What it eventually evolved into, is the realization that being a die-hard might be harder than dying.
In the midst of the Titletowns, I find myself defensive (in fact I am going to archive this under the defense category). I think that the readers out there should understand what some of these bloggers go through. Personally, I have only been blogging about the Packers for about a year now. First at the Packer Page, courtesy of Citizen Wausau, and finally (with the help of Dale who will cry if I don’t say that) got this little site here up and running and at least operating with some semblance of dignity.
As I sit here, exhausted, and out of yet another nice dinner on a wasted site addition, I wanted to take a moment to let you know what some of these folks go through on a daily basis. I can’t speak for them of course, but I can illustrate a page out of my own life. Precisely what blogging (in my opinion) is all about.
A Day in the Life of a Packer Blogger
It all starts every morning with the video. You have to have the video. People want to watch the Packer video. Someone was whining last night about how they thought most Packer fans may be of the older persuasion and not as computer literate as I might think. If that is truly the case, then let me tell you how much ‘getting the video’ really sucks.
Firstly, Packer videos aren’t really just hanging out on street corners in front of the drugstore everyday yelling, “Hey Alex, can I be on your site man?” You have to hunt them down.
Once a day, every day, all year long…
Have you ever tried to find a new video everyday on YouTube? It’s not as easy as it sounds. You have to dig through mountains of garbage, most of it involving some dumbass kid talking smack until you finally find one at least ‘good enough’ for the day. Once in a while you luck out and find a gem, but for the most part it’s a time consuming process. You don’t just copy and paste the URL and voila suddenly you have the video of the day either. You have to insert it, size it, and write cute and funny things about it.
When all of that is done, you get your first sip of coffee.
By this time the dog has gotten up and really wants to head outside for a moment. So I run him outside, fill his dish, feed the three cats, turn around, let the dog in, give him his treat, and finally get back to the computer.
Sip of coffee number two.
Next, it is time to hit the emails. Undoubtedly, there are quite a few messages. I weed through them to find out that so-and-so has followed me on Twitter, a few people have questions, and some dickweed thinks that my blogging audience really needs to know the latest news on Viagra and has subsequently decided to post his link on three or four articles.
The coffee is now cold, the dog wants to play with his Cheesehead TV football, and Kristen is finally starting to get out of bed for work.
Now it is time to move on to the news.
I usually scan about twenty RSS feeds for any news I missed in the six hours of sleep I got the night before and then I hit Packer World to see what everyone else is saying. By now, the house is coming alive with a flurry of activity only adding to the silent noise of concentration.
Then I move on to the machine. The machine is amazing. The machine is hooked up to 1,112,264 people across the world. What does the machine tell me? Well, the machine alerts me anytime any of these 1,112,264 people say the word Packers.
If Jane, in Southern California just told Judy in Boston that she is wearing her Packers jersey today, I know about it. If Steve in Florida thinks Brett Favre is a prima-donna I know that too. If Laura, in Texas just saw Mason Crosby at Whataburger ordering a Whata Chick’N with double fries, I know that too.
It never stops.
I try to read each and every one. But, on days when Favre either retires or ‘un-retires’ it is virtually impossible to read that fast.
The dog has now brought me his toy that he wants filled with peanut butter, I got a quick goodbye from my wife, and it is time to start figuring out what to write for the day.
Set microwave to ninety seconds to reheat stale coffee.
Now, the “what the hell to writes” start. Of course, the papers already have the solid stories and I hate to tell everyone, but I can’t just pick up the special red phone and call my sources for the latest information or breakdown. I don’t have a team of people dedicated to sniffing out a story.
Nonetheless, I try to get interviews with a couple people, but even young guys like Tom Pelissero (who used to work for my local paper) don’t take the time to even offer a courteous ‘no thanks’ to my request. (That sound you hear is the Greg Bedard bandwagon getting 190 pounds heavier). For the love of God even Shaun Bodiford wouldn’t answer a couple of obvious image enhancing questions. I mean come on Shaun; you need all the help you can get right now.
So, unless Dale or Greg C. has an article, it’s time to bust out 200-500 words of hopeful wisdom to Packer nation. So I type, edit, proof-read, edit, check formatting, make a picture, and usually end up with an average story to put up for the day. At this point I can quickly catch up with comments from the previous night, say a hello to those who use the chat box, and finally hit the shower for a quick minute before diving into my eighteen credit semester at the University of Wisconsin.
The coffee just sits there now.
I start to dive into my classes, as everything else is dinging in the background. The Packers have just announced this-or-that, and someone else just made a great post at (insert great blog name here). If it’s really big news I have to drop whatever I am doing and get a post out quick. You have to keep up with the posts. Miss anything, or don’t post often enough, and rest assured your blog finds itself in the same place as Booze and Broads—irrelevancy.
Hopefully, I can get some work done at this point. I most likely have to get an interview in for the paper that day in hopes of making a couple of bucks. This after realizing that not a single person has clicked an ad in nearly three days, and the donate button has been silent for six months now. I do all of this fully understanding that someone is going to have to pay for the chat box, the game day lounge, and of course hosting costs in the very near future.
Eventually, around five o’clock at night you can usually get a little break. Most of the news for the day has already unfolded, and hopefully I can get a chance to catch up on some of the comments on the blog and on several of the others as well. By this time I have often done several hours of homework, written an article for the paper, and made anywhere between ten and fifty Packer related posts in various places.
Time to switch to Mountain Dew…
Shortly thereafter, my wife comes home and I get a few minutes to talk with her, play with the dog some more, and perhaps get a bite to eat. I usually have to do all of this while trying to diffuse some type of conversation on the homepage by and large between members arguing about something like their endurance rate in the bedroom, all the time hoping that the latest person I tried contacting for an interview hasn’t seen the conversation and has already decided to blow me off. In the midst of this, Iron Man has submitted an awesome video of an Aaron Rodgers interview that I need to get up right away.
Take a bite of food, make a post.
Naturally, around the time I get around to prime-time television there is undoubtedly a problem. The page is not loading right in someone’s browser, someone can’t figure something out, or perhaps there is a mega-flame war developing in (insert any Favre thread here). So, once in awhile I get an entire show in, but for the most part it doesn’t happen.
My Blackberry begins to blow up with questions and comments from the Twitter folks as well. They want to know my take on things, pass along great articles, and generally talk Pack for a bit. I usually spend the early to late evening catching up with these folks and keeping a careful eye on any late developing news.
Of course, it might be podcast night as well, consistently a three hour venture in itself.
Finally, around ten-thirty or so, I can start to think about getting some rest. Just as I get comfortable, the Packers decide to announce they have just hired Dom Capers. Yes, at ten-thirty at night.
Immediately, I am back into news mode. The glasses go back on, the computer opens, and a post about how much the Packers are going to kick ass now is up in no time. Others have noticed the news as well, and a whole new conversation starts to emerge as we approach midnight. The machine is going nuts, the feeds are out of control, and I can barely keep my eyes open. At some point, my body just shuts down.
Several hours later… I do it all over again.
This is what it takes to be a legitimate Packer blogger. It takes massive amounts of time, selfless dedication, and a love of your team stronger than most anyone will ever understand. Very few people can relate to this article and for those that do, I extend my sincere respect for your efforts. For those that have been doing it for years… you amaze me.
It is a complete and total labor of hope, dreams, and love.
This brings us full circle.
Does this make me ‘Packer People’ or just pathetic.