Tuesday, February 28, 2017

An Announcement About Down the Byline

Ten years ago I started Down the Byline as a catch all source for everything Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City) related. At the time the coverage of my favorite sports team was minimal, there was the game preview articles, post-game articles, and the occasional feature in the Kansas City Star, plus the occasional feature on local television stations. There was a gap in coverage for knowledgeable fans who already knew 98% of the information mentioned in those articles, hence the birth of Down the Byline. I tried to help fill the gap in coverage, tried to raise the level of coverage of the Wizards to a similar level that other teams were getting from bloggers and newspapers. To an extent I feel like I've been successful in that regard not just in bringing more coverage myself, but by getting better coverage from other outlets around Kansas City, including the team. In the last few years or so I've found myself having to write less on the blog and more on Twitter because the team, the Star, and other outlets have really upped their game, leaving me not needing to write full articles because those outlets have been providing much better coverage of the team and it's quicker to add my two cents on in a 140 character tweet than restate everything that was just said with my opinion at the end. The increased coverage by those outlets and others like The Blue Testament combined with my own life getting busier as my oldest child is in like seventy different activities, and my youngest ready to start soccer himself in the fall I find my time in a crunch. I'd thought about scaling back what I do here on DTB, but for me personally that's not in my nature to want to do this half way, for me I knew I wouldn't be able to scale back what I did here because of my personality and everything that I've put into this blog, it would either have to be an all or nothing thing because of how I've wanted this blog to be "devoted to covering all aspects of Sporting KC."

So with that out there, you can probably guess where this is going, at this time I am "retiring" Down the Byline. Don't worry though (or you can worry if you want to) because you're not getting rid of me that easily, while I'm retiring from DTB I'm joining The Blue Testament as a writer there. For 10 years I've been writing all the news myself on the blog, because I felt a need and desire to get everything out there and posted. Now I won't have to do that, at least not by myself. With this move I'll be able to write still, but won't have to write everything. I'm planning on moving my regular posts I do, like my after game stat posts, former player updates, and academy players in college updates over to TBT with my move.

It's not a decision I have reached easily, I mean when you've done something for about a third of your life you certainly develop an attachment to it and a sense of pride in the work that you've done. At times though I've been tired, worn out, and just not wanting to do posts on occasion but have felt like it was my duty to get things posted, at that point it becomes more of a job than I ever planned, or wanted it to be. Other times though I couldn't wait to write something up and get it posted. This move will hopefully allow me to have more of those moments and fewer where I feel like I'm dragging myself to my keyboard to write.

Over the years the blog became not just about posting news on the team, but also about sharing the history of the team. With the rebranding to Sporting KC and the move to Children's Mercy Park, the team saw an influx of new fans to the team. I tried to use the blog as a point to teach new fans about the club's history by sharing some points about the club's past or just sharing stats about the players that have come before. I've been one of the people that occasionally got annoyed with some new fans lack of history, so I tried to provide some history to help teach those that were willing to learn more about the team's history. I also did it because back when I started the team didn't have all the stats either, I can't count how many countless hours I've spent researching the Wizards run in the 2001 Copa Mercanorte, or trying to find player appearances for the national teams, or looking through MLS history to try to find more information on a new player's run in the US Open Cup five years ago. With all that time spent, I won't be deleting the blog; I'm planning on keeping it up so that others in the future that may want to get information on the club have a place that they can come to get information. Also in the future it would give me something to return to if I were to choose to do so.

