The Reviewing the Brew staff at the time in July 2013 (in order): Curt Hogg, Lou Olsen, Colin Bennett, myself, and Justin Schultz.
I figured that someday I would be writing this article, I just wasn’t exactly sure of when it was going to happen. Turns out, now is the time for me to write this and finally let you all know what is to come from this piece.
This will be my final piece for Reviewing the Brew.
I’ve spent the past two and a half years here and man, what a journey it has indeed been. I remember when I was recruited to FanSided in December of 2011, I was just some guy blogging by myself about baseball before I got offered a position here. To be fairly honest, I wasn’t sure what to make of the opportunity as I had never heard of the website. So, I went with it and accepted the offer to write with the website, and for that, I have John Parent to thank for finding me.
From there, I had to decide which MLB team I wanted to write about. At the time, most of the American League teams were covered pretty extensively, but there were some openings in the National League. I can’t exactly remember for sure, but looking down the list of teams that were open to write for, I saw the Colorado Rockies, Philadelphia Phillies, and the Milwaukee Brewers. Thinking back to just months prior, I reflected on how well Milwaukee did in 2011, making it all the way to 2011 NLCS, something that was indeed memorable for a small market team.
So, I chose to write about the Brewers. They fascinated me with all the things they did right from John Axford‘s save streak, to home runs from Ryan Braun, to clutch hitting from Nyjer Morgan in Game 5 of the NLDS. I felt that the Brewers were a fresh breath of air when scanning over Major League Baseball, so I figured, why not write about them?
Enter Lou Olsen and Colin Bennett.
At the time, the only person I had known was John. I briefly knew anyone else, usually just through eventual Twitter association, but man was I nervous. Fortunately, Lou and Colin made me feel at home inside RtB and the transition from writing on my own to an actual audience was smooth. Lou, who was the editor at the time, did well in making sure the site was operating on all cylinders. Not even three months into my writing with the site did I come up with the idea for a podcast, something Colin and I would record on a weekly basis. It eventually spanned to everyone of the site being a part of it.
Time passed and eventually we settled on a core group of writers which included Lou, Colin (who was now the editor), myself, Curt Hogg and now current co-editor Justin Schultz. In March 2013, I became the editor of Reviewing the Brew, and that was quite the adventure. It’s one that I made sure to throw up daily content on the site, usually news related about the Brewers along with game recaps. This is a journey I would take until the end of last December before I handed over the reigns to Justin.
The five of us met up last July where we attended a Brewers-Mets’ series at Miller Park. It was a great weekend and something that the five of us would remember for awhile. After that is when things began to change though.
Colin found a job at 620 WTMJ and left, but we were all understanding, wishing him the best. Colin still works there and is pretty great at his job. Curt would be the next to part ways with the site and eventually landed his current writing job at Disciples of Uecker, where he does well. Lou had the most recent departure back in March, moving onto The Hall of Very Good and a podcast that he and I do called “The News Chew With Ben and Lou.”
Writing for FanSided has been incredible. I can’t do it justice by putting it into words, but it’s been a tremendous experience. I’ve met a lot of people, been able to travel, and make some good friends from here. I was also able to write about a sport that I’ve cared about since I was young. I don’t want to say that I’m leaving the FanSided family, because I’m proud to have been a writer here. I may no longer be a writer with FanSided anymore, but it will always be something I reflect on.
However, I realized after awhile my priorities were changing. When I stepped down as the editor, I was doing so with the intention to leave the site then, back at the end of December 2013 and early January of this year. I stuck around though, trying to recharge my batteries and it worked for awhile. That said, I have some major things coming up in my life soon. In the fall, I’ll be starting an internship with Infectious Magazine along with beginning my senior year of college. That is why I have decided to step down from Reviewing the Brew now. This site means a lot to me, but to be honest, I just don’t have it anymore. It’s time to hang up my cleats.
Looking back, I don’t know how I pumped out 576 articles during my time here. I hope I didn’t bore any of you to death and if I did, well, oops. It’s been fun here and I wish the current staff the absolute best in the future. I know they’ll do a tremendous job and the direction that Justin has taken the site already shows just that.
I would like to thanks my friends and family for supporting me whether it was by liking the page on Facebook or reading my articles. More specifically I’d like to thank Zach Best, Adam Best, John Parent, Aaron Somers, Ehsan Kassim, Kyle Franzoni, Lou Olsen, Colin Bennett, Curt Hogg, Justin Schultz, and all the staff writers Reviewing the Brew has seen from the past until now. It truly has been an honor to grow here and become a stronger writer while expressing my love for baseball. I also thank the readers of our site because without you, this all isn’t possible. You make this possible for us to expand and become bigger than we ever imagined.
Thank you all.