Almost three years ago to the day, my first piece ran on Waiting for Next Year. I was visiting Chicago with friends as the Cavs were in the midst of their first NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. We watched from a “Cleveland” bar, made new friends, drank Dortmunder and watched the Cavs lose. I wrote about the experience the next morning.
I can’t believe how fast the time has flown since then.
In three years, I’ve had the chance to write about, well, a lot of different, random, wonderful things. Dating, dogs, Party at Napoli’s, dating again, Halloween costumes, becoming a fan of WWE, Shea Serrano, alter egos for the Cavs, how the Cavs were exactly like The Bachelor, what the Browns were wearing each week, a somewhat nerdy (sorry) white guy whose name just happened to be Josh Gordon… And a whole lot more. I can’t even remember it all.
I eventually found my way onto #TeamThursday, sharing this While We’re Waiting spot with Jacob and Kyle and taking my turn every three weeks or so. Over the months, though, I’ve found myself with less and less time to devote to WFNY. Now, I’ve made the decision step away for a bit to focus on my day job and some other projects. But before I go, I wanted to share some things I’ve learned during my time with WFNY.
You should always take chances. When I was first thinking about applying to write for WFNY, my email to Andrew, Craig and Scott sat in my drafts for about a week. What can I say? Anxiety can be a crippling thing. I eventually took the chance on applying to WFNY and, more importantly, the guys took a chance on me. I can’t imagine if I—or they—hadn’t, and I’m so grateful it worked out the way it did.
Write (or do) what you know. Don’t fake it—whatever “it” is. I knew I was never going to be a statistical whiz or factual expert when it came to what I wrote here. It’s not who I am as a fan, and it was never going to be who I am as a writer. Instead, I found my voice by writing about the things I knew and loved, and trusting myself to tackle the topics I believed in.
Don’t read the comments. I’m kidding. Kind of. I learned early on that, if you’re brave enough to read the comments, you need to not take 98 percent of them to heart. Because if you are brave enough to sift through 37 comments about Browns depth charts on a post you wrote about the Indians, you’ll find some nice notes from some very insightful people. Our readers are the best and I am so thankful for the ones who took the time to read my stuff over the last three years.
You can never have too many corgis. This really goes without saying, but I think it’s important to reiterate anyway. Jacob, Kyle and I communicate almost daily on our #TeamThursday Slack channel, and almost all of those conversations consist solely of corgi pictures and comics by an artist named Liz Climo. Andrew has assured me that my Slack account will remain active, so I’m already assuming our day-to-day contact will remain unchanged, which I’m very thankful for. I guess the real lesson here is to find what makes you happy, don’t forget it for a minute and don’t be afraid to hold onto it tight.
Always believe. It was around this time two years ago that the 73-win Warriors blew a 3-1 lead and the Cavs won the NBA Finals. It was a time I’ll never forget, with a team I’ll love forever and it all happened in a city I’ll always, always believe in.
I’m so grateful to have been a small part of the incredible machine that is WFNY, and for all of the good things it’s brought to me. Thanks again, you guys.