Lately, I’ve been wondering if, now that I’ve moved out of Wyoming, I should keep this blog going.
Every week for the past seven years — four at the Casper Star-Tribune, three here — I’ve picked winners and losers of every varsity game in the state. I’ve always attempted to keep it lighthearted. This was supposed to be fun. After all, everything I’ve compiled here is simply a record of children playing games. That’s all.
The real truth is much more complicated than that.
High school football is community identity and community overemphasis. It’s discipline and creativity. It’s hero worship and hero destruction. It’s glue and divisiveness. It’s pride and shame. It’s growing up and staying young. It’s over-masculine and emasculating.
It’s never as simple as we think it is. That’s why I’ve tried so hard here to expose bits and pieces of the history of Wyoming high school football. This game in many ways exposes who we are both as individual communities and as a state: what we value, what we despise, what we celebrate, what we ignore and what we reject.
In many ways, the blog has been a blessing. I’ve met some fantastic people and had fantastic conversations that I would not have otherwise had. My love for this sport and this state has been reciprocated tenfold.
But I think it would be foolhardy to think I could serve the players, coaches and fans in Wyoming as well as I possibly can from my current geographic location. There is only so much I can do from Fargo, and I know it’s not enough to do everything I’ve tried to do in the past.
So, for now, my plan is this: I’ll still do my picks, albeit in a truncated form, and I’ll still ruminate here on a (mostly) weekly basis throughout the season. But I can’t — and shouldn’t — devote the amount of time I have in the past. I will never completely abandon this site, but it’s unreasonable for me to think I can do what I’ve done with this blog in previous years now that I’m living in North Dakota.
My plan now is to immerse myself a bit in the North Dakota/Minnesota football scene; if you’re curious, you can check out my (hopefully) weekly ruminations here.
Thanks for everything the past seven years, and please keep coming back as I work on the next 70.
Additionally, if you like what I’ve done the past seven years, please consider showing as much by purchasing my book, A Century of Fridays. Your purchase will help keep the site afloat — and in exchange, you get a book that is worth way more than the purchase price, in terms of time and sacrifice. It’s 596 pages for a reason.
I’ve been giving it up for free for seven years. I don’t think asking for about $30 — in return for seven years, plus your access to an awesome high school football reference that may just have your name in it, or the name of your father, or brother, or son — is too much.
Thanks for considering my little sales pitch….