December 07, 2005
Students wanting to check out the stats of San Jose State University athletes and talk to other sports enthusiasts can kill two birds with one stone and check out Spartanthunder.com.
"I'm a big sports fan," said Anthony Rocca, Spartanthunder.com Web master and a 1990 SJSU alumnus. "I played sports in high school and decided that whichever college I went to, I was going to support the sports programs."
Rocca started the site in 1993 as a single-page site where people could go online and post messages and chat with other members.
Since then, the site has incorporated many pages to include more than just a message board. Members can browse various categories and pull out rosters, schedules, stats and stories from Spartan sports teams.
Rocca said the site has gained syndication with various television networks, including ESPN and FOX SPORTS.
"It's cool to have a site like this available," said Jose Estrada, a junior majoring in photography. "I like playing sports but I don't like watching them."
Rocca said the main misconception about his site is that there is a fee to access material.
"It is 100 percent free," Rocca said. "I want the students to use it freely."
He said that he knows that students need every penny and having them pay to access his site would keep many out.
Students said that the concept of the Web site was interesting, but if they had to pay they would look elsewhere.
"I think it is a good thing," said Scott Brown, a senior majoring in political science. "The ability to check out the athletes sounds great."
Brown said that the site provides a resource to find out information about athletes and see how they have progressed in their sport - or not progressed.
"I'd be really disappointed if I had to pay for it, especially since I can go on other sites and find out the same information for free," Brown said.
According to Rocca, to become a member and access material, users need to fill out a quick sign-up form. They need to provide a valid e-mail address and a password. Once they do that they receive a confirmation letter in their e-mail and can start posting on message boards.
Michael Cabebe, a freshman majoring in justice studies, said, "Some people might rather stay at home and follow sports on a Web site."
Cabebe said that an online site is more accessible for people to use. Some might not have the time to go and watch the game. The site offers the same information without the hassle of going out.
Rocca said, " I've always liked the term Spartan Thunder."