He Manages Alone - You Don't Have To (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
The Premier League season is up and running and we hope you've made the leap from our respective blogs - Fantasy EPL, Assistant Manager, and Never Captain Nicky Butt. For those of you who have, welcome to the new home we've been telling you was on the way over the course of the summer. We're excited to be joining forces with each other officially as well as with SBNation. Over time, we'll be learning more and more about how to leverage all of the tools, resources, and bloggers available to us as part of our new home. Please stick with us through the process as all of the new things we'll be trying out are intended to make what we've been doing even better. For those who are encountering us for the first time, follow past the jump and find out what we're all about...
The original reason we started the blog seven years ago
was to keep a group of friends, increasingly separated by geography and the responsibilities of life, together around the Yahoo! fantasy game. Over the years we’ve been doing this, one of the best parts of this experience for me was the opportunity get to know Jeremy as well as I have. [Jeremy's note: Right back at you, Neal!]
We knew each other a little bit from common friends and socializing during the brief time we overlapped in Washington, DC but he was on his way to the sunshine of San Diego as I was returning from my own time in the relative warmth of six years of living in Atlanta. Without the blog, it is likely that our passing connection would have eroded over time, as would have the bonds among that larger group of friends.
I won’t bore you with the details of how the blog grew over the years but one of the best parts about it, and one of the things that drew me to starting the blog in the first place, is the idea that it is more fun watch games and play fantasy sports when there is a community you can share it with. Thanks to the blog we've been able to maintain connections with our original circle of friends, but we've also built new relationships with people that, in most cases, we’ve never met in person. I’ve gotten to know those who comment on the blog, on Facebook, or participate occasionally or regularly in our Saturday live chats. We talk about the matches, the players, fantasy implications and occasionally move beyond all that to finding out bits and pieces about each other. I am not going to mention individual names because I don’t want to slight anyone. We appreciate everyone who reads and participates – even the ones who think we’re idiots some, or all of the time. Suffice it to say, for someone living in a place where watching the Premier League isn’t the most popular activity on a Saturday, building a virtual pub of friends around the world has been fantastic.
The reason I’m writing about what I love about the blog and specifically the fact that I’ve enjoyed the relationships it has led to is that this season sees us taking the next step in our evolution as a website and adding new relationships. There are two major aspects to this growth.
As you all have no doubt noticed, we have spent the last few weeks collaborating
more and more closely with two other blogs – Yahoo Assistant Manager
and Never Captain Nicky Butt
. This has just been the prelude to officially joining forces to create what we think will be the premier fantasy soccer blog available.
The first thing I want to make clear is that this is a coming together of peers. Jeremy and I have enjoyed reading Y!AM and NCNB and presumably they have enjoyed our work enough to start in on the conversation about joining up. For those of you not familiar with these other blogs, here’s a little background.
Nik (Y!AM) brings great perspective to the Yahoo game as well as an on-the-ground pulse of the English supporter that isn’t available to Jeremy or me located here in the States. He also brings to our new blog home a core of passionate readers who create a great environment in the comments section. The debates are constant, interesting and in almost all cases respectful which is an amazing combination in the social media age. For those who think that I bring too much Arsenal
bias to the blog, Nik will also offer a marked counterpoint as a devoted Spurs supporter. Nobody’s perfect.
Never Captain Nicky Butt adds a respected voice
and expertise in the official PremierLeague.com game. The Premier League game is the most popular EPL fantasy game in the world and adding NCNB’s focus on it to FEPL and Y!AM’s focus on the Yahoo! game will make us a much more complete fantasy football resource. He has a good sense of funny side of the game too, something we've long appreciated. Between our live chats and NCNB's Twitter feed, we're going to have a really strong collective ability to integrate our audience into the larger fantasy game experience before, during, and after the matches.
The four of us are brining our three sites together to create what we hope is a bigger, better one. We are joining forces with SBNation.com and will be hosted on their cutting-edge platform. The SB stands for Sports Blog and SBNation aggregates sports blogs across many sports. They are concentrating heavily on developing their coverage of soccer and we are excited to be part of that growth.
Our association with SBNation will give us the opportunity to collaborate with people who write dedicated blogs on Premier League teams, MLS teams, and over time on other topics specific to the beautiful game. Over time we hope to find ways to give our readers a progressively better experience as we all figure out how to work together. We are in the closing stages of moving onto the SBNation.com platform and getting ourselves oriented to the new publishing tools. We will certainly let you know when the switchover becomes official.
A new site requires a new name. The common theme that unites all of the things we love about the blog and all the big changes that are happening is again, that the experience is more fun together and that the more people and resources we can bring to you, the better. For those of you who have been with us for a while, we thank you for helping us get where we’ve gotten and hope you continue to participate and enjoy. For those who are finding us for the first time, we hope you like what you see. For all of you, we hope that now you know this community is here, you’ll Never Manage Alone.