I never really introduced myself when I started writing at SB Nation - first at Golden State of Mind, and then at McCovey Chronicles - because the transition felt organic, from commenter to occasional fanposter to eventual writer.
So here goes: I grew up loving sports and, as the youngest of three, loving finding a way to make sure that everyone heard my opinion. At first, those loves manifested in merely playing the games - I would have five-on-five NBA games on my back deck, myself operating as all ten players, plus the broadcasters. Then I’d move to the yard and play a nine-inning baseball game: pitching to myself; fielding my grounders; throwing myself out; and doing my best Duane Kuiper breakdown as I went.
As I got older, that passion turned to trips to the Bay Area to see my idols play. When I got my license, my best friend and I would frequently drive to Oakland - a three-hour drive each way - then run around in the dark trying to find the hotel where StubHub had will call - just to have our $8 nosebleed seats to watch Monta Ellis put up 30 points in a loss.
When Barry Bonds announced his impending retirement, I told my dad I’d do any and all chores for as long as he wanted if we could just drive to San Francisco for Bonds’ final game. We sat in the left field bleachers, a few rows behind Barry, then sat in silence for the drive home; my voice was gone from all the yelling.
Around that time I dealt with the heartbreak that so many sports fans do: I was never going to be on that field, or on that court. I was never going to be good enough.
That’s when I found Golden State of Mind, which I joined more than ten years ago, during my senior year of high school. Search the archives and you’ll find many a horrific opinion; but my understanding of the game, and my views on how we consume it, evolved, thanks to the writers and community members.
A few years later, I joined McCovey Chronicles, and the same caveat of horrific opinions, followed by evolution and growth applies. I’m still learning from each community, every day.
Eventually, when I realized that my two greatest loves - sports and writing - could coexist, I joined each site in an official role.
Starting on January 6, that role will be expanding into a full-time job, as Producer for California Fan Communities. Does this mean I’m Bryan’s boss now? No. But I and other employees will be in charge of the site as we move towards another questionable Giants season. You’ll see me around numerous California sites, but primarily at Golden State of Mind and McCovey Chronicles, talking about the two teams I’ve spent my life talking about.
I know this comes on the heels of some difficult news for these communities. So many of the writers I’ve learned from, engaged with, and worked next to - people I love - found out on Monday that they’ll be losing their positions.
They - and you, the readers and commenters - are why these communities have been built into such glorious things. And my intention as I take on this role is to never let that change.
Golden State of Mind and McCovey Chronicles are sites with more than just sports writing and humorous entertainment; they are communities with amazing people, and a vast collective knowledge that helps everyone become a better, more entertained, and more informed fan.
I look forward to not only covering these two teams, but also continuing to prioritize that approach, so that we can all continue to share sports in such a unique and treasured manner.
Again: I know this is a difficult time for these communities. And I will address any and all questions or concerns that you have, in the comments or in my email.
Thanks, everyone. I’m looking forward to getting started.