In these 10 years there are a number of people that I want to thank for their assistance, people that have provided me valuable information or knowledge about the club, in no particular order and people I'm sure I've forgotten about: Kurt Austin, Kyle Rogers and others in the Sporting KC press department who have answered my questions, corrected my inaccuracies, and helped push my posts to many followers who follow the team but maybe not me. Sam Pierron and Chad Reynolds, two people that probably know as much, if not more about the team history than I do. James Starritt, Thad Bell, Charles Gooch, and Andy Edwards, for blogger summits that go two hours too long to do a podcast as well as people I could bounce ideas off of as well as people who I could vent frustrations to. Robb Heineman, for being approachable and always willing to talk to me while at the same time never missing a moment to take a dig at something I said in relation to the team. Sam McDowell, Todd Palmer, and everyone who has covered the team at the Star for upping their coverage of the team, for making it easier to get a lot of the information that seemed extremely hard to get in years past. Players like Jimmy Conrad, Matt Besler, and Kerry Zavagnin who realize what the fans meant to KC before the influx of fans in 2011, I can walk up to any of those three and they remember who I am and ask me how I'm doing like old friends. To all my sources over the years, from the big ones, like the leaked name and logo (still the highest traffic days in the blog's history) to little things like player rumors, they're appreciated. Finally, to everyone who has ever read the blog, I'd done this as a way to help there be more fans like me, fans that "bled" for this club. I'm not sure I had a huge effect on that compared to the team itself, but I hope I at least helped people learn something about the team or the fun nuances in the rules that are MLS. Thank you to everyone for the great 10 years that have been Down the Byline, it has been my pleasure.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mike for your posts all this time. I do find myself looking forward to reading all your dtb posts as I am not on the Twitter. Best of luck and thanks for giving us fans another view point on our team! See you at the games!

Reepicheep said...

Thanks Mike! Your blog has been tremendous. Your work on this has enhanced my appreciation and understanding of our team ten fold. I will miss your posts on this site greatly.

Matthew M said...

Thank You Mike! I've been reading/following DTB since I returned to KC in 2006. (10 Years! OMG!) Thank You for filling the gap and being not only a great resource for news, stats, club and player history but also being willing to be a voice for supporters when we needed a respected voice to say/write what needed to be. I look forward to reading more of your stuff on TBT!

Oh, and, Go Outlaws! (Even though we kinda sucked. Ha!)

Sean Curry said...

As a Wizards fan since 1999, I google Sporting KC about 10 times a day and check out DTB twitter posts and blog just about as often. I went to kickoff event tonight and was reminded that Sporting is still a relatively small tight-knit community. It has become increasingly fun as the crowds have gotten bigger and Sporting has become a subject of general conversation. Still, few people want to talk about Sporting all of the time. I appreciate the "Fever Pitch" like effort you've given covering the team. It has enhanced my SKC experience immensely and I look forward to continuing to follow. Now if Sporting will just start SAS at right back, everything will be OK. Thanks and keep up the great coverage

Sean Curry said...

As a Wizards fan since 1999, I google Sporting KC about 10 times a day and check out DTB twitter posts and blog just about as often. I went to kickoff event tonight and was reminded that Sporting is still a relatively small tight-knit community. It has become increasingly fun as the crowds have gotten bigger and Sporting has become a subject of general conversation. Still, few people want to talk about Sporting all of the time. I appreciate the "Fever Pitch" like effort you've given covering the team. It has enhanced my SKC experience immensely and I look forward to continuing to follow. Now if Sporting will just start SAS at right back, everything will be OK. Thanks and keep up the great coverage

Alexander Englen said...

Thank you for all your work covering the team, Mike. 4-5 years back I tried creating a blog and emulating you honestly. I've always admired your persistence and ability to stay with it, I don't know how you find the energy for all the posts. Certainly, you have a commitment to the club that is probably unrivaled from a statistics and knowledge point of you. Thanks Mike!

- Alex

Sam Kovzan said...

We are truly appreciative of all the time and effort you've put into this remarkable endeavor, Mike. Your commitment to the club is second to none. All the best going forward!

Stan Johnston said...

Mike, thanks for all your hard work and excellent blog posts. Down the Byline was always my first stop in order to get incisive information on Sporting KC. The Blue Testament is lucky to add you as a contributor. All the best.

Anonymous said...

Mike, I have always loved reading your blog and appreciated your point of view. I love that you have always remained loyal to the Wizards name and your passion for keeping the team's history alive. It is great to hear that you will still be contributing to TBT. Thank you for all you've given to the SKC community!

Brian Wilde said...

Every time I open up my browser, this site is the first on a short list of frequently visited sites that pops up. Thanks for all of your coverage over the years, as it has helped grow my love for SKC. I'll be looking for your work over at TBT!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mike. I hate to take this site off my daily read, but I understand your reasons. I really appreciated your dedication and wish you the best.

Mat Meiers said...

Thanks Mike! I enjoyed your writing for many years. Good luck with tbt

Geiger said...

Thanks!