The four best compliments I’ve ever received, in reverse order:
4. At my five year high school reunion, someone in very good physical shape grabbed my arm and said “You’re looking good, bro.”
3. A drunk guy once offered me $40 for the hat I was wearing at the time.
2. When someone asked my college friends if we’d win a fight against the guys who lived across the hall, one of my friends said, “Of course. We have Shane.”
1(tie). Every comment I’ve received in-person and online from you (my readers) about enjoying what you’ve read here.
I can confidently say that this blog is still here because people have read it, enjoyed it, and made both of those facts known to me. Anytime I got bogged down in the midst of one of my longer pieces or when I started to sour on my own attempts to be funny, I kept in mind the kind things I’d heard from many of you, and I continued to try my best to bring you something worth reading.
In our first season together, my mind has been blown by the response to my work. I’ve published 100 posts (this is #101, after the team names post reached a ridiculous 7,000 words I had to split it into two parts). Thousands of people have visited this site. Most simply came to find out if Bill Self wears a toupee, but so many others have come for hoops talk, debate, and information.
Going through my favorite time of year (basketball season, obviously) was so much more fun with all of you. Having a place to plop my weird opinions and Space Jam musings all summer was pretty great too.
This year, I’m excited to build on what is here. That means more of what you’ve liked and trying some more things that will, hopefully, be even better.
That being said, here’s some of what you can look forward to this season:
This Week In Hoops will be back but a bit different.
Last season I tried two weekly features and they both saw mixed success. Some TWIHs were among my favorite posts last season. A few loyal readers assured me that they loved the weekly check-in. They could get deep into Xs and Os, have some goofy fun, or preview and recap the best basketball around (by doing so, TWIH actually covers two weeks and should be called Last Week and This Week in Hoops, but…oh well).
Problem is, stats don’t lie. The readership (that’s you!) preferred specifics to the fly-by nature of TWIH. Six of the seven least read PB posts ever were TWIHs. That wouldn’t bother me if This Week in Hoops wasn’t such a burden. I generally spent a lot of time on Sundays to have it ready every Monday morning last year.
Determined, but not discouraged, I think I’ve found a different way to handle TWIH. The format changes, but the idea stays the same. Every Monday morning, there will be a post that reviews the best of basketball will be here. It will have a few new wrinkles, for example…
Tuesday Top Tens will sort of be back, but very different.
People really enjoyed these rankings, especially the “college, NBA, something else” format. But in the big picture, they too felt like they took up time I could have used writing about something else.
So they aren’t dying. I’ll still rank the best teams at both levels (and something fun), but this will no longer be it’s own post each week. Instead, it will live inside This Week In Hoops.
Also, by removing the “top tens” from the name, I am no longer a slave to the round number. If there are eight or thirteen NCAA teams worthy of mention, that’s how many I’ll rank. (I actually already did this once last year.)
My writing may appear elsewhere, but that won’t affect PB.
Just as I had a little had in ESPN’s Bracketology coverage last year, I may have some more chances to appear elsewhere (more on this in the future…), but that won’t change this blog.
The readers are going to be more involved.
Last year, I had limited chances for the readers to find their way onto the blog. Other than the March Madness Fantasy Shootout (which will definitely be back), there wasn’t really room for participation. This year that will change a bit.
I’ll be reaching out here for responses, either via our email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) or my Twitter account (@OnTheShaneTrain), to questions or other fun stuff. Keep an eye out for them.
Oh and if you’ve got something on your mind already? Send an email. I will absolutely read, respond, and react to it.
THE SEASON STARTS SOON!
Yeah, the NBA is about to happen. NCAA teams are… making news for suspensions and wrong doings, but that’s close enough.
That means the blog will soon be back and cooking with gas in nearly no time. NBA and college previews are already in the works and will be posted in the not so distant future.
Basketball is back.
Header image via NBA.com
What do you say, folks? Have a favorite from the first 100? Share it down in the comments.