When I started doing Bleacher Nation as a side project 14 years ago, of course I hoped it could become a job. I don’t know if I let myself think it actively in my brain, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t dream about leaving the lawyer gig behind and writing about the Cubs for a living.
A few years later, I could not do the lawyer thing anymore, and I had to take the leap. I thought maybe, with the support of The Wife, with a more-than-full-time dedication, and with a lot of good fortune, I could actually generate enough revenue at BN to make it a reasonable job.
I got lucky, and it worked. I thought of myself as just a dude who writes about baseball, and I got to do it as a job. I was, not ironically, blessed, and I am so thankful to so many of you who read my stuff.
After doing that for a few years, I felt the probably-inevitable itch to grow and provide more for readers, while also building something more like an actual business. I realized I needed more support to be able to keep up with all the content demands, so Luke hopped on board to contribute minor league pieces, and then Michael and Luis joined us to do a little writing, too. Again, I got lucky.
A little after that, I realized we could really grow to cover a lot more Chicago sports in the way I’d been covering the Cubs. So, Michael became my partner, and Luis began covering the Bears full-time. Then Eli joined to cover the Bulls, Bryan started writing about the minor leagues, and Mario joined to cover the Blackhawks. Then Patrick and Tab joined to round out our coverage. So lucky. I’ve been so lucky.
And this year, I realized a new thing. I long ago stopped being just a dude who writes about baseball, and I have reached the limits of what I can do leading this place while also covering the Cubs full-time. That second part? Writing about baseball and the Cubs? That’s my real passion. That’s what I want to be doing with my professional life.
I also realized that my life looks so different from how it looked 14 years ago, or, heck, even 5 years ago. I have been so fortunate to run Bleacher Nation for as long as I have, but I’ve been even more fortunate to have the family I have. They need more of me than I’ve given them the last few years.
Yes, this is one of THOSE posts.
But don’t worry. There’s no “farewell” coming. It’s not quite as dramatic as all that. At least not as far as you, the reader, are concerned. It’s a huge change for me, but my hope is that you will barely notice – well, except for the good stuff.
I am still the Cubs and baseball guy here at BN. No change there. I’ll still be writing about the Cubs’ need for another bat soon, doing the Cubs Bullets in a bit, and all that.
Going forward, though, I am no longer “running the business.” We have been acquired by Betsperts Media & Technology Group, which is going to support our site in ways we just couldn’t do on our own. A lot of it is behind the scenes on the technical and operations side, but it should make things a wholllle lot smoother and better around here.
We’ve been approached about getting folded into a bigger shop before, but it never felt right until now. Not only did it feel like the right time for me, personally, to make this change, but it felt like the first time an interested suitor really understood what we do at BN. What we care about. How we want the experience to be for our readers. And how we want Bleacher Nation to stay Bleacher Nation. I’m really excited about how we’re going to work together with Betsperts, and how BN gets to keep being BN – just better.
And it also paves the way for a new boss around these parts: Michael. He was already running a whole lot of this place, whether you realized it or not, but now it’s even more official.
I actually think Michael has been building toward this from the moment he first joined BN, helping me bit by bit in ways you can’t always see on the site, but that I know you absolutely feel in your experience. I know it’s just this little Chicago sports site, but it’s actually pretty dang hard to run a place like this, and Michael has been critical the last few years in the actual operations (in addition to writing, editing, and all that). So him stepping up further in that way was only natural. Michael is going to be fantastic at it, and, again, I’m not so sure you’ll actually notice THAT much changing around here. This place is still this place.
Luis, Eli, Tab, Patrick, and Bryan? Still our guys here, too. No change there. Thank God this is not a goodbye post. Those are sad. This is just a “things are changing, but also kinda not” post.
Long story short? New owner, new (but not actually new) boss, and we’re all still here doing our BN thing. And I get to be just a dude who writes about baseball again. Thank you to everyone who has helped make that happen, and I’ll do my best to earn it by continuing to write obsessively.