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Goodbye, and thank you

NCAA FOOTBALL: NOV 05 Oregon State at Stanford Photo by Allan Hamilton/ Iconsportswire

As the coronavirus, or Covid-19, sweeps the country, infecting thousands of people and forcing millions into their homes to exercise social distancing, writing about the end of my short era at SB Nation might seem like a contrite indulgence of my ego. (As many of you know, the reason for my departure, like so many who work and write for blogs covering teams in California, is law AB 5, which you can read more about here.) However, I only mean to thank the loyal readers who have been tuning into my thoughts for four years. If this manages to take a few people’s minds off the pandemic we are fighting daily, then I will consider this piece a small victory to close my time at this blog.

I started for Rule of Tree back in 2016; as I finished out my sophomore year of college, I went on a hunt to write about sports that I loved to watch. To that point, my experience amounted to a play-by-play hockey broadcast for the Minnesota State Mavericks (my first job in first media) and some freelance work for local papers covering high school sports (my second). To put it mildly, I was pretty green.

But I still wanted to cover teams that captured the big stage, that people outside of the athlete’s parents wanted to read about and discuss, teams with vibrate fan bases, rich histories and complex stories to dive into every week of the season.

With such limited experience, I needed a place willing to take on a young but ambitious writer, giving me a platform to mold into a journalist. In stepped the SB Nation, and its blog openings page. I applied to around a dozen sites, and Rule of Tree gave me a chance. In that first year, I wrote a lot of articles for zero pay. Looking back, I would guess that probably two were decent, but I worked with editors week after week to sharpen my writing and find my voice.

And through it all, you kept reading, coming back, watching my growth. You are a smart community of sports fans, deeply tied into Stanford’s teams, and unwilling to stand for the opinions of someone one does not put in the time to know the team like you.

But my efforts were not in vain, moving from unpaid whippersnapper to one of the site managers. Following four years of work, hundreds of articles and countless hours watching games, pouring over numbers and conducting interviews, I look back, knowing that I invested my time wisely by doing the best job I knew how for this community.

Now, my hope is this is not my last article for SB Nation. I hope I can continue working with the new team covering sports in California. But if this is my last hurrah, I could not have asked for a better community or group of writers, to call my SB Nation family.

So, whether you enjoyed my pieces over the years, or enjoyed picking apart my work in the comments, I would like to thank every reader that gave my craft a little of your time, it means the world to me that we could share a common passion. And thank you to the staff that I have had the privilege of working with over the years. Saturdays will not be the same without you.

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