I wanted to take a minute to let all of you readers in on a little secret. Sometime in the last two days, The Bent Musket hit a major milestone: 100,000 total page views. It's taken a year on the network, but we're finally there, and it's worth announcing because I, and the entire staff, owe it all to you loyal readers.
I started this blog almost on a whim, having tired of the New England Revolution section of American Soccer News and the Revs beat, or half-beat, for Goal.com. One day on twitter I asked Jeremiah Oshan why there wasn't a Revs blog on SB Nation - he replied by asking if I wanted to run it. Two days and a Wordpress page later, and The Bent Musket was born. After several months of paperwork and wrangling some of the techies here at SBN, The Bent Musket launched on the network on March 6th, 2011 with this post announcing our presence. Take a minute to read it, and then read the comments - I made a comment that was absolutely flipping prophetic and I want to show off.
I forged ahead on my own with almost no experience in running a blog and only limited experience with sports journalism in general. I managed to get access to game credentials and sort of learned by doing, leaning on friends like Hank Alexandre of the Midnight Ride Podcast, and Sean Donahue and Brian O'Connell of New England Soccer Today. The early parts of the journey were full of wonder and new ground - establishing series posts, tracking the Rajko Lekic transfer saga, and learning to balance my real job with this.
As summer approached, I made one of the best decisions of my young career and brought on Corey Major to help me out. I expected Corey to contribute one post per week - he started his Postgame Hangover series and started out-drawing ME. With his help, I endeavored to increase and expand TBM's coverage of the Revolution, and we managed to do just that through the aid of a very timely but unfortunate incident.
Covering Fortgate was an interesting exercise for me, because as a fan I was livid about what had happened, but as a blogger I knew I needed to keep a (relatively) level head and report on it as best I could, because it was a major, major opportunity to grab some attention. It paid off. I crested 10,000 page views in a day after this post dropped, and I was picked up and quoted by local and national outlets everywhere. It was a proud day, and Corey and I fought to capitalize on the increased interest by increasing coverage.
I'll also never forget how running this blog gave me the chance to speak with Marko Perovic via Facebook, allowing me to hear and report his side of the story of his acrimonious exit. As summer dragged on, both Corey and I fell behind due to our work schedules, but the fall and winter were our opportunity to bounce back.
I took on my good friend Matty Jollie, who is a beloved contributor now. The three of us worked tirelessly to deliver good offseason coverage, and though we lagged at times, I feel we did the best we could all things considered. Now, with the season just beginning, an eventful offseason behind us, and another new writer in Brendan Schimmel (who is the one who noticed the 100k milestone, actually), I feel like The Bent Musket is poised for big things in 2012. Maybe we'll get to 200k in half the time!
So here's to all of you. I can't thank you enough for reading and sticking with us, and I know I speak for all of my writers when I say that we do it more for you than for ourselves.