On The Couch With Craig: Rose Ford

The latest in a series of profiles of AZ Coyotes Insider founding members

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Rose Ford is one of a handful of Coyotes fans whom I reach out to for feedback on ideas that I am pondering or stories I am in the midst of writing. It helps that Ford is a Coyotes writer herself, but she also has a sensibility that I sometimes lean on like a crutch, and she has a good grasp of the ever-changing world of advanced statistics.

If you haven’t checked out Five For Howling as a source for Coyotes content, you should. They do a good job and have for a long time, running all the way back to Carl Putnam and Jordan Ellel, through Jaime Eisner, Brendan Porter and Sarah Hall, to the current cast of writers that includes Ford.

Ford is the 15th founding member to be featured in this segment. Rose, you have the floor.

Full name: Rose Ford

Twitter account: @RoseColoredFact

Birthplace: New Jersey

Current city of residence: Apache Junction, Arizona

Arizona history: I was working for a small-town newspaper in New Jersey and they had switched ownership. My boss and I were having a discussion about my future and I told her that I wanted to go back to school. I had a chance to start over and I took it. I moved to Mesa in 2005 and lived with my brother for a few months before getting a job and my own place. I started at Mesa Community College, but got my degree in anthropology at ASU.

Age: 41

Occupation: Project analyst

Hobbies: Attending hockey games, reading, online genealogy, playing video and board games and hanging out with friends and family. 

Pandemic adopted hobbies: Reading, lots of reading

Little known fact about you: Since I found my Kindle in September, I’ve read 450 titles.

Ford’s view for her first Coyotes game, opening night against the Rangers in the 2013-14 season, which the Coyotes won, 4-1. That’s future Coyote Derek Stepan on the draw for New York against Martin Hanzal.

How did you become a Coyotes and/or ASU fan?

I blame my BFF Linda. I hadn’t watched hockey in a long time, even before I moved to Arizona. When I decided to finish my degree at ASU (2012-2015), she was a faculty adviser for the ACHA team at the time and I started going to some games at Oceanside. In 2013, she was already a Coyotes season ticket member, and she invited me to opening night, which happened to be against the Rangers. As we were watching warmups, I realized I knew more about the Coyotes players, through her, than I did the Rangers. So, I made a bet with her that whichever team won that game would be my team. Radim Vrbata scored a hat trick and here we are. After I graduated from ASU in 2015, I needed a hobby to take up some of my time, so I started learning about the Coyotes prospects and more about how everything works in the NHL. 

What is your history with hockey writing?

When I started researching the Coyotes and their prospects, I found the Five For Howling blog. I became friends with their editor at the time, Sarah Hall, and started writing to help her out. I continued writing and editing for a while to help out the next editor Carl Pavlock

My favorite story was probably the first long one I published, which was a comprehensive look at the Coyotes arena saga. Setting the record straight on it was something I wanted to do and I put a lot of research into it. Another fairly popular one that I enjoyed was when I used my accounting skills to figure out if the Coyotes had room on their payroll to re-sign OEL despite what some out-of-town media believed. Diving into the stats behind Gold Drafting was intellectually challenging but I think I made it as accessible as possible. 

The most complicated part of writing for a Coyotes blog is the complete disregard by the team’s PR department. Other teams have embraced their fan sites and fan-generated content, but the Coyotes PR department definitely doesn’t. They only acknowledge that the blogs exist when they don’t like something that was written. 

Eventually, I got burned out on SB Nation’s strict and daily posting requirements (in season) and their formulaic article types (game-day threads, mock drafts, prospect pool lists, etc.) pretty quickly and haven’t been inspired to write anything lately. 

Here are some of my writing samples:

Arena: https://www.fiveforhowling.com/2017/5/11/15485614/nhl-arizona-coyotes-arena-issues-rumor-gila-river-arena

OEL: https://www.fiveforhowling.com/2017/11/30/16721298/arizona-coyotes-can-they-afford-to-re-sign-oliver-ekman-larsson

Drafting: https://www.fiveforhowling.com/2017/5/30/15669376/nhl-draft-lotto-gold-plan-shane-doan-arizona-coyotes-sloan-conference

Any favorite memories of the Coyotes or ASU?

Coyotes: I’ve had a lot of fun opportunities like going to the Coyotes’ annual celebrity waiter gala, seeing Shane Doan’s jersey retirement, being there for his 1,500th game and Auston Matthews’ first game in Arizona. My favorite was attending the All-Star skills competition and game in Los Angeles and seeing Mike Smith do what he does and score a goalie goal.

ASU: Before Oceanside was renovated, the ACHA team needed volunteers to help open and close the penalty box doors for the players. During one game, they were short a volunteer. I pitched in and opened and closed the door for the visiting team. I got to watch the game from the box, and I also had to warn the players not to get their gear caught on a bolt that stuck out near the door.

What line of work are you in and what led you to choose that profession?

Originally, I was attending school at ASU with the intention of eventually becoming a cultural resource management project manager while working full time as a project accountant. After I got divorced, I couldn’t afford to go to field school for six weeks to qualify only for a temporary field technician position. I was able to use a combination of my schooling and experience to get a position that uses both. Now, I’m a project analyst for a local engineering firm where I help project managers with various accounting and administrative tasks to keep their projects on target. 

What are some of your other interests?

Primarily, I read high fantasy like Robert Jordan, George R. R. Martin, Terry Goodkind, Anne McCaffrey, Kristen Britain, Anne Bishop and others. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of romance novels including some that involve hockey players like Samantha Whiskey’s Seattle Sharks series. 

I play the story mode of games like “Grand Theft Auto” or “Red Dead Redemption 2,” and all of the “Assassin’s Creed” titles. I haven’t played online much since my “World of Warcraft” days, most online games require a level of commitment that I just don’t have. 

I also have been researching my family history through ancestry.com and recently started searching out newspaper articles for my family members with my membership.

Favorite ways (or favorite destinations) to escape the Arizona heat?

I actually don’t mind the heat that much and I’m currently saving up money to travel to Ireland and possibly Germany to check out the areas from where my family emigrated. I’m sorry that I’m such a homebody but fucking deal with it, Craig. :)

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Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter: @CraigSMorgan