting.

Seven years ago today, sick with a mystery illness and royally, self-righteously ticked, I launched this blog in a hail of exclamation points.

Aug. 15, 2012 was the death of one thing, and the birth of another.

The Coupeville Examiner, where my movie column ran for 15 years, where hundreds upon hundreds of my freelance sports articles landed, had been sold … to its rival.

In the days right after the sale, all of the bylines on my online stories (my only “payment” for many of the articles) vanished, never to return.

I was not amused, and I wasn’t tactful about it. In print or in person.

The launch of Coupeville Sports gave me the freedom I had been seeking. Freedom to edit myself, to write about whatever I wanted, to post at 2:30 in the morning if I chose.

And yet, in the early days and months, instead of enjoying this new freedom, I lashed out a lot.

At my former editor, at the newspapers in town, at rival fan bases.

Once or twice it was justified, other times it was just a way to be an ass.

It drove readership upward, but sometimes backfired.

Though some of the biggest fires I had to put out were started for other reasons.

South Whidbey High School’s Athletic Director threatened to bar me from his school’s gym, after READER COMMENTS got out of hand on a story about the Falcon’s best basketball player walking away from the sport.

The girls basketball coach at King’s said I glorified violence for praising a Wolf player’s “lethal elbows” in a story, while Archbishop Thomas Murphy fans were content to just tell me I was a moron. Frequently.

To the first, go cash your cushy private school paycheck and lighten up.

To the second, you’re probably right.

Meanwhile, Coupeville Athletic Director Lori Stolee booted me from the CHS press box before a football game after I encouraged Wolf students to break the rules and sneak vuvuzela horns into the stadium.

She was right to do it.

We sat down a couple of days later and had a long talk, one in which I came away with a completely different perspective on her job, and the pressures she faced.

It’d be nice to say I completely transformed that day, but I didn’t.

Over time, though, as my illness faded (while never being properly diagnosed), I began to listen more to Stolee and CHS athletic jack of all trades Kim Andrews, who was my frequent press box companion.

“You can be better,” Kim would say. “You have this outlet and it’s only going to be what you make of it.

“So be better.”

Or something like that.

And so I did change, at least a bit.

I reached out and offered an olive branch to South Whidbey, wrote positive articles on some of its athletes, tried to be less flippant.

The change wasn’t 100%, as I would later bob and weave and poke fans and players at Klahowya during our time together in the Olympic League.

There too, though, I learned some lessons, as Eagle soccer star Izzy Severns and football standout James Gherna called me on the carpet, offering solid constructive criticism, and the occasional (written) kick in the rear.

As I hit the seven-year anniversary of Coupeville Sports today, I would like to hope I’m in a better place.

This is article #7,123, and, while my blog isn’t going to please everyone every time, it is in a much-more positive place than it was seven years ago.

It is largely the work of one man (though the help of photographers like John Fisken and Shelli Trumbull has been invaluable), and it will always reflect that.

It can be messy, often biased, sometimes entertaining, sometimes still infuriating (I am quite sure) — many different things to many different people.

If I’m smart, I, and the blog, will continue to evolve, continue to listen to the input of others, and continue to seek that sometimes-elusive balance between being cheeky and irreverent, and just being an ass.

Coupeville Sports is unique in many ways. None of the schools the Wolves play against have anything similar in place.

Many towns have newspapers, some of which go into more depth than others.

But here on Whidbey, a rock in the middle of the water stuck way up in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest, local athletes, coaches, parents, and fans have coverage many big city rivals don’t experience.

The News-Times and Record offer Jim Waller, my high school journalism teacher, and a man who knows a billion times more about prep sports than I ever will.

He’s the voice of reason.

And then, over here in the corner, you have me doing my own thing, like a Dennis the Menace balancing precariously on top of a fence, throwing rocks at your window at 2 AM, screaming, “Guess what I just heard?????”

How long will it go on? Your guess is as good as mine.

I’ve thought about quitting twice, but am pretty locked-in these days.

So, I might make that run to article #10,000 after all, or I might go herd goats in Yugoslavia tomorrow. Never know.

I think I’ve found a pretty good groove, where the positive aspects of the blog outnumber the negatives, and there’s a steady mix of current stuff and historical stuff.

Though, if I start slipping, that’s why you, the readers, are here – to keep me in check. Positive comments are great, but never hesitate to tell me when I’ve cheesed you off.

I don’t work for the school district and they have little say over what or how I write, other than the fact current CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith can boot me off school grounds if he ever chooses.

Something he likes me to remind me of, with a big grin, every once in awhile when I send him too many emails in a single day.

