Unprofessional Foul
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All

January 9, 2012

Notes From The Not-Very-Underground-At-All

Sad

So, I’m sure by now you’re all figuring out what our string of misty-eyed retrospectives/adventures in oversharing are all about.

That’s right; as of, um, right about now, Unprofessional Foul is dead. Ceased to be. Bereft of life. Shuffled its mortal coil, etc etc etc DEATH SYNONYMS LIFTED FROM A MONTY PYTHON SKETCH.

We killed it.

What did Unprofessional Foul achieve in its four years? I’d like to think a lot. I launched the initial hopeful/nervous recruitment drive on one of David Hirshey’s weekly posts for Deadspin, back when DS was really the only sports blog worth reading. (I mean, The Big Lead existed, but it was readable in the same way that Courtney Love’s tweets are readable. After all, there’s an art to this stuff. Simply cramming words together doesn’t make for anything good.)

Here it is. Man, what a dickhead I was. I had a stupid email address (though surely “The JT Effect,” whatever that was/is, precluded “The Axe Effect” as the predominant form of advertising irritation), I had a plaintive tone to my request, and, really, I didn’t expect much at all. I thought I’d get a couple of red-blooded “RARGH SOCCER IS 4 TEH MORONZ” spammers, a tries-too-hard nerd (who later turned out to be, well, me), and perhaps a genuine footy fan with a turn of phrase every bit as mesmeric as Ronaldinho’s greasy curls or Clint Dempsey’s RAP SKILLS.

And yet, I ended up with an inbox flooded with genius. And over the course of our impressive-in-internet-years life span, we’ve done a lot with it. Not only did we kinda help to define the first wave of soccer blogs, but we did the snark about as well as any other while in our prime. We didn’t dissect games, we flamed players, eviscerated managers, and lambasted the powers that forever undermined the beautiful game. We parodied the pageantry, mocked the status quo, and while it’s also true that we burned a few bridges along the way — seriously, reading some of the SEO-tweaked pabulum out there made me supremely homicidal — we never once stopped loving the sport. You know how it is. You embrace the flaws in the people, places, and things we love.

But we were overrun. Consumed by our own sense of proud perfectionism. We were overtaken by an avalanche of quality writers and web sites that we could never possibly be. Though we never stopped wanting to push ourselves, it became impossible with every non-UF opportunity that came our way. Write a bit here. Try this. Take a new job. Teach another class. Perform some stand-up at an open mic. Work late. Move to New Jersey. Et cetera.

Something had to give. Which is why I’m writing this in a hotel room the day before I get to work.

Oh, and the commenters. You lot. Easily the biggest legacy of UF when our whining, whinging, perfunctory prose, and misguided ire transcend into the next life. The toughest thing about writing for the internet is remembering not to read what people write about you. Or at least learning how to handle it with a truckload of salt and not letting the poorly-spelled death threats or spurious speculation about your personal life get past your outer layers. With UF, there was never any such fear. Every word was hilarious, well-placed, incisive, and entertaining to read. Even the Concave Sports’ intrepid and not-too-good-at-self-concealment marketing team was an absolute hoot to spar with. Our conversations and repartee felt every bit as hysterical and in good spirits as that we’d all routinely enjoy at our favorite bars on those dismal, damp Saturday mornings when we dared leave the house to watch in mixed company.

Plus our viewing parties — the screening of The Damned United in midtown, the USA/England viewing party at George Keeley — that brought the web site out into the world as something tangible and overly beery. We’ll still have those, but we’ll have to organize them a little more stealthily and #OWS-y than we used to be able to with a humble blog.

Above all — and believe me when I say I’m torn up about this, even with a bright future ahead of me — this was not done lightly. Heck, I’m even editing my farewell post sitting in my rented Chevy Cruze in the ESPN parking lot before driving 4 1/2 hours back to my Amish country compound. I’m exhausted and sad about ending UF, but as I think I mentioned, we can’t do it anymore. Plus evolution is kinda fun. Moving on is part of life. I have a son, too, who is more than a handful, albeit in an awesome way. I alluded to his travails on Twitter once upon a time, but find me and I’ll explain some time if you ask me. We’ll drink beers while we talk.

