1. Periodically throughout the year, I like to use this space to take the temperature of our community. It is not because we have little else to talk about, as you have hopefully been able to see over the course of February. Let's start by thanking a few folks who have worked very hard lately to make this website a fun destination for Redskins fans.
2. Sean Patterson and Mike Harar have stepped up in major ways over the last month in the day-to-day management of the content you read. When I found out I was going to have to replace Kevin on this site--you can never replace your best friend--I knew I was going to need help. There is no way Hogs Haven would function without the efforts of Sean and Mike. Please remember that when you see them on here. Sean has assumed the role of lead editor on many of our recurring series, most notably the Draft Profiles, which I continue to believe sets us apart from many of the other team sites on SB Nation's network. He is a natural when it comes to organization and leadership and I am excited about the prospects of working closely with him in the coming years to make this place better. Mike and I have found excuses to work together on a variety of projects, and his creativity and sense of humor are driving forces behind his success. He is the man behind our Twitter account these days (although you can also follow yours truly @ItsRainingKen), and I couldn't think of a better personality to follow Kevin.
3. Phil, otherwise known as HTTR4LIFE, continues to set us up each and every day with the links to stories that inform and infuse our daily debate. His is largely a thankless job, except when we take the opportunity to say THANK YOU!!! Phil, you are an integral part of what we do at Hogs Haven. The daily experience of our readers is indelibly shaped by your posts. The next time you are at a Hogs Haven event, it is my hope that the attendees would see fit to thrust shot after shot into your hands.
4. It is only fitting to thank both Steve Shoup and Mark Tyler (Tiller) at the same time.
5. No, it isn't. Ha...I'll start with Steve because he is a bit more local and someone whom I have leaned on for a variety of things over the years. In addition to being a gifted writer and the manager of his own site (Fanspeak), I very much trust Steve's intuition. Hey, we all get it wrong sometimes, but when you read something Steve writes, you can be certain that his opinion is formed by a great deal of research and analysis. Do we disagree on David Amerson? Who cares? Hahaha... Steve, thank you a million times over for finding time in your busy schedule to contribute meaningful and knowledgeable content to Hogs Haven.
6. Tiller has been a mainstay on this site for quite a long time. Before he was granted the power to post his articles to the front page, you could find his diatribes in the comments and FanPost sections. To truly understand and appreciate Mark, you have to understand that he is a passionate individual. Whether you disagree with his opinions or style, it is my hope that you can respect that the guy cares about Hogs Haven deeply. Even when I have found myself on the other side of an issue involving Mark, I have always stepped back and thought, "You can't have a site dedicated to the fans without representing as many kinds of fans as possible." There is likely no member of this staff more controversial than Tiller, but I see his style and passion in many of you--especially the ones who argue with him the loudest. We all know a fan like Mark. It only makes sense to have that represented here. Mark, thank you for your continued support for what we do here, and thank you for injecting the daily discourse with your love of this team and the fans who come here. (Now that Maryland is in the Big 10, we will have to figure out the right way to tell you that rooting for Penn State is just wrong.)
7. We have some writers who may not contribute as much, but when they do, I see overwhelming support and gratitude for their submissions. Keely Diven, James Dorsett, Bernhard Samuel, Tom Garrett, Nate Leggacy, Marc Shea, Alex Rowsey, and of course...Chris Hess, otherwise known as ih8dallas. I am writing this from a hotel in Houston, with a plane to catch in minutes, so please forgive me if I have missed any of the folks who are currently contributing their time and words to the site. I will always do what I can to help writers find a home for their work. These people have committed to contributing to Hogs Haven and we are a better place for it. Thank you to all of the creative and dedicated folks who continue to enhance the overall experience here.
8. Harrison Weinhold...oh Harrison. I give you your own place on this list not because of all the writing you do...(when was your last post again? Ha!) Harrison is a gifted producer, formerly with 106.7 The Fan. Him and I have spent some quality time in my basement over the last couple of years. You read that right. He does so much more than just sweat on my desk chair, though. He has helped bring us into the podcast era with our own original shows. When they have been enjoyable, Harrison gets the credit. When they have sucked, I can't think of a better person to blame than Kevin. Thank you Harrison for taking your talents to my basement, Lebron-style. I look forward to putting together this year's shows with you.
9. What, you thought I had forgotten about the RG3 of our staff these days? I believe he goes by the name HogHunter. When you manage a site like this, and a guy with his abilities and energy comes along, the only thing you can do is give him the keys to the place and hope he doesn't get you sued. In all seriousness, it is perfectly fitting that one of the most loyal and dedicated readers/commenters becomes one of the most beloved writers on the site. We all look to see what he is thinking about and how he wants to treat a topic of the day. "Rock Out With Your Mock Out" is a title I would have been proud to have thought of myself. God, that is good.
10. I will try and never do a post like this without remembering two people that poured their hearts and souls into this place: Kevin Ewoldt and Parks Smith. Our Ring of Honor starts with those two. It will someday include most, if not all, of the folks mentioned above. Kevin and Parks, my continued thanks.
I believe it was Phil Conners that said: "When Chekhov saw the long offseason, he saw a season bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that the offseason is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing among the people of Hogs Haven, and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous offseason."