So we're losing the head writer here, as I'm sure you've all heard.
Back in 2008, when Larry decided to leave VEB, we corresponded pretty regularly through email (remember when talking via email was a thing, rather than twitter?), and he told me he was considering Dan Moore, formerly of Get Up Baby. I had two thoughts: one, I remember getting into a kind of ugly argument with Dan one night on VEB about J.D. Drew, in which I quite passionately extolled all the reasons I hated J.D. Drew, most of which were entirely personal and based on his religious beliefs (and proclivity for espousing said beliefs very publicly), and basically just sort of made an ass of myself. Not one of my prouder moments, though to what I feel should be my own credit, I did at least have the good sense to step away from the ledge and admit I was at fault when I realised what an asshole I was being.
Two -- and I realise when one does the whole this many things with a colon thing, one is supposed to immediately list those however many things together, and most definitely not start another paragraph with the second of the list, but screw it -- I said to Larry at the time, "I like Dan as a writer well enough, but is he going to actually be able to keep up with the schedule?" Get Up Baby was, if I remember correctly, notoriously quiet for long periods of time, said periods usually followed by some form of, "Sorry for the long delay, I'll write more often in the future," which is the Dan Moore version of me writing, "Okay, I'm going to keep this brief."
My concerns at the time proved to be entirely unfounded, I'm happy to say. Dan actually ran this place longer than Larry did, which seems really hard for me to believe somehow. I suppose it's probably because the state of the place when I first started coming here still seems to the nostalgic part of my brain (also known as 'my brain'), to be the way Things Are Supposed To Be. Sure, Smashmouth put out one record that kind of didn't suck and then started just shovelling shit out of a truck all over everything, but when I hear the name Smashmouth, I still always think of the very first time I encountered them, sixteen years old, discovering what seemed at the time like a pretty interesting ska-ish sort of band with a chunky lead singer who wrote funny songs about the mafia and lesbians.
Wow, what a weird side track.
'Nother interesting side track: I found this site in May or June of 2006, I believe, and pretty much immediately fell in love. The first post that actually made me consider joining the site and commenting, however (I'm not much of an internet participator, to be honest), was, oddly enough, a guest post written by Will Leitch sometime in, I believe, August of that year.
Dan leaving sucks. If I wanted Bleacher Report, I would read Bleacher Report.
I had a draft report all ready to go, four players who represent my absolute favourites in the draft at this extremely early date, but decided not to post it today because, well, I didn't want to. Maybe after the holidays.
I don't get paid for my work here. I never have. I once received a free tee shirt for watching a series of tutorial videos, which I then gave to someone else. That's the extent of my compensation for six years of writing here. I've done it, and continue to do it, because I love the Cardinals, I love to write, and I think this community is pretty wonderful, even if, for reasons I won't go into, I don't really participate all the much anymore. The feeling of a large corporation making money off my volunteer labour is often irksome to me, but I tend to just let that go by because, well, my own sort of anti-establishment, somewhat iconoclastic beliefs just kind of get in the way of things I really do enjoy at times. I've been here through two complete redesigns of the site, making me, somewhat astonishingly, the old man of the staff, I suppose. Actually, Azru's first tenure as author here predates me even, so I guess he's the old man of the staff. That makes me feel a little better. My UID was, I believe, in the 1150 range, which isn't quite early enough to have been a VEB hipster, but early enough to at least to have pretended to like this place before it was cool to like this place.
So, you know, I'm a little upset about this whole thing.
I realise this post is very strange and disjointed, but that's what I've got at the moment. Dan Moore is leaving this place, not by his own choice, and it's shitty. It's shitty to donate hours upon hours of work to a thing you love, only to have that thing you love tell you it isn't making enough money off your volunteer labour and needs to go in a different direction to make more. It's shitty to lose a very talented writer, and a great community leader, and have to wonder if the thing you enjoy so much is going to be worth enjoying six months down the road.
Side note: I considered writing today's post as, "Five Reasons It Sucks DanUp is Leaving VEB," but then realised the joke would be tough to land if it couldn't be put into slideshow form.
Thanks, Dan, for all the things. It's been a hell of a five-year run, and the future looks darker than the present, which is something I seem to pretty much always feel, but I believe it's actually justified this time.
I'll be back next week, lord willing and the creek don't rise, with a little something for Christmas. Not a typical sad Aaron epic, but I'll make sure there's a Christmas Day thread up for anyone who feels like stopping by to say hello or that sort of thing. New Years the week after, so I won't do a massive draft thread that week either, since it isn't likely to get a whole lot of eyeballs. The following week, the 8th of January, I'll put up my four favourite draftable players, probably. If I'm still here, that is, which I suppose isn't a given anymore, actually.
Take care, everybody. I hope you'll forgive the disjointedness and the gloom of today's post. Of course, saying that, I realise those two things are actually sort of a signature for me, so perhaps asking forgiveness for them is somewhat pointless.
Bye, VEB. Have a nice week.