Many Vancouver Canucks fans grew up seeing Jason Botchford’s face—complete with big headphones slung around his neck in what we can only guess was an effort by the paper to look edgy and cool—in the back of The Province.
For more than a decade, Botchford was one of the staples of the paper’s most important section and that only became more evident in recent years. His online Provies column—game recaps yes, but so much more—are must-read at a time when hardly anything is anymore.
Now, like many high profile newspaper scribes before him, Botchford is taking his talents to The Athletic, the online subscription site that’s gobbling up sports writers and putting them behind paywalls.
The site seems to constantly be offering deals on subscriptions, but the average charge is around $60 a year.
You can bet that tons of Vancouver sports fans who were previously on the fence are going to pull out those credit cards in the wake of Botchford’s announcement. If replies to the below tweet are any indication, it’s already happened dozens of times.
Speaking of which, instead of going the tired route and penning a long, winding post about why he’s joining the site as has become customary, Botchford instead released the first edition of The Athletic’s Provies (name to be decided on later).
While the post contained the usual interesting Canucks tidbits, the most intriguing parts dealt with Botchford’s decision to leave The Province's parent company, Postmedia.
According to the writer he asked for a buyout but was rejected. In the post, he details two incidents that helped him make the move sans buyout; both involved misguided directions from Postmedia higher-ups.
The Athletic’s stated goal is to make its readers “fall in love with the sports page again.” When we first read that, it came off as pretentious. It’s starting to make a little bit more sense now, especially considering Botchford’s inside look into how the establishment is choosing to run its sports pages.
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