Oh Hey There
August 05, 2013 at 12:19am by Scott • 27 Comments »
So, it’s been a little while, eh? I don’t know how much sense I’m going to make in this post where I try to explain why entries have been so sparse and, frankly, boring. I’m mostly typing this off the cuff, so if you’re not into free form meandering and gibberish, feel free not to click the MORE button. Something Buccaneer-related will be coming soon enough.
The first entry to this blog was on March 9, 2005. Joey Galloway had just been re-signed and it was mostly a test post to see if I could get a blog up and running in conjunction with the stats database I had already published. Turns out I could. That’s all this blog was back then — something a little more creative to do in between upgrades to the stats. Statistics was really my main focus. NFL.com was pretty lame and the Bucs’ web site just had team records. I was more interested in being able to compare players from different eras and compile useless lists of yards and touchdowns and interceptions, so writing was definitely secondary. I had written on other sites in the past, but didn’t really consider myself a writer. And the world agreed with me, at least for a while since it took months for the first comment to appear (an old buddy named Ski who ran a long defunct Bucs site also and who I assume is now dead or got a girlfriend). But the dearth of quality Buccaneer writing on the web, my inexplicable love of the Jon Gruden/Chris Simms pairing and a whole ton of free time mixed to provide inspiration, and so I kept writing. And for eight years, I didn’t stop.
I wrote several entries a day, five days a week (sometimes more) for YEARS. I know people that have gone through several jobs and had several children since this has been going. Every now and then I would take a week-long vacation and maybe someone would fill in for me, but even then I was doing stuff behind the scenes. Readers and commenters were telling me how much they liked the site and how it was the only source for good Buccaneer information and we were having meaningful discussions about football and players, or we were having meaningless discussions about chicks and beer and how we would fake our own deaths and that was fun too. It was so much fun that I didn’t want to stop, which is great in the blog world since nothing destroys a readership like stagnancy. So on we go with three, four, five entries per day in some cases. Long ones, too. Through site changes and the removal of the stats and redesigns and everything, the entries continued.
Fast forward to about a year ago, and the whole process just became so uninspiring for me. There was a lot more going on in my life at that point along with a whole conglomeration of circumstances and after a while every single entry became such a chore. Each entry took about ten times longer than it should have and I dreaded it. And so the punctuality that I prided myself on for so long just kind of… fell away. I remember the first time I missed a day without posting something. I came back to the site the next day and lo and behold it was still there. The world didn’t end. And so one day became two became a week became what you see now. So, what are all these circumstances, you ask?
1) I don’t talk a lot about my personal life on here — my real personal life, anyway. For those of you who only know me through this site, it may surprise you to find out that I am not actually an alcoholic, whore-mongoring, sexual deviant with a thing for glue-huffing midgets. I’m a 40(ish) year old father of two who has actually been sober(ish) for 20 years now. I don’t even swear nearly as much in real life as I do on this site. An online persona is fun because you can write really outlandish stuff — things you would never say to your in-person friends — and explore that side of your personality. So early on when I would go on a rant about Gruden or Bruce Allen or whatever stupid thing was going on, it kind of triggered something a little more primal that I didn’t normally engage. This site was a good place to let some of that out, and it seemed to fit with the overall theme. And I have to admit it was fun. But eight years is a long time to keep that up, and I just don’t have the energy or angst or desire to be that snarky asshole anymore. And I kind of felt like I had to in order to keep up appearances and keep the theme of the site going. Every now and then is fine and healthy and, again, fun. But I just can’t be that guy full time anymore.
2) I used to have a TON of free time. You know that scene in Office Space where Peter is meeting with the Bobs and he says, “I’d say in a given week I probably only do about 15 minutes of real, actual, work.” That really happens. I worked at a place like that and 15 minutes may have been stretching it some weeks. So I had entire work days to devote to the Bucs and the site. Combine that with a marriage where I barely saw my wife and a distinct lack of any real hobbies and you’ve got a full-time blogger. It was kind of like prison. I lifted a lot of weights and found something creative to pass the time. My job has changed considerably and I now have real (read: paying) work to do during the day. I also got divorced last year and — surprise! — I have a real personal life now (you may read into that whatever you like; I look forward to your speculations). And it’s great one. So Bucstats got knocked down the priority list a few pegs.
3) I am sick to death of this format. A subject line, a banner pic and some body text. Everybody does it now. And there are about a hundred new Bucs sites that weren’t around before. There is nothing really distinctive about this site like there used to be when it was all fresh. I would like to find a new format to do this with. I’d like it to be more interactive than just me posting a story and everyone else commenting on it. I’d like the discussions to be more free-flowing, but the message board on this site was nothing but a spam repository. And message boards are kind of old hat anyway. I thought about just making the site a Facebook page and letting them provide all the toys. It’s still a consideration, but something about that seems lame. And my site tends to draw people who wouldn’t want their real-life friends on Facebook to know the kind of stuff they’re posting on Bucstats. The idea of a podcast has been floated before, and I find that intriguing, but you really need two people to do that. Any Atlanta readers who would be interested in participating in that can contact me. But at the moment, I’m at a creative standstill with this right now. But I do know I would like more user contributions to keep things more lively and interesting.
4) I just plain needed a break. If I had taken a couple months off several years ago, I may not have burned out, may have continued to be inspired to write (despite having less time) and things would still be rolling. But I just needed some time when I didn’t feel like it was this obligation to keep posting even when I found it miserable.
I still love the Bucs and still plan to write about them. Now that training camp is going on, I’ve been keeping up a little more and trying to find some angles to write about. I’m not going to report “news” unless I hear something exclusive because, frankly, you can get news anywhere. Twitter has made getting inside information to the public first a lot harder. So when I read something that makes me want to write, I’ll write. But I’ll be writing in my own voice, on my own schedule. It has to be this way now. I’m looking for people who are inspired to contribute and add their own voice to the site. And as far as a new format, I’m open to ideas.
I want to thank all my awesome, loyal readers for continuing to check in here even when I’ve been incredibly negligent. I hope as the site progresses and changes, you will feel your loyalty was rewarded.