This season is bringing with it some new realities for 18to88.com.
First the good news: I'm not folding up shop.
Now the bad news: I am dramatically scaling back my operation.
Starting immediately, I'm no longer trying to make 18to88.com a home for comprehensive Colts information. The first casualty of that is the Daily Links as they current exist. I will still link up articles that interest me, but they will not be news articles. I won't be linking up the Star, SI, or other blogs (unless they specifically request). I won't be linking up injury reports and small transactions.
I strongly suggest that you turn to Coltzilla.com for your daily Colts needs.
I will be continuing Eyes in the Backfield, though only with as many items in it as the number on the jersey of the Indy QB. I'm not doing a full 18 again until Peyton comes back. I will also post a column the day after each game. Beyond that, I'll chime in if and when there is a specific story to research. I would imagine as the season progresses and we have a wealth of data about the Colts' play without Manning, I'll have interesting studies to run.
I do have other writers, and I'm always looking to add quality people. Some of them will fill in the other days, but there will days that 18to88.com is quiet. It's been my goal to have a major piece every day, but I'm no longer holding myself to that standard. This is now a site for Colts analysis and commentary. I'm out of the news game.
Additionally, this is the end of some popular features. First, there will be no 18 Plays Podcast this year. I will endeavor to put my weekly interview with Jersey Johnny on Saturday afternoon in podcast form as often as possible.
Second two beloved features of every preseason won't appear this year. First, there will be no 18 Bold Visions.
Most painfully, my year NFL Season Preview isn't going to happen. I began work on it last week, and had planned on spending last weekend on it. Unfortunately, all hell broke loose, and I was never able to get moving on it.
It kills me, because the topic was going to be the NBC shows Community (for the NFC) and Parks and Rec for the AFC. For those that care, I'm predicting Indy to go 4-12 (only because the Jags, Panthers and Bengals are really awful). The character for the Colts was Lil' Sebastian. A beloved pony that brought joy to all, but is now dead. I'm sick over the fact that I can't get this piece out, but it's just not possible.
Finally, my presence on Twitter is going to be greatly reduced. There will still be an automated feed linking up 18to88.com articles, but my main use for Twitter now will be just to try to respond to the people who write me.
The outpouring of support from all of you has been overwhelming. Please understand the following:
1. I'm not 'real life' depressed. My real life is awesome. I'm not on any ledges. I have a great life which I'm currently enjoying fully.
2. Monday's story was the beginning of the end for this version of the site. It's not because Peyton is gone. I love the Colts and have for a long time before Peyton Manning came to town. It was the beginning of the end because I realized that I don't want to be a reporter. I find this whole business distasteful. If faithfully uncovering stories like Monday's is an essential element of covering a team, then I want no part of it. It is soul-killing. It turns you into a monster constantly at odds with the team that you love.
Sports is supposed to be fun.
I want to see if I can to get back to running this site for fun and enjoyment. It's the only way to keep it around for the long haul.
18to88.com has been a labor of love for me. When I was in Argentina, it was a way for me to stay connected to the people and places I love. I don't need it to do that any more.
When I have something to say, I'll say it. I'll be spending that extra time that I would have spent on linking stories in preparing Invincible, Indiana for release in November. In the offseason, I'll be investing my time in the most comprehensive look at the career of Marvin Harrison possible. The Marvin Harrison Project will be my attempt to sway Hall of Fame voters to his cause by comparing him with every wideout in the top 100 of NFL history. It will be an epic project, and the end goal will be to put a copy in the hands of every man who votes for the Hall of Fame. I'll probably need your help to do that. More to come on that front.
I'm not going away. I promise.