Oh, and it’s nothing to do with my new job, either (I mentioned it earlier today on Twitter, and I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity) but rather, the culmination of a long and painful period of self-reflection for the entire UF squad. You see, we’re all a bit tired. Weary. Broken down, ground into fine dust, and weathered from our regular lives. (Except The NY Kid, who doesn’t look a day over 21.)

Hard as it was for us to come to this conclusion — and you should see our emails… holy shit. There’s like a million of them. Swearing. Agonizing. Rationalization. The various stages of grief. Likely Lad was sent to Bellevue. Moonshine Mike went off the grid and lived in a Idahoan yurt for thirteen days. I think Autoglass even inadvertently typed out Infinite Jest without even realizing. — it made complete sense. If we couldn’t do Unprofessional Foul as it was supposed to be (those glorious Euro 2008/World Cup 2010 months of quality coverage, the stop-start series like “Better Know A Traore?” and the weird Sepp Blatter faux diary I swung-and-missed on, and plenty of other gems), then we would stop. And so, somehow, we did.

Soccer is a love — an honest, aching, serious love — for all of us, but our legion runs from 9 to 5 (more like sun-up to sun-down) in many different directions. We are lawyers, TV editors, investment bankers. We are journalists (trust me on this one), social media svengalis, owners of profitable boutique design firms. We are teachers, programmers, high-level executives routinely in charge of multi-million-dollar academic institutions. We are loudmouths. We are blessed with superhuman capacities for alcoholic consumption. We work for HBO, AOL, ESPN, and the Ivy League. We deliver your mail, handle your insurance claims and adjustments, and teach future generations about criminal law.

No, we’re not members of some post-apocalyptic, Sam Allardyce-worshipping Tyler Durden clan. We’re Unprofessional Foul. And we’re a bit too consumed with all of the above to devote the loving time needed to keep UF in fine shape.

And so, we come to rest. It’s our turn to put our feet up and carpet-bomb your blogs with comments, wit, and incisive discussions of TACTICS! So let us role-reverse from here into forever. Take these feelings of joy and sadness and sow your own fertile blogging grounds. Let that be UF’s legacy. Well, that and the boobs and blatant disregard for syntax. Right now I’m driving home, but let’s all congregate later tonight when we’re drunk and rowdy and commiserate like champions.

Drop your URLs and @s in the comments so we know how to find you.

Long live UF. Not just on these archived web pages, but in each and every one of us.

- James T, as well as

- The Fan’s Attic
- The NY Kid
- Precious Roy
- Moonshine Mike
- The Likely Lad
- Jacob
- Mountain WAG
- The Stretford End
- Norfolk Ned
- Bigus Dickus (RIP)
- Spectator
- Outside Mid
- Sven
- Orr
- BG
- ian
- Autoglass
- Wanker’s Doom
- Spinachdip NY
-  Soccer Rocker
- Joep Smeets 



About the Author

James T





256 Comments


 
 

  1. Lennon's Eyebrow

    FIRST!


  2. Sven

    *slow clap*


  3. Keith

    Thanks for having me on the Foulcast to explain why villa weren’t totally fucked when O’Neill left

    @keithrcampbell
    @capitalvillans
    Http://kayceephoto.tumblr.com
    Http://capitalvillans.blogspot.com


  4. Damn, I held out hope, but it still sucks to hear, where am I going to go to be all snarky about Thirdsenal, Spartak Moscow, Sp*rs, Seventhpool, ManUre, Manchester Arabia, and all the rest


  5. Mountain Wag

    For the record, JamesT was being serious in that paragraph about what we do. That’s not a proverbial ‘we’. That’s a literal ‘we’ as in the makeup of the ‘real life jobs’ held by our contributors. I’m always astounded by that. Only first-rate individuals would settle for third-rate in our spare time. I’m proud of all of you.


  6. Dennis

    Sad to see you go. This was always my first stop after a long day of class. Cheers all.


  7. Mountain Wag

    Oh, and leave it to the Sp*d to care about being first but not how or why they got there. Sigh.


  8. WhoNeedsForwards

    @whoneedforwards.

    Also, I blame ESPN. For no discernible reason.


  9. So this is it? I always thought the music would be better in heaven. Or is it hell? Also, where are the wenches?


  10. Mountain Wag

    Separately, that Concaves post comment section is absolutely hysterical. HYSTERICAL I tell you.


  11. Oh I suppose also for now you can find me

    @Brian_Goodison
    and writing for Royal Blue Mersey over at SB Nation
    http://www.royalbluemersey.com

    If this new site takes off then I’ll update everyone since I love you all like a hangnail


  12. Also, thank you, James, for helping create this magical, booze-soaked, mystery footie tour. It has been real. Real fun.


  13. Lennon's Eyebrow

    @Nora: It just seemed to be the complete antithesis of this place. This blog has been such a wonderful community of people who are the complete opposite of internet-commenting troglodytes, that I can’t even recall a FIRST comment ever being recorded in the annals of this blog. So, it felt like an appropriate send off. Because wherever we all go from here, we’ll never have it this good again.

    @JT: HYUCK HYUCK HYUCK. I only wish you were joking this time.


  14. Mountain Wag

    @TFA – Ahem. You’re neither Mormon or Muslim. This is as good as you get.


  15. Han-ball

    Been a Fat Sam-sized whale of a time. Thanks!


  16. Kopper

    A sad day in the world of Soccer blogs. I am happy you are going out on your own terms as opposed to selling out to some corporate douchebag who end up diluting everything that made UF great. You guys rocked and I will keep my 2 UF T-Shirts in a special no-tumble-dry hot place to preserve them forever.


  17. Mountain Wag

    @LE – agreed. But the lights are on and the doors are open. Stop in and reminisce anytime. Use the “random post” feature on the right side of the navigation. I have years of posts I haven’t read to still go through. It will help to dull the pain.


  18. Outside Mid

    Why was TSE talking about tears? I’m charged after reading that! And JT mentioned it as well as TFA-commenters MADE this one of the best places on the interwebz for football. Long live UF


  19. Mountain Wag

    @LE – and it’s even funnier to see how things have/haven’t changed over the years (re: the random old posts).


  20. Keith

    Also, Attic, thanks for hosting my wife and I at a pub for the Timbers. Your city is fucking excellent, as are you.


  21. @OM: OK, fine.

    I would feel sad but the Coachella lineup just came out, too. :-)


  22. Mountain Wag

    @Kopper – although if you know any really rich backers that would like to support some lawyers, programmers, Graphic Designers, Editors, Professors, and the like. Do let us know. We’d consider quitting our day jobs to be employed at UF. But that’s only because we allow drinking on the job.


  23. Holy fuck. We should have done t-shirts!! RIP UF on a tombstone. They would have sold like hotcakes. Or at least there would have been at least two sales as I would buy two.
    #EPICFAIL


  24. Sven

    Well, at the very least, all my unused UF stickers are now rare collectibles.


  25. Lennon's Eyebrow

    In the future you can find me trolling the SBNation blogs under the same Lennon’s Eyebrow handle.

    And I guess I’ll have to get on twitter now. @BenTheLorber. Catch y’all on the flip side


  26. 2Yellows

    A well-earned pint for all. Thanks, you lot.


  27. I’ve said it a couple of times, but I consider myself lucky as hell to have been a part of this crew. It’s a highlight of my career and — no shit — a post from this blog helped me get my job at Princeton.


  28. Wedel

    *whines*
    *whimpers*

    But I only ever you wanted you guys to be 3rd rate. 3rd rate, that’s all. I’d have even accepted 4th rate! Gutted.

    You guys and gal have been fantastic; JT, many, many thanks for your organization of the madness.


  29. Norfolk Ned

    That was beautiful, brother. Some people, somewhere, say ‘leave the best til last’. Jobs a good un!

    Mention of threats reminded of the email from the Millwall woman. Remember her? Brilliant. She was angry.


  30. Eladio

    You fucking assholes.

    Vaya con dios. I shall miss you all.


  31. Norfolk Ned

    *me

    And there I go commenting as I posted.


  32. Lennon's Eyebrow

    Is there any way to still get those t-shirts? At the time I was all, why would I ever wear a blog t-shirt that nobody will get? But now that it’s gone, I can’t believe I don’t have one in my closet.


  33. Sven

    @Ned “SEW IT UP!!!!”


  34. ivy

    Anytime you’re in Seattle (this goes for anyone, contributor or commenter, you’re all some of the funniest damn people I’ve ever fake-known) let’s grab a beer or 8, huh? TFA, I’m looking at you. Sounders – Timbers.

