General, WWW

Ten Years, #TeamThursday, and Corgis: While We’re Waiting…

Cleveland Sports

Welcome to #TeamThursday’s Waiting For Next Year 10-Year Celebration Extravaganza edition of “While We’re Waiting…”

We don’t know how observant or fastidious readers are at monitoring the daily machinations at the workplaces of the media outlets they consume. But if readers had been playing close attention, they would notice that over the past year or so the Thursday weekly edition of “While We’re Waiting…” has become blogging by platoon, with Jessica Forrester, Jacob Rosen, and Kyle Welch each taking a spot in the #TeamThursday slot. Think of “While We’re Waiting…” as a baseball rotation, with the Thursday spot taken by WFNY’s three least reliable writers. If Scott Sargent is the Corey Kluber in the WWW rotation, then Kyle is Ryan Merritt.

#TeamThursday grew to exist as Jessica, Jacob, and Kyle became too constrained with their own lives or too creatively barren to sustain an individual weekly chapter of “While We’re Waiting…” Each of us may divulge more of the details on our respective constrained/barrenness below, but they’re largely a combination of job demands, overactive social calendars (traveling, woo!), and other pursuits both welcome (surfing, yay!) and unwelcome (paying rent, boo!). But doing #TeamThursday has remained rewarding and fun and forgiving enough us for all to continue to participate, which we do in no small part because of the community WFNY has — both publicly and privately. The private WFNY community has the #TeamThursday channel on the productivity/messaging app Slack, much of which has become a repository of videos and pictures of … corgis, the Welsh herding dog with the tiny legs. #TeamThursday Slack features other adorable animals or cartoons as well — but it’s mostly corgis.

Why corgis? Well for one, they’re adorable. It’s scientifically impossible to look at a high-quality corgi gif, pic, or vid without your day improving 2-to-42 percent — depending on how lousy it was to start. From Wikipedia: “The term ‘corgi’ means either cur dog or dwarf dog (cor = dwarf, gi = lenitive of ci, dog) in the Welsh language, which was not intended as an insult to the dog’s size, rather as a purely descriptive term.1 There is also a folk legend that says corgis were a gift from the woodland fairies, and that the breed’s markings were left on its coat by fairy harnesses and saddles.” Fairy jockeys riding around on cutely misshapen dogs with spots and tiny legs?!? Excuse us — our hearts just exploded.

Plus, corgis are hilarious. Corgis look like aspiring big dogs that simply never hit puberty: the tiny lovable kid on the basketball team who doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell at starting varsity — but boy does he try hard and isn’t he cute though? They have an air of dignity about them — perhaps due to their historical connection with the English throne — but are simultaneously too ridiculous looking to be taken seriously. They say, “I’m majestic but I also have a hell of a time with stairs.” Corgis also look like zoomorphized Hostess pastries — like Twinkies that sprouted heads and tails and started walking around and chewing on our socks. Corgis transcend class. They’re both aristocratic and workmanlike — royalty and comic relief. Common. Plebeian. Noble. Fluffy. It’s wins all-around, and because sometimes (even at WFNY) Cleveland sports and life can sometimes be too bleak to bear, #TeamThursday wants to share some of that joy with the readers while discussing WFNY’s 10th Anniversary and what it means to us individually. Here are our #CelebrationCorgis.

Jessica

After being a fan and reader for what felt like forever, I joined Waiting for Next Year in June of 2015 (holy cow… almost three years ago?). I wrote only headlines for the first few months, eventually working up the nerve to ask Scott if I could write a feature. I wanted to write a very personal piece that equated being a Cleveland sports fan with dating in your 30s—two things I knew a great deal about. He laughed out loud when I told him the subject, and gave me the green light to go ahead.

I remember being floored the day my post when live. So many people were more than supportive—they were enthusiastic about it. They shared it on social. They called to let me know how much they loved it, and then they texted to let me know that their mom’s cousin’s dog walker loved it, too. It blew my mind that people near and far cared enough to read something that, up until then, existed only in my head. It’s by far by favorite WFNY memory and I’ll never forget it.

Eventually a spot opened up on the “While We’re Waiting” schedule, and one of the guys (maybe JP?) suggested I take a part of it. Jacob, Kyle and I figured out a schedule rotation that seemed to work for everyone, and #TeamThursday was born.

These days, our #TeamThursday Slack channel is 85% corgi-related content, and we’ve amassed a five-page Google doc that is nothing but links, comics and photos of our favorite little doggos. In fact, beyond scheduling upcoming posts and swapping spots, we really don’t talk about anything else. We communicate daily, but I have no idea what’s really going on with Jacob or Kyle, beyond the corgis they meet at various happy hours or on the street. It works for us.

