Wednesday, April 04, 2007

My Obnoxiously Self-Indulgent Farewell (Probably...)

And so we come to an end of another season.

With the 2006-7 season wrapped up, I wish to apologize for my pathetic limp to the end of the season here on the blog. From the beginning of the year, I could feel that I wasn’t attacking things with the same energy as in the past. I realized sometime in late December that I probably wasn’t going to make it to the end of the season with daily updates, but even I didn’t think I’d drop the ball as badly as I did. I missed weeks at a time, and even failed to respond to some great emails that people sent me (for the latter failure, I’m even more apologetic). I had hoped that I could at least limp to the end of the year, but instead I seem to have fallen over in a heap well short of the finish line.

To those of you fearing that I’ve lost my love of basketball, fear not. The love is strong as always. I’m still the same guy who sleeps in his replica Kevin Pittsnogle jersey (which is really comfortable, I might add). I still get into random telephone conversations with my friend Kevin about guys who played high school basketball in Wisconsin 15 years ago (and who everyone else has forgotten about). However, lately the demands on my time have become greater, and I just haven’t had enough time to devote to the blog and do it well (even when I still did daily updates, I clearly wasn’t at my best this year). This past year brought with it new challenges for me, the primary two being my first foray into home ownership and my newfound attempts to live a not-altogether-unhealthy lifestyle. So this year, those nights when I used to watch a game on ESPN and diligently recap the happenings were replaced by evenings where I found myself putting a second coat of paint on my guest bedroom walls, and just checking in on the final 6 minutes of the game. Tuesday nights, instead of going to a high school gym, I found myself going to the gym. Even when I did get to games, I often just didn’t have time to write about them (my spectacular mid-February voyage to see three ACC games in two days has been about only 70% written for what seems like an eternity). And while I miss my maniacal devotion to documenting basketball-watching experiences, my new down-time activities are not without their rewards. The racing stripes on the stairway to my basement look awesome (even in one of the great rights of passage into adulthood, I remain juvenile...), and my build now resembles that of a former high school offensive lineman who has let himself go, rather than that of a former high school math team member who has let himself go.

Does the fact that I’ve made significant progress in redecorating my home, and ensuring that my heart won’t explode the next time I climb a set of stairs mean that I’ll have enough free time to be back to my crazy basketball schedule next year? I think it’s highly unlikely that it will. When I started this project, it was always supposed to be a finite thing. Back in November 2004, I was still reeling from a 2003-4 season where I missed a lot of basketball that I really wanted to watch. Shutting off televised Badger contests mid-game was not a rarity for me back in that painful season. Freed from the factors keeping me from enjoying all the basketball I wanted that year, I intended to make a statement to the world that I could and would watch as much basketball as I could possibly stand during the following season (not a profound statement, I know...). In many ways, this blog wasn’t really even about basketball to me. This should come as no surprise to those of you who’ve sat through my commentary on the shoddy condition of the UW-Whitewater’s mascot costume, or my fascination with high school student section cheers. Instead, this blog, to me, was more about celebrating the fact that I was a guy in his 20s without a care in the world, and the time to enjoy one of his favorite things to an extreme. But I’ve always known that the unlimited ability to pursue things like that don’t last forever. I’ve watched and chronicled games over the past few years partly because I loved doing so, but also partly because I knew that life wouldn’t always allow me this indulgence. And now seems to be the time when life’s telling me that I’ve got other projects to complete. (Don’t read too much depth into that final statement–I’m not joining the priesthood or anything. I literally mean that I have other projects that I want to complete. Like ripping all of the wood paneling out of my house...)

So I’ll leave things at that for now. Since I’m about 90% sure that I’m hanging up my keyboard for good, I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to every person who stopped by to take a minute to read something that I wrote, every person that linked to me, and every person who took time to leave a note on the blog or drop me an email. Even those of you that loathe me usually have something thought-provoking to say. When I started this thing back in November 2004, I never suspected anyone beyond the 20 or so friends that I sent the link to would ever see this site (hence the mockingly-narcissistic name for the blog, which I’ve been wildly embarrassed about ever since people I’ve never met starting finding it). Never did I anticipate some of the experiences that I would have, the people that I would meet, or the fun that I would enjoy as a result of this silly writing experiment. I’ve had tons of fun, and learned of basketball resources that I never would have found otherwise. And while my run is coming to an end, I can rest easily knowing that for two and a half seasons, I ultimately did accomplish my initial goal: harvesting every ounce of enjoyment that the game of basketball provides to fans like me.

And if I do start things up again next year, I encourage everyone to rip me wildly for this obnoxious, self-indulgent post. Enjoy the offseason...

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