Many times have I referred to this blog as a neighborhood Duck bar. There are definitely the regulars that come here daily, some that talk too much, and some that make an ass of themselves and need management to make them leave. There are also the awesome people that work here, that keep the lights on, serve up the morsels of Duck information for us to consume and keep us coming back.
I still remember the first time I stumbled into this place.
Sure, maybe I had already had a few too many after a pretty bad night, and I was definitely looking for someone to help me drown my sorrows, or look for some answers, or even provide a shoulder to cry on. I got all of that over the last 4 years and then some.
When Jared asked me to be an Author and frequent contributor to the site, I have to admit I was a little nervous. Needless to say, I'm not a writer by profession (nothing could be further from the truth). But I did enjoy doing it as a hobby. It's a release, a chance to shout my opinions to a great many of like and unlike minded individuals and start a conversation. If I ever had one goal with anything I ever wrote, it was that I wanted to start a conversation. I enjoy the comment section of ATQ as much if not more than I enjoy the articles. It's something that makes this place unique in the world of shouting media. The authors here have to be willing to defend and discuss their opinions, and it's not good enough that you just read it.
In the end, however, I took the chance of turning a hobby into something a little more formal and I couldn't be happier that I did.
I've gotten more out of this experience than I ever could have given. I got to share the Ducks playing in the National Championship with my friends at this bar. We watched them win a Rose Bowl for the first time in 95 years together. We bitched and moaned about what the basketball team had become, and then celebrated together as it made it to the Sweet Sixteen. I also got to sit court side for the Pac 12 Tourney in Vegas as they started that magical run. I've been linked on ESPN, been called out by local radio hosts, started blog fights, ended other blog fights, and probably the thing I'm most proud of, helped rally this ragtag group of Duck misfits into supporting a worthy cause that helps individuals fighting Osteogenesis Imperfecta.
There are many things I would have done different, and some I wouldn't change for the world. Most of all, I'm happy I took the risk cause it allowed me to meet a tremendous number of awesome Duck and non-Duck fans.
So as I exit this bar and hang up my Rainier stained apron for the last time, I'd like to say thank you to all of you that made this so special for me. Thanks for the conversations. Thanks for the jokes. Thanks for supporting each other through good times and bad. Finally, thanks for putting up with this Putz, I'm the luckiest son-of-a-bitch on Earth.