Beyond the endless stream of corg, I have really loved being a part of #TeamThursday because I feel like the three of us each contribute something different to the site. From our voices to the subject matter we gravitate toward, I’m so happy that, through our rotating schedule, we get to add a little variety to the While We’re Waiting space.

Congratulations to Scott, Andrew, Craig and all the guys on 10 amazing years. I’m always in awe of the passion, dedicated and talent that exists here, and I’m so grateful to be a tiny part WFNY. Thank you for encouraging me as a fan, inspiring me as a writer, and for letting “the girl” stick around this long.

Oh and… of all the corgis sent my way over the last year or so, here’s probably my favorite:

Kyle 

I started writing for WFNY over three years ago now, in September 2014. As time will do, my tenure contributing to WFNY seems simultaneously much longer than three-plus years, and much shorter than three-plus years. WFNY was a source of Cleveland sports news and discussion that I admired and trusted before my tour of duty began — WFNY was a part of my life before I was part of its life.

My role has also changed a lot over that brief time — first increasing in stature then diminishing. Which I appreciate to no end. There are certainly other outlets where the people managing a website would be less open to such arrangements or guilt me into being more active. But Andrew, Craig, and Scott were not only gracious enough to let me matriculate in the first place, but then to let me stay on as emeritus, to be the gray-haired professor in the tweed jacket walking around the hallways, barging into faculty meetings that have nothing to do with me, loitering around the cafeteria, having an inflated sense of contribution to the institution, and interjecting on copyright law/trashing Dan Gilbert in the Slack feed.

But my role on #TeamThursday and spot-duty has still served its purpose for me, even if I can’t say my contribution has been reciprocal. It’s still the creative outlet that I desperately needed when I emailed the editors three years ago. While Twitter feels like yelling into the gaping maw of the bottomless sinkhole that is the internet, writing blog posts for a site like Waiting for Next Year felt like writing a romantic love letter … then throwing that love letter into the bottomless sinkhole that is the internet. It still provides a pressure release valve to vent toxic waste building up in my noggin about Cleveland sports. It still keeps me connected to my hometown from which I live 2000 miles. The community still lets me interact with the readers and writers I’ve (virtually) met who make the alienation of modernity and persistent dissatisfaction a little more tolerable. Plus the corgis. Congratulations on 10 years, WFNY. Ten years on the internet is basically the equivalent of 150 years of pre-millenium print publishing — so here’s to 150 more years of waiting.

These two dogs both encapsulate my anxiety and insouciance about the future.

He’s a stubborn one

Jacob

WFNY is a special, special place for me. It’s like my massive, rambunctious online family. I joined way, way back in spring 2009, alongside Denny Mayo and Brendan Porath. We were the original weekenders back when it was a site priority to start producing content seven days a week. And boy … was there some #content on those #weekends.

I took a few hiatuses over the years from WFNY. When I became the editor-in-chief of the University of Dayton’s Flyer News newspaper in the 2011-12 school year. When I’ve travelled and travelled for study abroad programs, volunteer trips, and whenever any opportunity for a long weekend arose. But then I’ve always come back. And the #TeamThursday crew is now my regular avenue for WFNY participation.

I wrote a super emotional Facebook post upon leaving the site in spring 2011, stating: “Back in 2009 when I first joined WFNY, I still had Yahoo! e-mail, didn’t know anything about the words ‘lede’ or ‘Twitter,’ and was simply an 18-year-old kid trying desperately to latch on somewhere. … There’s no doubt in my mind that my life has drastically improved for the better.” Almost all the good things in my career, now in the sports business world exactly, can be traced back to the start of my writing at WFNY.

Back in 2009, I was a college freshman, still attending high school proms back in Akron. The rest of the WFNY writing crew was married, having babies, ya know, normal late-20s adult stuff. I was 18. The prom jokes have lasted for nine years since. I’ve often said that WFNY is the longest-lasting relationship of my life. It’s survived multiple jobs, my graduate degree, and moving to New York to work in sports business, where I now live with a former college newspaper editor colleague, Anna Beyerle. Again, it all traces back to WFNY and the growth of my writing abilities.

Besides Cleveland sports, my other main online hobbies include Taylor Swift (obviously) and dogs. Lots of dogs. Predominantly, my exact niche of dogs if #jewdles. But beyond that, I’ve got a long-time appreciation for corgis, as well. My best friend Matthew has had a corgi for about 10 years. My great uncle had a corgi when I was kid. Corgis are great, and I’ll leave you with a few of my favorites from our shared Google Doc among the #TeamThursday crew:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BW_VbxjAC2j/

  1. Editor’s Note: It seems a little presumptuous on the source author to conclude that the term “dwarf dog” was not meant to be insulting at all. []