I am not sure how to start this, so I will just come out with it…this is the last article I will be writing for Reviewing the Brew.
After three years and over 400 articles, the time has come for me to hang up my spikes and move on to the next big adventure. Every good player knows when it is time to walk away and this is my time.
Luckily for me, I have built up a lot of goodwill with our editor, Justin Schultz, and the FanSided bosses, so that I can have a little swan song here today. This article is as much for me as it is for you, our faithful, loving, and sometimes ravenous RtB readers. That is to say, I am writing this so that I can also take a trip down memory lane and reflect on my time here.
It has been an honor and privilege to be a part of this site and the FanSided family. During my time here, I have made some lifelong friends, talked with major league baseball players and even got invited to be the guest of honor at a SABR meeting back in January of 2013. To even pretend like there is some way to repay FanSided, would be a disservice to them because it is not possible. In order to explain why, I need to start from the beginning…
In November of 2010, I was a Seattle area actor and car rental representative. My only published writing experience was in a fantasy football blog I wrote for my friends. Which is hardly journalistic experience. It was mostly me flinging insults at my dearest friends once a week during the football season…but in an organized fashion. By some stroke of luck, my work was brought to the eyes of a gentleman named John Parent (thanks John, wherever you are these days). He brought me onto the staff on the condition that I cleaned up the language a bit. Easy enough.
My first few articles were…well, first articles. I was nervous, paranoid and had no idea what I was doing. Then something strange happened. The guy who was supposed to be the editor just disappeared. No one heard from him. He didn’t post anything, the dude was just gone. So RtB needed an editor as soon as possible. This was a site that had completely bottomed out due to inconsistent posts and a complete lack of content. Now it was back to square one, with no editor and a pink behind the ears staff writer. That aside, I offered to be the editor…with all of my experience, how could they pass me up?
After a few weeks (and no applicants), the big bosses said that I would have one week to impress them. That week just happened to be the week of the Zack Greinke trade. It was meant to be, I suppose. With all of the things to write about, I was able to convince everyone that I could handle the job. Within one month, I had gone from leisurely writer to editor of an entire site. It all happened so quickly that I never really had time to consider that I was in over my head. First thing was first…I needed another writer.
Enter Colin Bennett. I still remember the first time I talked to Colin, primarily because I realized immediately that he was more suited to be the editor than I was. Colin was still in college, loved to write (in fact he now does it for his livelihood) and loved the Brewers. He was hired straight away. For over a year, we had a smattering of writers come and go, but the only consistent was Colin. I never would have made it without him, I hope that he knows that.
I stepped down as Editor in April of 2012 and I asked Colin to step into the role. He did an amazing job and made me look like a genius more often than I care to admit. My final accomplishment as editor, was hiring Colin’s eventual successor as editor, Benjamin Orr. While I had a lot of hiring misses, I did hit on two. Those two helped to shape the RtB you know and love today, I was just keeping their seat warm. Now Justin is carrying the site and doing an amazing job (I can’t take credit for that, Ben is responsible for this one).
Writing for this site has changed my life in countless ways. Most importantly, it gave me the opportunity to write and analyze the team that I love so well. Being a Brewers fan is a badge of honor, it means that you can take a licking and keep on coming back for more. It means that you can suffer through 100 loss seasons and having your best players traded away for garbage (at least during the Selig era, not as much now). Being afforded the opportunity to feel like I was more than just a fan…is something I can not quantify. It is a special gift afforded to few sports fans in their life and I will be forever in the debt of FanSided and Reviewing the Brew.
Before I go, here are some of the stories I wrote here that I am the most proud of. They will also be accompanied by some anecdotes about the articles.
- This article is first, because it is still the article that I am most proud of. What is amazing about this article, is that after it was published the Brewers got smoking hot (check the dates) and went all the way to the NLCS. They found their heart after all. Plus I dedicated this article to my Grandfather (Gog) who passed that January. Love my Devils. This article also makes me cry…I am man enough to admit it and I am certainly not ashamed.
- This was the last article of mine that my Grandpa read before he passed. It was fitting, because he was part of the focus. I love this article for the nostalgia…and the fact that I can still remember the details of my first game almost 22 years later.
- This is THE article for me. It was the second one I ever published and it opened doors for me and for RtB. Once this got out, even the man himself started using my facts. John Axford was great about these, since we published over 120 when I finally retired them. I think I can say without a shred of doubt, RtB is where it is today because of JAMF’s. So, if you have never seen these before…there are plenty more where that came from.
- These were so fun for me, I got to connect with an old friend and work out some of my issues. This one was my favorite because I really hate the WBC and
shethey really helped me work through it…kind of. Give it a read because this one was a classic.
I can’t believe this is it. Thank you so much for reading over the past few years, I can not thank all of you enough. Our readers have always been classy and willing to engage in a good-hearted debate (unless you count the guy who hoped for me to get testicular cancer) and I will miss hearing from all of you. Special Thanks to: Mom, Dad, Ashley, Walter, Dewey, Katie, Nick, Baby Boots, John Parent, Wally Fish, Colin Bennett, Aaron Somers, Zach Best, Ben Orr, and Justin Schultz.
“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan