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I'm Taking My Talents To...Posted on April 30, 2012 at 08:46 AM.
Some of you may know (if you follow me on Twitter), I have some exciting news to share with you today. I'm taking my talents to...
...Not so fast, my friends... Before I get there, I'd like to give you a brief look at the history of OS.
I'm one of those old school sports gamers. There were times I would write stats from games into a notebook. In fact, I actually recorded some games, just to watch them again later. Yes, I was "That Guy". I played season after season, jotting down all sorts of information from games like Atari Baseball, 10 Yard Fight, Tecmo Bowl and every other sports video game you could think of. I would play season after season, holding drafts and keeping track of my own franchises. It was fairly difficult to do, but I had such a great time doing it. Of course, nowadays we have it easy; all of those things are packaged within a game.
I used to collect sports video gaming magazines. Yes, there were some available many years ago. I received them quarterly, read them from cover to cover almost every day and memorized every page. I would diagnose every pixel from every screenshot, getting every detail I could find. While it's funny now, and most of us make fun of it, shoes and sock colors were a big deal to me and it obviously hits close to home with many others. I do enjoy the jokes on the Forums about it.
The magazines I subscribed to went under and I didn't have anything to read until I stumbled upon OS in 1998. I recall hitting the refresh button thousands of times a day, looking for the latest sports gaming news. I wanted to know more about Madden, NBA Live and any other up and coming sports video game.
OS was created on March 10th 1998, but it wasn’t me. All of that credit to Craig Tompkins, Dan Clarke and one other person; I can't recall the name. I noticed the site wasn't updating as frequently as it used to and I didn't want the same thing to happen to my favorite website that happened to my favorite magazines. I started submitting news to Craig for a few months in 2000. He decided to bring me on board that same year. I worked on posting news for a while and Craig brought in a few writers. Jeff Downey was one of those writers and when Craig no longer had the time to update the site like he wanted to, he sold it to him. In time, Jeff ran into the same problem and sold it to me.
I remember when I first took over OS. Getting news on the homepage was never an issue, but the Forums were a different animal. I would post random topics, hoping to get someone to respond. I would promote the Forums on the homepage, literally begging people to register. Months went by and I saw myself responding to... MYSELF. I guess a couple of guys felt sorry for me and started posting. It was me, Clay Shaver and Terry Crouch, for the longest time. We would talk about whatever was on our minds, just to get a conversation going.
Things quickly changed when I received an Xbox XDK (debug kit) from Microsoft. I spent almost 2 years researching, making phone call after phone call, and going back and forth to various agencies with multiple emails. I finally received one, out of the blue; I guess my persistence paid off. Only a few weeks later, OS would grow and keep growing to this day... You see, when I told EA Sports I had an XDK, they sent me final builds of all of their video games, to get word out on the upcoming games. I would post impressions, screenshots, answer questions, anything you could think of, I was all over it and the traffic was mind boggling. In fact, every year since then, we have to upgrade our host servers to keep up with it.
We have gone through many OS redesigns, site changes and forum updates. Many staff members have left OS, some making returns and some making the big time, getting jobs with 2K Sports and EA Sports. I'm so proud of them.
When attending sports video gaming events, I still get chills when OS is mentioned, we have come a long way... Developers and Producers of various sports video games (Madden, NCAA Football, NBA 2K, MLB The Show, just to name a few) post on our site to get ideas, ask for feedback on certain things, check out the latest bugs before and after new patches (title updates) are released and more.
It's crazy how many sports video game sites are available nowadays; doing the same things we have done for years. I'm not mad at em'. Hell, I wish there were more of them. I couldn't possibly find every morsel of sports gaming news on the Internet and I will give credit, where credit is due on the site. It's great to see so many sports gaming sites. Some have specific games in mind and others covering specific sport genres, but all of us have the same goal in mind, to make sports video gaming better.
I've been in the IT field for over 20 years. I've worked on OS, on the side for fun. I really enjoy keeping readers informed on everything related to sports video games, it's just a passion. Sometimes, it felt like a full time job, as I would come home from work and catch up on the latest news, only getting a few hours of sleep every night. There were times (quite a few times actually) where I felt like quitting OS and selling it off. Especially after my daughter was born (she is 10 now, WOW!), but I kept chugging along. I just carved out a little time here and there to dedicate to the site and the rest of it would go to my family.
OS was a very small site when I took over. It has grown considerably, as we now have over 275,000 registered readers and average close to 1 million unique visitors a month.
With all of that said and after careful thought and consideration, I've decided to take my talents to… Operation Sports, FULL TIME! Yes, my dream has finally come true. A job, doing something I have loved doing since middle school. While IT was fun, as well as very challenging, I always looked forward to reading the next blog from EA Sports or 2K Sports on an upcoming video game. While it is a considerable salary decrease, I feel in time, it can lead to bigger and better things, not only for me, but to our loyal OS readers and all sports video gamers from around the world.
News will be covered in more detail, on time and as it happens. I will be able to cover events for OS I never had the time for in the past. I'll be bringing back the daily Morning Other Stuff with QOTD (otherwise known as “What’s Up??” to the old schoolers) and talk about what’s going on in my life. It usually has something to do with gaming, sports, family or whatever is on my mind. For those that don't know about Morning Other Stuff, I certainly hope you respond with what you are up to, check out the morning links and answer the Question of the Day. Think of it as a way to get to know me and for myself to get to know our readers, in a more personal way. I have many plans on making OS even better, hope you enjoy the ride.
I'd like to thank all of the OS readers, all former and current staff members, as well as the Admins and Moderators, including ones that have come and gone (and come back again...) Without you, this would never have been possible. Many readers on OS have their own following. Roster makers, slider guys and just all around helpful contributors are another reason people visit OS. Thanks to all of you!
A big thanks to Shawn Drotar, Clay Shaver, Terry Crouch, Mark Fossen and yes, Brent Doughty. I have shared too much personally with you guys to forget any of you. Hey Rob Lindo! Hope all is well my friend. Gotta thank Chris Sanner, for being pitiful.
Huge thanks to Matt Holme. We have worked together for quite some time and most people do not really know you. Matt hosted OS for a long time and when times were tough, we partnered up. When OS is acting flaky, he and my main man Diego are always on the ball, getting things back up and running.
A special thank you to my wife, stepson and daughter for dealing with me and understanding what my goal was. There were some tough times, but I'm so grateful everything worked out.
Much love to all of you and much love to sports video games.
Owner and News Editor
BORN: December 16, 1972 (41)
JOINED: Jul 17, 2002 (11 years, 240 days ago)
HOME: OS Eastern Office
MEMBER # 4
JOINED: Jul 17, 2002 (11 years, 240 days ago)
HOME: OS Eastern Office
MEMBER # 4
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