Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Message Brought To You By The Letters C and W

I’m slowly starting to transition myself from my summer mode to that of the fall semester, sharpening up the mind and preparing for whatever the slate of overpriced books and long walks in the crisp weather to a faraway classroom throw at me. These next four months were already going to be stressing enough with the creation of our uber-suite, a normal set of classes, the majesty of football season (especially in September, where two home games and two potential road trips await) and my plans on at least hanging out around The Observer and getting some feel for how a paper works. Granted, the entire industry of newspapering will be dead within a couple of decades, if not sooner, but it be a nice experience to have. Heck, I figured I might even be able to charm them into a television or NFL column, both of them sadly absent from the one which independently serves Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s.

Sadly, all of this has now been further complicated by an e-mail I got two weekends ago from a site I frequent during the college football season called BurntOrangeNation. As you can expect, a Texas blog, but also part of a network of sites called Sports Blog Nation. Apparently, after sifting through and being rejected by every other Notre Dame-affiliated website, Peter Bean of BON asked if I wanted to run the new Notre Dame site for their network.

The timing really couldn’t have been better or worse. Rob and I were planning on starting a Notre Dame student life/football-lite blog when the semester started anyway – you can see our exciting test posts here – but brought us a couple of incredible advantages. The first was the increased site network from being part of SBN, which gets something like a hundred thousand hits a day and features heavy-interlinking as long as you’re posting stuff worthy of being interlinked to. The second is that the network sort of invested in us, buying us our own shiny new site and having their designer and IT guy set it up. All very cool, but also very contractually obligated, because now we have to post a steady amount of content there.

I’m not sure how familiar you are with the college football blogosphere, but as the esteemed Ron Burgundy says, it’s like a vicious cock fight. There’s two types of readers you have to worry about. The first, we’ll call them Penn State Fans, are completely ignorant of things like logic and comprehension skills and will respond to a questioning of their team’s strength of schedule by blasting “Well who did Notre Dame beat last year?!” when the Irish weren’t even relevant in the conversation. I can handle them, despite the obvious annoyances they cause. The second type is a little trickier, as there are dozens of highly-skilled writers who treat college football as if it is philosophy or one of the higher arts, and frankly, it is. Everything better be well-researched and every position better be defensible or you will be cut down. Then you add in the fact we’re a Notre Dame site, which means that everyone who isn’t super-knowledgeable about all things Irish football absolutely hate you, so you’re dealing with two very tricky customer bases.

So what this rambling declaration is really meant to do is introduce you to my new site, The Rakes of Mallow. Now please do not fear that this fine, aged blog will be shut down, as I could never do that. I just needed a place to narrow the focus, as the manly men who come looking for college football info would be confused and turned off by a discussion of the transition of “Masquerade” lyrics from stage to cinema or wonder why a twenty-year old guy would find such joy in The Hills. I love this site because even though there is an inherent limited audience limited to people I know because of the eclectic nature of what I write about, that’s a trade-off for getting IM comments about the quality of a post or suggestions of Venn diagrams. Freshmen year I even had death threats scrawled on my marker board after a particularly dry period of posting. This is just too good of a challenge to turn down, as I get to see if I can write for a mass audience who doesn’t hang out with me on the weekends and doesn’t have to pretend to be nice when I post utter drivel about The CW Network or the Pirates.

All of that stuff will still be here in spades, with the only thing dropping off of the site being college football coverage, which you can now find over at the new one. I urge you, if you have any interest in all with this upcoming gridiron season, to occasionally check out Rakes, but if not, I shall post a link here to anything extremely profound that I would happen to write over there. (Considering the fact I’ve gone over four years here and written nothing approaching profound, I can’t imagine that being an issue.)

Despite the fact I love both children equally, the baby is going to need some extra-special attention these next few weeks. With the great Back To School Move-In upcoming on Friday and all of the packing/unpacking/reuniting involved with that, there will be little time to write at all, let alone support two sites without completely burning me out. Therefore, you can (sadly) expect some limited posting on this site for the next couple of weeks, but it’s not because I favor one child to the other. We’re just trying to get some things set up over at the other addy, and with time restrictions and end-of-summer Niagara trips being what they are, there’s only so much typing time to go around.

So I want to thank everyone that frequents this site again, as we are approaching in on the very exciting 30,000 mark, and to urge you all to stick around through this relative dry spell you’ll have until I’m settled into Dillon Hall 224. And even if you’ll only visit it this one time, please click below and check out the new site, as it is awful shiny (despite the font being a little small for my liking) and Rob and I are rather proud of it.

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