[Editor's Note]: The 'competing company' begins with a 'B' and ends with a 'T,' and we hate their guts for stealing away our brilliant Collin. Still, the opportunity for Mr. McCollough was something he could not pass up, and we wish him all the best. We're now off to grumble about losing him, because he's so f*cking awesome he takes Charlie Sheen style #winning to another level. Please use the comments to wish Collin all the best. --BBS
Dear Stampede Blue readers, writers, lurkers, haters and overall community,
I wanted to inform you all that I have accepted a position with a competing company and thus will no longer -- at least as long as I'm under contract -- be able to contribute to Stampede Blue and SB Nation.
Writing for Stampede Blue has been a truly incredible experience. I'm going to miss it, and I don't just say that in the interest of courtesy. I say that because I feel I have grown a lot as a writer here, mostly as a reflection of an outstanding community of educated and passionate fans who have forced me to double-check my math (never my strong suit) and devote substantial thought to play breakdowns and analysis in the interest of providing the most accurate, informative and interesting content I am capable of writing. Your feedback and reaction, whether praising or challenging, is what fuels us as writers. For that, I thank you, because without it I would be a lesser writer than I am today.
While writing for Stampede Blue, I was able to not only cover the 2010 NFL season but also attend and cover the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine. Yeah, it's true that the NFL essentially hands out media credentials like trick-or-treat candy to the Combine, but that was a big deal for me. It was a chance to immerse myself in a professional media environment and work side-by-side with some of the most respected writers and analysts in the business. It was a chance to pose questions to potential Colts prospects to provide fodder for fans' draft boards and perhaps some reflective material should the Colts choose a player we profiled. It was a chance to work with Matt, who was always two steps ahead of me in terms of football/general sports knowledge and worked twice as hard as he also had to attend to SB Nation Indiana. It was a chance to realize, gee, this writing thing, sports reporting, football coverage? It must just be something I can aspire toward doing with my life.
I hope, in my season-and-change of covering the Colts, I was able to provide you all with material that, if not perfect, at least held your interest and challenged you to question a playcall here or a roster move there. More than anything, I hope that when my articles are archived, they don't crash the SB Nation servers for being too Dostoyevsky-esque (say that three times fast...GO!) The end goal for me has always been to provide the best content possible to Colts fans that accurately reflects the team's status quo. As you know, I was never in the business of cheerleading, but I'd like to think I was fair in my analysis and criticism and offered praise where praise was due. In the end, though, no matter what your personal opinion was and has been of my writing, I just hope that I was able to contribute something to this community. Because that's what Stampede Blue is all about: the community. We're writing for an audience, you're visiting for content. I always savored the communication that occurred between those two functions, responding to articles, defending my position in some cases or admitting error in others. That kind of interaction was the primary inspiration for any article I devoted more than an hour to. And believe me, those 10-play frame-by-frame drive breakdowns? Yeah, those took more than an hour to write.
I hope you all continue to visit Stampede Blue and enliven the community, and I'm not nearly arrogant enough to think my departure, however long it may be, will have any impact on that whatsoever. This is a fantastic community and I will miss it very much. But on the same hand, I'm 23 and I have a great opportunity in front of me, so I have to explore it. I wish you all the best, writers and readers both, and can't express enough my gratefulness to BBS and SB Nation for allowing me the opportunity to write for Stampede Blue.
Thanks again, Stampede Blue. And rest assured, my fingernails will be chewed just as thin as yours come the Colts' season opener.