Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thanks

2008 presented all sorts of wonderful and astonishing moments in not only the sports arena, but anywhere there was a camera, a voice recorder and an associated media outlet. Yet, the past 365 (soon to be 366) days also gave us head-scratchers, heart-breakers and fist-clenchers that will reverberate into the next twelve months. While it's not necessary to rehash what made us applaud, condemn, wonder and hope, it is necessary to capture the year as a whole to look ahead.

In this year, we've seen our fair share of challenges that may - if they have not already done so - affect our lives in ways that we have not witnessed in quite some time or ever before.

Leaving this year behind, we are well aware of the global recession that threatens the way we consume, produce and entertain going forward. Again, this is not just in the sports realm as the overall economy continues to take Miguel Cotto-like body shots.

This year made it rather clear that no matter how much we clamor for change - and beyond this seminal political moment, many of us do the best we can as individuals day by day - some things (as this, this, this and certainly this) are resistant to actual change.

This year, we were given new faces of realized dreams, vindication and outerworldly triumphs while familiar ones gave us another reason to take notice. Yet, there were new names to file under 'WTF' and the reemergence of people whose singular strength is the ability to tick off the masses.

There was a reason or 55 to fall in love with sports in 2008. There was a reason or likely more than 55 to absolutely abhor the sports realm in 2008.

If anything, the blog has taken a significant part of your sports consumption in 2008 than in the last four years since the medium’s mainstream arrival in 2004. The blogopshere has served your sports sunny-side snarky, scrambled in ├╝ber-analysis, over-easy fanboy, straight & no-chaser serious and chopped-up speculative. As the folks at Yahoo! Sports put it, this was the year of the sports blog and while few have had the resources and/or success as the folks behind Big League Stew and Puck Daddy, millions of bloggers are doing whatever they can to become famous or more often, infamous.

When I began A Sports Scribe back in May of 2007, the number one goal was to join the realm of the most recognized independent blogs such as Awful Announcing, Kissing Suzy Kolber and the like. Understanding that some of those sites discuss sports in a far different manner than I do, I accepted the challenge of going forward with a less typical media-driven an admitted pro-athlete slant, despite being a member of the most infamous group in the industry, the New York media. This past year, Scribe has found its voice, but not in the way that I expected.

I found that for some people, the allure of the blog is that the content comes from a New York City native that doesn’t exactly kowtow to the stereotypical “Noo Yawk” perspective. For others, the carrot on the stick happens to be the visits to various ballparks in my travels, whether I have attended a game in another city or had the chance to provide construction updates in person. Many appreciate that there isn’t the sarcastic and jaded view of sports that they come to expect from someone who is apparently in-the-know. For all, however, I hope that Scribe has achieved its singular goal; to be a blog that combines the action, discussion, culture, business and politics of sports… without being an ass.

With that said, this long post is my way of saying thank you. The audience isn’t earth-shattering, but there has been a noticeable and steady growth. Some of you are personal connections; family, friends and co-workers who have supported me on this journey to provide the best possible content. Some of you are rediscovered connections; former classmates and colleagues who have wondered if I’m still the kid who made playoff trees and kept index cards of player statistics (before the Internet made that a little bit easier). Others have come to Scribe through the sheer power of randomization or the shameless promotions on Facebook and MySpace, wondering why does this guy have something to say, let alone what. No matter how you found Scribe, I want to thank you for sticking with it and I will do my best to retain your intrigue and trust in this forum.

I want to say a special thanks to Ken Fang and Paul Sen, the respective proprietors of Fang’s Bites and Sports Media Watch. Both gentlemen have not only added me to their blog rolls (which is still unbelievable considering that many on their rolls are well-established writers), but have provided food for thought along with direct and indirect support.

Also, I want to say thanks for the various scribes, talkies and faces of the industry that actually make being a part of the press worthwhile. To those who I have emailed, chatted with and met in person, it’s been a thrill and I hope to approach your levels of talent and experience.

Finally, though they say that they don’t read the papers, watch television, listen to talk radio or check the blogs, I’d like to thank the players that make what I’m doing possible.

To all of you out there, Happy New Year and please celebrate safely. May the challenges, lessons and fortunes of 2008 make us all better in 2009 and beyond. And to bring it back to the college radio show and former blog that helped start it all, take care of your own and they’ll take care of you.

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