Happy Anniversary to Me – Blogging Chicago Bears for 3 Years
Happy Anniversary to me! Please allow me to reflect on my three years as the lead blogger/editor of Bear Goggles On. It was a rough time personally for me. The economy was in the toilet and my company had just announced mandatory unpaid furloughs over the holiday. My wife was 7 months pregnant with our first child and I was desperate to try to find a way to make a few extra bucks.
I was scanning through Craigslist when I came across an ad looking for passionate Bears fans. As I read the posting seeking a new lead blogger for this Bears website with kind of a funky name, I thought to myself, “I can do that. I’m passionate; I have a strong opinion about the Bears that I enjoy sharing with others. I’ll give it a shot.”
When I exchanged calls with the FanSided founders, I quickly realized that this was not going to be a supplemental income that would make up for the lost salary and provide for my unborn child. But it was an escape. It was a place to go to channel my energy and anxiety and share my thoughts about something I’m passionate about. So on December 6, 2008 I accepted the then-unpaid position as lead blogger for Bear Goggles On and I’ve been blogging about the Chicago Bears ever since.
Over those three years, we’ve had our ups and downs with the Chicago Bears. We just missed the playoffs at the end of ’08, had a horrific ’09 and bounced back to get to the NFC Championship game last season. We had Brian Urlacher miss nearly an entire season, the Jay Cutler trade, Lovie Smith nearly fired (was he really ever going to lose his job?) and Julius Peppers came to town. We’ve seen Devin Hester return his way into the NFL record books and continue to frustrate us with his grasp of the wide receiver position. He said good bye to Ron Turner and hello to Mike Martz and are likely to say good bye to Mike Martz within a few weeks.
Here’s a glimpse back on that first post, originally published on December 6, 2008:
"Hello fellow Bears fans!!! Let me take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Mike Burzawa, but those closest to me know me as Boomer. It’s a nickname that I’ve had for many, many years (long before I ever heard of that guy on ESPN) and I thought I’d post under that alias. I’m the new lead blogger for Bear Goggles On (I can’t take credit for the name), where I’ll be sharing my views and perspectives on the team we all love.I’m a lifelong Chicagoan and a die hard fan of Da Bears. I’ve been around for the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I mean, what was your favorite moment of the Cade McNown era??? The end, if you ask me!!! I have been going on an annual trip to an away Bears game for the last 13 years, so I’ve seen many different sports cities and I’m here to tell you that Chicago fans are second to none!!! As the greatest fans in the NFL, we deserve the greatest blog. I’ll do my best, but I’ll need your help.I plan to share my take on the team and give a true fan’s perspective. Every once in a while, I’ll put the “Bear” goggles on and sip the Orange and Blue Kool Aide, but I’ll also “Lower the Boom” when I think it’s called for.Most of all, I want to have some fun and the best way to do that is through your participation, so please feel free to comment, e-mail and share this site with other Bears fans.Thanks to Adam and Zach Best at www.fansided.com for giving me this opportunity. By the way, if you’re looking for a blog on any of the other 31 NFL teams, check them out. And now, on with the blogging…BEAR DOWN!!!!"
I still did that BEAR DOWN thing back then, but didn’t know how to change the size of the font or color.
After being at this for three years, I’m pretty happy with the progress the website has made. We’ve added a couple of friends that help chip in with their opinions. Some have come and gone, some are more consistent contributors than other, but I’m grateful to one and all.
We’ve done well to grow this little site over the years, but I want to do better. I think an anniversary is a good time for self assessment and taking a look at what we’re doing and trying to improve.
Most important is where I’d like the site to be and I need your help. There are still other Bears sites that draw more comments and get more reader interaction. What can I/we do to become more engaged? How do I get you to participate? What kinds of topics/features would you like to see? What do we do today that you don’t like? Please post your feedback in the Comment or if you don’t want to publicize your criticism, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for three great years and many more to come!