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Ryan Arsenault: Bringing the sports snark on "Straight from the Arse"

In the latest instalment of our "Canada Blogs" series, we check in with Canadian Blog Award winner and elementary school teacher Ryan Arsenault about his sports blog, "Straight from the Arse," and what it feels like to be an "ardent supporter of teams that aren't accustomed to winning."

Ryan_Arsenault_homepage.JPGWhen and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in 2007 after my wife (the first lady of sports administration...she works in the athletic department at McMaster University) gifted me this blog. It was on the advice of a few pals of mine after they spent a sporting road trip weekend to see a Notre Dame football game with me (I’m not even an Irish fan....but the experience was too much for me to pass up). My endless sports banter and mindless drivel entertained them enough to think that I would be okay at doing this. Little did they know how hard it is for me to put consecutive sentences together without committing an egregious grammar error (yet another reason why it would be prudent for my students not to actively search out my work).

How do you decide what to blog about?
Choosing topics to write about isn’t a science by any means. I see what is topical with the folks that I surround myself with and I try to post about it. I’ve often joked that I’m like the Robin Hood of blogs. I see what the popular blogs are posting about and I follow suit with my own thoughts. In the early going I had lots to say about a multitude of things, but five years ago my life changed (for the better, if that’s possible) when my first child was born. Finding the time to put my thoughts together and juggle all that I have to do in a day is pretty hard. (Props to the Mommy Bloggers out there) So now my blog can lie dormant and then I find some energy and go on a posting roll. 

What do you love most about sports, and blogging about sports? 
Sports is something that I ‘ve always been interested in. Whether I was playing, watching, reading about or talking about them, sports has always been a big facet of my life. So blogging about sports is somewhat natural in that regard. I’ve equated the sports blog to a bar stool of sorts. Somewhere I can freely post my views on things. You can like my views, you can hate my views or you can just choose to let them fly by the wayside. I tend to stray away from things that are too controversial and usually try to handle most things with some humour (my Mom says I’m funny—she wouldn’t lie, would she?).  

How does the blogging world respond to the fact that you're a Leafs fan? 
Being an ardent Leafs fan is pretty much an easy target for folks to comment about what you write. Most of the folks that find their way to my blog (some do it on purpose, I’m told) know that I’m a rational Leafs fan. I’m not the Vito from Woodbridge who is calling in to the FAN 590 making up fictional trades. I’m always amused, though, that the Leafs are a topic that many want to talk about, whether it’s on my blog, Twitter, or Facebook. In this day and age where one can watch any NHL hockey game they want, time and time again supposed non-Leaf fans are continuing to watch Maple Leafs hockey games. My Dad is one of these fans. He’s a Canadiens fan yet watches every Leaf game! It provides me with endless fodder and food for thought.

Do you have any advice for aspiring bloggers?
I would say, don’t do it! Just read my stuff instead (kidding, of course). Be creative and be yourself. There are so many blogs out there and you really can’t be something that you aren’t cut out for. It would be pretty hard to keep up that pace over the long haul. Enjoy what you are doing, post as much as you can and don’t take things personally when you get a comment in your comment queue for penis enlargement pills (it’s most likely spam).  

All images courtesy of Straight from the Arse.

>>Check out Straight from the Arse

Read profiles of other Canadian bloggers:

Couple of Yuppies by Jamie Munro and Kyle Foot
Obscure CanLit Mama by Carrie Anne Snyder
Le Blog du Rob by Rob Watson
The Art of Doing Stuff by Karen Bertelsen
Man on the Lam by Raymond Walsh
Ironic Mom by Leanne Shirtliffe
Clockwork Lemon by Stephanie Eddie
OffQc by Kevin Felix Polesello
Caker Cooking by Brian Francis



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