Three Bridge Sports (3BS) provides a refreshing reporting platform for Bay Area sports, covering all of the major teams, collegiate and professional. The 3BS team publishes a wide array of content, from lighthearted anecdotes to in-depth analytical articles, such as Colin Kaepernicks’ eyebrow shaving bet with Russell Wilson to detailed breakdowns of the Golden State Warriors’ inbound plays. What really sets 3BS apart from other sports reporting sites is that it is by the fans, for the fans, featuring contributors who are die-hard fans first and writers second. With communal feedback, participation, and most of all local support, Three Bridge Sports has the potential to become a unique and popular reporting platform for the most dedicated and passionate fan base in sports. Read the interview below to learn more about the inception and operations of Three Bridge Sports from two of the site’s founding members.
We’ll start of with the basic question: what inspired you guys to start Three Bridge Sports?
Jay: Things spawned last year around May or June. Jim and I worked together for a non-profit organization in Boston called City Year. We would always talk about sports and from those talks I knew Jim was very knowledgeable. I’ve loved Bay Area sports since I was really young and I wanted to create a website that I could run with my buddies, and contribute the content that I wanted to contribute. At least for me, I haven’t seen a whole lot of Bay Area sports blogs that had a more fun aspect to them, which we like to say that we have at Three Bridge. We have the serious analysis articles but we also have joke articles, like articles about Kaepernick’s eyebrow and things of that nature.
Jim: I definitely got involved with Three Bridge because of Jay, as I’m not from the Bay Area originally. But I’ve always liked the A’s and Raiders… those underdog type of teams. When I met Jay and we started talking about sports, he told me about his idea to start a blog and I was definitely in. I could tell we had the same vision and feel for sports.
Who makes up the Three Bridge Sports team?
Jay: It is basically just Jim, Andrew Skaggs — another Marin native who lives in San Anselmo and went to Drake High School — and me. We’re the three main contributors at the moment. Initially, I had a few other friends involved, but they’ve faded a little bit due to their school loads and things of that nature getting in the way.
So your site is named Three Bridge Sports—due to the three main bridges of the Bay—what do you feel like your site/writing brings to the people of the Bay Area and Marin? What do you believe your site provides to the people of the Bay that isn’t being provided to them by other sports coverage sources such as the San Francisco Chronicle, ESPN, Bleacher Report, etc.?
Jay: First and foremost, I think we bring a more unencumbered voice. We’re not scared to be biased. We have the freedom to write articles bashing Richard Sherman and we also like to incorporate articles featuring GIF’s and Tweets from Bay Area sport’s players. We have a weekly article composed of various tweets from professional athletes in the Bay Area that we find to be funny and provide brief commentary along with their tweets… Anthony Dixon always has some funny tweets. Our articles’ have a more bar-stool-esque feel to them — more buffoonery articles, mixed in with more deep analysis of the local teams— i.e. articles describing play-by-play breakdowns of the Warriors offensive sets and out-of-bounds plays.
Jim: I think one of the best things about the site is that you’ll get 250 word pieces that are a little more light-hearted and fun, and then you’ll also get 1500 word pieces that go in-depth on physical analysis. I feel like a lot of websites do one or the other, but I think Three Bridge does a pretty good job of balancing the two.
Are you guys writers by education and training… or is this just fun for you? Do you want to be professional sports writers?
Jay: For me personally, I think a lot of people would love to be a sports writer. I think that 9 out of 10 of my friends, if polled, would say they’d love to have sports writing be their profession. I view it more as a fun outlet at the moment though. It’s something I’m passionate about, something that I like to do. If the site gains more traffic and ESPN, or someone like that, wanted us to write for them and pay us to write those articles, that’d be great. But I think right now I’m more trying to do something that I love to do, which is write about the Warriors and 49ers with more depth, and things like that. I think Jim has a little bit higher aspirations.
Jim: Yeah, I would love to do sports writing for a job. It’s a hard profession to get into and like Jay said— a lot of people want to do it. I have a little bit of experience in the field— I’ve been published once and wrote for another blog for a little while. Right now, I’m out of school and I have a job that pays the bills and all of that. Then I do this on the side because I don’t find it to be like having two jobs. It’s like I have one job and one passion, and if I ever got paid for my passion that would be great. But right now, it’s just a passion on the side.
Jay: Also, just a quick side-note— Jim was just published in… what was the name of the journal, Jim?
Jim: Baseball Research Journal. It’s a little less fun (i.e. not Three Bridge Sports‘ style) and more focused on the physical side of sports.
As you have been gaining a greater following, has your access to the professional sports teams of the Bay Area increased? Any backstage access yet?
