Going on Hiatus (March 2020)
Updated: Jan 5, 2021
This whole thing began over 15 years ago (!!) with me sending funny emails to my friends inviting them over to my house to watch NFL on Sundays. I had a theme for each week and funny quips about teams and current events. After a while, it seemed I found an audience. While not many people came over on Sundays, they did enjoy my emails. I ran with it and created The NFL Report. I sent out emails evaluating the teams and making fun of fans of teams and players while creating a voice for myself and expressing more and more creativity in my writing. Pretty good for a guy who never took an English class in college...
Time went on and I kept going with the NFL emails, though later without invitations to my house on Sundays. It was always thrilling to create something that I thought was pretty good and sending out into the world, hopeful that someone enjoyed reading it. Luckily for me, people seemed to like what I was writing. Pretty soon I was single-handedly keeping several dozen people informed about the NFL season. I felt a sense of pride that my creativity was positively affecting others, however minor. It complemented my professional life as a lobbyist, and, later, an unemployed graduate student. Writing was a part of my quest for continuous improvement, and I liked the NFL so it became a natural extension to write about it. Insight comes in many forms. While I knew a lot about football, many folks weren't paying attention or weren't that interested, so what seemed obvious to me was new to them, like someone explaining Shakespeare or graphic design to me.
I took weeks, even seasons, off, but it always bothered me that I wasn't writing enough. I had thoughts and insights that ended up staying in my head rather than pounded out on my computer. This seemed like a waste. I wanted to share my thoughts with the world, but my own world was keeping me very busy and preventing me from having enough time to devote to my writing.
I say that, but I know that is a copout. I have plenty of free time. I just spend it doing other things, like taking my son to the park, spending time with my family, and watching the Food Network (Guy Fieri is my spirit animal). I also watch and follow many different sports now, including hockey, college basketball, and golf. If sports is on tv, it's probably on my tv.
I was thrilled to experience watching the Sounders win the MLS cup in person last November. Until the Seahawks won the Super Bowl I honestly thought I may never watch my team(s) win a championship. I've gained some wisdom in my old age and realized that if I diversify my fandom, I may be able to experience more than one championship before I'm too old to notice. So far that has worked out great. I've seen a Seahawks Super Bowl win and loss, 2 Sounders MLS Championship wins and one loss, a Washington Capitals Stanley Cup win, and a Washington Nationals World Series win. All were so much fun to experience, but none matched the excitement and pure joy of being a part of the 2013 Seahawks championship run. That will always be the pinnacle of my time on this earth as a sports fan. The next championships my list are a Mariners World Series win (stop laughing), a Gonzaga University (Class of 2019!) basketball championship, and an NHL Seattle Stanley Cup win, which may actually come before a Mariners championship.
While sports interest me more than ever, writing in this blog hasn't been a priority for a while now. I always think I'm going to get back at it, but I never do. Having a 4.5 year-old son has changed me in many obvious ways (stress and exhaustion) but also in other ways that are more subtle (wanting to spend time with family). Mostly, though, my desire to creatively write at the end of a long day has decreased significantly. Rather than try to half-heartedly put something together every few weeks, I'm leaving on a high note, saying farewell to the One-Pager/NFL Report at the end of this season.
I sincerely appreciate you reading my writing; your positive feedback has meant more to me than you will ever know. I beam with pride every time someone tells me that they read my latest post and liked what I had to say. I hope all of you experience the same level of pride in something you do. And if I haven't yet given you positive feedback on something of yours that you made, wrote, or otherwise expressed with your heart, shame on me. We all deserve to share one thing that gives us joy with the rest of the world.
I'm not totally done commenting on sports, though. I will still be active on my social media accounts, posting random insights and opinions on Twitter and Facebook. And if I really have something I want to share, I will post it on my personal blog. But for now the time has come to retire the One-Pager/NFL Report. I gave it my all and don't regret a word I wrote, except maybe picking the Saints to win this year's Super Bowl.
Before I sign off, I have a few final points to make. Here they are, in no particular order:
My preseason picks were great this year! I picked 2 AFC division winners (Patriots and Texans) and one Wild Card team (Chiefs, who won the AFC West, but still). I was way off on the Chargers, but so was everyone else. They were the biggest disappointment in the league this year. My NFC picks were even better. I picked two division winners (Eagles and Saints) and both Wild Card teams (Seahawks and Vikings). And I picked the Chiefs to make it to the Super Bowl, which could actually happen! Picking 7 out of 12 playoff teams is a win in my book.
As for my over/under win total picks, I got more than half right. But I did pick the Packers, Titans, and 49ers to be under their predicted win totals, so I wouldn't go declaring myself an expert just yet.
I am very happy with the Seahawks' season overall. They exceeded everyone's expectations and almost made it to the NFC Championship game. If you told me before the season that would have happened with this team and all its injuries, I would have taken that result no question. The older I have gotten, the more patient I am with my sports teams. Of course, I was disappointed they lost to the Packers, but I take the long view, knowing that they did well this year and have a chance to compete again next year. Getting older and experiencing a championship have made me a more patient and reasonable Seahawks fan.
Nothing unites this country like the NFL. You can go literally anywhere and ask almost anyone which NFL team is their favorite, and they will at least tell you which team they have a connection to. I want this blog to be remembered as a connection you all had with me. Some of my best memories have been watching football with friends and family, and I'm glad I have connected with you through our shared love of the NFL.
With that, I say farewell. Be kind and positive. My sincere hope is that the legacy of this blog and all my writings about the NFL live on in the positive spirit of personal connection through sports fandom and friendly rivalry.