Yes, five years ago on this very day, the first post in the history of this website went live.
Five whole years. . .I still can't believe that I've been at this for this long. Heck, when this site got started, it was the 60th blog on SB Nation (a network that now has well over 300 sites under its umbrella), and there were only nine NFL sites on the network when this site got here. For the record, the only NFL sites on SB Nation that pre-date this one are (in chronological order): Windy City Gridiron, Blogging The Boys, Pats Pulpit, Behind The Steel Curtain, Stampede Blue, Dawgs By Nature, Cincy Jungle, Pride of Detroit, and Field Gulls.
The site has always looked good, but it hasn't looked this good. For those of you that are newer members of the site, here's a look at what things used to look like. It's amazing what being a part of one of the best start-up companies in America will do for things, isn't it?
First things first. . .I have to thank the folks at SB Nation for giving me the opportunity to do this for as long as I have. Not only for having the faith and the belief in me to give me the keys to this site, but to give me the opportunity to be the managing editor over at SB Nation Minnesota. It has truly been an honor to be able to bring as much new stuff as I can muster to this site for you, the best fans in the National Football League, for the last five years, and the community that has been built really is a thing of beauty.
I also need to give a huge thanks to all of the people that have been part of this site over the course of the last five years. From Andrew Kneeland and Anthony Chergowsky, the first two co-writers this site took on, to the current cast of Ted Glover, Eric Thompson, Skol Girl, and Kyle Segall, there has never been anyone that even remotely comes close to being a "bad writer" on this website, and it will stay that way for as long as this site exists.
Some more ramblings after the jump.When I first got into this, my main inspiration for the kind of site that I wanted The Daily Norseman to be was the granddaddy of all Vikings' fan sites, Mr. Cheer Or Die's Viking Underground. Unfortunately, Mr. Cheer or Die stopped updating his site more than three years ago. . .and I certainly hope that everything is alright with him. . .but his site was the Vikings blog before "blogging" really came into any real sort of prominence. There are other great, long-time Viking communities out there, particularly Purple Pride and the Kansas Viking, but Mr. Cheer or Die was basically what I wanted this site to turn into, and I most certainly hope that I have upheld that standard during the time we've been at this.
The reason that I held that particular site up as the standard I was shooting for was because it was, before all else, a Vikings fan site run by a Viking fan. And as a fan, he had the same likes, dislikes, and passions that I, as a fan, have. Quite frankly, there are certain things. . .teams, players, and fans in particular. . .that Viking fans don't like. I know what they are, you know what they are. . .we all know what they are. I have no interest in neutrality, folks. None at all. What's the point of watching football if you're going to be a neutral observer? Really, the only people who want a Vikings' website run by a "neutral, impartial observer" are the people who only show up to Vikings websites to rub dirt in the faces of Viking fans or kick Viking fans in the teeth.
(Case in point. . .you notice how nobody really wanted to just "drop by and talk football" while the Vikings were winning consecutive division titles and going to NFC Championship Games, but there were lots of opposing fans that wanted to just "drop by and talk football" this past season? Yeah, you noticed. I sure did. Look for that pattern to repeat itself again here in the very near future.)
Seriously, I sit and watch the same games as you all do. . .I get angry at the same things you get angry at, and I celebrate the same things you celebrate. If we sit there and watch a referee show the world that his head jammed too far up his ass to know what a touchdown catch looks like, my reaction will generally not be, "Ah, well, you know, that was just a tough break, we'll get them next time," largely because that isn't what your reaction is going to be, either. I'm going to be ticked off, and I have no problem sharing that sentiment with all of you.
So people that cheer for other teams and/or hate the Minnesota Vikings don't like some of the things that I or some of the other writers here have to say. Tough. The thing that matters is whether or not you, the fans of the Minnesota Vikings, the best fans in the National Football League, like what I have to say. Given that this site has been here for five years and that we're on the verge of our five millionth hit. . .we might even be past it, but the hit counter on my admin dashboard has been stuck at about 4.85 million for the past couple of weeks. . .it appears as though you do.
As far as everyone else? Well, as the kids today like to say, "Haters gonna hate," or something along those lines. Some people are just, seemingly, unable to function without somebody's lips constantly on their rear end. They can keep running off at the mouth and hiding behind fake e-mail addresses and wishing ill upon me. Hell, if I end up getting deployed here any time soon, I'm sure there will be a thread along the lines of "I hope that Chris Gates takes a bullet in the head" that pops up soon afterwards. . .that's just the way "classy" fans roll, as we all know.
We'll just continue to provide the best coverage, analysis, commentary, and interviews about the Minnesota Vikings that you'll get anywhere on the internet, providing the best community experience on the internet with our Game Threads, and just generally being the best in the world at what we do. Because that's exactly what we've been for a very long time now, that's exactly what we are, and that's exactly what we will continue to be.
Thank you, once again, to each and every one of you for making this community what it is. Because no matter how much awesomeness we provide. . .and what we provide is pretty awesome, in case you missed that part. . .it doesn't matter if there isn't anyone out there to read it. You folks are the ones that this community is built on, and it's just going to continue to grow stronger, especially after the lockout goes away and we get into the 2011 season.
Here's to another five years, ladies and gentlemen.