In Ecclesiastes, Chapter Three, it is written "To every thing there is a season..." and indeed there is as such.
And that's true here at Outside The Sidelines, too. There was a time to begin and a time to grow, and now there is a time to move on.
At bottom, I'm just a football junkie, nothing more. If there are two teams fighting over a pigskin, I want to see it. Football is, in my opinion, the greatest sport in the world, and the competitive qualities of the game can, and often do, bring out the best in men. And beyond that, I love in-depth analysis, and have for nearly all of my adult life. For years, though, I always thought of football as a simplistic game, and it really didn't satiate the my desire for complicated things. Oh sure, I loved the game nonetheless, but it was in a passionate, non-analytical sense.
And then I started reading sites like Football Outsiders, and trying to understand the game on a technical level. Once I did those things, I realized that the game of football was just as complicated and complex as any thing you would ever find in the academic world, and that really sparked a fire for me. It really just combined two things that I love: football and in-depth analysis, and it just took things to a new level for me in that sense.
So, all of the number crunching and the analysis you've seen around here the past few months were basically all things I did on my own. I never really did it so I could do a blog or anything of that nature, I just did it because, well, I wanted to know those things. It was just that once you have the research already done, you may as well publish it for those who want to know. And thus the creation of Outside the Sidelines.
Unfortunately, not too many people are interested in those things. The sad truth is that the overwhelming majority of people would much rather believe the quick-hitters from the talking heads and their cliches, rather than reading some real in-depth analysis that shows you how things really are. Sad enough, that's generally the truth. For every one person that reads the wonderful work at Football Outsiders, there are tens of thousands who listen to the misleading, pointless, and baseless drivel from ESPN.
Honestly, though, there's quite a few people who are apparently interested in the real in-depth analysis. I never expected Outside The Sidelines to be much of a success in terms of readers, but honestly it's done much better than expected. At this point, we're getting around 300 readers per day, and we're probably going to get 6,000 or 7,000 for the month. Honestly, I never imagined it would do this well; I'd been happy with 30 readers per day.
But, as Ecclesiastes tells us, "To every thing there is a season." And now is the time to move on.
I have been asked by the guys at Roll Bama Roll to join their site as a writer, and I've decided to accept their offer. Roll Bama Roll is a fine site -- in my eyes, the best 'Bama blog on the Internet -- and they want me to do what I've been doing here, just at their site. They've got a much bigger reader base than I do, and I think it's the best move. At the end of the day, it will just make what research that I do available to many, many more people.
Nothing is going to change, mind you. We're going to do the exact same research that we have done here, it will just be at a new site. The only thing that you will change is that you will have to go to rollbamaroll.com, instead of outsidethesidelines.blogspot.com, to read it. And actually, things will get much better. We're going to chart games this year, and we're going to be able to do some advanced analysis that will make what we've done thus far look elementary. To borrow a line from Bachman-Turner Overdrive, "You ain't seen nothing yet!"
As said earlier, the move is for the best. And for all of the research we've done so far, Outside The Sidelines will remain up, so you'll still be able to access all that has been done thus far.
Nevertheless, for better or for worse, to all of the readers of Outside The Sidelines, I extend to you a heartfelt thanks for taking the time -- and I realize it generally takes a lot of time to read the things around here -- to read through all of the analysis that I have done over the past few months.
I hope that you all will join us at Roll Bama Roll. Rest assured, if you liked what you read here, you won't be disappointed.