"3 years to be a Champion it's a long time". That is what Andre the Giant said about Hulk Hogan's run as WWF Champion prior to Wrestlemania 3. I am not saying the Dino Nation Blog is a champion of anything, but we have been here for 3 years. What many folks may not realize is the Dino Nation Blog was really born out of some pretty sad emotions. I had just had a birthday and was really feeling depressed about life in general. I had one of those moments in life where as the Lebron James ad says "What Should I Do?" The answer was this blog. My media career had been put on the shelf because of having to care for my mother. I really didn't know what to do with my life to get it back on track. So I thought the thing I love to cover the most has always been covering basketball, and long before I ever set foot in the Raptors locker room I was a fan of the Raptors. Maybe I can do that and start one of these blogs that seem to be becoming popular. This all happened at around 2am in the morning. So that is how the blog started. One last shot at doing what I love to do, with what I love to do the most, basketball and the Raptors.
Maybe that is why I tend to be very emotional about these kind of things and the relationship I have tried to build with readers. If I listed all of the things that have happened since that day it would take far to long. The fact, a guy named Scott Carefoot came along and gave me the opportunity to partner this blog with The Score. The fact, I now have access to some Raptor games as a part of the media thanks Jim LaBumbard. The fact that I have interviewed people in Raptors Media like Jack Armstrong, Paul Jones, Matt Devlin, Eric Smith and many others. All people that I respect and now hopefully respect me too. Not to mention interviewing players like T.J Ford, Demar DeRozan, Reggie Evans, Stephen Curry, Sonny Weems even Chris Bosh. It all seems pretty amazing. Former Raptors like Jerome Williams and Charles Oakley too. I have been on Radio Shows in Montreal and B.C and was even on The Fan 590 as a guest with Zack Cooper. I am not sure if I thought any of this, or all of this would happen. Now we are working with a company like Molson's makers of MGD to give you readers of this blog tickets to a Raptor game. All from an idea that I had at 2am in the morning. Taking my own personal bias out of it, that makes for a pretty amazing story even if it had not been about me.
I don't think that I expected one thing that has happened most of all. I touched on this on my Birthday in the blog. All of the people that I have got to know that are Raptor fans and readers of this blog. I never expected to make friends out of doing this blog at all. However, thanks to social media and all, that is what has happened. Getting to know all the people I have, has been an unexpected joy and a source of motivation to keep working hard. As much as I truly love doing this it wouldn't be the truth if I didn't say there were some days it is hard to do this. Sometimes based on how the Raptors are doing, or sometimes just because there are not enough hours in a day. On those days I think of many of you that have taken the time to express how much you enjoy and appreciate what I have been doing. Each time you make the choice to come to this blog it not only helps in terms of the blog's success in terms of a bottom line of hits and revenue and what not, it helps motivates me.
I will be the first to admit, that in terms of writing I am never going to win an award. I am sure the number of times that I have massacred the English language are many. However, the way I attempt to write is how I would speak with you as if we could have a conversation everyday. Eventually the future of this blog likely lies more in audio and video. I think anyone that has heard the interviews I do would likely agree with that, it makes total sense. Holly Mackenzie is a brilliant writer and I respect what she does a lot. My background is more in radio and television. But till the day comes I am doing a radio show or a t.v show, this blog is my home. This year has been a bit of a struggle to kind of figure out what the future of this blog should be. I think the days of it being my own personal thing are likely coming to an end. I even added some staff to the blog in an attempt to acknowledge that. It was not an easy choice to make. When you have built something up all on your own to let go of that even at little is far from easy.
So I finally decided that I would add both Anas and Danielle to the blog. Things did not work out with Anas but I still consider him one of the great people I have got to know from doing the blog. Danielle has the same background as me in terms of education. So blogging was something new for her like it was me. She has been reliable and has been a joy to work with. I think she is really starting to get the hang of things and anything she has not got the hang of is likely my fault. But to know I can count on her to do a professional job on things she is asked to do means a lot. She has a love for basketball as well and I felt would do well at this. I was actually surprised she took me up on the offer to do it. She has a resume media wise that is very impressive. I thank her for her contributions to the blog and am grateful to have her for as long as we can. I felt it was important to have a female as part of this blog. I have a great deal of respect for women in general and women in the sports field especially. It is not the easiest world to be in for a woman and you need to have thick skin and a great amount of talent to be.
As for the future when it comes to adding more people to the blog it likely will happen. I am just very particular about doing it. I am not going to let what I have built be impacted in a negative way by anyone. Not just for myself but for all of you. If people are going to work here they have to have same passion and caring that I do. Not just for basketball but for you the readers. I want people that put you first. If people want to come here to show off what they know, and in the process belittle you the reader, that is not going to fly. One thing I have tried my best to do is make the Dino Nation Blog welcoming to all fans, be it the diehard fan that knows a great deal about the sport, to the casual fan that may not be the most knowledgeable about the sport, but still loves it all the same. In the end in some ways The Raptors /MLSE, main stream media and bloggers all are in the same business or should be on one thing. Helping grow interest in the game that is basketball. That should be everyone's mission, and if it is not that, I really don't know why you would bother. People often are surprised that I tweet freely about my total lack of interest in hockey. In 3 years of doing this blog that has only grown. While I am not foolish enough to not realize that hockey in Canada will always have it's place as number one. I also feel that basketball should not be afraid to demand it's place and not have to bow down to hockey to do it. Basketball is a great entertaining sport and the fans of it are no less passionate or patriotic in comparison to hockey fans. Be it in this blog or where ever else I will always have a passion of doing my small part in sharing my love and passion for the sport with others. In the hope that they to will see the reason why basketball is a great sport based on it's own merits.
I have found this past year both rewarding and frustrating. I am never satisfied. While I take pride in everything that I have been able to accomplish with your support and my hard work. I also am frustrated that I can not do more and do better at times. I truly am my worst critic when it comes to everything. While 99% of the time I am projecting confidence and doing my very best to promote this blog and grow it. I also privately am constantly trying to think of ways that I can improve, and also this blog can improve as well. I think the thing that I will always fear most of all is complacency. It is my greatest enemy and it is the enemy of anyone that desires to do great things. While one of the expressions my father hated was 110% I do my very best to give my 100% to this blog and all of you. I truly look at this blog as my last chance to make my dreams and goals for myself happen. I do that now knowing that I have a lot of people that will root for me and support me in that mission. But I also doing that with the full knowledge that it will be me that makes it happen. The long hours that I invest in this is my dedication to that and to you. While like every year in the past I have no idea what lies ahead in year four of doing this. I know that it will involve me working hard and pushing myself to my limits.
Know that everything that I am doing is done with you the readers in mind. I want to make this a place that you are proud to say you come everyday. I want it to be something that you can take pride in as much as I do. While the Dino Nation Blog may never truly reach the size of an actual nation. I along with your help and support do my very best to grow it and develop it into something that we can all be proud of. It is something that I truly want to see grow and succeed to even higher levels. Whatever success I have begins with 2 things. My hard work and dedication and your support. So for those of you that have supported us over the last 3 years it is only right to thank you at this time every year and throughout the year as well. I may have started this but it is all of you that keep it alive.