A New Year brings a lot of thinking; some on actions past, and others on what the future will hold. The former left me dwelling on my time with UF and how this relationship came to be. While it hasn’t been lengthy (in fact, I may be one of the least senior, next to Outside Mid and Orr), I feel UF and I were bound to cross paths. In retrospect, what brought me here was the fervent recommendation from friends & lurkers, but what kept me here was the attitude.
As a WAG, I care not for traditional news, TACTICS!, analysis, and/or well-researched facts. I am, however, intrigued to hear about drama, lies, gossip, shenannigans, and sex scandals in connection with the sport I love. In lieu of that, UF and I were made for each other, and I found myself drawn into their blog-web.
With UF being so third rate, I thankfully didn’t have to worry about writing factual, well-reasoned articles, but could freely continue the snark- and sarcasm-laden rants I’d come to know and love.
So, as I found myself in the Paris Fan Zone for the 2010 World Cup, a series of inciteful, yet judgmental, posts came to me and I knew just the place to share them. My early debut on UF was surprisingly well-received:
There were actually four posts, but after I submitted the first (which was, in my opinion, the best), JamesT and Moonshine Mike were apparently too drunk/busy/third rate to post it in a timely manner and hence it was lost for eternity.
Since then, I’ve covered a lot of ground at UF: sport-love lost, a strange commenting thread about nude photoshoots, and the art and consequences of ‘manscaping.’ I even had the chance to dissect the dreaded L-word in relation to England and France’s World Cup motivation; not an easy feat indeed, but it was an enjoyable read.
There were many more bizarre posts filled with opinions and not enough facts that probably wouldn’t see the light of day elsewhere. For that, I am grateful to UF for their ‘anything goes’ policy and am grateful for them welcoming me kindly into this proverbial sausage fest.
There have been highs and lows in my contribution library here. I realize, like any relationship, I put in a lot of time early-on. Back then, I was so committed, it was adorable. I carved extra time out of my day, stayed up late, and lost sleep over this relationship, but as the months went on, I let myself go. I spent less time primping (and proofing) before ‘dates’ and eventually, rarely scheduled one at all. Now, the relationship has fallen into that comfortable phase: I know that even though I’m busy, and don’t give a lot, it’s still here for me when I have time for it (like your favorite late-night, online booty-call). Thankfully, UF will always be here for that. But, for the lack of time I’ve carved out for you recently, I’m sorry. Sure, I could go on and on about my (truthful) list of excuses, but instead, I’d prefer to dwell on the good times.
I usually tried to stay away from facts and educational reporting, but this piece was a bit different. It was a necessary educational lead-in before what I’ve decided is my favorite post to-date: this. I still laugh when I read that. I see it in my head and feel the nerves that held me throughout that day. And I honestly don’t know who I would have shared that with if not for everyone at UF. Parents? Um, no. Average friends? Over their head. Only you would understand it and appreciate it as it was meant to be, and THAT’s why I love you.
Sure, there were other posts I was very proud of that covered serious social issues connected to the sport, and I’m extremely glad I had the chance to raise awareness about them… but having a place to share a personal experience, like the Un-American Dream, and have people who empathized, understood, AND encouraged, is what I believe makes UF different from any other sports blog I’ve ever visited.
I felt much the same way when reading this from JamesT. It’s deeply personal, and in an online world where nothing is intimate and anonymity allows us to act however we choose, mostly without repercussion, it’s a testament to the behavior and intelligence of all of you reading, that the contributors share to this extent.
I’ve always enjoyed the partnership the readers and contributors have here. We need you, and while you don’t need us, we’d like to think you do. Sure, you don’t need us for the ‘news’ aspect, but what’s your reason? The attitude? The community? Or because it’s one of few sites NOT blocked by the IT department on your work computer?
As my retrospective continues, it brings me to the present to reflect on the community many before me built and sustained. Hell, there are so many inside jokes, UF had to compile a glossary to fill in newcomers like me and THAT is cool.
We (including you) are a group of friends and miscreants: intelligent, twisted, skeptic, sarcastic, and informed fans of something that has become more than a sport. We are part of a dysfunctional, frustrating, hysterical, depressing, and even sometimes exhilarating lifestyle, together. And for all of that, I thank each of you for letting me take part.
You deserve a treat, so here you go. Thanks again, all of you, for everything (and you’re welcome).
p.s. You can find me on twitter (@MountainWAG) ranting about footie and keeping snark alive in all aspects of life. Drop me a line if you ever have any WAG or bling-related questions. I have an excellent track record on that front…