We argue passionately about draft picks. We beat each other up verbally over coaching decisions. We inject our moods, emotions and attitudes into the daily debate here at Hogs Haven. But that isn't to suggest we don't separate what we understand to be our hobby from the reality that is our lives. That isn't to suggest we don't understand that there is a laundry list of things in life far more personal and meaningful to each of us than jabbering about football.
I consider it a real honor and privilege to have met some of you personally. I can't tell you how satisfying it is to receive feedback from folks around the world who root for the Redskins saying how important the Hogs Haven community is to them. I can't tell you how humbling it is when people reach out to include me in their age old family traditions, or think to drop a note into my email inbox thanking me for saying something that they had been thinking.
Most of us know each other by little more than a witty handle and/or a photo or image selected to convey how we see ourselves (perhaps I should rethink the John Riggins porn star photo I use). But it is clear when we speak to each other that there does exist a base level of respect and consideration among us. It is this sense of community that distinguishes us from other sites (for better or worse) and it is this sense of community that has spurred our growth over the last couple of years.
It is with a heavy heart that I pass on the news that our friend Phil (HTTR4LIFE), a good friend of this site and a valuable voice in our community, has suffered a devastating loss. Nothing I can write or say can replace what you are missing today Phil. I am truly sorry and I know I speak for Kevin, Parks, Mark, Dan, Steve and many others when I say that your family is in our thoughts and prayers and we stand ready to assist you in any way possible.
As the leader of Hogs Haven (or one of the leaders), I know that everyone arrives to our digital pages on any given day carrying with them any number of problems, troubles or burdens. It is as much of an escape from those things as it is a bubbling cauldron full of those things. Perhaps we don't do a good enough job making sure everyone understands that at the bare minimum, none if us sees this place as a dumping ground for our negative energy. On the contrary, on most days I think you could find multiple examples of the exact opposite in our posts and in the comments sections. Thank you all for that.
Our community and others like it are largely defined by words. That is our medium. Today, I ask for your words of support--not just for Phil, but for all those people we know are going through tough times.
To all of you, please know that in every way possible, and by any means available, we are in this together.