    @jlivy (just as I’ve always been mostly a lurker here, I’m also mostly a lurker on the Twitters.)


  35. Unfortunately, those shirts are out of print.


  36. @LE: I don’t have one either.


  37. Precious Roy

    It has truly been a pleasure. I don’t consider a single minute I’ve wasted doing this to be wasted.


  38. dan

    I can never decide how creepy I feel following so many people on twitter all because I read their stuff in a blog.

    But yeah, like I said in the other post — I’m gonna miss this place.


  39. BG

    I had an opportunity to write a post for today and chose not to, for reasons not worth mentioning. So I’ll try not to turn this comment into a post in itself. I’ve been reading, commenting, and loving UF since the early days, and over the last year and a half I’ve had the opportunity to contribute as well. It has been an immense pleasure and one of the most enjoyable parts of my day-to-day routine (beyond family, etc.).

    I’d like to thank JT for asking me in the comments to shoot him an email, and for ultimately giving me a chance to try and write about soccer at my favorite web site on the internet. Seriously. Only UF has its own folder in my browser bookmarks. I hope my contributions were worthwhile and didn’t detract from what this place was/is. I am kind of kicking myself now that I realize my last post was about freaking Neymar, but oh well. I had an absolute blast doing all those SASIC posts (except for the sad/tragic ones), and mostly I’ve enjoyed being a part of this community, which I’m glad to know will continue in some form.

    But I’m going to miss Unprofessional Foul.

    /chokes up
    /runs out of the room sobbing


  40. Moonshine Mike

    ahh, but etown-hooligan has the artwork and from that everything can be had.

    like sven, i’ve got a small stack of UF stickers.


  41. Norfolk Ned

    Lennon’s eyebrow. If you want one that’s been worn to football a lot of times (and washed) just holla!

    What??? Some people shop in second hand stores for clothes!! Hipsters for one!


  42. WhoNeedsForwards

    Gah, where am I going to go to rant about random Italian games at 6 AM on Sunday morning? :/


  43. Lennon's Eyebrow

    @Ned: If it’s a large, I would be truly honored to wear the former UF shirt of the great and powerful Ned


  44. Keith

    Also, dammit, ivy, I was just out there this summer. I’ve even got photo proof:

    http://kayceephoto.tumblr.com/tagged/seattle


  45. WhiteSpeedReceiver

    It was a long, strange ride from Saturday mornings on Deadspin to this. Thank you all for being the best damn third rate blog you can be.

    @benjaminjdawson


  46. Keith

    I have better pics of Portland, though:

    http://kayceephoto.tumblr.com/tagged/portland


  47. Andrew

    Thank you for everything.

    I’ll miss you all this Summer when EURO 12 kicks off; I’ll miss the agonizing over England failing to advance past the group stages.

    I’ll miss commenting when Arsenal finally when that elusive trophy; I’ll miss commenting when Liverpool finish sixth for the next four years.

    But, deep down, I always knew UF would end: I gave one of your shirts to my ex-girlfriend.

    Finally, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U4Pvodwm0U

    Andrew
    @mightymightydr


  48. KC Gunner

    Ok, so I know I was not part of the regular commentariat, but I will sincerely miss this site. It was really a lot of fun and nailed both my love of the game and Arsenal and my snarky personality. Best wishes to you all. Finally, to respond to an earlier point by @WNF, I will be occasionally creating some of my own content as a part-time, not-on-any-regular-basis contributor to a new site http://thetannerba.com that grew out of another soccer blog I frequented. One of my first projects is to look at the balance of power in Ligue 1 and how it’s shifted through the modern age. @NYK if you have any suggestions of good resources for this research, I’d be much obliged. In conclusion, Come on You Gooners and f**k the rest! Thanks for entertaining me while it lasted.


  49. WhoNeedsForwards

    I may have to take Ivy up on that, whether he wants to or not. lol


  50. @Andrew: I think Euro 2012 is when it will be rough for me, too.


  51. Andrew

    @TSE: Just…not having anyone there… Yes, Twitter, etc., but still…


  52. Lennon's Eyebrow

    Oh god. I hadn’t even thought of Euro 2012. That’s going to be a cold and dark time. WC 2010 on here was some of the most fun ever. Y’all were the perfect distraction from the monotony of bar exams. It will not be the same without you.


