Even though Bethpage native Michael Schuerlein grew up in a Rangers household, the decision to become an Islanders fan came with the pride of supporting a team who was representing his community.
“It was easy to get to the Nassau Coliseum,” said Schuerlein. “Before I could drive, I would hop on the bus or bum a ride from someone. Not rooting for my hometown team didn’t seem like an option.”
A dedicated fan and a season ticket holder since 2006, Schuerlein has only missed five games this year. In previous years, he migrated back and forth from his seats in section 309 to the blog box, but now he usually chooses one or the other.
“After four and a half years of being a blog box member, I like that I can enjoy the game two different ways,” said Schuerlein. “I get to enjoy sitting downstairs, cheering and drinking a beer, while on other days I’ll give the tickets to someone and go upstairs in the press box to write for my blog.”
Trying to use social media to gain the attention of viewers, he has established an Islanders YouTube channel (IslesBlogger’s Channel
) and Twitter account (@IslesBlogger
) to accompany IslesBlogger.com
But being a member of the blog box has taken Schuerlein’s fan experience to a whole new level. Instead of asking players for autographs, he goes into the locker room after games to collect quotes. This has enabled him to develop a working relationship with the players and coaching staff.
And to this day, Schuerlein knows he has a very special thing going.
“People never believe me when I mention that Garth Snow knows who I am,” said Schuerlein. “He always comes up, shakes my hand and asks me how I’m doing when he sees me. That makes this whole experience very real.”
He worked extremely hard to make his blog box experience a reality. Schuerlein’s first website attempt wasn’t enough to get him noticed by the Islanders franchise. Determined to finish what he started, he got active in the Islanders message boards and put more work into his website.
“When I put my mind to something, it usually gets done,” said Schuerlein.
Sure enough, a month later while on the Islanders website he saw a blog box announcement and his picture; his efforts had finally paid off. Excited about the news, he called everyone he knew and sent a screen shot of the website announcement via email.
There’s rarely every something that comes up in which I’d pass up going to a game. I’ll always pick the Islanders game. - Michael Scheurlein
The amount of recognition he’s received from the blog box was expected. To his surprise, his blog’s viewership showed incredible numbers one day, rounding out at about 100,000 clicks. He then realized ESPN and a blog called Sports Uniform had linked his site to their pages.
Before it all started to make sense, Schuerlein said, “I thought that the website I was using was broken.”
He added, “It wowed me. It was kind of crazy. I think I wound up with over 200,000 viewers that day.”
Blogging isn’t Schuerlein’s only hobby. He also freelances for an automotive television show and is a published writer for an automotive magazine. Currently working as an air conditioning mechanic, Schuerlein’s childhood dream was always to become a police officer. Thus, he graduated from Kaplan University in 2007 with a degree in Criminal Justice.
At the end of the day, Schuerlein’s dedication to hockey and the Islanders is evident.
“There’s rarely every something that comes up in which I’d pass up going to a game. I’ll always pick the Islanders game.”