State of the Scoreboard Address


Over the past eleven months, we’ve been telling you what we think about sports. But doing the same thing for nearly a year straight, without breaks, can get a little boring. Just ask professional tennis players! That’s why, just for today, we don’t want to talk to you about sports. Not exactly, anyway.

We want to talk to you about where we’ve been with this website, where we’re headed, and what it means for all of us. We want to give you, our ceaselessly loyal readers, the chance to walk in our shoes. Unless, of course, your feet don’t fit comfortably into size-10 Nikes. In that case, wear your own shoes, but know that you’ll be missing out on the toe-crushing authenticity of the experience.

Crooked Scoreboard’s one-year anniversary (the world’s foremost linguists prefer the term “Crookedversary”), is right around the corner, which means the blog has lasted approximately 330 days longer than any of the numerous blogs I’d started in the past. The reason for this is clear: this time around, I decided not to go it alone. No one wants to read a blog containing the ramblings of one man and one man only, especially if that man happens to be the one sitting in front of this computer right now. Maybe Edgar Allan Poe could’ve sustained an entire blog on his own, but we’ll never know because Mr. Poe stupidly decided to be born nearly 200 years before the dawn of the Internet.

The best websites, television shows, podcasts, whatevers, aren’t just one-way sounding boards. They’re vessels that take the different ideas and perspectives of all on board, and carry them to as many people as they can. This isn’t to say Crooked Scoreboard is “the best” anything. Hell, we might not even be the best site to compare Phil Jackson to Lou Reed. But we’re trying to get there, and maybe we will, someday. We have a team of writers that I’ve been honored to be a part of. We’ve all put in plenty of hours working to get better at what we do, and, looking back through the course of our blogging history, I’m confident it’s paid off. We’ve made a concerted effort to offer content that’s topical, thoughtful, and maybe just a bit smarter than what you might get from one of those guys at a big newspaper who no longer has anything to prove (though we have written some pretty dumb things from time to time. Sorry about that!)

This seems like the kind of article you might see if the website was ending, right? Well, it’s definitely not ending; we just want to do things a little differently, as usual. By taking a look back at ourselves now, we can plan for a better future, and we’re excited about the future we have in store for you. We’ve just welcomed two new regular contributors, we’re planning a much-needed visual overhaul for the site, and we’ve got a guest appearance in the works from a leading basketball statistician.

As with most things, there’s always stuff going on behind the scenes that you don’t know much about. Our monthly writers’ meetings have seen vast amounts of pizza come and go. We’ve published well over 100 pieces so far, but a bunch of others sit half-finished in a Word document somewhere, or died before they made it past the idea stage. We’ve welcomed some extraordinary guests, including a former NBA player who’s also a world-class writer (those two things do not go together very often.) But for every guest we’ve landed, there are plenty of others who never returned our call.

This mixture of success and failure is important for young writers. We have a forum that allows us to write regularly, to take risks, and to go down roads that may or may not lead anywhere. At the end of the day, no matter what we come up with, we know someone will take the time to read it. This inspires us to keep going, and, unfortunately, is a source of inspiration that not all writers are lucky enough to have.

Which brings me to my main point: all of this is possible because of you, the readers! We’re so thankful that you’ve been part of our experience, and you’ve joined the conversation, too, which is great. Whether you’ve liked things, disliked things, or just wanted to let us know about your dead uncle in Nigeria, you’ve spoken up (but that one guy might’ve been a spammer. We’re looking into it.) Keep the comments, e-mails, and tweets coming. There’s nothing more fulfilling to us as than knowing that something we wrote made an impression on you. Even if the impression we make isn’t so positive, your feedback helps us get things right the next time around.

With that out of the way, we’re looking forward to another great year. We now return to your regularly scheduled programming: