Archive for January, 2007

Rory Fitzpatrick Finishes 3rd in All-Star Balloting

January 9, 2007

550,177 votes a record for write-in candidate

Rory FitzpatrickIn a testament to the power of fans on the internet, Vancouver Canucks defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick as a write-in candidate received 550,177 votes but finished third in the contest for the two starting Western Conference defenseman for the 2007 NHL All-Star game scheduled for January 24 in Dallas.  Fitzpatrick was just 22,892 votes out of a starting spot, and just 41,500 votes behind first place This blog has contained comprehensive coverage of the Rory Fitzpatrick campaign. As of the release of week 6 voting results, Rory was 35,000 votes behind, but his 64,000 votes in the final week were not enough to close the gap

Media and blog coverage

Coverage of the Rory campaign mushroomed quickly after the campaign kicked off November 19. From November 20-January 12, I’ve catalogued with direct links 119 stories and links to audio and video coverage of the phenomenon, and 278 blog posts.

Technorati has generated a neat updating graph that shows blog posts that mention Rory Fitzpatrick for the last 60 days.
Technorati Chart

and that mention the NHL All-Star game in the last 60 days.
Technorati Chart 

The HF Boards

The campaign jumpstarted on November 19 with a thread started by Sabres fan Steve Schmid on HFBoards. By January 12 there were 13 discussion threads there with a total of 11,973 posts and 368,738 views. Another good Rory discussion thread is at the official message board, which as of January 8 had 1,757 posts and 57,940 views. Of course, there is also the original Something Awful thread, which as of January 13 has 1722 posts and 66,042 page views

Steve Schmid’s website VoteForRory has great links on the left side of his page to YouTube videos, and the Facebook and MySpace groups devoted to the campaign. Check it out. By the end of voting on January 2, the site had received over 339,000 hits, and had climbed over 375,000 hits by January12.

Facebook and MySpace

As of January 2, 2007, a campaign group with 4,576 members and a group with 727 members were actively supporting the Rory campaign.

Rory on YouTube

 As of January 10, there were 31 different Rory Fitzpatrick videos up at YouTube, the most famous being two satirical attack ads posted December 10, one focused on Nicklas Lidstrom and viewed 44,256 times, and the other focused on Scott Niedermeyer and viewed 47,075 times.


Rory Fitzpatrick media coverage

January 1, 2007

Rory Fitzpatrick NHL All-Star Campaign

In late November 2006, an online write-in campaign began supporting Rory Fitzpatrick for the online balloting for the 2007 NHL All-Star game.  In final voting results, Rory finished in third place among Western Conference defensemen with 550,177 votes. The top two finishers got starting spots. Voting ended January 2, 2007.  There has been extensive media and blog coverage of the improbable campaign.

General coverage

I’ve put together a general post on the Rory Fitzpatrick campaign.

This entry covers stories December 1, 2006-present.

It does not cover more than 280 blog posts, for those, go here

Here’s a sampler of general media coverage, with 121 links as of January 14, 2007 (link on left is to the general website of the media outlet, link on right is to the specific story):

(updated January 14) (1/14) Crosby keeping pace with expectations

Slam Sports (1/12) Saluting NHL’s lunchpail crew (1/12) David King: Vote for / votez pour Tony Parker (covers Rory, then links to a French site with both French and English versions boosting NBA Spurs player Tony Parker for the NBA All-Star game, including screensavers, videos, and a contest to win a trip from Paris to San Antonio. Voting ends January 21, if you are suffering NHL voting withdrawal)

Winnipeg Sun (1/12) Moose are ‘cookin

USA Today (1/11) Fitzpatrick glad he missed All-Star mention

The starting lineups for the NHL All-Star Game were announced Tuesday night, but the Vancouver Canucks defenseman had already received word that he wasn’t headed to Dallas. “It’s fine with me,” said Fitzpatrick, who is a lifelong resident of Irondequoit, N.Y., outside Rochester. “It’s over and that’s probably the best. The game will be played and will have all the stars in it.” Fitzpatrick was unwillingly thrust into the national hockey spotlight when Vote For Rory grew from a website message-board suggestion to an obsession for some fans … “It just continued to grow and grow,” Fitzpatrick said. “I didn’t try to encourage it or discourage it. I was more amazed at how it kept gaining momentum.” … He was never quite sure how to react to it all and felt awkward because he isn’t among the NHL’s elite players. But he was hurt when Don Cherry lashed out against him personally on a Hockey Night In Canada segment, calling him a freak and a joke. “That’s his gig. He likes to cause a commotion and he did,” Fitzpatrick said. “But that was just someone who wasn’t informed about the whole thing. It wasn’t my campaign. I wasn’t telling people to vote.”