  53. MP

    This place has been a daily visit for two years now, and I’ll never forget a minute of it. Thanks to all the contributors and commenters for keeping me entertained for so long. And for letting me contribute with the silly seasons previews, in which I made zero correct predictions.

    I’m on twitter at @mjpeckham, if you don’t mind other sports and gratuitous cursing.

    See you all in hell.


  54. Hell I will put up a LiveBlog on Royal Blue Mersey if everyone will come if I have to


  55. Bryan

    Sad to see the site go. I’ll be spending my free time digging through the archives and reading up on what I’ve missed out on.


  56. ivy

    @Keith: I’ll still be here next time…

    @WNF: Just let me know. I’ll host the Cascadia derby pre-func.


  57. MP

    And yes, the Euros will be rough. You can bet your asses ill be bothering you all on twitter to fill the void.

    Also, because everyone else is doing it, my name is Matt. Not that you care.


  58. Jacob

    @ufjacob on twitter. Barely available on any other social media. You can also email me (should you wish) at umlaut75@gmail.com.

    I’ll be back to post some closing thoughts on the day later this evening.


  59. @Jacob, a final backpasses without the links?


  60. I’m so sad – where’s the chalkboard analysis of the Arsenal vs Leeds tactics? Seriously, I loved this site and wish all you fine folk the best in future endeavors. May the alcohol flow like laughter and wash away the tears.


  61. ivy

    Considering the number of twitter handles handed out today, I think the snark and camaraderie will continue in other spheres. Also, it’s like having a bootroom/liveblog for every match. Just keep the connections alive.


  62. RFCSean

    A job well done, congrats to you all on your world-class Third rateness!

    @CoachSeanDoyle


  63. Jacob

    Brian- I can’t. I broke mu UF password last night.


  64. Well. So this is it, eh?

    I remember coming here back in the blogspot days, my traffic began heavily in the Spring of 2008, leading up to the Euros. During the Euros when I was manning the desk at Legal Services, I was on here all the time during the day. It was around that time I wrote the ESPN piece, which was my first foray into writing for a site that wasn’t mine. It felt good.

    From arguing with Bertin over his work with Deadspin (oh to have that coverage back, eh comrades?), liveblogging the Hillsborough Testimonial match in the comments (an event I credit with bringing Kenny out of retirement), to stopping commenting as much because my browser wouldn’t save the login info. It has been a blast.

    I would not have started blogging about soccer (and to those who mentioned it, yes it’s halting, no it’s not dying, it will live on somehow) without this site.

    More importantly, I would not have made some solid friends without this site.

    The first Foul Up in Baltimore was a goddamn blast.

    New York City 2010? For those of you who don’t know, I wasn’t going to be able to make it, and Bigus got the ball moving and the lot around here pitched in and sent me the money to get to the city. That was one of the most touching things anyone has ever done for me. That was one hell of a whirlwind weekend.

    This past summer I found myself in NYC for a day and ended up missing a Mets game to drink with TLL and Spectator at Keeley’s, and again they were ridiculously generous to me.

    Greg, Aaron, Jacob, Jakob, James, James T, Scott, Ced, Michael, and any other writers I may have met and am blanking on, y’all were great. Joe, Andrew, and all the other commenters I met, y’all are incredible too.

    Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll.

    @curiousgeorger
    @avoidingthedrop


  65. clemantona

    Au revoir

    - Cantona’d


  66. Also, for those on twitter that want to follow my incessant RT & worthless thoughts, I’m simply @OutsideMid

    And in keeping with my Eurosnob confession on Friday, I’m going to be on twitter/blogosphere more focused on MLS. I just started on SB Nation for http://www.dynamotheory.com & will keep up with http://www.twohundredpercent.net blogging MLS on what is a heavily British football site. Come say hello on both.


  67. James T

    Georger, et al
    That kinship will never change, either, even though the site has.

    (sent from a nondescript Wendy’s drive-thru somewhere near East Stroudsburg)


  68. Chris D

    This is a bummer. The only bog I have ever been apart of and read regularly. Thank you, thank you, thank you for so much.


  69. Ned

    Georger, you were worth every penny.

