On Aug. 28, 2009, I joined Arrowhead Pride as a commenter. I had found my nirvana, a place where this Kansas City Chiefs from New York could talk shop with people who root for the same team as me. In the five and a half years since, this website became a constant source of enjoyment, debate and family.
My time here has led me into a full-time sportswriting position which will lead me away from Arrowhead Pride effective April 6, so I felt it was right to say goodbye to all of you who have become such an important part of my life.
Joel Thorman, a.k.a. the Blogfather, brought me on to write once a week in a front-page role in 2011. I was absolutely thrilled, a kid just out of college given the chance to practice my skills in front of an audience, writing about a team I love. Ultimately, the position turned into a paid one, and was the genesis of becoming an NFL newsdesk writer for SB Nation, a beat writer in Binghamton, N.Y., for the American Hockey League's Binghamton Senators, the creator of a magazine, and now my new job.
I want to thank Joel for believing in me before anybody else did. It is hard to be in Joel's position and take a chance on a young, unproven guy with little journalistic knowledge. Joel saw my passion, winced a little bit and took a shot. I will be forever indebted to him for that.
This farewell would be incomplete without naming a litany of other people who have affected my career. Matt Conner not only works here, but worked for a long time as an editor at SBNation.com. We worked together, and Matt pushed me to become better and challenge myself. I know I drove you insane, Matt. Thanks for your patience.
BJ Kissel is now the Chiefs Reporter over at Arrowhead, and has never stopped being a supportive friend. BJ does a tremendous job with his work, and has given an example to look up to. It's terrific to see your success.
One man who taught me a ton without knowing it is Craig Stout (KaloPhoenix). Craig has an incredible depth of knowledge when it comes to football, and I always poured over his articles to understand more. When I first came to Arrowhead Pride, I thought I knew plenty about the game. Craig showed me I knew nothing.
Then there is Seth Keysor, Mr. MNChiefsFan. Seth is one of the kindest people you could ever meet and one hell of a writer. Seth always pushed me to do the best work I could by producing incredible film studies and statistical breakdowns, all while being a father of four, a husband and a lawyer. It is an incredible source of motivation to see someone work so hard for the love of the game. My hat is off to you, my friend.
Finally, thanks to all of you. Thanks to the legions who have read almost all of my pieces, who remember when I was Flowers24. Thanks for the kind words, and the harsh words, which always reminded me I have a long way to go before I've done anything. Seeing a conversation started because of something I wrote was always satisfying, and I imagine it will be for the rest of my career.
Thanks for the time, one last time.