Saturday, December 05, 2009

All good things...

To borrow a sports cliché or three: we're hanging up the cleats, throwing in the towel and knowing when to walk away.

This has been a helluva journey. I had no idea when I started this site four years ago that it would be something that was so addicting, so rewarding and so frustrating all at the same time. Four blogging years is like 70 in human years which is like 290 in dog years or something.

In December, 2005 I was just a naïve college student thinking that starting a blog would be my way into the sports-writing world.

Shockingly, it was.

I got to the point where I was a professional blogger, working for FanHouse, PlayboyU and receiving ad dollars here. Who knew that would ever be the case?

Times were humbling early. To spend the time writing a post and have six people read it isn't exactly encouraging. I didn't think the site would last. But over 1,900 posts and six million page views later, I'm so glad it did. To have people reading my words, leaving comments and laughing at my jokes was -- to put it bluntly -- pretty fucking cool.

I told myself that I'd stop this blog under two circumstances:

1. If it started slipping into mediocrity
2. If it became a job

Unfortunately, for the last year or so, it's been both. Spending hours writing posts after a full day of work has become a chore. On too many occasions I spent more time blogging than I did doing things that were far more important; this site twisted my priorities.

The Big Picture peaked about two years ago. The material was still fresh, jokes still crass and feeling still new. The recent slide has been a large part me and also the sports blogosphere getting so terribly cluttered that there were the few top sites and then hundreds of "everybody else."

In the early days, when bloggers were still figuring out this whole sports blogging thing, I knew my peers, the work they put in and what it took to operate a daily sports blog. Not so much the case anymore.

But it's been a fun ride. I've made friends, computer buddies and even got asked out on a date! Many thanks to all the loyal readers, the regular commenters (you know who you are!) and anyone who's stumbled across this small slice of the Web.

I'm still very reachable by email, so don't be shy. And I'll still be lurking around the blogosphere occasionally, checking up on all of your sites that I've come to love.

May all of your favorite teams win championships (as long as they're the San Francisco Giants and Washington Huskies). May athletes keep doing crazy shit to fuel sports blogs' content. May we continue to see huge upsets, epic games and unbelievable endings. Because, at the end of the day, that's what this site was always about: the love of sports.

Now it's time to hit that "Publish Post" button one final time. Goodnight sweet world. It's been real...

The Big Picture 2005-2009

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Best of The Big Picture: favorite posts and topics

Over the course of four years you're going to write some absolute crap. But every once in a while you pump something out that makes you think, albeit for a second, that you can actually do this whole writing thing.

Then there are the go-to topics. Our favorite ideas, people and concepts that we often go to in order to put a smile on faces.

Favorite posts:

The anti-Jay Busbee campaign
If Phillip Rivers died a famous movie death...
The time I took an hour-long shit
Pre-Gaming: Trick 'r Treat
Fuck Boston
CFB Coverage > NFL Coverage
We've been put On Notice
A Letter From Barbaro
An interview with the Steelers' pilot
Torre: 'Hot seat? What hot seat?'

Favorite topics:

Joe Buck
Things that aren't sports but are funny because we're really immature sometimes
Yi Jianlian
Tampa Rays
Ikea Games

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Best of The Big Picture: series and features

Four years, you gotta get some staples down. To write about random stories everyday is pretty taxing, so we developed some reoccurring series and features as a way to help readers gain familiarity and to make planning content a little easier.

Some of the features stuck, some didn't. Some got big, others were one-and-done.

Here they are in all their glory:
Lots of good stuff in there that should give you plenty of reading material to get you through your Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Best of The Big Picture: most-read posts

There are occasionally things we write that other people think are good enough to share with their larger audiences., Yahoo!, Deadspin and even The New York Times have linked to our work, which makes us feel mushy inside and brings many sets of new eyeballs to our site; and new people to tell us to go fuck ourselves with a toilet plunger.

Some of these high-trafficked posts were good; some were thrown together in 10 minutes after finding a neat story. All were good for the site.

Here are some of the highlights:
Go take a look and see some of our most-read work.