It was November 2009 and I was getting set to fly to Florida for a family reunion. My wife and I were something like six weeks pregnant with our first kid and not telling anyone yet. How my parents didn't expect anything the second time that my wife went for the "Airsickness bag" will always baffle me.
But anyway, I was heading out of town and didn't want my blog to go dormant for a week. So I asked one of my frequent commenters to fill in for me. He went by the name of AMT, and this modest little "Post About Nothing" was the result. That was the first time I had ever handed the keys to my blog off to anyone else.
This will be the last.
As of this week, I am stepping down as the manager of Black And Red United, for personal reasons, and I'm handing the keys once again to Adam Taylor, formerly known as AMT. This time for good. I haven't been able to devote as much time to B&RU as I used to, and not nearly as much as it deserves, so this change is for the best. The blog will remain largely the same, with all the rest of the writing staff intact. I wouldn't be leaving if I didn't know that I was leaving it in good hands.
Coincidentally, Novemeber 2009 was also the month when I was originally contacted by SB Nation to come aboard the soon-to-be thriving network of MLS coverage. My only regret is that it took me more than five seconds to say Yes. Since then, the network has grown from three team blogs to 19, and B&RU has grown from my personal diversion into the best community of D.C. United fans on the internet. This blog has taken me places I never expected to go: backstage at the 2011 MLS Draft, face-to-face with Landon Donovan in the bowels of RFK after a Gold Cup match, holding a microphone to Dwayne De Rosario as he soaked in a tub. It's been one of the best experiences of my life.
I want to make clear though that this decision is mine alone, not anything that's being forced by SB Nation, and not for any other reasons but my own. Not because of any hopefully false fears of what the the new direction of D.C. United might be, and not because of the likelihood that 2013 will be first year since I started writing about United that there won't be any former Terrapins on the team. But because I have two kids at home now and less time for extracurriculars than I've ever had before.
I won't be disappearing completely though. I intend to finish out the Benny Awards, and will likely write a few occassional big picture stories here and there. I'll remain a regular commenter. And if all else fails, I'll still be a D.C. United fan no matter what.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the readers first and foremost. Obviously we'd be nowhere without you. And of course I need to thank Chest, who has been with me from the very beginning of B&RU, as well as Ben and Stephen, all of whom are the best in the blogosphere at what they do. Thanks also to Jeremiah Oshan, Graham MacAree, Mike Prada, Steve Davis, Doug Hicks, Ryan Tronovitch, Kyle Sheldon, and Alex Caulfield, all who played some role in giving me the opportunities/access to make this sportswriting journey such a fun experience for me. And a fond farewell to my colleagues-turned-friends at SB Nation (Sam Chamberlain, Dave Clark, Scott Kessler, UZ, and the rest of the MLS editors) and in the RFK press box (Sebi Salazar, Travis Clark, Brendan Andrew, Bobby Bancroft, Pablo Maurer, etc.).
But if this is my resignation, then it's maybe my last chance to make this all about me more than I already have. So allow me to put myself in the story one final time.
I played tennis in high school. Well, three of my four years in high school at least. I worked my way up from JV to Varsity. The team worked its way up from middle-of-the-pack to second place in the County.
And then I quit the team for my senior year. It's not like I wanted to give up on tennis, I just had different priorities that year - a girlfriend, other clubs, college prep. My senior year, my school's team won the County title for the first time in over a decade. And it wasn't like they won because they were better off without me or anything like that. But the same year that I left, the team won a championship without me.
I'm looking forward to seeing that happen again. Vamos United.