I've been sitting at a blank, Microsoft Word document the last five minutes not sure what to type. For the last five years, blogging the Redskins and getting 24x7 updates to my phone has been my entire world both during my 9-5 real job and outside of it. For many reasons (all positive), I need to shuffle my priorities and push the blogging to the side.
When Ken and I took over Hogs Haven for Will Allensworth in January of 2009, we felt like Charlie Sheen at a strip club. We were (and still are) nobodies, but we were nobodies with a platform! Within one month, I was able to score an interview with Capitals owner, Ted Leonsis, who laid out his 10-point plan of building a franchise (the Redskins have never been good at #2).The interview went viral and we were off and running.
Just a couple months later, Redskins PR head at the time, Zack Bolno, gave Ken and I credentials to minicamp and the amazing run of good luck continued. Being able to cover the team with first hand access to the team meant so much to us. Ken's writeup of how clueless the two of us were that first day at camp is still to this day one of my favorite articles Ken has ever written.
I owe many thanks to the many people I met over the years. First and foremost, I'd like to thank the Hogs Haven writers and community that helped build this blog into what it is today: Parks Smith, Mark Tyler (Tiller), Mark Bullock (UKRedskin), Steve Shoup, Dan Ciarrocchi, Harrison Weinhold, Phil (HTTR4LIFE), Keely Diven. Mike Harar, Sean Patterson, Tom Garrett, and Doug Ramey....all great voices in their own ways.
I can't count the number of times I've been asked, "Do the Redskins media hate you guys being bloggers and all?" That has honestly never been the case. Rich Campbell, John Keim, Grant Paulsen, Rich Tandler, Mike Jones, Dan Steinberg, and Chris Russell have always been very responsive and supportive of our work. I've crossed paths with them countless times at events and shared many emails and texts. They are all genuine and understand the role we fill (fan perspective).
The 106.7 THE FAN radio crew also gave us lots of air time and it was so much fun being a part of their shows: Funny Danny, Mike Wise, Chris Johnson, Bill Rohland, and Chris Kinard.
SB Nation is also one of the greatest employers I've worked for. CEO, Jim Bankoff, always made himself available on email, happy hours, and even invited Ken and I to many Redskins games, including the Seattle playoff one. In fact, Jim even shot our (less than sober) post-game video after the Seahawks playoff loss. Awesome. The same goes for SB Nation owner, and Oakland A's blogger, Tyler Bleszinski.
Lastly, and surely not least, thanks to Ken Meringolo. I can't count the number of times he's prevented me from posting something heated (and stupid) in regards to the many things that happened with this franchise over the years. We've been best friends since the late 90s and the tailgates will continue on.
When it comes to remembering the most fun I've had on Hogs Haven...these certainly come to mind:
- Interviewing Dan Snyder
- Partying with the Hogs at Russ Grimm's HoF Party (also podcasted all day on media floor interviewing Jacoby, Bostic, and many ex-Skins)
- My 1-on-1 Video Interview with Joe Gibbs
- Interviewing Marion Barry
- Working Out with Lorenzo Alexander - YouTube
- Interviewing Joel Osteen if Being a Dallas Cowboys Fan is a Sin
The first year my goals were to simply write articles that made SI's Extra Mustard blog...a few of them did:
- Vinny Cerrato's Gmail Hacked!!!
- Tony Romo's Facebook Page Hacked!!
- Matching Simpsons Characters with Redskins Players
Anyway, I've exceeded how long I wanted to make this, and I'm sure I've also exceeded my grammar and spelling mistakes quota. I'll certainly lurk in the comments with some gifs to make fun of Ken's unending optimism for free agency. Surely, Mike Harar and Sean Patterson will keep him in check and I know they will do a fantastic job keeping the fun going.
For those that enjoyed the Twitter back and forth, you can follow me at @kewoldt.
I guess it only makes sense I end on a gif: