Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Open Letter

I am writing this as simply an open letter to all followers of the blog.

I graduated high school in 1997 and went off to college at NC State. I spent a year there studying engineering. While there, I attended almost every basketball game in historic Reynolds Coliseum. The atmosphere was always electric. I did some of the camp outs to get good student seats and went to games early just to get to stand on the bleachers behind the team benches. I even stood out in sleet one afternoon for a couple of hours to get tickets to the postseason NIT games.

At the end of that freshman year, I had come to the realization that NC State wasn't the right university for me. Don't mistake this for me failing out. I had very good grades. I just didn't like the class sizes and didn't enjoy the professors. It wasn't a good fit and it was time for a change.

That fall I transferred to UNCG and instantly fell in love with the place. One thing that I did bring with me from NCSU, though, was my love for attending basketball games. I'm not sure I missed very many of them over the course of 3 years. While friends would stay at home to watch Duke or UNC on a random Wednesday night, I would go over to little Fleming Gym and cheer on the Spartans.

Since graduating in 2001, I've managed to make it to huge portion of the games. I've had season tickets for the past 4 years. I've been to so many road games that I've lost count. I've watched G play in the preseason and postseason NIT. I dragged my very pregnant wife to the SoCon tournament a few years ago because I was convinced the Spartans had a run in them.

I started this blog in November of 2008 basically because there was nothing in the way of an Internet presence for UNCG with the exception of a small message board. I thought it would be cool to start a dialogue about my university's basketball program with anyone that would listen. I wanted this site to be a cheerleader for UNCG basketball and to show people that there were people associated with this school that actually rooted for UNCG's basketball team. Since starting the blog, I have had the chance to meet a bunch of people associated with the program. Also I've met some normal, nice folks who just come out to the games and like to talk basketball. I have met a network of other UNCG fans through a now vastly expanded message board. I have had the chance to talk basketball with a bunch of different blog and websites all over the country and to spread the word that UNCG fans care about their basketball program. I am very thankful for and proud of all of these things.

At the very top of this site there is a disclaimer that basically states that everything that is written here is mostly my opinion with some unchecked facts mixed in for fun. I will help everyone to read between the lines that I am an early 30's, partially balding, white guy that possesses absolutely zero talent in the sport of basketball. I have never played or coached a single minute of meaningful basketball in my entire life. I have tried to convince others much smarter about the sport than me to write here, but all have declined. So, it simply has been me writing based on knowledge I've gained sitting in front of the TV or court side. I've mixed in some tongue-in-cheek clips with movie lines that summed up how I felt from time to time. I've tried not to veer off into anything that wasn't somehow related to UNCG basketball.

In the time since I started this blog, I've became a father, got a major promotion and started a new side career. All of this has left with very little free time to actually devote to the day-to-day updates that come during the actual season.

At the start of this season, I decided to really commit to this blog and site. I wanted to really work hard to keep it up to date and looking good. I even decided to pay more attention to my twitter account. I really wasn't aware of how much of an information tool that has become lately.

Two nights ago, I watched my Spartans get beaten substantially by our cross town rivals, NC A&T. The meltdown afterwards by this fan base has been quite intense. I have been right in the middle of it. I hated losing, but the manner in which it happened was completely shocking. I have since made some angered comments over this site, twitter and the forum which probably skirt the line of bad taste. For that, I accept the blame.

However, I have spent more time that I care to add up today exchanging emails with people discussing comments made by current and former UNCG players over twitter about all of posters over at the forum. According to the things that I read, most of the posters are not true fans, haters, jock sniffers and fair weather groupies. It is quite obvious that the forum (and by extension this blog) is not appreciated or welcomed by the team.

Thus, I have decided to take some time away from posting anything in the forum and I will not be updating the blog indefinitely. I do not want to spend any time or effort on something that is not in the best interest of the program that I absolutely care about. I may start back at some point, but right now I think it's best to step away for a bit. I don't make any money off of this site and certainly spend way too much time on it that could be spent in other places. I have always written here because it was fun. After reading those things today, doing this instantly lost all of its appeal. I apologize if my reasoning seems a little juvenile or thin skinned. I just think it's the right time to make this move. I really hope this is just temporary and I'll have a change of heart soon. But who knows.

So, until the next post ...

Go Spartans !!!


Anonymous said...

Hey sir, Good morning...

I hope that you'll reconsider your decision sooner than later. As a very, very new visitor and even newer poster to your site, I find it disheartening to learn of your decision to "step away".

Independent journalistic integrity is lacking globally and for someone to get involved in this depth shows a truly meaningful attempt to bring a different view to the table. Your integrity cannot be questioned solely based upon the views of individuals who probably have no knowledge of anything outside of their own opinion. That's basically because they don't wish to find out what truly goes on "behind the scenes". You bare your soul and people will always anonymously step on it because they're not willing to take a greater responsibility in learning what is factual and what is nonsense.

I've not had to chance to be in North Carolina for the better part of a few months; hopefully in the next few, I'll have to opportunity to be in your fine state to see what's going on. I appreciate all that you've shared about your community because its because of those with an uncluttered view, like your blog, that interests those who participate in basketball from outside your area, in the product that UNCG has to offer...and believe me, from an East Coaster there's a lot to offer.

Where will I get my Spartan Hoop fix now??

Don't go...we might not always agree but that's cool...leaving it will not solve the problem.

Stay blessed young man!!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I live in Wisconsin now and your my only good connection to what is happening with UNCG. I have been following you for a few years and I hope you reconsider.

Dash said...

thanks for the nice words. I will reconsider. I'm just miffed right now. For a littel backstory of what I am miffed about ...

Anonymous said...

Dash, you have to develop just as thick skin about your blog, as the UNCG basketball players need to develop about their play on the court. Don't stop blogging, if you do, you are the loser.

Dash said...

no worries, guys. I'll be back to blogging in a few days. working on something right now.

I'm thinking of changing the format a bit, though. I'll have more info coming.

Anonymous said...

I should say. I was a huge fan of UNCG Basketball when I attended school. I tried to attend every game I could and developed a group of friends that had a theme for all of our games. We were die hard fans and being from North Carolina I wanted the best possible basketball program since this is a basketball state.

Dash your blog keeps me informed with what the schools program is doing. I have been screaming for Mike Dements job for years. Call me a bad fan but fans get opinions too, and we want to be able to voice our opinions with the fact our program hasn't lived up to it's potential in years!

Dash you should continue your awesome blogging and don't let your awesome writing stop you!

Anonymous said...

I don't why the Coach want let Cody play Cody could score for this team Why is Cole not playing-- He was a starter as a freshman?

Anonymous said...

I don't know why Cody is not given a chance by the coach-- Cody could average 10 to 15 if given a chance-- Why is Cole not even given a chance to play? He is a former starter