Saturday, November 14, 2009

Eulogy for the Eliminated: The Serious Tip

Dearly Beloved,

Today we lay to rest this blog. Three years is a long time to write for one web site. Especially one as varied, unpredictable, and as one reader put it "mixed bag" as this one. And so it is with a heavy heart and just a wee bit of melancholy that I am closing down The Serious Tip and moving to

What exactly was The Serious Tip, anyway? Originally, this blog was going to be called "The Not So Serious Tip" - sort of a tribute to the old HBO show "Not Necessarily the News". But I figured the name was a little long and I didn't have a clue what I was going to write. I just had a name.

(For a lack of a prequel, consider this the start of my blogging history. I think I already told the story about how I read Jenn Sterger's blog and thought to myself, if she can do it, so can I. So I am not going to re-tell that part.)

So after I decided on The Serious Tip, I started writing. After a brief introduction, I actually began this blog as a humorous commentary on headlines and news events. That lasted all of one blog post. Then I started writing about sports. As a matter of fact, only four posts out of 36 during the rest of 2006 were on non-sports subjects. Writing about sports came easy, it was well-rewarded (many of my early posts were linked to on Deadspin and The Big Lead), and I always wanted to write sports commentary.

Throughout 2007 and 2008 I made a bit of a reputation for myself as a sports blogger. I cameo'ed on nearly a dozen other sites - from the small (If I Ran ...) to the successful and influential (Deadspin). I also made regular appearances at YaySportsNBA,, Pomp Culture, and Thunder Matt's Saloon. I met quite a few fellow sports bloggers, from the always verbose MC Bias to Cork Gaines of RaysIndex. I talked possibly freelance gigs and books with Jay Busbee and the possibility of interviewing the top of the NBA with Mike Tillery. I emailed back and forth with Will Leitch, Henry Abbott, Andrew Carter of the Orlando Sentinel, and countless others. I was part of the sports blog community.

Then 2009 happened.

If you haven't noticed, I have blogged less and less about sports this year. I don't know if my disinterest was because of the disintegration of the sports blog community or just a coincidence. I may be wrong, but it seemed that when Will Leitch left Deadspin and the new powers that be stopped reaching out to the little blogs, linking to their stories, and giving them a little shine, the air quickly left the sports blogging community. Gone were the links, the comments, and the love. Many sports bloggers around the country began scrambling to fill full time gigs at any half-brained website. Some made it to AOL, ESPN, Yahoo!, and the like, but most just faded into Mike Tyson's Bolivia. I was one of those.

But it wasn't only because the community was falling apart. I stopped writing about sports because I was getting bored. I am not a beat reporter, and I never have been. I am not an expert on economics, behavioral science, or race relations, and I am definitely not a statistician or medical expert. I had no angle to keep me in it. I was just a fan who got most of his sports from the very blogging community he was contributing to. I grew tired of looking for some niche, some angle, or some interesting perspective. Sometimes there was none. Other times I just didn't want to write, and that is the worst thing a writer can say. I didn't want to write.

Fortunately, right as my interest level fell to an all-time low, my company sent me on an overseas trip. That gave me time to think and play off the sudden drop in posts with the excuse that "I didn't have time" or "Sorry, I didn't have an internet connection". Both of which, if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, are not true in the least.

So for the last few weeks I've pulled out an old standby, the Eulogy for the Eliminated series. What was a fun and creative series last year, thinking up witty eulogies for eliminated baseball teams, became a drag on a site that became a burden. Or a burden on a site that became a drag. Either way, I was going through the motions.

And that brings us to today. Three years, two months, 555 posts, and probably close to a million (maybe?) words later, and we have finally reached the end of the tip. But all is of course not lost. I'll still be writing, still blogging, and still creating, just over at my new site, You can expect the same amount of irreverence, the same half-witted dry humor, the same attempts at satire, and the same random discussions on my varied tastes.

For my long term fans, however, I should warn you. I do intend on making two minor changes to my writing. My first goal is to make a bit more Tampa-centric. That means stories about my explorations and discoveries throughout the city I call home. My second change is I intend to write a bit more about me. I've always wanted to write about me more. To write about the people, places, and things in my life without reservation. Who knows, I might even slip in a post about my dating life, or lack there of. But don't bet on it.

Anyway, if you have enjoyed reading, perusing, or even belittling The Serious Tip over the last three years, I hope you follow me over to

In closing, before I say good-bye to this not-so-serious-yet-appropriately-named website, I would like to say thank you. Thank you to all the bloggers and writers who gave me advice and encouragement. Thank you to all the commentors - you folks made my day with your snide comments, put-downs, and occasional words of encouragement. And thank you, most of all, to the you, the reader. Although I would have still written without you, you made it worth while. Knowing that I averaged roughly 150 of you a day and that over the course of three-plus years over 250,000 of you from all over the world visited the site makes me quite proud.

And now, without further adieu, I present to you The Website. May you forever read and enjoy. And for The Serious Tip, may you, dear web site, Rest in Peace.

I'm out.

(Image created on request by Brian Spaeth of and the new web movie Who Shot Mamba?.)