4,000,000

We actually hit this mark a few days ago, but as I stated in an earlier post, the folks over at Twinkie Town hit the 3,000,000 mark the other day, and I didn't want to make it look as though I was trying to "one-up" them or anything like that. But, like them, we've been celebrating every million when we've gotten to it, and this one will be no exception.

These millions have come more and more rapidly as we've gone along here, as you can see from the dates that we've hit each of these watermarks thus far.

10 July 2006 - Daily Norseman goes live
1 July 2009 - Daily Norseman reaches 1 million hits
26 January 2010 - Daily Norseman reaches 2 million hits
26 September 2010 (approximately) - Daily Norseman reaches 3 million hits
24 January 2011 (approximately) - Daily Norseman reaches 4 million hits

That's right. . .a mere 12 months after we got to two million hits, we achieved double that figure. And I say "we" because this site well and truly has become a community in every sense of the word. We laugh, we cry, we fight, people come, people go, friendships are made, memories are shared. . .and that's exactly the way things ought to be.

How far have has this site come from its incredibly humble beginnings? Well. . .let's have a few good laughs and take a look back, shall we?

We all know what a happening the Game Threads have become around these parts. . .but, honestly, they weren't always that way. The first regular season game thread in this site's history was for the game that took place on September 11, 2006. It was the first game of the Brad Childress era, and the Vikings had gone to Washington to take on the Redskins in the opener of a Monday night double header. That Game Thread had 172 comments in it. . .169 of which were made by me, basically doing a running play-by-play of that night's game.

I was so serious about this website that I, essentially, spent 3 1/2 hours talking to myself, ladies and gentlemen.

That September, the first month of the first regular season in this site's history, the site as a whole. . .in 30 days. . .received 1,496 hits. That's just a shade under 50 hits a day. In contrast, according to the ol' Sitemeter (which you can find a link to in the bottom right-hand corner of the main page), the site has gotten 177 hits in the last hour. And by the last hour, what I mean is "between midnight and 1 AM Central time on a Thursday night in January when the Vikings haven't taken the field in about four weeks."

(My "dashboard," which is where the image at the top of the story comes from and functions on Pacific time like I'm on, has registered 7,970 hits with one hour to go before midnight on the West Coast. Yes, I'm writing this story eight hours before it appears on the site. God bless the SB Nation tech team for that little slice of awesome.)

Of course, I haven't done this whole thing on my own. . .a couple of years in, I started bringing on co-writers, starting with Andrew Kneeland and Anthony Chergosky. Both of those guys made significant contributions to the site, but moved on to other ventures. That eventually evolved into the group that you see in front of you right now. . .and I couldn't ask for a better group of writers to be a part of. I've put a whole lot of my heart and soul into this site over the course of the last 4 1/2 years, but without folks like the amazing talent I've surrounded myself with, this site wouldn't be what it is right now.

What is this site right now? Well, allow me to tell you. . .and this is probably going to come off as arrogant, but to paraphrase what the great Muhammad Ali once said, if it's true, it isn't bragging.

This site is the best site in the world at what it does. This site is the measuring stick. This is the internet's best Minnesota Vikings site and a part of the best damn community of sports fan sites on the internet. If this site was a wrestling stable, it would be the Four Horsemen. If this site was a television show, it would be Seinfeld. That's what this site is.

Like I said, that sounds arrogant. Dismiss it as arrogant if you wish. . .I'm not sure that I care. I'd like to look at it more as pride. I was there when this site was conceived, and have watched it grow from a starting point of basically having nobody except my wife and I reading anything posted here to watching it explode with the rest of this network and having huge name companies deciding that the best way to reach the best, most die-hard football fans in the world is to place their products on this website (as well as the rest of the SB Nation football communities).

And not one bit of it would be possible without all of you folks out there. This site has over 6,400 members (we've added a few since that screenshot up there was taken), and who the heck knows how many comments have been posted on this site over the course of the last 4 1/2 years. Every win, every loss, every hiring and firing and free agent signing and draft pick and everything in between. . .we've been here to celebrate or mourn or vent or laugh. Heck, sometimes we get all of those things from the same story.

We're not going anywhere any time soon, either. I love being a part of this site and a part of the greatness that is SB Nation, as well as interacting with all of you out there. This site turns five on July 10, 2011. I don't know if we'll get up to five million before then, particularly given all the uncertainty surrounding the 2011 NFL season, but by God, if we don't get there, it won't be because we've slacked off, that's for darn sure. We're hoping to expand our presence in Vikingland over the course of this next season, both in terms of having people at the games as well as at other events, and providing the greatest fans in the NFL exactly what they've come to expect from this website. . .the very best coverage of the Minnesota Vikings you'll find anywhere on this here internet.

So, in conclusion, let me say what I've said to all of you on more than one occasion over the course of the last 54 months.

Thank you, Viking fans. It doesn't get any better than this, and "this" is all because of you.

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