We're Chris Nelson and Gemma Hooley, independent producers who create sound-rich storytelling on the radio and online. We seek out stories about everything from hockey players in North America to wildlife biologists in South Africa. All the content on our tumblr site is recorded, written, shot and owned by us, unless we indicate otherwise. Thanks for visiting.

 

what it feels like

On game day today, thinking back on our trip to Pittsburgh a year ago for Hockey Diaries: Winter Classic 2011 and probably our favorite made-for-radio quote about skating outdoors, from then-Penguin forward Michael Rupp. 

MEDIACHAMELEON: "Can you describe to someone on the radio what it feels like to skate outside, what are the sensations that are different to you?  What would you say?”

RUPP: “Did you ever go swimming in the nude? It’s kind of similar to that, I guess. It’s (laughs) it just feels, I don’t know, it feels… you just, it’s just… it’s freeing experience. Like you’re just in there, and you got the air around you, you can see it, it just… it’s a pretty cool feeling. I guess that’s a bad example, but it’s what I got.”

For you hockey fans struggling through the apocalypse heatwave: our reminder of cooler moments…

For you hockey fans struggling through the apocalypse heatwave: our reminder of cooler moments…

Thanks so much to everybody who has listened to, and tweeted/emailed about, the Winter Classic documentary! We’re so glad you’re enjoying it. Don’t forget to explore our recent archives for profiles of the fan diarykeepers, and to check out some of their Classic roadtrip pics. A few quick updates: 
Ways to listen:  Big thanks to the Washington Capitals for posting the show on their website for you to stream or to download as an mp3 (right click, and “Save Target As”), whichever you prefer.
Upcoming interview:  We’ll be on Penguins Radio 105.9-HD2 on Thursday morning 3/31 around 9:35am, talking about “the making of”… Then the full, one-hour piece will air at 11am.  

Thanks so much to everybody who has listened to, and tweeted/emailed about, the Winter Classic documentary! We’re so glad you’re enjoying it. Don’t forget to explore our recent archives for profiles of the fan diarykeepers, and to check out some of their Classic roadtrip pics. A few quick updates: 

Ways to listen:  Big thanks to the Washington Capitals for posting the show on their website for you to stream or to download as an mp3 (right click, and “Save Target As”), whichever you prefer.

Upcoming interview:  We’ll be on Penguins Radio 105.9-HD2 on Thursday morning 3/31 around 9:35am, talking about “the making of”… Then the full, one-hour piece will air at 11am.  

Listen out for our Winter Classic 2011 Hockey Diaries radio documentary, debuting tomorrow, March 28, on NHL Home Ice (XM Channel 204 and SIRIUS Channel 208). Here’s the air schedule (all times Eastern):
Monday, March 28: 7am and 3pm
Wednesday, March 30: 2pm and 8pm
Thursday, March 31: 11am
Saturday, April 2: 9am
Sunday, April 3: 11am and 3pm
It will also be available to listen online — follow @mediachameleon for details when we have them.  Thanks for listening; let us know what you think…

Listen out for our Winter Classic 2011 Hockey Diaries radio documentary, debuting tomorrow, March 28, on NHL Home Ice (XM Channel 204 and SIRIUS Channel 208). Here’s the air schedule (all times Eastern):

Monday, March 28: 7am and 3pm

Wednesday, March 30: 2pm and 8pm

Thursday, March 31: 11am

Saturday, April 2: 9am

Sunday, April 3: 11am and 3pm

It will also be available to listen online — follow @mediachameleon for details when we have them.  Thanks for listening; let us know what you think…

Five fans kept roadtrip audio diaries for our Winter Classic 2011 radio documentary coming on March 28.  Meet Nate Levin of Cincinnati, OH.

"I was born a Penguins fan.  My grandfather had season seats in one form or another from the ‘68 season through the ’70s, section C15 at the Igloo.  Some of the very darkest years of Penguins hockey.  Growing up, my cousins and I were told countless tales of our dad’s adventures in downtown Pittsburgh. Condor (ABA)-Penguins’ double headers, defunct sponsors, being denied any arena snacks by my grandfather, legendary on ice brawls staring less than legendary players. As kids look up to their fathers, uncles, grandfathers, I was no exception and wished I could have these adventures with my favorite team. Only problem was, I didn’t grow up in Pittsburgh. I have been a displaced fan my entire life. Grew up in Cleveland, school at Ohio University in Athens, four years in L.A., a stop in Columbus and now in Cincinnati. Access to Penguins hockey was limited in the 90s. I would barely be able to hear Mike Lange over static on my small RCA radio while in my bunk bed 200 miles away from Pittsburgh… I am driving from Cincinnati with my wife, 4 hour drive. Staying downtown on New Years Eve; after the game we will probably crash at my grandparents in suburban Pittsburgh before driving back… I love the Penguins because it’s the religion of my father, and his father."

Photos courtesy of Nate Levin (c) All Rights Reserved:  Packing for the road; Approaching Pittsburgh; Vendors’ wares; Father and son in the stands

Five fans kept roadtrip audio diaries for our Winter Classic 2011 radio documentary coming on March 28.  Meet Kelly Stoner of Arlington, VA.

