Monday, October 14, 2013
Prior to the start of this season, I was 50-50 to shut down this blog. Through the design of its content, BWS had reached the point of diminishing returns: was I really going to spend another season—another 5 seasons?—rewatching game film, taking screenshots, and chopping up video, hoping every day that I wouldn't meet the same legal doom that befell MGoVideo and MGoBlog? The one thing I knew I didn't want to do was start the season and quit after a week or two. But anyone who visits this blog even semi-regularly can tell it's not coming back.
It is with a heavy heart that I am officially shuttering Burgeoning Wolverine Star.
I started reading MGoBlog in 2004 as a freshman at U of M. Before my freshman year, I was considering not buying football tickets: I never had any emotional connection to either Michigan or football, and spending $300 seemed like an expense I couldn't incur. My parents insisted, however, and I fell in love with the team. Prior to every game that season, I'd post one line on Facebook and AIM and whatever other social networks existed at the time: “Chad Henne, lead us to victory”, because that's what was most important every Saturday afternoon. Five years of reading MGoBlog, MVictors, Smart Football, and every other piece of Michigan-related content on the internet that I could, I knew enough about the sport to start the pretender's guide to Michigan football blogs.
But BWS didn't even start as a Michigan blog. It began as a college football blog, evidenced by the first 15 posts which range from “Debunking Alabama” (Lolz) to schemes about how to guard Georgia Tech's flexbone offense. When my passion and writing trended toward specifically Michigan, however, the site became exclusively M-focused. Then MGoBlog did this...
…and I felt a sense of pride I had rarely experienced. I had built something.
The last time I underwent a significant change in writing tendencies, it concerned music criticism. I had begun writing single reviews for Pitchfork, a lifelong goal, when my longtime girlfriend and I broke up (this blog took an extended hiatus then as well). This shutdown takes place under nearly identical circumstances, but that's not the driving force behind its collapse, despite it being the impetus for my recent lack of writing; I don't really enjoy watching this Michigan team knowing that I'll have to write about it in the future.
I am MGoEeyore, a designation bestowed to me by MGoBlog and just about everyone else in the blogging community. Because of the content on the blog, I spend all game looking for what's going wrong. If everything is going as planned, there's not much to write about, though Greg Mattison's blitzing schemes argue against that concept. The things that are currently going wrong with Michigan are both beyond my pay grade and outside of my interest. Specifically, the footwork of offensive linemen isn't something I'm qualified to write about, nor does it draw my interest the same way as gaming a defensive scheme into QB Oh Noes does.
With every passing season, there are more Michigan blogs as qualified or more than this one to produce the same content. Upward mobility in this blogging community is nearly impossible. MGoBlog is the Facebook of college football blogs: create a start up, get Brian's attention, and hope he snaps you up so you can do something more salient. But I enjoyed being the thorn in people's side and still feel that same tinge of pride when Brian namedrops me on podcasts talking about Courtney Avery's zone coverage responsibilities. I'll miss those moments, the back-and-forth with readers, and really feeling like part of the Michigan blogging family. But I also can't wait to watch Michigan games and just root for our starting quarterback to lead us to victory again.
Thanks are necessary. To Brian Cook: your support, links, and brilliance are what made Burgeoning Wolverine Star what it is today. You are a continuing source of inspiration and someone I strive to emulate. To my brother Andrew: for being the smartest person I know and calling me on my bullshit. You've made this blog far better than it would have been without your honesty and analysis. To Andrew McIntyre: for being my GChat sounding board and producing the play schematics that have come to define this blog over the last year. To Forest Casey: for the beautiful banners that made this blog look like something professional. To Ace, Chris Brown, Heiko, and the rest of the blogging intelligentsia: for producing excellent content on a daily basis and forcing me to be my best. To the readers: for your interest in and love for the program, for questioning my reasoning and helping me to produce the best content I could.
I am not disappearing completely. I recently began a Detroit Pistons blog (Isiah Was a Prophet), born of my growing passion for NBA hoops. And I'll forever be on Twitter, making snarky comments about Michigan et al. I hold out hope that Burgeoning Wolverine Star will reappear in the future in some form or another. Until then, thank you and Go Blue!