Sports Illustrated (1/11) The 10 Spot

Edmonton Sun (1/10) Roar for Rory best all-star hype ever

Now that the whole goofy thing is over and nobody got hurt or seriously embarrassed, it’s amazing to step back and recognize that the NHL could have spent millions in publicity and never in a thousand years have gotten so much positive attention for the sport and for the all-star shindig as they did by accident. In a year – make that a century – when the NHL is suffering from the chronic indifference of a large segment of the American public, Fitzpatrick made more headlines south of the border than Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Marian Hossa, combined.

Vancouver Sun (1/10) Rory’s shot a glory was a gory prospect for NHL (1/10) Luongo credits Fitzpatrick for All-Star start 

With 24 wins already this season, few would argue that Luongo deserved his place in the Jan. 24 showcase but the Canucks netminder believes he benefited from a rousing grassroots internet campaign to get the unheralded Fitzpatrick voted into the all-star contest. “Definitely, that’s given I think, anybody that’s a Canucks fan and voted for Rory probably threw in a vote for me at the same time,” Luongo said during a teleconference on Wednesday. “I definitely think it had a big influence.” Getting Fitzpatrick into the All-Star game had mushroomed into a North American-wide obsession when a fan set up the Web site.

Washington Post (1/10) Luongo gets all-star start with a little help from team mate

Calgary Sun (1/10) Sid the Kid’s Star Rising

The Chronicle Herald (1/10) Vote-in candidate Rory Fitzpatrick falls short for spot on Western blue-line

Los Angeles Times (1/10) Niedermeyer elected to start (1/9) vote for Rory circus running out of steam

Edmonton Journal (1/9) All-star conundrum for coaches (1/9) Internet voters about to weigh in on All-Star game 

cbc.sports (1/9) itsover_3652.jpgThe Instigator (1/9) Vote Rory? We’re so sorry

The Province (1/9) Moment in sun nice while it lasted

Vancouver Sun (1/9) It’s Sorry, Rory, but hello Roberto

Sportsfan Magazine (1/9) Rory Story Ends Short of NHL All-Star Game

Sports (1/8) Fitzpatrick cuts little ice time (1/8) Rory results unveiled Tuesday

Reuters (1/8) Fitzpatrick to see little ice time if voted to All-Star game

Star-Telegram (1/5) Please Block the Rory Vote

Slam Sports (1/4) There is Still Glory for Rory (reports the week 6 results as if they were final totals) (1/3) Winging It: What’s next for the NHL All-Star Game (1/3) Former Amerk at Center of NHL Voting Controversy (1/2) This column’s for you, the hockey-mad masses (John Buccigross column)

The Post-Standard (Syracuse) (1/1) Agitator of the Internet

USA Today (12/31) Notes: Orr, Brashear suspended, Fitzpatrick has a point

The Province (12/31) ALL-STAR GAME; 10 reasons to make ‘histoRory’ (12/30) Sedin’s two goals, assist, pace Canucks past Oilers Game notes (end of story) (12/28) Hodge on WJHC points, Rory, and Sid


Rory Fitzpatrick blog coverage

January 1, 2007

Rory Fitzpatrick NHL All-Star Campaign

In late November 2006, an online write-in campaign began supporting Rory Fitzpatrick for the online balloting for the 2007 NHL All-Star game.  In final voting results, Rory finished in third place among Western Conference defensemen with 550,177 votes. The top two finishers got starting spots. Voting ended January 2, 2007.  There has been extensive media and blog coverage of the improbable campaign. The first blog post on the Rory Fitzpatrick campaign appears to be from Boltsmag on November 20, 2006.

General coverage

I’ve put together a general post on the Rory Fitzpatrick campaign.

This entry covers blog posts November 20, 2006-present.

It does not cover general media stories, for more than 115 of those, go here

Here’s my catalogue of blog coverage, with 286 entries as of January 16, 2007 (link on left is to the blog, link on right is to the specific post), along in some cases with an excerpt from the post:

(updated 16 January)

James Mirtle (1/16) Rory as Vural Marketing

Kingdom of Fear (1/14) The NHL is a Joke … Especially the All Star Game … Vote for Rory

The Musings and Prophecies of Metstradamus (1/14) My Campaign

The Puck Stops Here (1/13) The Rory Fitzpatrick Affair

James Mirtle (1/13) NHL all-stars announced

Tom Benjamin’s NHL weblog (1/12) Rorygate (1/12) Jewish Retirees for Pat Buchanan

A Bit Conciliatory (1/12) Not the Coolest Thing on Ice

Kukla’ Corner (1/12) Conspiracy Theory – All Star Edition

Off Wing Opinion (1/12) Did 100,000 NHL All-Star votes for Rory Fitzpatrick just disappear?

Out of Left Field (1/12) Hockey Last Night

Western College Hockey (1/11) I totally did not see this coming (copycat crime)

Wild Puck Banter (1/11) The Rory Hangover

Two for Elbowing (1/11) James Mirtle: Rory falls short – A hockey journalist’s blog

Deadspin (1/11) Vote for Rory Falls Short; Is There Something (Ice) Fishy Going On?