    LE. Email you addy to the site. It’ll get forwarded to me. One large will be incoming. One large, sweaty t- shirt, one previous owner.


  70. Andrew

    @JamesT: Last update on Twitter mentioned a Whopper. Do you not even have brand loyalty on short(ish) road trips?


  71. WhoNeedsForwards

    This is what UF shutting down caused TFA to do today, obviously:
    http://www.kgw.com/news/Police-probe-4-shootings-in-Portland-in-1-hour-136914428.html


  72. Eladio

    Now that I’ve let my initial anger subside, and after 2 to 5 Jameson’s, I can relax and say without bias or anger, thanks guys for the ride. And for actually publishing my 5,000 meaningless words about the UEFA coefficients one summer when I had lots of free time at work. (And for agreeing to post it BEFORE you knew I was related to Moonshine Mike and/or that I was a fucking derelict. And to be honest, the two aren’t mutually exclusive.)

    And I have a few UF stickers left as well…I’m hoping to begin a grassroots effort to spread these worldwide to be the next “OBEY” cultural phenomenon. My first stop: Bristol campus…just to taunt James T every time he stops by the grounds of the WWL.


  73. Signal to Noise

    Thank you all for everything, for being a must-read for the past few years. I’ll miss this place.

    Not that I was anywhere near constant as a commenter, but loved this blog.


  74. I thought about doing a final post just dumping all the soccer-bewbz photos I have on my computer but haven’t ever used but thought that may be excessive. I think I was wrong.


  75. bergkampesdios

    No. No no no no no no no.
    No.


  76. bergkampesdios

    Somehow the internet suddenly feels less interesting. Less entertaining. More banal. Fuck you, Wedel.


  77. ivy

    I’m a boner. My twitter handle is not in fact @jlivy, but @justinlivy. There, now you know my first name too.


  78. That reminds me of the time y’all ran a post of the screenshots I sent in of a porn with a Derby County kit in it.


  79. @Georger: Did you not read my post? You have wounded me deeply. Cocksucker.


  80. Jacob

    Well.

    Since I did a straight post earlier, I’ll do my wrap up here. Think of it is a Comment Backpasses, but without links. (But with links. You’ll see)

    First of all, a thanks. Thanks for reading. When I had access, I would slavishly go over the pageview numbers. Early on, I thought of quitting GBWTFs, as they weren’t getting comments like our other posts. Then I checked the numbers. Suffice it to say that people just reading the posts was encouragement enough for me to do it ~150 times total.

    I’ve been up and down today. I’ve been too busy to weigh in on all the goings on, but have tried desperately to stay abreast of whats out there. Unfortunately, I deliver the mail (yes, that one’s me) in an area that is not lucrative for the cell companies to cover. So my 3G was a little slow in keeping up (WHITE WHINE’D). I got down when Wag’s Seuss post went up and the first three comments came in. “They know now”, I thought. Still, the affair never turned maudlin, and I thank you.

    I brightened up as the day went along, especially cheered at the reaction on Twitter. People whom I had never seen related to this site were talking us up on our last day. That was nice. If you’re out there and reading this, thanks. It helped.

    But enough about all that, let’s get to my superlatives.
    Favorite post ever: Derby Sexy Time. You won’t believe the back and forth we had over whether or not the pictures were too risque. I’m pretty sure it was only TFA and I defending it, and since he posted it, we won. I DO wish the commenter who sent that along would out himself, just because the email he sent was pretty funny.

    Favorite post of mine ever: Gabby’s Hat Trick. It’s a light post, but dammit, I love the line “Though, upon review, two were disallowed”.

    Favorite back of the house story: Back in 2009, times were tight. We had that financial meltdown happen and suddenly, working in the high-end steakhouse wasn’t as lucrative as it had been. Which is bad, because I was the steady income of the time. The Christmas season (our biggest moneymaking time) was winding down and the staff Christmas party was set to happen on a Sunday. Management, in their infinite wisdom, had used “house money” as an incentive for hard/good work during the busy time. The setup was that this house money could be turned in for tickets at a pre-party raffle.

    I worked hard, as I do anyway, and had accrued many tickets. The day of the party comes and my plan is to attend the raffle, then make it home in time to tuck my 2 year old into bed. The planned party wasn’t really up my alley, and besides, I spend all week with these fucks anyway. Why spend Sunday night too? So I bopped on down to my restaurant, arriving just as the raffle is supposed to start.

