On May 1, one week ago, my blog turned TWO YEARS OLD. What started as just something to get my thoughts out of my head and out for anyone to see [I figured no one] has turned into something beyond my wildest dreams.
From the infancy of Sports Bloggers Live.....to the creating of Two Minute Warning....to being mentioned on ESPN's Cold Pizza....to getting e-mails from people who actually think that I am somebody important. It's been a nice ride.
Again, thanks to the people who pushed me into this realm. And thanks to the people who picked me up and took me from a guy with a blog for his own amusement to a guy with a blog that seems to be modestly well known in the internet sports world.
A year ago, I celebrated my first year of life. Now I am entering the terrible twos. So I steal from that post to give some background for this celebration.......
About two years ago at this time, I was basically ONLY on the AOL Lakers Message Board. I had been on AOL message boards since 1999 [I had toyed with them all thru the 1990s]. I first was "Sportz God" or something like that. But, with a new computer I got a new account and became the Sportz Assassin. Since then, I had been posting on the Lakers Board. We won titles...we lost titles. The bickering between us and Kings and Spurs fans is legendary. However, the board had turned into a trio of factions. Die Hard Laker Fans...Die Hard Laker Haters....and people saying that they aren’t included in either. Basically, the board became labor-some to read and following conversations really became tiring.
I had been asked to be a "host" or whatever they are called now before....and I thought they were asking me again. Instead they were recruiting me to get an AOL Blog. Like most people, I’ve never heard of a blog....and really didn’t think I had the chops to do it. But Aunt B and Tony Darr both sold me on the idea of starting one up. What intrigued me was the one thing that I was missing in the Laker Board....talking about anything else.
There is a "rule" on the message boards to stay on topic. And most hoops fans don’t want to talk about football...or baseball...or even the rest of the NBA. I had a lot of takes on a lot of subjects. So, one night, I threw together a journal and here it is today. My firstpost was a breakdown of the second round of the NBA playoffs.
The first post that I think actually got read was my take on the Red Sox curse. All the sudden, people were leaving comments. And, as every blogger knows, once you realize someone actually read what you wrote...you get this huge sense of pride over what you are doing...and strive to keep doing it well. I mean, a blog goes from just colors and typing to pictures, links and comedy all in a big swoop.
Then, I get an e-mail telling me that something I wrote [the Red Sox thing] will be featured on AOL Sports Main Page....and it was on. That’s where the people were coming from....but who actually read it first to put it there? My wife and I were moving into our house at the same time as my blog was starting up....so I had a lot going on. And once I got in here...I didn’t have my phone on to enable me to get online. Once I did...I saw yet another one of my entries featured on AOL Sports....and I saw the same problems on the message boards. So, I pretty much ditched them and kept it strictly here..in my blog.
Then, Monponsett [who I’ve known for a while from the message boards] hipped me to "The Show With Jess Atkinson". I listened...and enjoyed it. Then, I get this e-mail from Chris Mottram that my blog will be featured on "The Show" as the Blog Of The Week. I listened to the show...and was just amazed at (a) they were actually reading it on air and (b) that Chris had actually been reading it for a while...since he discussed things that were previously in my blog.
Sometime after that, Jamie Mottram [aka DC Sports Guy] linked me in his journal. I had no idea who he was....but it was cool that someone would think enough of it to link me. Then, after a while, it dawned on me that he was Mr. AOL Blogger...pretty much the man on the AOL Blog scene. And he has carried me along ever since.
It started with the PIGSKIN BLOGGERS...which I really enjoyed. That, in turn, created the Pigskin Bloggers Live show that brought bloggers together on a radio show. When the Super Bowl ended....the show took on an all-sports format as the SPORTS BLOGGERS LIVE. It is a well done show that I have had the privledge to be on numerous times...discussing football, the NBA, the NCAA tournament and other topics. I mean, I was on the same radio show as Sports Illustrated and HBO expert Peter King, talking about the NFL draft. How cool is that!?!?!
Thanks to my wife who took my life to another level. Thanks to my parents for listening to the show.....Dad for the sports knowledge and Mom for keeping my Carolina smack talk strong. Thanks to my co-workers for getting me riled up over certain subjects. Thanks to the people I met along the way on the Lakers Board [or "Haters Board"]. Laker Mike, Johnny, Fine, Ciaras, Bas, JRowe, Endora, Bax, Raisin, YCSJ, Wolf, Yannis, Kevin, Key, Izz, Kurt, LBerg, Bile, Pratts, Lenchdog, Boys N Mavs, Matt, Cap, Monponsett, Gypsy, MC Pot and the many others that I just can't remember them all. Thanks to everyone in the AOL Blog-universe....George Coztanza, Monponsett, Die-Cast, Quick Slants, Jamie, Chris, Lew and the myriad of others. Thanks to the Masta Killa...who's lyrics bring inspiration into how I want to present my blog. Thanks to the Washington Redskins, Los Angeles Lakers, Cincinnati Reds and North Carolina Tar Heels. I love sports...but those franchises give me passion for them.
Again...I am like anyone else. Just some guy who loves sports so much that I think I know better than the guys who run it. This blog is just an assortment of takes I have on various subjects. I am not a reporter....I am not a journalist....I didn't go to college for any of this...and I really don't care if my sentence structure or spelling is perfect. It is a blog, folks. What I write in here could be the same kind of conversations you have at your water cooler at work. Why? Cuz it is the same conversations that, at times, I have had at my job. I just write it as I would say it. And as Chris Mottram taught me, "throw in some pictures because people like to look at pictures."
And I am proud to be a 'blogger'. Sure, we get a bad rap....and it is warranted at times. We aren't journalists. We don't have the inside tracks into the sports business. We don't have editors and we are clouded by the rose colored glasses of our teams. But that's what this is. Giving EVERYONE a chance to voice their opinions, make their gripes, and be fans of their teams. All anyone wants is to be heard...and I am fortunate that people actually hear what I am saying.
So, now it's on to Year Three.