There is this devilish part of me that wishes I had the wherewithal to walk up to a group of attractive ladies at a bar and say, “Hey, ladies. Have you met the Best in Western Washington yet?” Thankfully, that part of me is currently being subdued by own Jiminy Cricket conscience. Pickup lines aren’t my forte anyway. By the way, anyone know how much a polar bear weighs?
Honestly, though, I never thought I’d be the best at anything, let alone be voted on by my readers as the Best Sports Blog in Western Washington. That’s freakin’ crazy. It means so, so much to me. You have no idea. I’m trying to put my thoughts down in a structured, cohesive format but I’m having trouble doing that.
On Sunday, I’ll be 27 years old. This is the best birthday gift ever! I figured I’d be entrenched in the Mariners’ starting rotation at this point in my life. I guess they didn’t see the value in a 5’10” righty with spotty accuracy. That’s okay. I started writing instead and that’s worked out alright.
In 15 days, this website will be exactly three years old. Today, in fact, I just pulled $10 out of my checking account to renew the domain name. Ten bucks. I’ve made worse purchases in my life.
Man, I have so many people to thank.
First, of course, all the people that voted in what would otherwise be a meaningless competition. I really appreciate you doing that. The fact that you would pick this site as your favorite over dozens of other worthy sites blows me away. There are a ton of talented scribes in this town. Just being mentioned in conjunction with them is flattering.
Second, to all of you who read this site or follow along on Facebook or Twitter, thank you. You are what keeps me going. You’re my breath of fresh air. You make me want to get up in the morning and read my Twitter feed or check the “Likes” on a post and all that other goofy stuff we all do from time to time. I really can’t explain how much you’ve changed my life. There are those who knew me both before and after I started writing publicly, and I promise you, they can vouch for the fact that I’m a different person now than I was then. And I’m better for it. And that has a lot do with all of you.
Third, to all my friends on the local media landscape, thank you. There are a ton of you guys and you’ve all impacted me in some way. Jerry, Ian, Puck, Divish, Ashley, Josh: I especially want to thank you guys for believing in me all along. Half of you decided you’d do an epically brilliant podcast with me; the other half of you have given me opportunities that have made writing more than just a hobby for me. We all went from being acquaintances to being good friends, and if nothing else, that means more to me than any of the things I’ve ever written.
Fourth, Bill Simmons, you’ll probably never read this (you’re a busy guy), but you contacted me out of the blue a few months ago and told me to keep doing my thing. You’re my freakin’ idol and you got in touch with me. I’m sorry I didn’t believe it was you at first. I’m sorry I cussed when I found out it was, in fact, you. I’ll never forget you doing that. I’ll tell my grandkids about it someday. Thank you.
And finally, to all my friends and family members, I love you guys. It wouldn’t take some stupid award for me to say that to you. I mean it. I love you. You mean the world to me. All of you. From my best buddies who embarrass me every time we go out by shouting “THE Seattle Sportsnet” across crowded bars, to our tailgate group, to my rec teammates, to the PFLers, to my coworker/adopted big sister who promotes my writing like it’s her very own, to my dog (who keeps my spirits up even in times when I’m down), to my mom (who practically campaigned for me to win this thing), my dad (who has his coworkers reading this site), my little brother, my cousins, my aunts and uncles, and both my grandmas, who are the biggest Mariner fans I know. I just wouldn’t be me if it weren’t for you. It’s that simple.
There are more. I’m forgetting people. I already feel bad for leaving people out. Damn. But off the top of my head, my teachers who believed in me, all the UW students who used to read The Weekly Enema (remember that?), the Dawg Pack (you basically let me get my name out there with Dawg Pack Dirt), the good folks over at Dawgman (who claim me as their own), all the respectable outlets who have let me write for them, and many, many more.
There are so many things in life we’re told we can’t do, no matter what they are. And yet there are so many people in my life who have told me I can do anything. I don’t deserve that. I know how lucky I am to have that. And I know that no matter what, I’ll keep writing. I will. You all told me to write and I did. It’s been wonderful.
I’m nobody. I’m good at one thing: putting my thoughts into print. That’s it. Everybody has something they’re good at. Go out and find your talent, then make it your passion. You can be amazing when you surround yourself with amazing people.
I’ve never been more honored, never been more grateful. You guys are my lifeblood. I love you. Thank you.