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A Trip Down Memory Lane: How I Started On Stampede Blue

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On my 7th Anniversary of writing here at Stampede Blue, I look back at how it all began...with numbers of course.

This week marks seven years since we saw the Giants save all of us from 19-0 in Glendale, beating the Patriots 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII, but I remember the date so well because the Monday following was my first day as a writer here at Stampede Blue. Think back seven years...I bet some of you reading this were in elementary school in February. It's a long freaking time ago.

After the Colts lost to friggen Billy Volek and Michael Turner, Brad asked the then two-year old Stampede Blue Community whether any of us wanted to write for the site. The blog was starting to pick up some steam, especially after the Super Bowl win the year before, but Brad needed help with some articles. I was a newlywed of almost six months at the time, finishing up grad school, and thought it would be fun to write about the Colts for a year. Yes, this gig was only supposed to be for a year (as you can see in the article). Here's what I told him I'd bring to the Stampede Blue Community as a blogger:

I love blogging because it makes good use of my useless knowledge.   I've always had a knack of remembering the most ridiculous things, especially sports.  I also love blogging because I get to interact with other people just like me, about things we care passionately about.  Nobody would spend that much time if they did not care about it.

A couple things that are missing that I would blog about:  I'm just finishing up a model that (I hope) will semi-accurately predict games.  I've compiled data from 2003 until now, and just putting the finishing touches on it.  I could run predictions from that, simulate a Madden season, some other crazy prediction method, etc.  I'd also add fantasy football advice.  I'm a 10 year veteran now, and could run some analysis on favorable matchups, etc.  I'm finishing up a Masters degree in statistics, so I'm trying to put it to good use.

(Holy crap I've been playing fantasy football for more than half my life now)

The other guy who was chosen didn't make it very long (just a couple months), but I guess I've more than made up for that over the past few years, eh? I was all ready to jump in, loaded with ideas, and the first article I wrote was about the Super Bowl that just occurred, with info from Elias. As you can see, not much has changed with my subject matter over the years.

I didn't comment very much before starting to write, but do remember the first one I made, calling out a Boston homer for exactly what he was. I only vaguely remember coming across the site, back when you had to create a user name for each different blog (nothing was integrated at the time), but I remember actually signing up on Christmas Eve, 2006, right before the Colts went on their magical run to the Super Bowl. There are very few of us that were around in those days (MasterRWayne and ctnyc) that still poke their heads in, and it's good to have some old farts like me around.

It's been amazing to see the changes to the site, becoming bigger and bigger. Brad celebrated when he got 2,000 hits on the site in a day, while back in 2011, the worst season ever for the Colts, we had over 1,000,000 views each month of the season. It's been great to see Josh take over so seamlessly and produce great content, as well as letting me continue to do my little niche of work.

I'm curious to know when all of you started visiting Stampede Blue. Are there some lurkers out there that have been around as long as I have? What started as just killing time during lunch at work has been a pretty sweet gig for the better part of a decade for me. I think it would be fun to share our stories.

Also, as I was compiling some of the old links, I thought it might be fun, once a week, for me to find a blast-from-the-past article on the site, maybe that had a prediction about the future or an interesting site topic at the time, that I'll write about here, as I'm guessing most of you have never looked back through the site history before. Sound interesting?