When I was at lunch today a thought popped into my head. It was around this time five years ago that Gang Green Nation launched. When I got back from lunch, I checked and found sure enough the first ever post on this site was September 8, 2008, five years ago yesterday so I felt like some kind of post recognizing this was in order. Below are some reflections. I'm going to talk a lot about myself below and personal reflections on this site so you would be excused for X'ing out right now.
If you had told me that day what the next five years on this site would bring, I'm not sure I would have believed you. I probably wouldn't have believed you if you told me SB Nation would not have fired me at some point. On a personal note, this site has brought me a steady stream of incredible memories, experiences (with the Jets, online, and in real life), and new friends.
There are really too many people to mention who have helped this site become what it has. I'll go on forever, and still forget people. You know who you are, and you know what you mean to me. There is one person I would like to mention, however. Without one particular Oakland Raiders fan, I would not have ever come to SB Nation, Jerry Wilson, a friend of nine years and former SBN writer who gave me an incredible recommendation when this position came open.
If I was honest that day five years ago, I would have told you that I wasn't sure I was the right man for the job. Today I can say the same thing. Right or wrong I have had very specific things in mind.
I had a vision for this site, and I've tried to keep us true to that these last five years. I realized rather early that having a football blog was probably not my path to fame and fortune in life. It was an outlet to celebrate and vent about my favorite team. Becoming friends with players wasn't important to me. Becoming a media big shot with access and connections to all kinds of reporters wasn't important. Neither was generating a ton of hits. I think it's probably safe to say that if these were my goals, I've done a terrible job. If any of those things happened, great, but they were not the point. The point was for me to express my feelings as a fan and hopefully attract some other smart fans for great football discussion. On that count, I think I've been a success beyond my wildest dreams. If I had no readers, this site would be some crazy guy ranting about the Jets. Now this site is some crazy guy ranting about the Jets around a community of intelligent members. I'd be ok with it being some crazy guy ranting about the Jets. If SB Nation ever fires me, I'll probably start some small blog and just do that. Having a community of intelligent members is way better, though.
I doubt very much that I'm the most insightful person who writes about the Jets, but that was never the idea. First and foremost, I'm a fan just like everybody else here, not a journalist. When you see me say the Jets are acting like a Mickey Mouse operation, it's not because I'm trying to sell headlines or generate buzz. It's because I think the Jets are acting like a Mickey Mouse operation, and that ticks me off as a fan. If the team doesn't like to hear it, too bad. I'm a fan and a paying customer. If it ticks off a beat writer, too bad. I'm a reader of theirs. I'm not sure there are many writers who frequently comment on their sites and debate so much with their members. I just love talking about the Jets. If you ever run into me with a passionate debate, rest assured I wouldn't be debating you unless I respected your viewpoint and knowledge immensely.
All I can promise you is to do my best to get it right and to be honest. I've done that the last five years. I'll keep doing it however long I continue to run this site. I hope you've enjoyed coming to GGN. Hopefully you've had good discussions here. Hopefully this site has made you think a little.
It's been the ride of a lifetime for me and an honor to discuss football with you. To many more good times ahead.