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And This Too Shall Pass (A New Era Begins For Purple Row)

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One never quite knows what to say in situations like these. In 2005, I found this neat little blog on the SB Nation network called Purple Row and finally found a place to discuss the Rockies with other like-minded fans. A year later SB Nation's president, Tyler Bleszinski, asked me to take over Purple Row just a few days before the start of the 2006 season. That was the start of an amazing journey.

Back in the early days of the network we were a baseball-centered network to begin with (Athletics Nation was the first SB Nation blog, you know). Purple Row was but a small part of the network, placing in the very bottom of network traffic. But the drive for traffic was never what made Purple Row succeed. It was not only the high-quality articles written for the site by Rox Girl, but also the superb commitment of the community to fostering a constructive dialogue. Those of who were here around here during 2005 and 2006 know who you are. 

And then came 2007. I finally met another Rockies fan when I saw Silverblood at a late April Rockies-Mets game. It was the game John F'n Mabry hit a three-run homer to help the Rockies beat the Mets. Eventually the Rockies started to roll that season and we had Rocktober. Rocktober is that wonderful feeling we have in October when the Rockies are charging their way through the playoffs. There will never be anything like Rocktober 2007 when the Rockies won 21 of 22 games to make it to the World Series: Todd Helton hitting a walkoff home run against the Dodgers in Tuesday double header game; Matt Holliday touching the plate in Game #162; Kaz Matsui hitting a grand slam off of Kyle Lohse; the lights going out at Coors Field; and Todd Helton exulting over the Rockies' NLCS victory.

Even though the Rockies lost the World Series, there was no better time to be a Rockies fan.

In 2008, Purple Row transitioned to its current form, and that's when the site really started to grow. We had the 22-inning game that required the site's first overflow thread. I still kick myself for going to sleep. I believe Clint Hurdle said something like, "That's the beauty of baseball," in describing that game. Indeed, baseball is a beautiful game. Even as the Rockies season failed to gain traction, we were still watching our guys out there on the field. But it felt like Purple Row had begun to stagnate during the season as well.

So in 2009 we added a staff to the site: weekly columnists, regular contributors. Quantity and quality helped improve the site. And the Rockies were back to playing October baseball, if only for a few games. As we entered the offseason, we wanted to do more with Purple Row and added Rowbot Radio in early 2010. Though the comments to the Rowbot Radio posts may not always be voluminous Andrew and Greg do a great job. Year Two will only make it that much better.

But somewhere along the way I began to wonder about the possibilities of trying to bring together the Colorado sports blogs in the SB Nation network to create a "traveling carnival" that would showcase the best of the best from around the Colorado blogs. Thought I had preliminary discussions with the other bloggers about this, nothing happened.

However, one day in late April of 2010 I received a call from Blez and he introduced the idea of regional sites on the network, Denver being one of the first 20 to launch. It sounded like an even grander idea than the one I had, so when Tyler asked me to run the Denver regional there was no way I could say no. They were putting a huge investment into these sites and I didn't want to disappoint them. So big, that company president Jim Bankoff sent me out to Denver for the launch party we had at the Blake Street Tavern. I fell in love with the city, and while I don't know how long it will take me to move out to Denver, I will.

After SB Nation Denver launched on June 28, it was time to go hard at making the site a success. The light-hearted joke around here is, "Who reads SB Nation Denver?" Actually, the answer is several thousand individuals a day. Now my staff and I are finally getting the hang of how to generate traffic. But traffic is not the be all and end all of SB Nation Denver. We still want to deliver SB Nation-quality writing, which I believe we do.

At some point I just didn't give as much attention to Purple Row because of SB Nation Denver. I still loved watching the Colorado Rockies every night, but I devolved more and more of the writing to others. I stopped doing the Rockpiles and only kept up with the Pebble Reports. I was barely able to get Know Your Foe done on time.

At one point I just gave up moderating the site at all. All the crap that happened between PR members and other sites just turned me off. Eventually I just moved on, but I still have a bad taste in my mouth from all of that.

I had planned an elaborate offseason of posts, but just never found the time to start it. So I spent the month of October thinking over my role on Purple Row. Earlier this week, Eric Simon, the baseball league manager, and I came to a mutual agreement that I will step down as the primary blogger on Purple Row. In fact, I already have, and Andrew Martin is now your new overlord. Congratulations, Andrew!

For me, I will now concentrate on SB Nation Denver. However, that does not mean I have abandoned Purple Row completely. I'll still be around plenty here--I just won't be the man in charge anymore. I'll work behind the scenes to continue to expand Purple Row's presence on the Internet.

While I am not leaving, I still feel as though I do need to thank several of you during my tenure here on Purple Row.

  • Rox Girl - Without you there never would have been a Purple Row.
  • Andrew, Andrew, Jeff, Bryan, Greg - You guys have been great to work with and have done wonders in developing Purple Row over the last two years. Keep it up.
  • Silverblood - You know why.
  • David OhNo -  Since you joined the site back in the beginning, your knowledge of baseball has immensely helped my thinking about the sport.
  • Muzia, UZ, theshiva, AtkinsandTuloFan, coolopotamus, The Lodo Magic Man, mkorpal - for a great time in Denver.
  • RdRnnr and his family - For being far too kind in offering me a place to stay while on my trip to Colorado.

And to the rest of Purple Row, because it would be far too long to list everyone!

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