    Something was wrong. My GM was leaving in his car and multiple others were coming out of our restaurant. I stopped Dave, my closest friend there and he tells me the news: Management, in their infinite wisdom, had secretly arranged for a lux dinner for the staff at another location. And they didn’t tell anyone. SURPRISE! I had already eaten, and had an hour until my son went to bed. But what about the raffle? “Oh, we’re gonna do it over there after we eat”.

    I had my eye on the HDTV we were raffling, in the hopes that I could sell it off to a coworker and have extra cash to blow on my family’s Christmas. Or another one of the bigger items on raffle. But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t go. I had promised my son. I turned in my house money and went home.

    That night, or maybe the next day, I vented to the email thread about what had happened, what I had hoped to do etc. It felt good to let it out to anyone who wasn’t involved. What they did blew my mind. The next day, I had an email announcing that a $200 gift certificate to Toys R Us had been sent my way. I still have no words.

    Favorite shirt: Over the years, I went through a lot of them. Most of them were bad, some were WTF and a few were good. We did do a roundup post at the two year mark where I gave my favorite ever shirt. Unfortunately, that is no longer true. I have a new favorite. It’s the one featured on the team here. One of those is on my older son. A similar one will be on my younger son in two more years. As of now, that is the club I follow.

    Beyond that, please stay in touch. Whether it’s on twitter or in the email I sent above (bonus hint, you can even find my G+ account if you try hard). There are many of you whom I need to meet in person, but some more than others. LE-We can meet halfway in Helen sometime. I won’t wear Arsenal gear. And Brian, are you still around? Saw you are starting a new job and were in STL last week. Anyone else within easy reach of Greenville, SC, I’ll meet you too. Until then, make it to the Foul Ups, people.


  81. Georger outed himself. Never mind. Still my favorite.

    TFA-because of your post, I had an easy time finding the link. Thanks.


  82. I read it on my phone earlier, my bad.

    Also I have that email still in my gmail and just found it. ONE OF Y’ALL asked me to send in the more graphic photos that couldn’t be published.


  83. @Jacob, great post and yea I graduated last month and I start a job in St. Louis with Boeing on Friday. Next time I make it back to Clemson I’ll let you know and we have to meet up


  84. TD Ocho

    I was keeping up with things until about 2 pm so thanks for making me stay up too late just to catch up. I’ve been a lurker for the most part, but have really enjoyed reading this site. As has been said much better by others throughout the day, you guys were always good for a laugh and some proper writing.

    I’m @GhostfaceSaylah on Twitter (although that handle is getting old already). Maybe I’ll unknowingly bump into some of you guys at a Philly Union game.

    Appropriately, this popped up from some Japanese guy when I searched “ufdotcom” on Twitter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nszR0tfp4Es

    Keep the change, ya filthy animals.


  85. I think the commenter outed himself about the Derby County photos a few comments up.


  86. Jacob

    Sounds good, Brian. And if I get out to…who am I kidding? I went to STL once. It was 102 degrees at 10:30 PM. No thank you.


  87. Pradajames

    I’ll miss this place. The comments always had some of the most civil, witty, intelligent, and incisive commentary on soccer/football that I’ve read. Fantastic work, all of you.

    At least we still have twitter. @pradajames


  88. Jacob

    He did indeed. And he says he has incriminating evidence against us.


  89. @Georger: I’m pretty sure that was me and I shared it with the whole thread.


  90. Laughing my ass off at the comments in the Eva Roob post.


  91. Orr

    I bit and got twitter so I can keep up with all yous guys: @DaveLambComedy

    I’ll keep people updated about any future goings-on there. And for anyone in the Boston area I’ll post future shows there as well.


  92. ‘Make the nut.’ Brilliant.


  93. This post hurts my heart. For reals. So sad.

    Thanks for all the great reads.

    From the bottom of my heart: thank you, thank, thank you.

    All the best.

    @matthewtbecker


  94. Andrew

    Will someone hit the lights?


  95. bergkampesdios

    EF – as long as they don’t lock the door. Every now and then I’d like to come in and poke around a bit…


  96. That last comment was in reference to a comment on the Eva Roob post.


  97. This will still be around.


 
 



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