Twenty years ago this month I started posting MetroStars news and tidbits to my personal website. From this modest beginning, with the addition of MLS and USMNT news, grew the BigSoccer we've all come to know and (mostly) love. Today it's time for me to say goodbye, and welcome some new folks to shepherd the site forward.
I love soccer. My grandpa and I argued about Chinaglia as Cosmos season ticket holders. My brother and I cheer for Flamengo even when they're breaking our hearts. The MetroStars/Red Bulls alienated me into the arms of NYCFC. The World Cup takes over my life every four years with blessings from the missus and kiddos. And for some unknown reason I support Watford.
My kids and their kids will get to enjoy top flight domestic competition, and that's important to me. Major League Soccer is not just here to stay, but continues to get better and matter more each and every year. Our little BigSoccer community played a small part in that. We've had supporters organize for teams and stadiums. We've had players, coaches, and league officials connect directly with their fans, even during the darkest days when those fans were hard to find. And much more.
I've had the privilege of meeting many of you, in pubs, at qualifiers, tailgating before matches, and randomly in some strange airports. I'm awed by the stories of friendships made on this site, spouses met through our community, and tributes to the departed shared amongst friends and fellow fans. I want to thank each and every one of you for making this community special.
I want to specifically thank all of our moderators, past and present, for leading the charge and making our corner of the Internet habitable. And I must give a most special shout out to Mark, our Dark Knight, for being the fair and fearless leader that BigSoccer needs. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
And now to introduce Andy.
I belong to a non-profit forum for large forum owners that's run by a guy named Andy who's really passionate about forums. Every so often he would contact me with ideas for BigSoccer but I never found the time to implement most of them. He's one of the most passionate forum people you will ever meet and he understands each site/community is unique.
Last year we put out some feelers to see if we could find a buyer for BigSoccer. None of the big sports related media companies stepped forward so we decided to see if Andy might be interested. In July we worked out a deal and BigSoccer will become part of the Social Knowledge network of forum communities.
I communicated with Andy at length about how the site runs and our desire to see it blossom in the future, and I sat down with DK over drinks last month. Andy's very receptive to listening and help find solutions to make the site better. He has a few people on the team that he works with including a programmer who can install and develop forum add-ons. I feel confident that you all will enjoying having them as part of the BigSoccer team.
It is a bittersweet moment for me because BigSoccer has been part of my life for so long. I can't think of anyone else who's as passionate about forums as Andy and feel comfortable knowing that he has the time and know how to invest in the site. I think you will be refreshed to see that he and his team are regularly available and willing to help as needed.
I'll be here, enjoying the fruits of his labor, as a fan again.