You May Remember me from such Educational Films as Two Minus Three Equals Negative Fun and Firecrackers: The Silent Killer …
I’m not one for extended greetings, particularly those given to people meeting me through a blog. I’d much rather you read the next post, and the one following that, to get a sense of my personality and writing style. But a blog without a white paper is a bit like a movie without an opening scene: an action hero needs some direction before he may begin the indiscriminate killing. So let me deliver a brief welcome, before I begin the casual violence.
Blogging is, by definition, a very nerdy pursuit. Back in the Darwinian dawg-eat-dawg world of elementary school, being an admitted computer user was liable to get someone branded a loser, or worse, beaten up in front of the prettiest girl in school (You know the one, with the ribbon in her hair). Back then, computers equaled nerdiness, and nerdiness equaled pain, both emotional and physical. Oh my, how far we’ve come.
We are, again universal definition here (get used to ‘em), a people who care a lot about a few things, and a little about most things. It’s a natural evolutionary state, one that prevents a sensory overload that would preclude us from accomplishing anything with our lives. This is certainly true of our news, and is highlighted by the rise of niche journalism. Who has the time to read the paper from cover-to-cover every day, to read every story on every news website? We pick and choose, creating preferences in the process that help us streamline our consumption into a habitually formed rotation. Long before the invention of the feedreader, our minds formulated their own methods for RSS (hint, bookmark the RSS feed). In a way, we classify ourselves.
[Start bad science metaphor] You are probably reading this site because you reside in the kingdom of the news junkie, the phylum sportae, the class of football, the order NFL, the family Saints. This is but one of your many taxonomic classifications that you have formed over time, and that defines you as a consumer. [End bad science metaphor] Either that, or you’ve stumbled on this site on accident, in which case I can give only one piece of advice: run fast, run far. Just go.
To the rest of you, I bid a fond welcome to this little fiefdom of nerdiness. I am your feudal lord; you may pay homage in the form of interest, well-timed flattery, and monetary donations. I accept cash, personal checks and Paypal. Preferably all three.
A Vibrant Community?
I like the idea of the blog-as-community. Take a look at the most popular sports blogs, and you will see a place—for the sake of brevity, let’s not draw out the differentiations between tangible places and e-places—where the readers participate almost as much as the blogger. To be sure, the blogger has the most responsibility, to create and disseminate content that will be appealing to the first-time and the repeat reader. But writers are, one more universal definition, vain creatures. It’s not the recording of one’s thoughts that is the vain act, it’s the sharing. And we wouldn’t be doing this if nobody were reading. If a blogger posts and nobody reads it do they make a sound?
Active readers give a writer instant feedback, they advance issues, and add another layer to the story. Active readers participate in discussions and spawn new conversations. They argue and disagree, which should be encouraged, provided it is a healthy discourse.
In the interest of fostering user feedback, SB Nation (the good owners of this here site) allows registered users to create diaries. This is YOUR tool, designed to give YOU a space to post YOUR thoughts, opinions, hopes, dreams, and deepest fears. Oh, and you can talk about the Saints there, too. The diaries exist for a reason; use ‘em. Just keep your posts within the boundaries of good taste, and write them when you’re (moderately) sober. I reserve the right to remove diaries that are offensive or nonsensical. Or if you confuse your and you’re. I hate that.
Active communities also police themselves. I would love to have enough readers to have chat room flame wars, it would be a sign that people are participating and enjoying themselves. Yet I also believe that the only thing that is more nerdy than running a blog is getting into an e-pissing contest with another person. I will actively seek out and ban people who start and participate in flame wars. This is a place where respectful disagreement is encouraged; when it crosses the line—admittedly subjective—into disrespectful disagreement, I will step in. I also hope that eventually people will have enough of a vested interest in the site that they will stop the disagreements themselves. But for now, I will also serve as sheriff of this fiefdom. We are all investing in a public trust, and when it pays out, we will all be better off. And some other clichés.
This is a contract gig. I am not the owner of this site, simply the operator. SB Nation and I have agreed that I will provide 9 posts per week for the next 52 weeks. At the end of those 52 weeks, we will re-evaluate our relationship. The point of this revelation is this: 9 weekly posts for 52 weeks equals 468 posts. At the bare minimum, I will be making 468 posts over the next year. Remember this next March, when I post a book review of the newest Will Leitch joint.
A Note on Language
I swear. A lot. But I’m going to try to follow this rule: If it can be said on NBC, it can be said here. Except for "fuck." I really like/overuse fuck. Just you fucking wait.
Oh, and douche. Can you say douche on NBC?
Why the Saints?
Because they kick ass. Next question.
Your Name Sucks
Canal Street is one of the most universally recognized streets in New Orleans. I have long believed that it is also the most important street in the city. It separates the older French Quarter from the modern CBD. It links Mid-city in the North to Algiers (the ferry, anyways) in the South. Canal Street is the backbone of New Orleans. The first night that I ever spent in New Orleans was spent in the Ramada on Canal Street. I was an impressionable eighteen-year-old, visiting the school that I would later call my own, and the city that I would later call my home. I sat up until the wee hours of the morning watching the activity below, listening to the hum of a busy New Orleans night. It’s a hum that can’t quite be replicated anywhere else. I wanted to spend the best years of my life contributing to that hum; I knew it the moment I heard it.
(And yes, I recognize that the Saints play their home games in a stadium located on Poydras Street, that their practice facility is located on Tulane Avenue—it will be a cold day in Hell when I refer to that road as Airline Highway—and that their training camp is located at Millsaps College. Dammit, this is why I hate greetings. Let’s just move on ... )