Love the blog? Hate the blog? Come talk to me and don’t waste his time.

Coupeville Sports has morphed over time, and will likely continue to do so, based largely on what the readers want.

Some things won’t change.

I’ve never had a paywall, and never will.

I understand why many do, but I’ve taken a vow of semi-poverty, it appears, so, if you want to read for free, so be it.

Though, if you like what I’m doing, and want to help, you can buy an ad or make a donation. But that’s your call.

Ads are $100 and good for the lifetime of the blog, which means if you had been in back on day one, you would have already had seven years of advertising.

Donations can be given to me in person at games, mailed to 165 Sherman, Coupeville, WA, 98239, or dropped here:

https://www.paypal.com/paypalme2/DavidSvien

And so we roll on into the great unknown of year eight.

Will it be unlimited juice boxes and gold stars, or frequent visits to detention?

Only one way to know – keep reading.

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Coupeville fans await the start of a new school year. (David Svien photo)

The calendar turns to August, and the countdown begins.

As we sit here Sunday morning, there’s 17 days until the start of fall football practice (Aug. 21), with cross country, volleyball, tennis, cheer, and soccer all officially ramping up Aug. 26.

The Coupeville High School booters are first to take the field, with a jamboree in Oak Harbor Sept. 5, while the Wolf football squad gets the first official game a night later at home against Port Townsend.

After that, we’re fully into the 2019-2020 school year.

Coupeville Sports turns seven years old Aug. 15, so this will be the eighth school year in the history of a blog which has already run 7,111 articles (as of this one).

If you’re new to this, here’s what to expect, based on the last seven years.

If I stay focused, I’ll produce 75-100 articles a month going forward, covering all CHS and Coupeville Middle School teams, as well as local community sports.

This will be a mixture of game and feature stories, and I try and report on every game either the same day it happens, or by the next morning.

Our unwritten agreement is that when you get up in the AM, and have your coffee, or cold cereal, or your coffee in your cold cereal, if it’s that kind of morning, you’ll be able to read about everything which happened the night before.

Sports-wise, at least.

I operate on my own and am NOT EMPLOYED BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT.

If you have an issue with anything I write, you’ll get much further by talking to me than by harassing administration and/or coaches.

Email me at davidsvien@hotmail.com, message me on Facebook or talk to me at a game.

The same works if you have a story idea.

Coupeville Sports, unlike the local newspapers, operates without a pay wall.

Always has. Always will.

If you want to read for free, so be it. But, if you like what I’m doing and want to be part of my support group, even better.

If you want to help keep my fingers pounding away into the wee hours of the morning, donations are greatly appreciated and can be done in person, by mail (165 Sherman, Coupeville, WA), or through PayPal.

Here’s a handy-dandy link:

https://www.paypal.com/paypalme2/DavidSvien

I’m not a non-profit, but I don’t make much profit. And I’m fine with that.

So, onward we go, into a new school year, the second, and, most likely, final one in the North Sound Conference.

Will CHS, one of the smallest 1A schools in the land, be granted its freedom by the new classification counts and return to 2B after many years?

Who will be the CHS Athlete of the Year winners? My money is on Maya and Sean Toomey-Stout pulling off a family daily double.

There’s a thousand other questions lingering — some big, some small — all waiting to have their answers documented on the bloggiest blog in all of Cow Town.

Here … we … go.

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   My “winter depression beard” has the early lead on CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith’s more dapper face fuzz. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Somehow, I have managed to avoid reality for two-and-a-half years.

I started Coupeville Sports in Aug. 2012, but stepped away from my “real world” job and went to full-time writing June 1, 2015.

With no business plan beyond “hey, I’ll devote all my time to covering high school and middle school sports in a rural town on a rock in the middle of the water and maybe someone will toss a coin or two into my hat,” I have persisted.

It helps I don’t pour money into smoking, drinking or owning a phone. The last part makes watching movies so much better – embrace the quiet.

It also helps I am fine with driving what can charitably be referred to as a “hunk o’ junk” and I have pared my bills down to the barest of bare minimums.

Also really helps I have a landlord, CHS alum Jack Sell, who hasn’t drop-kicked me those times when I needed an extra day or two to pull together his money.

How much longer can I keep this going? Good question.

Journalism is a fickle business, whether you work for a newspaper funded by a kajillionaire in Moose Jaw or hack away at the keyboard in the middle of the night on the (sometimes fragrant) shores of Penn Cove.

For me, not counting sales of my books (Stephen King trembles…), there’s essentially three ways to fund Coupeville Sports. One is dry, the other will never work and the third is my lifeblood.

