Islanders nation is full of fans passionate about the orange and blue. Like all good sports fans, supporters of the Islanders are knowledgeable and opinionated, but do not always have a platform to share their thoughts. Chris Hessel, author of “NYI FYI,” has two.
“I originally started my blog in ’07, but in the same week, a friend approached me about doing an Islanders radio show,” said Hessel.
Hessel temporarily discontinued his blog to focus on the NYI FYI radio show, which still runs today. Hessel and his friend, Sean Croft, produced the show through C.W. Post’s student radio station.
“The Islanders actually found us after three weeks, and they would put our shows up on Islanders TV,” said Hessel. “It really took off fast.”
While Hessel was a finance student at Stony Brook University, his passion for the Islanders was evident amongst his friends, who encouraged him to start a blog. Ironically enough, he already had.
“A good friend of mine got me into one of the newspapers that he was the editor for (Stony Brook Independent),” said Hessel. “I was able to learn some things about reporting and blogging there. Ever since then it’s just been something that I really like to do.”
The once stagnant blog became a focused hobby for Hessel, who is in his first year as an official Blog Box member. His blog is a comprehensive stream of conscience, a constantly updated palette of Islanders news, notes, opinions, and observations.
“Anytime that something comes into my head about the Islanders or something that might be related to the Islanders – instead of me just going to a friend about it – I’ll write a couple of paragraphs,” said Hessel.
Hessel has been able to integrate other multimedia and social media aspects within his blog, to create a comprehensive fan point of view.
“I try to give a little bit of a unique perspective and try to pick up on some things that maybe nobody else would notice,” said Hessel. “I’m just enjoying where it is right now, and it’s cool that people are taking notice.”
I try to give a little bit of a unique perspective and try to pick up on some things that maybe nobody else would notice. I’m just enjoying where it is right now, and it’s cool that people are taking notice. - Chris Hessel
Although Hessel’s main focus remains the blog, he continues to assist Croft in the production of the weekly NYI FYI radio program. The show no longer runs through CW Post, but instead is broadcast online. Through the show, Hessel and Croft provide a number of ways for Islanders fans to engage in dialogue.
“We have a lot of different ways people interact with us,” said Hessel. “We record a podcast version of it, but we do the show through Ustream. People can watch us now, and we have a chat room.”
Having the access granted to all Blog Box members has helped bring NYI FYI to an entirely new level.
“Growing up, you always watch some of these players, and you always want to be able to talk to them,” said Hessel. “It’s really cool that it enables you to ask the players questions if you go to a practice or a game. I tend to be able to just ask the questions that I’ve always had.”
In the past four years, Hessel has nurtured two viable platforms for Islanders fans to gather news about the team and also share thoughts and opinions.
“When someone watches a game, there are so many different ways to describe it, and so many different things that people notice,” said Hessel. “Right now, I love doing the Blog Box thing. It’s been more than I could have asked for at this point.”Click Here
to read some of Hessel's blogs on NYI FYI.