Well folks, the time has come. Time to put away the keyboard and step away from the public stage. The hardest part next season will be trying to voice my opinion to an audience of three as opposed to an audience of thousands.
MUSIC: I think this song is appropriate for the final article, but I don't know why. Regardless, it's a Smashing Pumpkins song nobody ever plays, and yet one of their best. You could say I'm diggin' for the feel of something new...
Does anybody remember what this site was like initially, though? Here's my introduction from the very first article, way back in 2007:
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the "breaking ground" of the Joker Report. This is a site that will embrace college football throughout the 2007 season, specifically following the defensive back positions (corners, safeties, rovers, etc.), in an attempt to bring an unbiased scouting report on the young men who play the sport we all wish we could. The name is Joker, and I'll be your captain this season. Nice to meet you, now let's get started.
If you ask around, everyone has an opinion on just about anything. If you ask a football fan who the best DB in the land is for 2007, they'll tell you. Where do they get that information? From media outlets, websites, preseason rankings, and *very* casual observations. Hell, if you really think about it, who actually sits down and watches the defensive backs from start to finish on a play? Answer: nobody, at least not the average fan. They'll just fall back on that mob mentality and blurt out a name everyone else says (i.e.--Champ Bailey in NFL).
Well, Joker don't play that. I am not naming anybody preseason anything. You have to prove it on the field, in front of my scrutinizing eyes, before I rank you anywhere. With me, you will not get by on name alone, nor popularity, where you went to high school, where you currently go to college, who your girlfriend is, what Mel Kiper says, what Timmy down the street says, etc. I am here to give you the real deal on everything you wanted to know about how NCAA D1-A defensive backs perform on the field. I will watch as many games as I can, attend a few here and there (though attending games is not very conducive to research...re: women and beer), and although I am a diehard Bama fan, I refuse to let personal feelings get in the way if a rival player excels. I am doing this, not only for my personal enjoyment, and not only in my hopes of attaining a career in this field, but also to supply an unbiased opinion of those who can truly play this position...and those who can not. A layman who will shoot straight---with no personal agenda, no "friend" who needs pub, no articles to write at a deadline, no extra cash to make for a new suit.
Not bad, not bad. Remember, for the first year, I seriously sat down with my DirecTV remote and paused/rewound/played every time I scouted a player, every play he was on the screen. It was really hard work, and it would have eventually landed me a scouting job SOMEwhere, I'm sure. But halfway thru the 2008 season I realized I didn't want to be that guy, going from city to city, living in hotels, and never having a life. I wanted to be the guy in the war room on draft day, and when the GM and the head coach look at me and ask "is this the guy we want?", and I'd be like "no. This guy. Trust me." Then when he goes to the Pro Bowl in his second season, and sets records in his third, the paycheck will get bigger, and so on.
So since the above was never going to happen, and since I had just begun creating a new business for myself here in town, the blog eventually molded into more and more commentary about Alabama, then other teams, then I'd talk about other things in my life such as women, then I'd add pictures of pretty women, then music, then funny shit, and we have what we have now. You either enjoyed the JR or you didn't care too much for it. One thing was true - every person I see out in public reads it every single time. Bunch of lying ass liars.
With that said, however, those that did read it and continued to do so over the years - thank you. While I wasn't trying to get huge page views each day, it was still nice to see spikes in the readership when a new article was posted. Also a big thanks to Walter from Walterfootball.com; this guy couldn't have been nicer, answering any questions I had as a newbie blogger, and even helping add part of his HUGE audience to mine by linking to my site and playing Pick 'Em with me each of the last five years. Never even met the guy, but he's a straight shooter and I have a lot of respect for him and what he's done to make his site the #1 place on the net for NFL Mock Drafts, as well as other stuff. I hope my audience will give him some love now that I'm gone.
El Matteo/Racer X and his epic battles with AuJclayton
SouthernMissToTheTop (might wanna rethink that name, yo)
And I'm sure I missed a ton more people, so apologies if I left you out. I could go on and on, but I'm not a mushy kind of guy outside of my dogs, soooo. One last thank you to everyone who contributed in any way, I appreciate the fact that you can understand my way of venting, my way of relating, and my way of describing things with certain flavor words that others may call profanity. The best way I can show my appreciation is thru pictures I think are hilarious, and for the pervs, pictures of women you'll never get to experience. I have a shitload...but I'll throw on as many as I can without saying fuck it, this is getting old (tedious job uploading pics via typepad). Actually, I'll add pictures at the end on occasional days until I decide to axe my typepad subscription.
That said - viva la Joker, Roll Tide, and I'm out this bitch. Maybe I'll show up in a few years under another name. Until then, my friends...