Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Looking Back on 2010

Maybe this is a function of being a parent of young kids and the founder of a start-up, but things were fairly simplified for me in 2010:

*Be the best spouse and dad I could be. (A task that where -- probably, but not always, for the best -- there always seems to be vast room for improvement.)

*Work as hard as I've ever worked to get my company founded and positioned to succeed. And it's exciting as hell to know that as hard as we've worked this year, things hit another level when it launches in two weeks.

Both those things have a million small pieces that go into them, but there is a clarity that comes with an overarching goal.

Looking back to this time last year, I wanted to start my own company, but it sure seemed like a long way from intention to execution. But things are positioned to be amazing in 2011.

I cannot overstate how much I appreciate you continuing to want to connect with me here, hear what I have to say and support the effort.

And I probably can't overstate how much I will want and need your support next year with Quickish. More on that tomorrow.

As for sports -- let's not lose sight of that, right? -- 2010 continued to affirm something I have experienced since the old Quickie days: Just when I think it can't get better, it gets better.

The Decision was perhaps the pivotal sports event of the year -- and a complete debacle -- but consider the impact. Who said sports always has to be feel-good stories like the Saints winning the Super Bowl, which I'd rank as "1A" among the top stories of the year.

Looking at it from a macro perspective, you could argue that despite the uncertainty in the economy -- and maybe partly because of it -- sports have never been more popular.

The NFL with record ratings. Same with college football. Same with the NBA. And my god: The World Cup.

I try to steer clear of meta discussions about TV ratings and sports business, but at the very least, let's use the audience numbers as a proxy for enthusiasm. If you don't like TV ratings, you can swap in online attention. Sports have never mattered more.

I already went through my favorite sports moments of the year. The real exercise is to think back and ID the ones that immediately come to mind: The Decision (obviously), the World Cup goal by Landon Donovan and -- weirdly -- that buzzer-beating miss by Gordon Hayward in the NCAA Tournament title game is seared in my mind.

This fall is kind of a blur -- Quickish work was all-consuming, but there was enough left over for me to feel epic disappointment, week-in-and-week-out, by the performance of Florida football. Believe it or not, I renewed my optimism each week that they would win, making the awful play and brutal loss all the more devastating. I would have been better off assuming the worst; I couldn't. It was the worst experience I have ever had as a fan: Sisyphean. (Sisyfan?)

Our memories of a sports year are a combination of the intensely personal and the intensely universal -- it's not just that there is room for both. There HAS to be both.

Sports fandom can't just be "my team." Too much of the experience is the communal -- you can love your team, but still appreciate Butler or the World Cup or the pain of Cavs fans or the elation of SF Giants fans.

But sports fandom can't just be "what everyone is talking about." That's the place I've made my career, obviously, but you need something that is yours, a uniqueness to your fandom -- some combination of allegiance to team, player, perspective, time commitment, media diet... it all combines to make your experience as a fan...yours.

I think it's both, and this year didn't just affirm that, but -- as you'll see -- I'm willing to stake my career on it.

Hope you enjoyed the sports year -- and the whole year -- as much as I did.

Coming tomorrow: Looking ahead to 2011.

-- D.S.

1 comment:

Robyn said...

Thanks for another year of interesting, fun, and in the case of today's, thoughtful posts. Congrats on the launching of Quickish -- can't wait to see what that brings in '11!