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Blog: Off and Running at iClubs and Athletic Business

A little over a month ago, I officially accepted my new job as the editor of iClubs and a contributor to Athletic Business. So far, it’s been busy, and that’s a good thing.

Two weeks ago, I visited the home office in Madison, Wis., where the big news of the week included a woman and her therapy kangaroo getting kicked out of a McDonald’s and a groundhog biting a local mayor in the ear. I’m based in my hometown of Kansas City, and let me tell you, this happens all the time there.

I know writing about travel bores most people to tears, but I’ve got to share my sports celebrity sighting. Weather issues cancelled my initial trip to Madison, so I had to re-route through Detroit. On a late-night connection, I ran into ESPN broadcaster Mike Tirico, who lives in nearby Ann Arbor. He was heading to Madison to do the Indiana-Wisconsin game. (Here I am at the game with iClubs cohort Cooper Brown—I’m wearing blue to stand out.)

I chatted with Tirico briefly, and he looked bleary-eyed, having just spent the past few days in Phoenix for the Pro Bowl and the PGA golf tournament. As a friend pointed out, I can only imagine his schedule. But he was extremely friendly and generous with his time. I’d thought I’d never see him again, but a couple hours later, as I checked into my hotel, there he was! Perhaps we should have done breakfast.

Celebrity sighting No. 2: On a long layover in Minneapolis heading home, I looked up from my laptop, and there was Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill, fresh off signing day. I hope he was heading somewhere warm, or possibly recruiting for 2016.

iClubs will be my main focus here, and as noted, I’ll be contributing to AB from time to time. Here’s my first AB column on the never-ending season of the NFL and my thoughts on the passing of North Carolina coach Dean Smith.

Last week, I went on assignment for AB to my alma mater, the University of Missouri, where I’m profiling the MU student rec center, MizzouRec. The rec center sure didn’t look like this when I was in school. Something else that was new: Everybody walking on campus had a smartphone in his or her hand. I felt like Joaquin Phoenix in “Her,” minus Scarlett Johansson in my ear. Maybe that movie wasn’t so futuristic after all.

Again, my main focus is iClubs and the fitness industry, which I covered for eight years at Club Industry. Being a competitor and knowing so many people over there, it might get a little acca-awkward (Pitch Perfect, people) at trade shows and other gatherings. Changing jobs in this industry happens often, especially on the vendor side. I just hope I remember to stand in the right booth at the IHRSA show.

But enough about me. I want to hear from you about what you want to read and know from iClubs. Even though we’ve already made some changes, this is more or less a blank page, a new start. Feel free to reach me at stuart@iclubs.com or on Twitter at @iClubsFitness. As I said in my first iClubs tweet: Let’s have some fun.

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