A long, long time ago, in a galaxy not so far away the powers behind the curtain of CBSSports.com decided to implement the user blogs as another feature for the sports boards. Being active on the NFL forums at the time of the user blogs inception, of course, I took off and ran with it, giving the following warning:
One day they'll learn, never give me a forum to post my thoughts to. Be afraid, be very, very afraid.
From that day I had fun posting antedotes, recipes, jokes and discussing the NFL. If anyone has read me, they would find that no subject was taboo with me and it was all in fun. The users who took the time to read my blogs have been gracious, and the staff that let me run with it for as long as I wanted. And when I called out writers like Gregg Doyel and Will Brinson, they were wonderful in their responses (whether I agreed with them or not). Some of my blogs had been featured and the one blog that I'm proudest of, a short little blurb about the Steelers acquiring Najeh Davenport when their running backs were dropping like flies, manage to scoop even the writers here on the board (I'll also note that at the time neither NFL.com nor ESPN had posted the story either).
Then I took a hiatus. And when I returned there were changes, which is inevitable. And in those changes I learned that the user blogs would soon be going away. Hearing this made me a little sad, kind of like returning home and finding they're going to demolish your teenage hangout and replace it with an elegant, five star hotel. And for a moment, the tears welled up. Silly, I know, but bear with me and you'll understand why in a moment.
Not long before my hiatus I had jokingly put on my blog about writing a book about a psychotic former NFL punter who was kicked off the team and became a pastry chef. The title was going to be called "Death by Chocolate on the 50-yard Line". From there the wheels started turning.
While I might have mentioned that I wanted to be a journalist when I was younger (that or a child psychologist), it has always been a dream of mine to write. And that's what I had been doing during my time off of the sports boards. Since then, I've published a poetry compilation and a novel, a story of mine will be included in a crime anthology that will be coming out in the fall/winter and that a small press publisher is interested in reading the completed manuscript after submitting the obligatory query letter and three chapters. Another poetry compilation is set to be released at the beginning of December. And while Death by Chocolate on the 50-yard line has yet to be completed, I know that it will one day.
While I always had the dream, it was blogging here that gave me the courage to put myself out there, to risk the rejection. The acceptance of my blogs by staff like "Shuless Joe" and Eric Kay and their willingness to promote them, as well as the warmth from those who read me and responded and even a few who encouraged me to take that next step (they know who they are)...allowed me to use CBSSports as a springboard in achieving a life long dream that I thought would never happen.
I've always believed that it's important to say thank you and give credit where it's due. And I wanted to say this before the blogs disappear and this becomes just a memory. To CBS Sports and the wonderful users that have come and gone, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. You have inspired me and for that, I will be eternally grateful.
From the kindness of strangers, a seed of hope and inspiration is planted....me.