Jumping onto the beat of a new team three quarters of the way through the season can't be very easy... especially when you have to uproot your life to do so. Well, that's exactly what Adam Vingan did when he signed on as the new Nashville Predators beat reporter for The Tennessean.
Now that the season is over, things have calmed down, and Adam has gotten a chance to adjust to southern living, let's take some time to get to know the new guy.
Let's start basic: Who are you? Where did you come from and how did you get into hockey?
I am Adam Vingan, but you already knew that. I came from Washington, D.C., where I spent four seasons -- 2011-12 through most of 2014-15 -- covering the Capitals for several local and national outlets: WRC-TV (Washington's NBC affiliate), Washington Post Express and NHL.com.
I got into hockey at a very young age. Growing up in Virginia Beach, Va., my father would take me to Hampton Roads Admirals (ECHL) games. I was smitten with the fast-paced action and fell in love immediately. I have never played the game, nor do I know how to skate. Think of the scene in "Bambi" when the titular character attempts to walk on ice. That's me on skates.
For those not familiar with your work, can you describe your journey from blogger to beat reporter?
The CliffsNotes version is that I started a WordPress blog with my friend Jack Anderson in July 2010 entitled "Kings Of Leonsis." Our text was on fire.
From there, I graduated to SB Nation, followed by NBC4 in February 2012. I added Express in July 2012 and NHL.com in September 2013. During the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, I covered the Capitals for all three outlets simultaneously.
Have you previously spent much time in Nashville?
Before moving here, I had never spent any time in Nashville. I had never been to Tennessee, either.
If yes, what is your favorite hot chicken restaurant? If no, which hot chicken restaurant are you most looking forward to trying?
I tried Hattie B's, which I thought was delicious. I hear Prince's is even better, so that's on my to-do list.
Now that you've escaped, what can you tell us about East Coast Media Bias? Are there official meetings, or is it all done over the phone, email, etc.?
It's like the Stonecutters. Who rigs every Awards night? We do! We do!
What were your initial thoughts on having to transition to a brand new beat so late into the season? What excites you about that the most? Terrifies you?
I'll admit, I was a bit nervous. But there was a level of excitement that comes with said nervousness. Uprooting your life on a whim is terrifying, but it's what I had to do in order to advance my career. Getting to travel to places I've never been to was certainly a treat, as was meeting new players and colleagues.
How do you respond to allegations that you are responsible for Nashville's sudden stretch of poor play?
Yes, the formal announcement of my hiring -- Feb. 26 -- was the same date as the beginning of Nashville's 6-12-3 finish, only better than Arizona and Buffalo over that span. I deny such wild allegations. Mere happenstance.
If you were a box of cereal, what would you be and why? 1000 words or less, please.
I'd say Chocolate Cheerios, only because I eat them every morning and they're delicious.
Can you bring back your pregame Power Rankings?
I can next season. Trouble is, you run out of choices. Luckily, I'll see more Western Conference teams, so I'll have fresh material.
In your half-season plus with him, do you have a favorite Barry Trotz moment/experience? Can you top #PredatorHard?
I do. In December, the Capitals began experimenting with tough guy Tom Wilson on the first line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Wilson is more than just an "enforcer," but I asked Barry if he felt that Wilson needed to curb his propensity for fighting when playing such important minutes. My colleague Alex Prewitt of The Washington Post captured Barry's reaction to my question, which I have shared below:
When I tweeted out the article later that day, I included that photo:
The next day, as we left the workroom at the Capitals' practice facility to talk to Barry, he looked right at me and made that face. I didn't notice it until everyone else was laughing. He sees things, man.
Are you related somehow to Jon Garcia or is this simply a migration of Northern Virginians to the Nashville Metropolitan area?
We are not related, but I have met a few former Washingtonians since I've been here. It's definitely a change of pace.
(Ed. Note: We'll discuss how best to execute the full NoVa takeover at a later time.)
If the 2014-15 Nashville Predators were a 1980s or 1990s WWF Superstar, who would they be and why? Also, since this is your introductory piece, what is your entrance music?
Oh, that's a good question. I'll say they are the 1-2-3 Kid, better known as X-Pac. The 1-2-3 Kid scored an upset victory over Razor Ramon on RAW, which sort of skyrocketed him to unexpected fame, sort of like how the Predators were the surprise of the NHL this season. Eventually, he lost steam and saddled up with D-Generation X. He was still there, but not as much in the spotlight.
As for my entrance music, that's simple. If I was ever a professional wrestler, my entrance theme would be "The Rival Cycle" by The Receiving End of Sirens.
Other than hockey, what are you most looking forward to in moving here?
I've enjoyed the low-key vibe. Washington, as you might expect, is always go go go. People take their time in Nashville and enjoy the here and now, it seems. I like that.
Taylor Swift or Katy Perry?
Katy Perry, for reasons.
New York style, Chicago style, or St. Louis style?
As the son of two New Yorkers, I'll say New York style.
Country or Western?
There's a difference?
Justin Bieber or George Washington?
Star Trek or Star Wars?
David Lee Roth Van Halen or Sammy Hagar Van Halen?
Neither, not a huge Van Halen guy.
Mac or PC?
Asking questions or answering questions?
Thanks again to Adam for taking time to indulge us! If you need to reach him or have any questions about the team, you can tweet him on the Twitter.