Today fireworks will be lit, stories will be told about the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence, but for me this holiday has a bit of a double meaning. As chance would have it, two years ago around this time my brother, one of our best friends and I were considering starting out own Baltimore Sports blog, not knowing at the time how it would be turn out. We decided to name our blog Around the Harbor to celebrate our hometown, and tried to give the best coverage and opinion on Baltimore sports in the blogosphere. Just by luck it turned out that our opening post was put up on July 4th, 2008, to have a run of a year and a half before we moved on to join this experimental confederation of blogs that became known as the Baltimore Sports Report.
Over time our friend Dave Vatz (known on Around the Harbor as Falco) moved on to join the Washington Nationals organization (and thus wasn’t able to write for us anymore) and my brother Will (known on ATH as Windsor) was simply too burned out to continue. However, his “Prospect Reports” from his scouting of Orioles prospects is still journalistic gold to me and I refer to them often to get predictions on O’s prospects- most of which have turned out pretty close to reality so far. I think he saw Zach Britton coming long before the rest of us.
As the last of our trio to continue blogging, I have to use this anniversary to give a shout-out to my former compatriots and current loyal readers of BSR. When we closed our doors in late 2009, the opportunity to join BSR came forward, with the resources and expertise of over a half-dozen other Maryland sports bloggers. The result is what you see every day here, and I can’t believe how far things have come from that first makeshift blogspot blog I tried to start at my college radio station three years ago.
I actually had no interest in blogging before spending a summer working for a public policy group in D.C. (where much of my distaste for our neighbors comes from), helping spew vitriol at candidates and politicians for their decisions on this and that, becoming completely turned off to politics in the process. However, one project was to analyze political blogs in all 50 states to determine which were the most successful and why. I left there determined to bring the new generation of media to my other interests, and left D.C. having created a blog for the student-run sports radio station at the University of Michigan, WCBN.
One of my first posts was a breakdown of the then-upcoming Appalachian State-Michigan game, where I went position-by-position and became a bit uneasy at how well they seemed to match up against Michigan’s biggest weaknesses. All the places the Wolverines had struggled in their previous 11-2 campaign seemed poised to be exploited. Then again however, this was Michigan, and their opponents, though talented, were still a 1-AA squad. I predicted a final score of Michigan 31, App. State. 17. All that week I received comment after comment about how ridiculous my analysis was, that U-M would crush App. State. Well, after the game there weren’t quite as many comments, though as a Michigan fan I wasn’t one to be happy about it.
After some journalistic disputes (I decided to run a story that the Athletic Department wouldn’t have approved of, though the facts were solid) I stepped down from the blog and started planning for the opening of Around the Harbor. Now, two years after starting ATH, I have to be grateful not only to Will and Dave but to the great guys at BSR who are committed as anyone to bringing quality, uncensored (but not unedited) news and opinion to the Charm City fan base.
Have a wonderful Fourth of July everyone, let’s be grateful the fireworks weren’t coming off the Red Sox’ bats.