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Stampede Blue and the off-season

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So the off-season is in full swing and already I'm going nuts because I don't have my football fix. Yes, I know. No one is going to feel sorry for me. My team won the Super Bowl. My team was playing in February. My team's season wasn't over back in November. I don't want pity. I just want a little understanding... because deep down you know you're just as ready for things like the Combine, the 2007 Draft, free agency, mini-camps, off-season training, and then the build up: training camp, pre-season, Kickoff Weekend!

Yes, I live and breath football. As if you didn't already know.

Last year was a ton of fun in that I got to blog the entire season for my favorite team, from beginning to end; from Edgerrin James leaving for Arizona to Joseph Addai holding up the Lombardi Trophy in Miami. Along the way, we've seen a small network of Stampede Blue contributors begin creating their own blogs, like jdb's Charlie Weiss Ate My Baby. RiverCityRage was our resident Jags fan here before he started writing for Big Cat Country. And in the diaries, folks like bluegirl are posting interesting follow-up articles on topics we've discussed. Contributors like Playoff Pride and Marked Hoosier post news as it hits the wire. Masson has also posted some funny content as well. This site would be lost without the contributions of these people, and I am especially thankful that they enjoy frequenting this site and adding to its content.

MasterRWayne and I was very, very grateful to readers that contribute here. I consider this a community blog. Not quite a message board, not quite a "rant blog" that doesn't allow comments. I believe in letting people comment, even if they strongly disagree with me. This philosphy will continue as Stampede Blue and SB Nation move forward. For this off-season, we will implement some new features and events that will offer some fun and exciting content to you. Here's a sneak peak at some of these features:

  • Enhanced Draft Coverage: I'm working to attend the NFL Draft. I can't promise anything, but I will be in NY when it is held. Companies like Sports Illustrated, Gannett, and ESPN (aka Disney) know of us here, and if they can go I feel I should go. We'll also be working closely with our college bloggers. They've seen these kids coming out of school. They know what they can do. Oh, and we'll mock the draft so much it'll make Mel Kiper's hair flatten.
  • Podcasts and call-in radio shows: Yes, we're developing podcasts for SB Nation writers. We're testing things now, but soon we'll have something up that you can enjoy. Definitely something before training camp. My dream is to have some podcasts FROM training camps, but one thing at a time. These podcasts will allow you to call-in and chime in on topics, just like in the comments and diaries here. As always, dissent is welcome.
  • Free agency: We'll scrutinze every signing and we'll dissect the wild and whacky world of NFL free agency when it hits in a month. Will David Carr leave Houston? Will the Titans spend a boat load and re-build their team to make a run at the Colts? Will the Jags let Fatty McButterpants walk and sign a new QB? Will Polian pull another rabbit out of his hat, ala Booger McFarland or Adam Vinatieri? We'll break it down with sledge hammers and give it to you from every possible angle... and then admit we don't know what we're talking about.

There's other content coming as well, but I can't discuss it yet (or my SB Nation bosses will send the writers at Bloody Elbow after me). As a Hoosier blogger, I'm excited we have a Pacers blogger now to give our Naptown shooters some coverage as we steam towards April. Hopefully, we'll get an IU and/or a Purdue blogger soon.

In short, there's a lot on the horizon. When the season ends, the new content begins so we can get it nice and shiny in time for Kickoff Weekend. Remember, the Colts will open the NFL season on Thursday night, per tradition (SB winner opens the season). Peter King actually touched on this recently, in between bites of his baggette. He's writing from Paris, where he's covering... something. Ah, the hard life of a sports "journalist."

It's looking like the Colts will open against New Orleans or... get this, New England. I think it'll be New Orleans. They'll save that New England game for November.

Ah September... it's only seven months away folks. From now till then, the ride will be just as fun. We've got lots in store.