We're late! Which isn't to say we're pregnant (we were safe and spent the next morning jumping up and down, just in case), but to take a moment and reflect on a day in the blogosphere that quietly passed -- our first birthday, which came last week. It's apros pos -- we're always slow on the draw 'round these parts (in-depth analysis of the Knicks/Nuggets brawl is coming, pinky swear).
Kyle and I conceived the site early in 2006, before either of us ever really found the sports blogosphere, because we thought we were the only ones who found Stephen A. Smith irritating. We were wrong. Sometime in the site's planning, we discovered Deadspin. Once we found Will Leitch's opus, the entire sports blogosphere seemed to sprout full bloom. Whether we were part of the flood, or whether that world was always there and just unnoticed by me remains unclear, but I'm glad I found compatriots with similar mindsets and sharper tongues -- I've read a lot of great writing about sports over the last 12 months, and none of it seems to have been written by "actual" sportswriters.
Our goals for the site were simple. We weren't sure if anyone would read it, though we hoped they would (about 1,500 of you do a day, which makes us smile). We just wanted a chance to express thoughts, concerns, and passions for the sporting world.
The site's first huge payoff came early -- about a month after we went live, Kyle and I received emails from The Godfather Jamie Mottram about joining The FanHouse (now that it's almost a year old itself, and the bee's knees as far as all things sports is concerned, it's easy to forget the days when the FanHouse was NFL and NCAAF only, and no one was sure it'd work).
But joining the FanHouse, while an amazing experience thus far, also seemed to announce the premature climax for the Out Route -- with the new reality/responsibility of getting paid for our writing, FanHouse (maybe unfairly?) took priority. Facing the 9-5 post-college working world for the first time, I underestimated the time and energy I'd have for this site. Paired with the presence of the FanHouse, the work here suffered. Our production went from 5 posts a day, to 3 a day, to 1 a day, to one every few days, to a couple of updates scattered through the week.
The other thing I've struggled with (I don't want to speak for Kyle on any accounts) is with exactly how to tackle things here. I've always held disdain for the media, even from my vantage point working at a print newspaper, and one of my biggest pet peeves is the way sportswriters in particular write about the same stuff, expressing the same opinion in more or less the same words. Rarely does someone bring anything fresh to the game, and I became so consumed with not letting the suddenly over-crowded sports blogosphere rot due to redundancy that I literally stumped myself on ways to write and things to write about. I didn't want to aggregate the news -- no one will top the AP when it comes to that, and why am I taking up valuable iSpace for something with such little purpose? So I decided to write everything with strong opinions in mind, until I realized that I either didn't have an opinion on a topic, or that someone else expressed that opinion much better.
So, as we celebrate the uneventful first year of the Out Route (not including the Matt Simms fiasco -- I think it's safe to say that my safety is in jeopardy if certain people in Ramsey, NJ see me), I look to solve this problem. There is a way to make the Out Route a compelling and informative web stop, a way to cater to our schedules while adding a little personality to yours. But we obviously haven't been able to figure it out on our own.
Please, leave comments with what you like and don't like about the site (be as honest as possible while remaining relevant; we will not stop our lifelong pursuit of criticizing Mike Vick just because you're a superfan, so don't even ask, for example). Do you want longer, less frequent, think pieces? Do you want short, snarky bullets? Do you want more pictures of Kyle and I (I know that's a yes)? We want to go another year, and more, and we want it to be worth it to you, the reader, and us.
I would also like to mention that this site wouldn't have been possible without the dilligent work of Jake Brown and Derek Phillips, the men who run Glorious Noise. They host and designed the site, they gave us the medium we needed, and they oversee the whole shebang. I appreciate their faith and patience in the project, and look to reward it.
Thanks, regardless, for allowing us to vent for the last year.
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