This was a big year for Stampede Blue. We saw our site membership double, our average hits per day triple, and we were given unprecedented access to events like the NFL Draft and the Super Bowl. While down in Miami, I talked to a pretty well known media person (who asked that I not reveal their identity, on pain of death), and I told them about the wild ride Stampede Blue has had in 2009-2010.
"You're legit now," the person said.
As we do at the end of every NFL season, we will take stock. We'll evaluate what we did right, what we did wrong, and how we can move forward. Yes, I agree that approach makes me sound positively Polian, but it really is the best approach.
The changes I'm alluding to are not necessarily big, OMFG! style changes. We just now have a level of status (not sure that's the right word, but it is the best I can think of right now) we didn't have before. I mean, at one point during SB week, special teams coach Ray Rychleski told me that someone pointed him to the interview we did with him. He told me "thanks" for doing a "nice job" with the interview. I responded that I really didn't do anything except transcribe what he told me. He laughed at that. Coach Ray is a good guy. Access like this was previous denied to "dirty" bloggers like me. Likely, the Colts will continue their "no blogger" policy, but I hope the work we did during the Super Bowl put a dent in that policy.
As always, we will continue to be opinionated. We will take stands against things we feel are wrong, and we will cheer other things that some think deserve criticism. We will continue to work with blogs like 18to88 and Indy Football Report so we can continue to grow Colts fan presence on the Internet, much to the annoyance of other NFL fanbases.
More than anything else, we are going to continue to write what we want to write regardless of what others think we should write. The great statesman once said, "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." Right now, we're in the ridicule-fighting phase, because after what we accomplished in 2009, they can't ignore us anymore.