By Chris Schisler
Raise a glass Ravens Flock. This one is for you. I want to thank you on this day we call Thanksgiving. I used to have a much bigger platform. Just think, I used to get 50 posts out a month no matter what. When I was at this bigger publication (which will be nameless because the real ones know what’s up) I thought of my writing as a career path. I needed to get up content because it was a job and i desperately wanted to work in football. For the ones who’ve followed @Footballman58 on Twitter from the beginning, you know how much I love this game.
Hopefully the Flock needed me, I know I needed this:
I took a little bit of a pause when this big platform I had was lost to me. What was it all for? What did I do everything for? Was I passionate about this pursuit anymore? Did I just waste six years of my life publishing over 600 posts a year (400-500 that I’d write myself rather than leaving to my contributors)? I was lost. I was a bit salty and more than anything I needed a reason to keep going.
When I started this website it all came back. It was the fresh excitement of starting a brand and the spark of trying to build something. Most importantly it was the fun of writing about my favorite thing on this crazy little world we call Earth, Baltimore Ravens football. I started doing things I couldn’t do at my last stop at the editorial subway. I made my own constitution.
The first thing I needed to do was to determine what I was doing this for. I couldn’t do this thinking I’d be a big shot. It wasn’t about showing my former employer up -bitterness is a self-defeating poison. When I thought about why I was doing this, it boiled down to the simple truth that this is fundamentally what I do. I’m a football man. I’m a writer. Without an outlet, I may as well be a schizophrenic mad man walking the streets in unwashed clothes screaming about Greg Roman’s play-calls on third down.
So the first thing that mattered to me was quality. I stopped writing every single day. Writing hasn’t happened on a no matter what basis. When I could give you the best quality content that I could provide I got to my keyboard. When I wasn’t feeling it, it didn’t happen, because that meant you could tell. I wear my emotions on my sleeve and the degree of passion I’m feeling is always felt in my written word. That’s a promise, not an ideal or a goal.
Part of the Flock:
The fact that I have fairly consistently given you content tells me how much the Purple and Black Nest means to me. I appreciate every single subscriber, reader, and passerby. I do this because I love the Ravens. I’m part of the Ravens Flock. When Trent Dilfer hit Brandon Stokely down the seam in Super Bowl XXXV
I was an 11-year-old boy jumping up for joy. When Joe Flacco went 92 yards in Heinz Field to sweep the Steelers the Ravens conquered demons and I felt an inspiring boost. When Lamar Jackson picked up a fourth down against the Chiefs I rejoiced to know that there was nothing that the Ravens Flock couldn’t achieve. Everything in the world was possible.
My dream is to always be connected to the game I love. Football charges me like the yellow sun charges Superman. My goal is to give the Ravens Flock something to read or listen to, that’s content that comes from one of their own. I want to elevate the conversation and to share all I have to give. I take pride knowing that Ravens fans know I’m not just a sportswriter, I’m their sports writer.
When I found myself disconnected from my big platform, I needed something to save me. I needed to know my purpose was still there for me. The Purple and Black Nest was my way out of a spiraling feeling of negative corrosive emotions. It was the main ingredient to me finding a better state of mind. I got some help thinking about what mattered to me and I kept going on with my mission.
A special thank you to:
I’d like to thank my family. They gave me the strength to keep going. They are my biggest fans. I’d like to thank John Langley, my best friend on the planet. He’s always there for me and nobody does Ravens vent sessions better than he does. John may not be part of PBN, but he’s a big reason that it exists. He made me believe in my purpose in a way that nobody else ever has. I consider him a brother and I thank him for that connection.
Thank you to Ashley Anderson. She jumped on board from the word go. Ashley gave this site a voice other than my own and she’s got quite the wisdom and perspective to help the conversation. I would like to thank her for being part of a very small team and for being a captain in our mission to connect Ravens fans with the blog they need.
Thank you to Michael Natelli. He’s a voice you’ll hear from every now and then from this site. Most importantly he’s a friend who gives great advice and encouragement. I appreciate him more than words can express. Ronald Toothe, Darin McCann, Garrett Ferguson, Richard Bradshaw, Jiji Nakaba, and my boy Hugh, all deserve a standing ovation for being in my corner and being my friends even though I’ve never met them in person.
There’s a lot of people I didn’t mention. The moral of the story is that I love this site. I love what I do and I am so glad that being part of the Ravens Flock and the Ravens’ blogging community has kept my purpose alive. I appreciate it to the end of the world and back.