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Celebrating Five Years of Canal Street Chronicles: How it all Started

Exactly five years ago to the day I was handed the keys to Canal Street Chronicles. The rest, as they say, is history.

Late one night in March 2008 while sitting on my couch, the perfect name for a Saints blog popped into my head. So good, in fact, that I just couldn't let it go to waste.

Feeling motivated and noticing a void of Saints content in the blogosphere, I launched Blog and Gold on the Blogger platform. Yes, I realize now the name isn't that great.

You can read my very, very, very first blog post ever right here. What makes me incredibly proud is that five years later and I still think we've stayed true to the goals I set forth with my first two sentences.

Though I have always thought it was somewhat pretentious to think people would want to listen to what I had to say, the purpose of this blog is for everyone to be able to share their honest thoughts about the greatest football team in the NFL. I will attempt to make insightful, knowledgeable and perhaps witty posts about the team on a regular basis, creating a sounding board for everyone else to do the same.

A few days after launching, I stumbled upon the interweb ghost town that was Canal Street Chronicles at the time. Originally run by a guy named Sunil, there hadn't been a new post in months. He had abandoned it

I recognized quickly that the platform provided by SB Nation at Canal Street Chronicles would be much better than my current home at Blogger. There was a small community I might be able to salvage. It offered a clean URL instead of a stupid and forgettable web address. It was part of a larger network of NFL blogs, which was definitely attractive. There were other bells and whistles, too, like a customizable sidebar and the Diaries.

So I fired an email to the address listed on the contact page and introduced myself. A few emails and a quick observation period later and I was invited into the SB Nation family. After just 30 posts at Blog and Gold, I was movin' on up! Timing is everything.

On the evening of April 8th, 2008 I settled into my new home and introduced myself to the community by publishing my first CSC post. Below is that post in it's entirety. Five years later and I think all those words still ring true.

This blogs for you!!!

Well...there are about a million and one things I could say, and an equal number of ways to say them. But I will try and keep it simple, serious and to the point.

First of all, I want to thank SB Nation for giving me this opportunity. This was something I was doing for myself as a hobby, and I now have an opportunity to reach a wider audience. Very exciting!

I would also like to have a moment of silence for CSC's former blogger, Sunil. Wherever he is, I wish him the best of luck. I never met the man, but he is obviously a Saints fan, so he must be a good guy. I have gotten a few notes telling me that they really liked Sunil and that I have very big shoes to fill. I can only hope my feet are big enough.

To all my fellow SB Nation bloggers, particularly The Dave's, I appreciate all your help, and the warm welcome I have received already. Dave H. wasn't joking about the amount of emails that fill your inbox. Geez! In all seriousness though, I love it. I look forward to talking with all of you in the future about football and non football topics. Just don't take it out on me when the Saints kick your respective teams butts.

A little bit about myself...
I was actually born and raised in NY. Long Island to be more specific. I moved to New Orleans in 1999 when I began attending Tulane University. I graduated in '03 and just stayed because I love the Crescent City so much. I am now the owner of a retail store, my other passion, that I began working for when I was 19. I fell in love with the Saints in college and never looked back. There is something to be said about those lovable boys in black and gold that no one could possibly understand unless they feel it themselves. And no one knows the heartache we go through being Saints fans (except Cubs fans), every year being a disappointment as we go for that one-peat. I am one of the lucky 70,000 to have season tickets for the Saints and I try to make one away game a year. I watch every game at least twice. I listen to Bobby Hebert on the radio. I read the paper. I watch ESPN. I watch the local news. I read as many articles as I can online. It's cliche, but I do bleed Black and Gold. If anyone has any questions about me, feel free to ask and I would be more than happy to answer them.

Please note the title of this post, because it sums everything up as far as the direction of this blog. Also note SB Nation's slogan..."Of, by and for the fans." Sadly, I am not a football insider. I will not know every single thing that happens in Who Dat Nation when it happens. I am a fan however, just like you. A very well informed fan. The purpose of my job and this blog is to enlighten you as much as entertain you. My goal is not so much to be the first person on the internet to release the latest info to you, but to lay it all out for you in a simple and interesting way that makes you laugh, makes you think, maybe even makes you cry. The other objective of this blog is to facilitate discussion. Everyone watches the same game, but everyone sees it differently and has their own opinions, and far be it for me to say my opinion is right and yours is wrong. I welcome conversation and debate. That is what makes sports so special and why people love it. It unites people, and I would like this site to be where everyone comes to do just that. The more involvement, the easier it is for me, the more info you get on the Saints, and the more fun it is all around. Let's make this the most popular blog on SB Nation. I dare you!

As for the name, I know it doesn't really make much sense. What does Canal St. have to do with the Saints. It doesn't. I asked if it could be changed. They told me no. So we are gonna deal with it. Sorry.

Another note...SB Nation will be changing formats soon, and we will be included. So keep your eyes open for a new look that will make everything better.

To all readers from my original blog, I hope you decide to follow me here and I hope you sign up. It is only going to get better. To all readers who have already been with SB Nation, I hope you continue your support and involvement. I would like to hear from any and all of you out there, maybe just a quick comment saying "hey" so I know who is out there. I would also love to hear suggestions on what you want to see from me.

I am going to spend the rest of my night watching the Hornets kick some butt, and tinker around with this page to figure out what I'm doing. I apologize for such a serious, touching post.

I leave you with a loud and hearty...WHO DAT!?

The next morning I awoke to find my first comment...


Little did I know there would be 243,351 more comments to follow. And for that, I am incredibly grateful. I cannot believe what Canal Street Chronicles has become and none of it would be possible with all of you guys. You are CSC.

By the way, everything was fine with Sunil. He simply got too busy with work to keep up with the demands of Canal Street Chronicles. He sent me an email in December of 2008 with some kind words of encouragement and an apology for the name:

I just wanted to drop you a note of congratulations. I'm really impressed with where you've taken Canal Street Chronicles. It looks like you're building something that's pretty cool.

P.S.: Sorry about the name. They asked for a list of five, CSC was a throwaway choice at the end. I very much preferred 'The Cult of Saints' or 'Sainting the Aint's.'

We'll be waxing nostalgic all week here as we celebrate this important milestone, in addition to providing great Saints coverage of course. I hope all of you do the same, regardless of how long you've been with us. I also think you'll be very pleased with some of the anniversary coverage we have planned for the week, including blog highlights, more trips down memory lane and a few all-time blog facts and figures.

Thanks for reading.