Two years ago, SoSH Football Central published our first article: Understanding Offensive Personnel Packages, by Mark Schofield. We knew very little about everything associated with operating a website, but we knew football and wanted to share our passion and knowledge so our fellow fans could learn more about the game. Today, Inside The Pylon turns two.
This spring and summer Matt Harmon did something incredible.
Matt dusted off his Backyard Banter site and recorded a series of podcasts under the title “The Backyard Banter Podcast.” On each episode, Matt invited a guest from the sports media industry to come on and share their story about their journey into and, in some cases, even out of, this business. Their stories were poignant, touching, at times humorous, and always left an impact on the listener. If you made your way through the entire library, one of the themes that stood out was the idea of how people would need a hand along their journey, either from an outlet giving them a shot, or from others promoting their work.
As this site celebrates its second birthday, we can testify to the fact that we reach this day because of so many open hands extended our way.
When we launched this site two years ago, we came to this business with a number of different backgrounds (law, government, academia, the financial sector, and many others) but with scant media experience. We tried to figure things out on our own, but, being completely honest, we really did not know what we were doing. Some things worked, others were colossal failures (ask Schofield sometime about the “Know Your Enemy” series) but along the way we learned that if the work was good, the readers would come.
Eventually, some hands were extended our way.
When we celebrated our first birthday last year, we made the announcement in conjunction with our content partnership with Dan Hatman of The Scouting Academy. This was perhaps our first break. When we launched our glossary series, one of the first people to reach out to us was Dan. He recognized what we were trying to do, and he believed in the concept. Our partnership with Dan and the wonderful people at The Scouting Academy has been a tremendous benefit to both organizations, and it has allowed us to play just a tiny, tiny role in educating the next generation of football minds. That was a year ago.
The next hand came from the Professor himself, Matt Waldman. An invitation to breakdown the game film of some unknown quarterback from the hinterlands, on the night before he made his 2015 debut. Bigger things lay ahead for that quarterback: Specifically the second-overall selection in the NFL draft, and an opening day start for the Philadelphia Eagles. But that film breakdown started another close relationship with both Matt, and later the fine people at Football Guys. Those are relationships for which we are truly grateful.
They were among the first, but not nearly the only ones. Along the way, readers, other sites, family, and friends have shared our work, spread the love, and even pointed out some mistakes. We love all of the interaction. Every tweet or retweet, every comment left on the site, every review left on the podcasts, it really means so much. Coming from industries where the work that we did was often away from the public light, being able to interact on a daily basis with people who appreciate what we do is such an honor and a privilege. Thank you, to all of you, for that.
As we celebrate two years here at ITP, we cannot believe how far we have come. From a little website that we hoped might last a few weeks, to building some incredible relationships in the industry, to seeing our work in the Washington Post thanks to Neil Greenberg, it has been a wild ride. (And on a personal level, many of the writers here at ITP grew up reading the Boston Globe during the 1980s, with titans of the industry such as Will McDonough, Bob Ryan, Michael Madden, Lesley Visser, Peter Gammons, and Leigh Montville. So seeing our work in print is truly amazing).
We do not know what lies ahead, but we can promise you that we’ll keep trying to bring our readers and listeners the best of ourselves. We cherish the knowledge that in this vast expanse that is the world of football, with so many incredible voices and talented writers, that you spend a little time with us. It means more than you may ever know. Thank you, and here’s to a wonderful season of football.