February 2, 2015.
I remember that day pretty darn well. I had just finished dropping the RedHeads off at school and was checking my email when I saw a note from Chris White, the Managing Editor of Burgundy Wave.
"Hey man, I am stepping down from the Wave and I want you to take over"
And that was how it started.
I have written for Burgundy Wave since 2013 first as humble Staff Writer, then as Assistant Managing Editor in July 2014 to Managing Editor a year ago. It's crazy to think that this is my fourth season writing about the Colorado Rapids.
But I have learned a few things over the last year that I think are great life lessons:
1) Screwing Up is OK: None of us are perfect, and Lord knows I am not. Sometimes my spelling sucks. Really sucks. My grammar can be shit. Then vs Than? I still get tripped up. Ben Newnam vs Ben Newman? I can't tell you how many times I yelled the F word at myself to get that right. But you know what? It can be fixed. You can learn. Screwing up is OK.
2) #FriendsInBlog: I started using this hashtag the last summer because I believe in what the message is. Those of us who write for soccer blogs are generally doing this for zero or little money. We do not write about our club because we are trying to get rich. We do it because we love our club and we want to share it with the world.
I LOVE THE COLORADO RAPIDS WORLD AND HEAR ME ROAR!!!!
But the people who share this passion are all trying to do the same thing here. And so we help each other out. I can't tell you how helpful @GolazodelGringo from Brotherly Game was. He was my first outside contact at another blog and helped me through "Three Questions" the first time. @ThatCodyTho at The Blue Testament and I exchanged question about six millions times in 2015 due to scheduling changes and weather delays. The Lads at The Mane Land had me on their podcast to talk about the Rapids in June. And @dStowers410 at Dynamo Theory and I have bonded over our love of Settlers of Catan and Beer.
But the greatest friendship has come from our friends at Crown Town Soccer. They cover our affiliate in Charlotte and it has been a blast to work with them over the last year. I am truly grateful for their friendship and assistance last season. (SIDE NOTE: The Broncos better win....no one wins if I am bald)
3) The Need for a Footy Family: So throughout my writing this year I have gotten to meet a ton of great people who have become very important in my life. From Tyler and Emily to the Flakoglost Boys to Emma to Bamber to Marco to, well shit...the list goes on and on. We all share a love for this game and for this team. The largest blessing I have had this year has been this Footy Family.
4) Get Frustrated. Don't let it consume you: A little secret. I stepped down in late summer because I was so frustrated with things. How could I continue to write for the Rapids when they spinning out of control again. But I had some conversations with my boss at SB Nation and she assured me that I was doing the right things and to not sweat the small stuff. It got better (not the results, the Rapids sucked last year), because I let it go and did not let it take over. At the end of the day: it's just football.
5) Interviews are Key: I have had a chance this year to talk to a ton of great people who work for or support the Rapids including Kevin Doyle, Jared Watts and Tim Hinchey about the Burgundy Boys. And although we may differ on how things should be run with this team, we all love the Rapids. Getting to talk to people about it is fantastic.
6) Readers=Lifeblood: Thank you for all of your page views, comments and loyalty. I never forget your voice and how important you are to the success of the blog
7) There is no I in Team, but there is an I in Writers: But none of this happens without the people that write for this crazy thing we call Burgundy Wave. I am blessed beyond all reason for them and they make Burgundy Wave what it is. So to:
Chris, Matt, Mark, Peter, Richard, Todd, Richard, Ben, Evan, Chris, Jason and Bear
THANKS LADS FOR ALL OF THE HELP AND MAKING THIS YEAR SO BLOODY AWESOME
Now, let's make the playoffs and win a trophy! (OK, a ginger can dream)