Hello and welcome to Emme, Rainey, Hayley, and Austin. As mentioned earlier, we're planning on expanding into a few new areas during the 2016-17 season, and that has allowed us to bring in some new folks who are motivated to use this platform to acquire some new skills and knowledge.
Personally, I think Nashville, the surrounding area, and the entire region are due for some new voices in sports. That's one of our goals for this season: to accelerate the growth and exposure of talented and motivated people. We already have a few future rockstars of the sports media landscape on our roster. People like Mark, Anish, Marya, and Bryant? Seeing them on this site is like owning their rookie card. So with the tools at our disposal we can create more content, explore new avenues, and do more than just a few daily posts. A second radio show? Working on that, as well as some other stuff I don't want to mention just yet. But good things are coming. Adding more staff was the first part of our plan for this summer.
I could not have said it any better than Dan did about accelerating the growth and exposure of talented and motivated people. We have an unbelievable team here at OTF and it's only getting stronger. Expect to see some fantastic new content not only for the 2016-17 campaign but for these slow grueling summer months as well. Everything Dan said x2 for me. I also want to extend a massive thank you not only for the warm welcome to the site but to all of our readers; each and every one of you. The comments, the Tweets, the Facebook replies and the shares, and everything inbetween; thank you. You all play a massive role in all of this and you don't know how much we appreciate that.
Tell us a quick bit about yourself.
Emme: I was born and raised just south of Nashville. I am currently a Sport Studies student at Mississippi State University.
Rainey: My name is Blake Rainey. I was born and raised in Memphis, TN. I moved to Nashville 6 years ago. I'm a fan of the Grizz, Vols, Titans, and Preds. Sports are my life.
Hayley: I'm a five foot one mac and cheese connoisseur, beer enthusiast, and puppy lover. If you can hold a conversation with just .gif's, we can be best friends.
Austin: I'm a college student at Tennessee but permanently live in the Nashville area. I was the main guy at "The Predatorial" this past season, so if you liked the content over there this upcoming season will be great. I do a little sports radio both here and in Knoxville. Also, fantasy football players can find all the advice and insight they need at my site allppr.com (shameless plug). Follow on Twitter @apirkle1.
When and how did you become a hockey fan?
Emme: Hockey has always been in my family. I grew up going to my older cousin's hockey games, and my brother began playing a few years ago.
Rainey: I started playing hockey at the age of eight. I played until I was a junior in high school. I've been a fan of hockey since the age of eight. Jaromir Jagr is my hockey hero.
Hayley: I've been a casual hockey fan since I was really young, but became really invested once I moved to Nashville.
Austin: Just like so many others, seeing a game in person as a kid. One night of hockey had me hooked for life.
If you were watching a hockey game in person, but weren't at a Preds game and weren't wearing a Preds jersey, where would you be and what jersey would you be wearing?
Emme: I don't follow any other NHL teams religiously. I'm still a big Seth Jones fan, so I'd be in Columbus cheering for Jones.
Rainey: I would be at the CONSOL Energy Center wearing a Flyers jersey to ruffle some Pittsburgh feathers.
Hayley: For fear of my own safety I'm not going to answer this. But the jersey is red, white, and black and Nashvillians really don't like them.
Austin: I'll probably go with an Islanders game sporting a Tavares jersey. Love the way the guy plays and still think he doesn't receive enough credit.
Favorite place to dine at in Nashville?
Hayley: I enjoy Brewhouse if I'm downtown, but Old Chicago in Brentwood has a great beer selection and amazing mac and cheese!
Austin: I'm cheating a little, but there isn't a better Mexican place than Casa Vieja in Hendersonville.
If you were a fighter/baseball player, what would your walk-up music be?
Emme: "Run the World" by Beyonce.
Rainey: "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift.
Hayley: Either "This Means War" by Avenged Sevenfold or "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John... pair accordingly.
What other teams do you follow?
Emme: Titans and Saints.
Rainey: Vols, Grizz, and Titans.
Hayley: The Chicago Bears, the Cubs, the Angels, and I try to keep up with most of the teams in the NHL.
Austin: My fantasy football team, Georgia (yes, I know I attend Tennessee), and Bayern Munich.
Lastly, what is your favorite hockey memory thus far?
Emme: The 2015 Playoffs. Filip Forsberg was being considered for the Calder Trophy. The night that the three finalists were announced and Forsberg was not one of them, he scored a hat trick.
Rainey: 2016, Preds/Sharks game five when Viktor Arvidsson scored the game winner in OT. The crowd was louder than ever. It was insane.
Hayley: It's probably a tie between All Star Weekend, beating Anaheim in the first game 7, and the one time I made Shea Weber laugh.
Austin: Triple OT game and Fisher netting the winner.
Firstly, glad to know I'm not alone with my affection for Brewhouse. And if I can overcome my obvious Florida bias to bring on both Vawls and Dawgs fans, you folks can tolerate a Midwestern expat. I hope.
There are a few others we're waiting to hear back from, so expect another one of these before too long. But take a moment to say hi and such.