Hey gang. I hope that wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing, you’re safe and well. I started on here as a front page writer the week of the NFC Championship at the end of 2009, and have been here ever since.
Well, other than the time I pulled that Brett Favre in 2015, retired, and came back a few months later. But as you’ve probably gathered from the title of this post, it’s once again time for me to bid farewell. And this time, it’s for good. Really.
10 years blogging for one site is a long time and just doesn’t happen much, and 15 years total is a lifetime in this medium. Before DN, I was blogging for five or six years on a couple different sites that are now extinct, prior to Chris Gates bringing me on here and giving me my shot in the big leagues.
We’ve come to the End of the Line. Haven’t we, Traveling Wilburys?
Well it’s all right, even if you’re old and grey
Well it’s all right, you still got something to say
Well it’s all right, remember to live and let live
Well it’s all right, the best you can do is forgive
Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please
Well it’s all right, even if the sun don’t shine
Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line
But why now?
Since this is a sports blog, the best analogy I can give is the one where the skills diminish but the athlete hangs around too long. If I’m being honest with you, and me, I probably should have called it after the 2017 run. As 2018 and 2019 turn towards 2020, I just find myself at the most apathetic point in my fandom I’ve ever been.
It’s not that it’s been harder and harder to write about the Vikings...I just don’t want to. And that’s been pretty obvious, based on my lack of posts, since the season ended.
I’m just not fired up about this iteration of the team, or where they’re heading. I’m not a firm believer in Kirk Cousins being ‘the guy’ that can take the Vikes to the mountain, I like Mike Zimmer but I think the time for him winning a Super Bowl with the Vikings is over, and I think the defense is going to regress more than a fair amount. I hope I’m wrong, but this smells like the Vikings are entering a rebuilding phase, with the potential for a lot of front office and roster changes again next year.
This has been a long time coming, and if I’m not all in, then it’s time to hang up the keyboard, as it were. I’ve talked to several people over the last year or so about hanging it up, and I came to the conclusion that if this apathy I’ve had about the Vikings were still around after the draft, then it would be time to go.
It’s time to go.
But before I leave, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank some people on my way out. First and foremost, Chris Gates. Or as I like to call him, Fearless Leader. And most importantly, a good friend. He’s been doing this longer than I have, and I am amazed that he can still bring his A game every damn day, with no sign of slowing down. If there’s a better site leader for a blog on the SB Nation network, I have yet to run across them. He’s taken this site from him literally talking to...himself...to what has become the best Minnesota Vikings news and opinion outlet on the Internet. That’s a hell of a legacy, and it will continue to grow, thanks to him, long after we’re all gone.
Eric Thompson is the man, and also a good friend. When we first got legitimate press credentials to training camp and the draft, it was difficult for me or Chris to get there regularly, because neither of us live in Minnesota. Eric puts aside raising two of the cutest kids either side of the Mississippi to cover the draft and training camp for us. Even when blogs got shutout from official coverage last year, Eric still managed to observe from the stands and give you the best day to day analysis anywhere. He brings a rare combination of humor and analysis that you just don’t see anywhere else.
I first got into podcasting on here with another good friend, Di Murphy. It was her suggesting/insisting that I would be a natural for a ‘radio show that isn’t on any station’, as my Dad put it, so we did Roughing The Podcast for a couple seasons. I had a blast talking football with and not writing about it, which is a lot harder than it seems. I also learned a lot about podcasting, and how I was always wrong about the Vikings from Di. I hope that you learned something from us, and had as much fun listening to the show as we did doing the show.
That led to Good Morning Gjallahorn, another podcast with good friend Drew Bunting and one of my best friends, Dave Stefano. Drew brings some of the best insight and draft knowledge you can find anywhere, and Dave is the best damn producer around, even though he has terrible taste in beer. We broke ground with live shows on YouTube right after games, which we call GMG In The Raw, and my sides always hurt from laughing after we wrap a show, whether it’s a live post game show, a preview show, or about 400 hours of live draft coverage we’ve brought you over the last two years. I’m not sure if I’m going to continue on with GMG, but either way it’s been a hell of a fun time, and I hope you all feel the same way.
GMG is part of the Climbing The Pocket Podcast network, headed up by another Fearless Leader, Jayson Brown. DN and CTP joined forces awhile back and combine the best writing with the best podcasting on the Internet. Jayson handles and schedules about 35 jillion podcasts that are all informative, funny, and the best analysis you’ll find in the Vikings podcast world. Really good folks and friends, like Flipmazzi, Yinka Ayinde, Myles Gorham, Ed Von Brodmarkle, BJ Reidell, Nick Olson, Mike Anderson, Matt Anderson, Drew Mahowald, Tyler Forness, Matt Fries, and Eric Eager bring optimism, analytics, and the best analysis you can find anywhere on the Internet.
I’ve also made friends with current and former writers, like Sarita, Warren, Rob, Josh, Brad, Lucas, Mark, DN Doomsayer Emeritus Kyle Segall, Arif Hasan, and Allison Lamon, who I covered training camp with for the first time here in 2011. This was our hero worship, ‘We can’t believe we just covered training camp’ piece, and it’s still one of my favorites.
The problem with naming so many folks is that I probably missed someone I shouldn’t have, and if I did, my apologies.
I honestly I can’t believe that for 10 years on this site, I’ve been able to write about and cover a football team I’ve loved since I was a kid growing up in Richfield in the 1970’s, and I’m even more amazed other fans wanted to read what I have written.
Through this medium, I’ve done what 99.9% of fans only get to daydream about—I’ve met and interviewed players, coaches, draft picks, former players, and Hall of Famers. I’ve been able to cover multiple training camps and drafts, and be your eyes and ears to how the Vikings were doing. Heck, I even interviewed Bud Grant once. Bud Grant!! That’s still the highlight of my blogging career.
And I’ve made lifelong friends along the way, even though I haven’t, you know, actually met all of them in real life. But one day, I hope to.
But none of that—none—would have been possible were it not for the robust community that The Daily Norseman has become. We’ve gone from an obscure little blog to one that competes and often surpasses traditional media outlets in terms of coverage and audience. Were it not for all of you good folks and your love and passion of the Minnesota Vikings coming here to see what we’re writing, there would be no DN, and this idiot son of a warehouse manager wouldn’t have been able to do any of this over the last 10 years.
So finally, and most importantly, I want to thank you, The Daily Norseman community. Through the years you have overwhelmed me with your interest in reading what I’ve written, your comments, emails, gifts, and tweets. You’ve laughed with me, challenged me, debated me, called me out when I needed it, and made me better. You also mourned and consoled me when Dad first got sick, and then passed.
I can’t begin to put into words how much that last part meant to me.
DN will forever be a part of me. Thank you, for everything.