Just one year ago today, after abandoning my old digs at The Ace of Sports and getting the go-ahead from my employers at The Wolverine, I started posting on this blog. To be honest, this “birthday” of sorts snuck up on me — I was moving things around on the sidebar a couple weeks ago and noticed that my archives went back to April 2009. So, I almost missed my blog’s first birthday, which would have been rather sad. Since I did manage to notice it, I’d like to share a few thoughts, and thank, well, everyone.
Looking at my stat counter never ceases to amaze me — in one year, the blog has grown from nothing and now has a hair over 264,000 views, without me doing too much in the way of self-promoting and advertising. I know that sounds arrogant and self-serving, but I don’t mean for it to come across that way at all. I want to thank all of you who have read the blog, told a friend about it, re-tweeted my posts, emailed an article, or in any way helped spread the word about the site. I still find it incredible that people take my work (if you can call it that — I don’t really consider writing about what I love to be “work”) seriously and enjoy (I hope) reading what I have to say. Just seeing the traffic to the site grow, getting emails from readers, and reading your comments is perhaps the most rewarding thing I’ve been able to do in my young life. I just want to thank all of you, the readers, first and foremost — without you, I’d just be some lunatic fan pouring far too much time into an online diary. So yeah, thanks for making me not feel like a crazy person, and for making this a truly rewarding experience.
I’d be very remiss to not mention the guys at The Wolverine. This blog started as a side project while I was an intern for them last year, and their continued support has been a huge reason why the blog has been so successful. They’ve opened up a ton of opportunities for me, including getting me into the press box at both Yost and the Big House, something I never imagined I would be able to do when I started college. I’ve met a lot of my sports heroes because of The Wolverine, and made a lot of lasting memories since I started working with them in the summer of 2008. I feel privileged to be able to have worked there, and really appreciate all they have done for me as an aspiring writer and as a lifelong Michigan fan.
I’d also like to thank all the Michigan bloggers out there who have helped out the blog by linking to the site and helping get me established as a part of the Michigan blogging community. In particular, Brian Cook at MGoBlog, in addition to being the inspiration behind me starting my own blog (like every other Michigan blogger out there, I know), has thrown a ton of traffic my way and even let me into the blogpoll. I got to do a podcast with him for the Michigan Daily last summer, and he provided some unsolicited advice about blogging afterward — he didn’t have to do that, and it’s something I really appreciate. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting Greg from MVictors because of the blog, and he’s been great about offering advice or just talking shop when we run into each other. Also, UMHoops‘ Dylan, a friend from high school, has been a huge help when I have a technical question about blogging, and he even referred me to FanVsFan, as well as linking over to the site many times. Though I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting the guys at Maize n Brew, Michigan Sports Center, UMGoBlog, The Blog That Yost Built, and any other site that has directed readers my way, a big thank you goes out to you all as well — it really is great to be a Michigan Wolverine.
Finally, I have to thank John U. Bacon, the tremendous author and radio host who also doubles as a Golden Apple-winning professor here at U-M. I was lucky enough to get into his History of College Athletics class as a sophomore, and taking that class really inspired me to take this sportswriting thing seriously. On top of teaching the best class I’ve ever taken, Professor Bacon has gone out of his way to make himself available if I need guidance or advice, and for that I am truly grateful.
There are probably several people I have forgotten to thank, and for that I apologize — if you run into me at one of Ann Arbor’s many fine drinking establishments, the first round is on me. I hope that all of you will continue to find my blog to be worth reading, and that this next year will be even more rewarding than the last.