"I was born overseas in Salzburg, Austria so (Washington) DC is actually a really great town for me… I’m a transplant and it’s definitely a city full of transplants, so in some ways it kind feels like home in that sense… I moved to DC in February of 2009, and the first weekend I lived here I saw my first Caps game and its sort of been, you know, "that’s all she wrote" kind of thing. The Caps played the Florida Panthers and Ovechkin had a hat trick and I was hooked. When I first told my folks that I was a hockey fan they were sort of like "Who are you? What have you done with our daughter?"… I’ll never ever forget my first hockey game, actually seeing it in person and hearing the sound of the skates on the ice and the screams from the guys as they’re yelling at each other. One of the things that I really like is that I feel good about being a Caps fan. You know, we have an amazing group of players on this team.. and so it’s a great time to be a Caps fan right now."

Photos courtesy of Kelly Stoner (c) All Rights Reserved:  Winter Classic 2011 scoreboard; Fans stream into Heinz Field on Jan 1; Checklist of winter gear in Pittsburgh hotel room; In the stands at Heinz Field before puck drop

Five fans kept roadtrip audio diaries for our Winter Classic 2011 radio documentary coming on March 28.  Meet Jeff Smith of Beavercreek, OH.

"My wife and I take at least two or three trips to Pittsburgh a year. We have a friend that has tickets on the glass, so we can get good seats whenever we can make the four-hour drive… We were at game four of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2009 when Jordan Staal got a short-handed breakaway and that turned the tide of the series and, you know, I was there. I have a picture of us celebrating… You can’t buy something like that. It’s just because we were there, in the experience and you know it’s just, it’s just awesome. I don’t know any other way to describe it. It’s just awe inspiring…  My favorite part of the drive (is) coming up. When you come out of the Four Pitt tunnel, the city just explodes right in front of you. Absolutely fantastic.”

Photos courtesy of Jeff Smith (c) All Rights Reserved: Winter Classic ice sculpture in Pittsburgh; U.S. flag formation in the stands; In the seats at Heinz Field; Fireworks in the stadium

Five fans kept roadtrip audio diaries for our Winter Classic 2011 radio documentary coming up March 28. Meet Cambria Knutson of Madison, AL.

"My brother and I are going to the Winter Classic. He is a Capitals fan and I’m a Penguins fan. We are going to the Winter Classic thanks to our family. Instead of Christmas presents, our family gave us money to buy tickets. It is 660 miles from our house to Heinz Field… I have been a Penguins fan ever since I was 10 and did a book report on Mario Lemieux. My brother became a Capitals fan because of Ovechkin. We both play hockey. I played women’s club at Ohio State and he played in high school. We are lucky enough to play on the same adult league team. We aren’t from a traditional hockey market. Madison/Huntsville, AL is about 1.5 hours from Nashville and 3.5 hours from Atlanta. I actually work for the semi-pro hockey team in Huntsville, the Huntsville Havoc. So my brother and I are huge hockey fans from Alabama, driving 11 hours to Pittsburgh for the Winter Classic. We would love to share our story, two siblings who are on opposite sides of this rivalry, who are driving for half a day to be a part of this historic event."

Photos courtesy of Cambria and Andrew Knutson (c) All Rights Reserved: A misty Pittsburgh on game night; Florence water tower on the roadtrip; The scene outside Heinz Field; Cambria and Andrew Knutson in their seats for the game

Five fans kept roadtrip audio diaries for our Winter Classic 2011 radio documentary coming up on March 28.  Meet Mike Shwedick of Bowie, MD.

"I’ve been a Caps fan since I was 9. It runs in my family and the Caps are a huge part of the relationship between my dad and I. When I turned 18… I bought season tickets and have had them ever since, in section 107. I completely dive into the Caps emotionally, financially and mentally. I’ve been in 18 of the 30 NHL arenas over the past 5-6 years, following the team. I’ve had several creative outlets… including writing and producing The Caps Rap. Here’s my interview on CSN… On my days off you can usually find me at Kettler… I received Winter Classic tickets through my season tickets.  There could not be a more perfect time, place and opponent for this game.”

Photos courtesy of Mike Shwedick (c) All Rights Reserved: Breakfast en route to Pittsburgh; Shwedick in front of the Winter Classic rink; Heinz Field concessions; Fans entering Heinz Field

winter classic in the springtime

For the Winter Classic this year, we wanted to add a new type of voice to Hockey Diaries. We wanted to hear from players and coaches, from event staff and ice-crew… but we also wanted to hear from the fans.  Not just anonymous fan vox, not just the sounds of victory or defeat. Instead we wanted to know who those fans were, what made them tick, what made them drive long distances, and sleep on sofas, and spend big money to put themselves in a cold yellow seat at Heinz Field for a hockey game in the rain.  What was that like, exactly? And when you listen to these stories all together, when do the lines between them — my team vs. your team, my lockerroom vs. your stadium seat, my win vs. your loss — when do those lines start to get blurred by a collective sense of the moment?  Our hour-long radio documentary will air on NHL Home Ice starting March 28 — watch this space for air times and channels. And coming up soon, introductions to the five fans who (along with Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner) kept audio diaries for us on their journey. Until then: what it’s like without the fans…