Back in 2008, I started my own music blog, and so began nearly 15 years of sacrificing most nights and weekends to the demands of the content mill.
That blog led to becoming the reviews editor at 20 Watts at Syracuse, then my own ACC football blog the day after it was announced that the Syracuse and Pittsburgh were headed to a new conference. By January 2012, I was part of the TNIAAM writing staff. And in January 2017, I took over for Sean as managing editor.
And now, in January 2022, I’m officially stepping away from a site I’ve dedicated 10 years of my life to. That’s difficult and daunting, for certain. But it’s also increasingly necessary for me as a human being. Which is why I’m strangely at ease with moving on from one of the most constant relationships in my adult life.
But being “at ease” doesn’t make this “easy.” TNIAAM is the first thing on my mind when I wake up, and usually the last thing I’m working on when I go to bed. It’s overruled weekend and evening obligations and plans for years on end. Writing here and covering this team in the way we have is part of my identity in a way that you could absolutely deem unhealthy. All of this is not to complain about it. Rather, it’s to talk about just how much I’ve tied myself to writing on this blog, and how much that dedication has necessitated this move now, for me.
It’s because I ultimately believe this community remains a special place for Syracuse fandom, and you deserve the very best. When it became a struggle to bring the required mental and emotional effort to the table, that’s when I started actively asking myself if it was time. And if it was, could I actually walk away?
Months later, I had my answer, and not just because of the current state of Orange sports. The environment around content creation and fandom and internet discourse have all just changed so much over time that it’s tough to see how I could maintain a healthy relationship with my work here AND keep my sanity at the same time.
Given the last few years I’ve had, along with the last couple years everyone else has experienced as well, it’s not a recipe for my own success. I owe it to those around me — my wife and kids, in particular — to be present and healthy. And as much as it pains me, I can’t let a sports blog stand in the way of that.
Speaking of that sports blog, though, I will always have love and appreciation for this community’s role in my life, my career and my writing. I’ve learned a ton from so many of you, and have improved as a Syracuse fan because of conversations (in real life and in the comments) with many of you. From the early days writing at TNIAAM to today’s last entry, the feedback here — both positive and negative — has meant a lot to me. So thank you all for that.
Thanks also go out to Sean, of course, for initially giving me a shot and then trusting me with his “baby” here. I hope that I’ve lived up to what was built and fostered the continued success of this community. Speaking of, I couldn’t have done this as long as I have without the support and friendship of the TNIAAM staff. Our Slack room is truly a second home to me, and it’ll be an odd adjustment not having the counsel (and fun) that the likes of Kevin, James, Andy, Steve, Christian, Dan and many others have provided over the years. Kevin will be taking over going forward, and I’m fully confident in his abilities to keep the #jokesandgarbage alive.
A lot of gratitude is also owed to those outside these walls as well. My obsessive approach to this place may be a form of mania, and I can’t thank my wife Kendra enough for remaining relatively tolerant of whatever that’s looked like over the years.
Folks around the ACC like Brian Favat, Caroline Darney, Bud Elliott, David Teel, Ben Swain, Mike Rutherford and Lauren Brownlow (plus many others) respected me and shared my work even back when it was on a Wordpress blog, and I can’t stress enough how much that helped me get past various periods where I lacked confidence in those early days writing. The same goes for Syracuse media folks past and present like Chris Carlson, Brent Axe, Stephen Bailey, Seth Goldberg, Donna Ditota and Mike Waters, who have all treated my work seriously... even when you could argue it wasn’t.
So that’s it, I suppose. Could you see me around here in the future, similar to how Sean pops in from time to time? Sure, I suppose there’s a reality where that could happen. But my immediate time post-TNIAAM will be spent focusing on reclaiming my own well-being, my health and my life. Everyone should find time to focus more on themselves given the times we’re in. I’m prioritizing myself and those around me, because I feel it’s the best thing to do (for me) at this specific moment in my life.
Thank you all again. Please stick around TNIAAM for what’s to come, be sure to #HonorYourContract and remain #disloyalidiots. It’s been a pleasure... even when arguing with many of you about Orange-related things. Hopefully we’ll do that again on the internet someday.