Jay: The short answer… no. But that’s basically just because of our proximity to the Bay right now. I’m a senior at the University of Michigan so it’s not really feasible and I haven’t had the opportunity to gain that type of insider access. But I know a couple of other Bay Area blogs that have been able to get that type of access and I think after I graduate this year— when I return to the Bay for a little while— I’ll definitely work on that. It’d be great to get backstage access and get to interact with the players, and develop a rapport with them. That’s something I believe would really enhance our articles.
Jim: Yeah, I’m in Boston right now, so proximity is also a little bit of an issue for me. Our subways can get around now-a-days and the A’s have an affiliate team in my hometown in Vermont. I went to one of their games this year, and when I was at the game, I was thinking— I should get in touch with some of the people here and try to interview some of the A’s prospects. That was something I was thinking about doing down the line, hopefully next year. So there are definitely ways to get insider access even from long-distance, but I haven’t looked into it much right now because of time. But that is definitely something that would be cool to incorporate moving forward.
Did both of you grow up playing sports? Do you believe that having played or not played sports at competitive levels affects an individuals’ ability to cover sports?
Jay: For me, I played basketball growing up and all through high school. That was kind of my main sport— that and baseball I know pretty well. And I definitely think it has helped me in terms of doing the actual analysis of basketball plays, and in terms of the Warriors and looking at their offensive sets and tendencies. I definitely have a way better comprehension of basketball than I do, say — football, which I only played for one year of high school, and even then it was on a 3-7 JV team so we weren’t very good. I think that limits my ability to provide real in-depth knowledge to people who may have played organized football for many years. For football, I focus more on the goofier stuff. So to answer your question, yeah I think it does limit a person’s ability to write about sports if they haven’t played at some of the relatively higher levels of organization.
Jim: I also played sports in high school, not super seriously, I usually played through JV. I definitely think that the sports I played, I write about with more passion. I don’t know if that is just because I like the sports I played, but if I try to write about something like hockey— even if I watch the game— there is only so much I can write about because I have never played the game, so I don’t really have a feel for it. I think the biggest thing is that the games you played growing up are usually the ones that you followed the most too. I think that when you follow a sport while growing up, you get to know more about it and I think that might be more important than having played it sometimes.
Now Jay, you’re from the Bay Area, what was your favorite team growing up? Also, what has been your greatest Bay Area sports fandom memory?
Jay: For me, basketball is my main sport, so I’d have to say, the Warriors. And my favorite Warriors’ team had to be the ’07 “We Believe” team. That was just fantastic. I had been a really big Warriors’ fan since I was six or seven, and then finally getting to go to the playoffs… not only that, I got to go to Game 4. The Warriors were up 2-1 against the Mavericks in the first round and it was a closer game than the previous three. I vividly remember watching Baron Davis hit a half-court shot at the end of the third quarter and I was just beside myself, hugging random people that I didn’t know. So, that was the epitomic moment where I was like, “This is Bay Area sports… like this is f****** awesome.” But then also seeing the Giants win the World Series in 2010 and the 49er’s playoff run last year— just the 49er’s resurgence in the past few years was such a revelation, something I just did not expect at all. I think the turning point was in Harbaugh’s first year when they beat the Eagles in Philadelphia. I remember Justin Smith came up from behind Jeremy Maclin to punch the ball out when the Eagles were driving to tie or potentially win the game and I was like “Holy crap… We have a chance of doing this.” So yeah, for me, it’s been the Niners, Warriors, and Giants. The Warriors have probably been my longest loved team, but the Niners have kind of taken that over as of late because of their recent success and how much fun they are to watch.
Jim: Yeah, like I said, I grew up on the other coast, so I watched peripherally. But the last couple of years I have actually adopted the Warriors as my Western Conference team, because I like David Lee and Steph Curry a lot— Curry since his days at Davidson and David Lee from his time with the Knicks.
Jay: Jim’s one of the few Warriors’ fans that actually likes David Lee… sorry to interject.
Jim: (Laughter) Yeah… but especially last year’s playoffs, the Warriors were awesome. Watching with Jay, while we were still talking about the idea of this blog too, I started watching the Warriors with a different eye— looking at them like this could be my team. And to see them do well was awesome. And personally, I think they are going to go pretty far this year, so hopefully I’ll be able to add to my Bay Area sports memories that way.
Jay: Yeah, not to interrupt again, but we watched many a Warriors’ playoff game in Boston bars, and it is ridiculous how much love you get when you’re wearing a Stephen Curry jersey. No one doesn’t like the Warriors. Like, I would rock my Steph Curry jersey and everyone would be giving me high-fives on the street; they didn’t care at all, they all hated the Spurs. It was definitely fun. That was at the beginning when Three Bridge Sports really came together.