Yes today marks the end of year 2, and the start of year 3 of the Dino Nation Blog. I have said this many times, that the Dino Nation Blog was the best idea that I have every had at 2am in the morning. I was feeling pretty depressed and was wondering what the heck I could do with my life. I had just had my birthday and was not getting any younger. What came out of that depression was what has turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. I could not have imagined the idea that I had would grow to what it has become. I feel very blessed and fortunate to have had all the great experiences the Dino Nation Blog has brought my way. Through the hard work of myself and the support of Raptor fans it has become something to be proud of. I would be approached last fall by Scott Carefoot to partner the blog with The Score. That was a great opportunity and has lead to other things for me personally. Also prior to that I would reach out to Eric Smith who would help me get in touch with Paul Jones and Jack Armstrong and all 3 have been regular guests here since. Those 3 guys were the first guests that the Dino Nation Blog would have. From there it would grow and build from there. Matt Devlin since coming to the Raptors has been a frequent and regular guest. We have had to many guests to mention it has got that good. Even of late the Dino Nation blog has started to get players in the NBA in the blog. T.J Ford has been here a couple times, Demar DeRozan and Reggie Evans as well. Along with countless numbers of media folks. In this last year the biggest accomplishment has been starting to have access to the Raptors. I want to think Jim LaBumbard for that, it has been a great experience and something that is helping me do more and learn more. In the history of the Dino Nation Blog I have worked with everyone from EA Sports, Georgetown University, Washington Post and Turner Sports and NBA-TV. All of that from an idea at 2am in the morning. Not to bad.
How all of that is possible is because of a few things. Well first and foremost it is my own personal hard work and dedication. I invest far more time than most would imagine or dream. After all this is still as it was from day 1, a solo effort by me to run this thing. There has been some folks that have helped along the way with designing logos and some of the things that I am truly clueless about. It also has taken people having faith and trust in me to be able to do a professional job. The other important thing is it takes all of you. The people who come here loyally each day and support the Dino Nation Blog and me. I value that very much. I am happy to have got to known some of those loyal readers. Many who have become followers on Twitter as well. I tried to take a lesson from Chuck Swirsky. He... if you every have e-mailed him, you can vouch for this, that he will almost always will reply and do it with amazing speed. I have done my best to build relationships with the people who have supported me. Just like I have tried to do with the guests I have in the blog.
The thing that has always kept this thing going in the right direction is that I never stop to be satisfied. Once I get to a goal that I have set or completed some challenge I have set out, I move on and set new ones. I am proud to say even some of the goals I had that I felt might have taken longer have been reached. One of the things I want to focus on this year is growing the Dino Nation Blog. I feel that everyone that covers this sport, watches this sports or is involved in it need to help it grow. I hope that one day there is a true nation of people out there loving this sport in this country. I have always tried to keep the Dino Nation Blog to a level be it someone has just discovered basketball to a life long fan could both enjoy it. One of the mistakes I see people making is not thinking in terms of the casual fan. Those are the folks that can help build the sport of basketball to exciting new levels for the Raptors, The Sport and Blogs like this one. I also hope to look for more chances to do things on the air so to speak. I am proud of the interviews I am doing and think they are well done and think have reached a level of respect. Granted I always think that I can be better and improve.
That can sometimes be a challenge, because as many of the regular readers know I look after my disabled mother as well. I want to thank her for allowing me to take advantage of the chances that have come my way through out this process. She has allowed me to take time to do the things that are part of making this all work. I am very happy that even though to this point the success this blog has achieved is minor (At least to me) that she has been able to share in that with me. She has never wanted to let her issues stand in the way of my dreams. We work together to try and make sure that does not happen. I love her with all of my heart and really give 100% of what I have to care for her and at the same time make her proud.
So I thank all of you for your support and invite you to come along for the ride to where ever it may take me. I also ask you that if you really love this blog and this sport to share that with others. I want this blog to grow but I also want this sport to grow and the support of the Raptors as well. If these last 2 years have taught me anything it is there is a lot of people in this country and around the world that love the Raptors, The NBA and the sport of basketball. I also want to thank all of the folks that produce great stuff for basketball fans here on the Internet. I respect all of the people that work in the blogging community that cover the Raptors and the NBA. I hope that in my own small way I am helping change attitudes towards blogs and the work that all of us put into them. It really is important for to always look to expand and grow on what we do. Some still think in out dated terms that we all live in basements with our moms. Well I do live with my mom but for the reasons above. I don't have a basement though and I do have a education in broadcast journalism. It is important to change that stereotype and image. I have taken what I do and made it into basically my job. Some folks do blogs as a hobby or just for fun. However I encourage everyone to take what your doing seriously and work hard at it. That is really the case for a lot of you already. Still know that if as a group if we want to be taken seriously it takes everyone to push themselves to compete. I think there is room in this world for the established media and the people who do this. I have always shown the folks in that media the respect that they have earned. I try to take that same professional approach as them in what I do. I think the folks that I deal with respect me as well.
Some days are better than others. I still expect far more from myself than anyone out there does. I always am trying to push myself to be better and bigger each day. In this past year I have done a lot of learning and growing and hopefully am better for it. The Dino Nation Blog was really built at a time of true hopelessness. It was a last shot at making my dreams come through. It has given me so many experiences that I never could have imagined. Some experiences that I thought would take far longer have happened. So if you ever feel like you are down and out, I hope this blog can be an example of hope. I am reminded of what Michael Irvin said in his Hall of Fame speech in football..." Look up, Get Up and Never Give Up". That is one of many things that I draw inspiration from.
So whatever your dreams are never let them go. However understand to make your dreams happen it takes hard work and lots of effort on your part each and everyday. I truly believe if you work hard and have true talent at what you are trying to do you can succeed. I hope that in some small way I am an example of that. No matter what happens in the future for me, I will always be grateful to all the people who have supported me and the people that read this blog are near the top of that list. I will always be humble and amazed at how so many people have offered me support to help live my dream. I never lose sight of how truly lucky and blessed I have been in these past 2 years. This has been truly one of the best times in my life. I thank you all for being part of that.
Now that was a lot nicer than talking about the Raptors vs the Celtics wasn't it? Maybe the Raps can get some kind of DNB Anniversary Miracle win. Not likely but still win or lose this is fun each day...but yes it is more fun when it is win.