Did you think we’d leave with any other picture? Come on.
Non-Metallica “We’re Signing Off” Song
On the eve of the Battle at Bristol, probably the most anticipated game in the history of the world, we wanted to get everyone super pumped by posting our final good bye to the blogging world.
When we first established our own little corner of the internet, our initial intention was to post sports bull shit that only our friends would read, comment on, and argue about. As I sit here, closing up shop after 9 years, I still can’t believe that this site grew into something read by literally MULTIPLE people every week* during the fall.
*Every week may not include all weeks
But seriously, the last 9 years running the NEZ has been better than I can even describe. We really did start out just wanting to write about random sports things. But once we realized what our true strengths were – ranting and raving about our favorite (although supremely frustrating) college football team – we truly started having fun.
Once we got into the weekly preview business, our entire goal was to make people laugh. We’re talking about sports, after all. It’s supposed to be fun. And when you get as old as we are now, if you’re still getting crazy worked up over the performance of 18 – 22-year-old kids, you may want to reexamine your priorities. Or move to Alabama where you’ll fit right in.
So why are we hanging it up? Simply put, your humble editor no longer has the time to make weekly posts as quality as I would like.
“QUALITY???” you ask. “ALL YOU DO IS MAKE JOKES!”
Did you not read the above? That’s the whole point. The problem is our jokes would no longer be as connected with the team, or college football in general. Increasing life responsibilities means that it might not be possible to watch college football from noon to midnight every Saturday. I can barely name a dozen players in the ACC, let alone make a Jimmy Williams* style joke about them.
*For all the youngins’, Jimmy Williams was possibly the best worst cornerback in Virginia Tech history.
So with the change in coaching staff, we figured it was time for us to shuffle off as well.
You can still find us on Twitter, where we must keep our super-witty remarks to 140 characters / baby celebration gifs.
That’s not to say we won’t be remembering the good times. Some of our favorite stories?
- The time your humble editor sent his resume to a company in Virginia. The owner replied with “Are you the editor of the NEZ?” After saying “oh shit” about a hundred times, I replied with a “Yes”. Not only was the owner a reader, he was an active commenter!! Also, I didn’t get the job. I blamed Stinespring.
- Good friend of the program McB actually got a date his senior year by referencing that he knew the guys running the North End Zone. We don’t know how his first ever date went, but if we know McB… it went terribly.
- Stating on “television” that I’d like to punch Matt Ryan in the face.
- The Preakness
- Walking past a tailgate with a guy we’ve never met reading our preview to his friends.
- All of the beers.
But it wasn’t all good times. 2007 made us so incredibly proud to be Hokies, it’s almost indescribable. We tried, but we’re nowhere near good enough at actual writing to even get close. That fall showed us how important a football team can be to the community in a time of need. And specifically, THIS team with THIS community.
On a lighter note, we will also always remember our annual, huge debilitating loss to an inferior opponent. At least we had this place in which to vent our frustrations.
Sure, we had to spend Sunday in the confessional due to all the swearing, but it was totally worth it.
And there were multiple life lessons we’ve learned through the last 9 years of blogging:
- People will get VERY upset with you for legitimately criticizing their favorite team, even when it’s your favorite team.
- Beer: it’s your best friend, drink a lot of it.
- There will be people out there that are consistently better at your job than you. Find your niche and roll with it, even if that niche is drunkenly ranting about your football team whilst making as many Tommy Boy references as possible.
- Message boards are no way to go through life, son.
Intermission for a some of our favorite pictures through the years….
Your humble editor was not alone in this thing.
No, in fact we had a whole staff of poorly qualified, even more poorly paid contributors:
- The Northerner – You joined the writing staff after our first ECU loss because you were literally too angry to post anywhere that could be linked to you professionally. Your hatred really kept this place going during hard times.
- DiP – Your misunderstanding of the English language and incredible number of typos proved to me that I am at least a better writer than most… or maybe just some… well, at least I was just better than you. Thank you for that.
- B-Dubs – You did more research in a single week than the rest of the crew did over the course of a season. Granted, everyone skipped your section to get to the “replacement offensive coordinator of the week”, but the important thing is that it was there and it took up space.
- D_w – The 2 or 3 “Zombie Kill of the Week” videos you submitted each season were fantastic. Also your initials reminded us of Darkwing Duck, which was likely your biggest contribution to the site.
- CMU Football Analyst – Your “Something of the week” legitimately showed up every week, which is more than I can say for any other contributor, including your humble editor. Did all of your submissions make sense? Of course not. But they were certainly sent to me, which is something.
In all sincerity, you guys were awesome. I can’t thank you guys enough for the time and effort spent for no pay to contribute to maybe the most niche website in the history of sports.
Well, except for DiP. He didn’t do jack.
As far as a sincere thank you, I’d like to thank my close friends and family that read everything we wrote through the years. Specifically, your humble editor’s family was incredibly supportive with our silly little endeavor here, and I always knew we had at least 10 loyal readers.
And finally, we seriously cannot say thank you enough to the folks that have read and commented over the years. There were even multiple people that let us know how pissed they are that we’re leaving!
As stated, we started this whole thing as, well nothing really. We had no plan. But at some point, people started reading. People started commenting. In fact, you randos are the only reason we’ve kept this thing going as long as we have. Knowing that we were reaching even more people than just close friends and family was a pretty amazing feeling. So from everyone here: thank you.
With that, we are out