End of an Era: A Fond Farewell from the Dude Formerly Known as You Crazy
I don’t care how far apart we are, I’ll still be with you.
-Spencer Hastings, Pretty Little Liars
As many of you know, I created DudeYouCrazy.net as an outlet for football thoughts in the Fall of 2010. As a newlywed, my only disappointment in my marriage was that my new bride didn’t reciprocate my obsessive interest in college football. As it turns out she was much more a “wife” and less a “roommate.” To be sure, that distinction had a handful of perks that won’t be discussed at length here, but she was not a receptacle for my gridiron rants. As a result, there was nowhere for my football thoughts to go. At least not until I started this site.
In 2010, I was managing a 24-hour gym. I sold memberships, I worked out thrice daily, I regularly flirted with stimulant supplement overdoses and I read college football blogs. Remember Deep South Sports, the site that broke the Matthew Stafford Talladega “story” back in the day? I loved that. I felt like I knew Erik personally. DawgSports was my breakfast, lunch and dinner table. Every Day Should Be Saturday was my playground.
One day I decided—quite ignorantly—that I could do that. So I started DudeYouCrazy.net. The goal, as evidenced by the completely unprofessional domain I purchased, was nonexistent. There was no five-year plan, no end-game and not so much as one iota of forethought put into the next article. All along, my intention was to entertain and to inform and in the process protect my marriage from the hell that is Georgia Bulldog fanmanship.
Somehow, it worked.
I launched the site in early September 2010 just as Georgia was beginning the Aaron Murray Era with a blissful 6-7 campaign. That season the site averaged 46 pageviews per day. Forty-six people was exactly 31 more than my immediate family and former roommates. I could not have been more pleased. For some reason I kept going and with time and effort that number doubled during the season in 2011.
Rapid growth became a trend and like far-too-few things in life, diligence was rewarded thanks in no small part to a surprisingly appreciative and loyal readership base. During peak season last Fall we averaged more than 4,000 reads daily. The site’s readership increased 100-fold from November 2010 to November 2014. I still don’t fully grasp that.
But as I reflect on the site’s growth, I would be remiss to not acknowledge two facets of unanticipated perspective alteration.
First and foremost, I did not anticipate forming relationships with so many people through the site. Sure, there are dozens of Twitter followers and a handful of readers who I communicate with regularly. But I’m speaking particularly of those who have written and continue to write for DudeYouCrazy.
In 2013, Chad Floyd came on board as an intern and finagled his way into graduate level course credit for his “work” on the site. If you know anything about me you know I value Chad’s ability to beat the system even more than his printed witticisms and his loyal friendship. Chad’s a great writer and a hell of a gameday partner. From roofgates (tailgates on his roof in Athens) to Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classics and run-ins at Clemson, some of my best football experiences have come with Chad over the past two years.
Arguably the most important thing Chad brought to the table was Daniel Palmer. Yes, this is both a shot fired at Chad and adulation of Palmer. To this day Palmer’s enthusiasm for creating content and mastering the podcast universe is humbling. One day he said, “Let’s get ranked by iTunes,” and I’ll be damned if the DudeYouPodcast didn’t do just that. We peaked somewhere in the Top 50 of all sports podcasts. We held that position for about 47 minutes. But how sweet were those 47 minutes?
All DJ Khaled does is win and all Jason Smith does is write ridiculously good pieces and attract tens of thousands of pageviews. No matter what. Also, he challenges my thinking about non-sportsy things on a daily basis. I would love to engage him further but I’m not smart enough. It’s kind of ridiculous that a dude that smart writes on DudeYouCrazy.net.
I’m incredibly appreciative of these guys and their ongoing efforts and the work of many—Alex Crawford, Andy Crawford, Ashley Barnett, Brett Goeringer, Casey Carpenter, Cody Trimble, Jake Sapp, Jennifer Rohner, Johnathan Barnes, Johnny Sanders, Mike Lynch and probably others—on the site. I never thought I’d have people write “for me,” and I never thought I’d enjoy it so much.
But with a great supporting cast (and that’s most certainly a misnomer; they carried me) comes the need for leadership and engagement. That brings me to the second unintended consequence of DudeYouCrazy’s success. It takes a lot of time to maintain a somewhat successful website.
And I don’t have the time.
I emailed Chad and Daniel last week to discuss this very topic and both then and now I want to make two things abundantly clear. First, I’m not upset about the time it takes to run the site. As I’ve indicated, that’s a sign of its success. Secondly, I’m not upset that I don’t have time to pour into the site. The site is a bigger success than I could have ever imagined. Working with the people who have forged that success is incredibly fulfilling. But I can’t maintain that status quo, no matter how gratifying it may be.
Truth be told, I’ve been stepping back since the end of the 2014 season. I knew I needed to, but I didn’t want to formalize anything. I was afraid of missing out on something or wondering “what if?” But as time has passed, I’m increasingly comfortable with taking a backseat role because I’m incredibly pleased with where my time is going.
Earlier this year my wife and I had our first child. In fairness, she did all the work; I just showed up for the free coffee and high-fives. If you have children you understand the time commitment that comes with them. They are there and they’re always there. And that’s not a complaint. There are not enough hours in the day for me to see my spawn as much as I’d like to and I hate to waste time doing trivial things like writing about football recruiting.
Further, time with WifeYouCrazy, whose evening work schedule used to leave me with two options: 1. Drinking bourbon or 2. Drinking bourbon and talking football, is at a steep premium. I like Chad, Daniel, Jason and the crew. I like her more. I think that’s normal.
Finally, I’m continually more and more challenged professionally. DudeYouCrazy was never going to be a career for me. It opened doors for me to make a little cash and hang out with #Crow in hotel lobbies, and it got me chocolate milk in press boxes around the Southeast. But that was that. I enjoy my day job and don’t want to devote marginal energy elsewhere. This was always a hobby; not a profession.
With all of these factors—the site’s history, its growth, my shift in priorities—in mind, it is in the best interest of DudeYouCrazy.net for new management to take over. I’ll still be here, I’ll still write on occasion and I’ll still use the DudeYouCrazy Twitter account to give commentary on Pretty Little Liars. I might even continue to promote the work of future poet laureate Thomas Brown of the esteemed Georgia Bulldogs’ Blog. (Dude’s note: That guy is the worst. Stop falling for my faux-promotions of his work.) But from a functional, day-to-day purpose I’m no longer Editor-in-Chief. I’m now Dude Emeritus. Or maybe the Dude Formerly Known as You Crazy. I haven’t decided yet.
What I do know is the site is in capable hands.
Chad Floyd will serve as Editor-in-Chief of the website and turn the intern-to-boss dream into a reality. Daniel Palmer will step up as a Senior Editor and Director of Media and take the podcast to the next level.
I hope any alterations you notice are for the better. I wouldn’t be making these changes if I didn’t expect that to be the case.
Some things are changing, but a whole lot is staying the same. I sincerely hope your readership remains in the bucket of consistencies.
As always, thanks for reading. Come back often. Glory, Glory.
That’s all I got/