There is a major drawback to being a blogger.
It's not the lack of pay, because the reward I get being around the best fans in the sporting world is worth more than money. MHR has a family atmosphere that doesn't have the negativity of many sports sites, and the knowledge at MHR is top notch.
It's not the lack of access to inside news either. MHR gets many stories as early (and sometimes earlier) than the "big guys", and the analysis provided by the staff and members is better (and more plentiful) than a ten second blurb you might get on television.
It's not the lack of popularity either. When I watch sports television, or read a magazine, I can understand that perhaps millions are watching or reading. But it doesn't impact me in any way. At MHR, I can carry on conversations with fans from around the country, not to mention our Broncos family of fans in England, Australia, Holland, Germany, etc. I not only get to meet the fans online, but but read opinions and research as diverse and intelligent as our thousands of visitors. Here and there, MHR members like myself find our work linked by SI and other non-blog sporting sites, and the rush is tremendous. Sometimes a player, player's family member, or member of the front office or media drops by. It's much more personal than it is on a major media site.
I love our football savvy fans, because they can drive the knowledge behind the site. I love our newer fans, some of whom are just learning the game, because they ask the best questions, and because they are the next wave of hard core Denver fans.
No, the problem with being a blogger is simpler than all of that. It's the fact that most all of us have personal lives, and those lives sometimes tear us away from what we love doing most. Recently I had a job commitment that suddenly (and with little notice) took me from several personal commitments, as well as from practicaly any internet service (and time).
Many of you may have noticed that I've been missing in action for almost three weeks. In that time, I missed my birthday, my wife's birthday, and our anniversary (which all fall into the same week). Those of you that were around last year may remember the correspondance that I received from Dr. Hanibal Lector on my birthday. Yeah, he reads MHR too. : )
It may sound a bit corny, but I desperately missed MHR too. When I'm not at work, I really have two pursuits: My family and MHR. Sure enough, while I was gone the Bronocs world exploded with news. Brian Dawkins, my all time favorite (non Bronco) player ever, came to the Broncos. Cutler on the trading block?!? A huge stable of personnel moves was just the start, because (go figure) Brandon Marshall went and screwed up some more off the field. I had nearly 200 e-mails from MHR staff and members in my box when I was able to get back to my computer, not to mention several football fans that link to MHR from sites like Sports Illustrated. (I imagine that Lector is in there too).
And like the father in the story of The Prodigal Son, Guru and the gang welcomed me back with open arms despite my lack of notice. For that, I'm very grateful.
I've spent yesterday and today getting settled back in and am ready to charge ahead with Mile High Report University and other works. I'll be pouring over my e-mails, and pledge to answer the several questions I'm sure to find there. Those e-mails will likely drive most of my upcoming MHR-U stories. A nice plus: I've received a few compensation days from my job, and will have a few 3 and 4 day blocks off, as well as an unexpected week and a half off in April.
And why do I share all of this? I'm sure that many of you may some day drop away from MHR for awhile. It may be work related, it may be lack of time, it may be a declining interest in the game or the team. It could be burnout (if you write a lot), it could be anger with the team, or perhaps a bitterness with another member over something that was said. You need to know that MHR is always here with open arms, and glad to see you back if you've been away for some time.
As I come back in from the cold, I look forward to getting up to speed on the team and meeting the new members. I'll also be putting up some MHR Tech Tips stories to help new folks understand the site's features, as well as share some tips on what keeps MHR above many other sites when it comes to atmosphere (our MHR family secret).
It's good to be back home with all of you. Please pardon my absence, and always remember that MHR will keep the fireplace lit, the brandy warm, and the skis waxed and waiting when you come back to the lodge.