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REPORTING FROM THE JOCK-OSPHERE

"Rod, you're pretty much the new Thoreau." Getty Images

(Ed's Note: In the long view of the sports media industry, it's still a relatively new concept that athletes, agents, executives, and yes, mascots, could circumvent us and tell their own stories…instantly, on blogs. We say, fantastic, but we're going to cover what they're writing.)

Rod Benson: Boom Goes the Blog-o-Mite

Bismark, North Dakota is a metropolis of roughly 58,000 people, has recreation activities such as local hiking trails, hunting and fishing, and a black population of roughly .28%.

Rod Benson, a member of the Dakota Wizards of the NBDL, has his own Walden Pond. And a popular blog.

"I was going out of my mind with boredom," said Benson, who started the blog after graduation from Cal, and continued it in Bismark, along the same theme. "I just do it all for fun."

This is also why his writing often encapsulates the mundane, such as a day at the doctor's office, when he describes the process of filling a cup, or of turning to the left for a cough.

This was enough for Yahoo! to come calling, and Benson now blogs a few times a week for Ball Don't Lie. He's also used the site to get out the word out on his somewhat epic "Boom Tho! Movement," or at least the t-shirt option.

At 23, he is the new-age minor league ballplayer; no longer are the wisecracks only heard by teammates or occasionally filtered through the small-town media in a notes article. The writing isn't all gags (like his music video parody) though. At times it's introspective. Benson opines on the rough life of the D-league: the bus trips, the pressure to perform in front of NBA scouts, the cold winters of Bismarck, a town devoid of nightlife.

Or about cars.

"Let me ask you something. What are the last car brands you consider buying?" he asks in a February screed. "Let's pretend that you had $40,000 to spend on a new whip, I'm sure your first thought wouldn't be Saturn. If you're younger than 77 years old, it wouldn't be Buick. For me, one of those brands used to be Mercury. I just always considered Mercury to be a bootleg Ford. I don't like Ford, so why would I like Mercury? I now have a reason: Jill Wagner."

Cars and women.

"There's a possibility of doing more things," Benson told us. (He's been offered screen writing jobs and hopes to write a book someday.) For now, Benson isn't quite ready to be the tallest, most athletic author in the bunch. He wants it the other way around.

"I want to be the 180th best NBA player that can edit a book," he said.

Raymond: Mascots. Blogging.

Raymond, that blue weird Snuffleupagus-looking thing the Tampa Bay Rays call their mascot, is also a bit of a blogger. This despite the use of just four, stubby fingers. Heroic.

His latest entry reminds of the importance of spring training.

"Mascots need spring training too, you know! I had to sweat off the extra pounds I gained in the off-season, and get my arm back in T-Shirt tossing mode. It's also a great time to "catch some rays!"

Raymond isn't merely short of fingers.


Lauren Conrad
: Hockey, um, Fan

The NHL rolled out a slew of celebrity bloggers for the playoffs this season and it pegged Lauren Conrad of faux-reality TV fame (Laguna Beach, The Hills) as its Anaheim Mighty Ducks blogger. The Ducks are down 2-0 to the Dallas Stars and all we've heard from Lauren so far is an inaugural post before this series started. Where are Ducks fans to turn to in such a time of peril? Lauren, stop freaking out about Audrina and Heidi slowly becoming friends again (though that is a problem). Chris Pronger needs you.