When I started this blog, 5+ years and 5,681 articles ago, there was no reason for anyone to believe it would survive longer than that South Whidbey sports blog which went down in spectacular flames after a single day.

To convince people to give me a try, I sold my advertising for “the life of the site.” Which pretty much guaranteed that, if I survived, at some point, there would be little room for growth.

So be it.

Those who took a chance on me in the early days, from Shelli Trumbull to Jon Roberts to Paula Spina, got more than they probably anticipated.

I’m glad it worked out for them, and the others who have chosen to support me in that manner, even if that means there’s little room for future growth.

Route #2 would be to mirror many newspapers and drop a pay wall on Coupeville Sports.

Never going to happen. Ever.

If you choose to go that way as a publication, God bless.

And if, while you insist it works, the bean counters up North still make you lop off an editor during the holidays, well, maybe the pay wall kept that job in play a few more days. Maybe.

But I have said since day one, Coupeville Sports is free. If you want to read it, read it. If you want to support it, great. If you don’t, such is life.

Call me obstinate, but no pay wall. Ever.

Which brings us to the only way this blog has stayed on its feet — you, the reader. Especially the reader who gives back.

Donations, from the person who slips money into my pocket as we pass at Prairie Center, to those who use the PayPal button on the top right of the blog, are what keep me moving forward.

The longer I’ve been away from having a “real world” job, the more I have not wanted to return.

There are many days where I’m a half step away from fully embracing the hermit life, so it’s a good thing my “winter depression beard” is coming in thick.

Writing Coupeville Sports, and attending games, forces me to have interaction with the outside world, to “use my words” with someone other than my landlord’s outside cats.

Which is probably a good thing.

In a magical world, someone (are you listening Mr. Gates?) would step up and offer me a $5,000 grant, which would pay my rent at Coupeville Sports World Headquarters for a year.

Back here, in the real world, I’ll just say this — if you enjoy reading my work, if you think it’s providing something unique, if you believe it’s worth supporting, maybe add me to your Black Friday list and use this handy link:

https://www.paypal.me/DavidSvien

If you do, thank you. And, if you don’t, keep reading.

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Your pocket change can push me over the goal line. (David Stern photo)

I’m never getting that indoor/outdoor swimming pool with the waterfall in the middle.

That’s just reality.

Maybe if I was writing about food like my sister, or if I could churn out best sellers like Stephen King.

But, when I chose to focus on small town sports, I kind of knew the closest I was ever coming to a waterfall was rigging a garden hose over the back door.

So be it.

But while I’m not here for the money, I do need some pocket change to pay my (very pared-down) bills.

I’m managed to stay out of the dish pits for two-plus years now (my fingers say a silent prayer of thanks each night), and I’d like to keep it that way.

This past weekend, from Friday night to early Sunday evening, I was able to cover CHS football and girls soccer games in person and churn out 10 articles, something I couldn’t have done if I was juggling a “real world” job with Coupeville Sports.

Right there, waiting for you to marinate in while you ate breakfast Saturday, was an in-depth and first-hand account of the Wolves epic gridiron shellacking of old-school rival La Conner.

After that, the articles kept coming, from a cancer fundraiser to a feature on a Wolf cheerleader with Downs Syndrome to a look at Coleby Fleming’s aerial adventures in Norway.

Plus cross country, volleyball and soccer results (mere moments after play finished), fresh football stats, league standings for all CHS varsity teams and much, much more.

I’m not going to be modest here.

I am your fastest, most in-depth (some might say obsessively so) news source on Whidbey Island, and I give it to you without a pay wall.

Want to support me? Great. Want to read for free? Great.

As this new school year kicks into gear, I’m going to make one fundraiser plea.

I’m not a TV evangelist. I won’t be back asking for more each week.

Plus, I mean, I don’t have enough hair anymore to slick it back, Joel Osteen-style, anyway.

One request, and then we all move on with our lives.

And it’s this — if you like what I do, if you appreciate what I do, if you want to help make sure what I do continues, think about showing that support.

Your donations, whether they are one-time or repeating, are the life blood of Coupeville Sports.

Whether it’s loose pocket change or enough to build that swimming pool (I can dream…), you make all of this possible.

If you’re so inclined, there’s a donation button at the top of the blog.

If you don’t like PayPal, my mailing address is 165 N. Sherman, Coupeville, WA 98239, or you can slip something into my pocket at a game (though maybe not your discarded candy wrappers).

OK, that’s it.

I appreciate your support more than you know, and this is the last time this school year you’ll hear me asking for donations.

After this, I’ll be too busy writing real stories.

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