When faced with the daunting task of trying to succinctly wrap up nearly seven years of activity in a single blog post, the temptation exists to go on and on and on in a lengthy "speech" that would be cut away from to a commercial if it were given at the Academy Awards. It'll probably still kind of be like that as brevity has never been my strong suit, but I'll try to keep the rambling to a minimum.
Roll Bama Roll went live in May of 2006 and was largely the result of my being a grad student needing a hobby in a town where I didn't know anyone. Todd and I knew each other online from blogging on various blogspot blogs and when RBR needed another hand, I reached out to him and he thankfully came on board. We plugged along as a duet for a while until we spotted OTS and recruited him hard to be the franchise player (I'd say it was a good move.) Eventually, a host of other writers (all better than me) came on board: Pete Holiday, Kleph, Matt Dover and others. We cranked out a ton of high quality content and RBR grew beyond our wildest dreams. At its peak, I think we were pulling in the neighborhood of 20,000-25,000 hits a day...which is bigger than some small town newspapers.
RBR turned into a publishing deal that became the Yea Alabama annuals. Nike somehow found us legit enough to invite us to New York for the unveiling of our Pro Combat jerseys in 2010. The Shakespeare Festival invited us to review Bear Country as if we were qualified to review theater. I even managed to fool the New York Times into thinking I was a decent enough writer to where they let me grace their pages once in 2008. I never in a million years dreamed any of those things would've happened (much less all of them) when I commenced blogging with SBN in 2006.
As fun as all of that "stuff" was, it was ultimately the people that made me come back day after day. At first it was the online relationships that formed via regular commentors that made the place so endearing, but at some point, a lot of those online relationships turned into real life friendships. There are waaaaay too many to list and I'm terribly sorry for those I inadvertently leave off of this list, but I must acknowledge and thank some of them by name: