Ladies and gentlemen,
An opportunity has been presented to me that I'm very humbled by, and am excited about pursuing.
I started SouthEastern Sports Blog in June 2006 a couple weeks after moving from Knoxville to southwest Virginia. And ever since, it's been an incredible release and a great joy in my life. It's enabled me to continue to share in the same sports conversations I had with friends and family when I lived in East Tennessee, and has been a great fulfillment of my spare time living here in rural America.
In the past six months, through Bleacher Report and through an association with The Big Orange Roundtable websites, SESB has increased her traffic by picking up the same 16,000 readers we saw in the first two years combined. We've been linked to at ESPN.com, are a regular on the Knoxville News-Sentinel's blog links, I've gotten to collaborate with several people both online and on radio, and more importantly, we've expanded our community to a host of new viewers. It's been largely through the networking with a handful of the Big Orange Roundtable sites - specifically Gate 21 (and lawvol, who's responsible for the graphics on this site), Third Saturday in Blogtober, and Rocky Top Talk.
While the numbers are exciting, this has always been purely for fun and not in an attempt to gain any sort of notoriety or anything like that. As such, I appreciate so very, very much those of you who've been reading here from the very beginning.
The reality of my life is getting ready to include seminary, both online and on campus full time for the next four years. Concerns of keeping things in their proper balance and not getting burned out, or seeing the site fall apart if I got especially busy, have been on my mind.
And so weighing those concerns and, simultaneously, a new opportunity that was presented to me, I've decided to leave SouthEastern Sports Blog to join the team at Rocky Top Talk.
Rocky Top Talk has been the first Tennessee website I check each day for the last six months - the quality of not just the writing, but the entire site, is simply outstanding as you can see from their list of College Football Blogger Award nominations and wins. So I was honored to be asked and will continue to be honored to serve on the team over there. I am very, very excited about all this and can't wait to get started there.
So first - thank you. Thanks to all of you who've spent some time here, at any point over the last few years. Specifically, thanks to Kory & Amy, Webb, Coach Marsh, Justin & Caroline, Ryan, my parents and all the other people who've been continuing the conversation from Knoxville with me on here.
Thanks to my man Jeff, who's also in the balance of life between ministry and a few minutes on the keyboard, for contributing some great stuff on the site during these last few months. Outside the sports world, you can check out Jeff's personal blog here.
And thanks to the new faces I've gotten to share with, from the outstanding community at Bleacher Report, to Jay & Al at Gridiron Breakdown, to all the Big Orange Roundtable sites whose work I've enjoyed.
I hope all of you, if you're not reading there already, will join us over at Rocky Top Talk - you have to register a free account at SBNation, but then you can jump right in on any of the conversations (or the always entertaining in-game threads). The stuff you'll get from me will be the same, just with a different address. And the stuff you'll get from the other guys at RTT is already top notch. I cannot imagine a better team to work with.
I'm going on vacation from December 22 - January 3, so I won't be officially starting at Rocky Top Talk until Monday, January 5. If vacation gets boring, you might find a few brief notes from me on here between now and then, before we move over to Rocky Top Talk for good at the start of the new year. But there's still excellent stuff going on at RTT right now.
So thanks again. Please come join us. And I hope your Christmas and your New Year is full of joy and life.
Grace and Peace,