False Gods (1/10) ‘On the Kwan’ Special: Rory Fitzpatrick

You conducted yourself with exemplary grace in a situation that snowballed into circus-like proportions. You endured the barbs and brickbats of jerks such as Don Cherry and Wayne Gretzky with nary a retort (though we did love the one jab you allowed yourself, about how a couple of months ago no one cared about the all-star game and now it’s “so precious.”) Cherry went so far as to call you a “freak,” saying your fans were laughing at you, not with you. In typical fashion, his Coaches’ Corner rant was full of mistakes (like when he said you haven’t played all year). Gretzky said you didn’t deserve to be there, even if the fans did vote you in. Others said the campaign made a mockery of the all-star game.We tip our hats to you. By taking the high road, remaining modest and understated, you showed us all why so many were willing to try and get you into the starting lineup. (1/10) #18 on the ice, but … er … #3 in our hearts?

Dan Murphy (1/10) Demanding a recount

James Mirtle (1/10) Rory falls short

Globe and Mail (1/10) Mirtle: Consider this a Vote for Rory

Globe and Mail (1/10) Duhatschek: The Fitzpatrick campaign, all in good fun

Orland Kurtenblog (1/10) Vote for Me and All Your Wildest Dreams Will Come True … Not

Jes Golbez’s Hockey Rants (1/10) Rory Fitzpatrick: All Star Dreams … Shattered (1/10) Rory Fitzpatrick, NHL All Star …

Aaron (1/10) NHL Fan Voting

Globe & Mail (1/10) Mike Brophy: it’s good to see Vote-for-Rory failed

Hockey Nation (1/10) Sorry, Rory!

Cancucks Hockey Blog (1/10) Close but no Cigar

Kukla’s Corner (1/10) No Rory – Good (1/10) Vote for Rory Fan Campaign Falls Short. Who’s Next?

Dan Shanoff (1/10) Wednesday 01/10 A.M. Quickie

The dream is over for Rory Fitzpatrick: The NHL’s story of the year – the write-in All-Star candidacy that earned a staggering 550K votes – fell 23,000 votes short. But it set a new standard for grassroots phenomena in the NHL and across fan-balloting in sports.

hlog {Hockey’s Ladies of Greatness} (1/10) If you didn’t vote for Rory, you let the enemy win (1/10) NHL All-Star Starting Line-Ups

Randball (1/10) Wednesday (Lebowski) Edition: Wha’ Happened?

Yorio’s Sporting Blog (1/9) Fans get NHL All-Stars Right – Even Rory

Finally, if the league has a heart and a conscience and a bit of a sense of humor, it sends Rory Fitzpatrick as well. The people have spoken and if you start Cheechoo over Selanne because of it, you put Fitzpatrick (who finished third in voting for defensemen in the west) on the team. It’s the right thing to do and for those in the league offices looking for a little media attention, this is a great story for outlets that don’t normally cover hockey and are looking for a little fun and human interest.  All in all, it was a job well done by the fans and the league just needs to round it out now for this year’s All-Star Game to have some pretty exciting potential.

Bleeding Blue and Gold (1/9) Sabres Dominate With Three All-Star Nods

Off Wing Opinion (1/9) Top Stories of the Night

Randball (1/9) The Man is trying to keep Rory down

Canucks Hockey blog (1/9) D-Day for Rory and Other Tidbits

stick in rink: a hockey blog (1/9) No more Rory

stick in rink: a hockey blog (1/9) NHL All-Star Eve

(Next year, can we see a way to vote in the refs? I want McGeough to know just how much fans do not appreciate him.)

Hockey Leaks (1/9) Rory’s No Star

The Voice in My Head Can Finally Speak Out (1/9) I had a girl; she was the best around (puts it all in perspective)

Kukla’s Corner (1/8) All Star coaches talk (1/8) The Gatorade, Old Spice … Pensblog Recap … brought to you by Adidas

MNSpeak. com (1/6) All-Star Shenanigans (writer assumes Rory is in the starting lineup)

Cuddy Shark (1/5) Fans for Rory May be Delivering Payback

Warped (1/5) 2006 – the Year in Review: The Power of the Internet Award – “Vote for Rory”

Elliot Silverstein: Politics, new media, the mass media, and communications (1/4) Voting for the Underdog

“Critics like the CBC’s Scott Morrison have been vocal, stating that fans have exploited a “flaw” with the NHL’s voting system by casting ballots for someone who is “unworthy”.  Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry even shared his thoughts recently calling the support of Fitzpatrick a joke. In this context, I disagree.  First and foremost, this is a ballot for an All-Star game, not a general election.  The process in place allows for multiple votes, and as such the results could be skewed by those who take the time to vote often.  The intention was for fans to vote for who they wanted to see in the lineup.  If the purpose was for only the “deserving” players who are having a good year to appear, then it defeats the purpose of the NHL allowing fans to select a write-in candidate.”