When I sit down at my computer to write something, no matter how trivial, I expect that the people who read it will like it. Somewhere in the back of my mind I think, “you have the gift of gab, and the ability to put that gift to use.” Of course, that’s in the back of my mind. The rest of my mind usually says, “Hey jackass, quit thinkin’ your friggin’ the second coming of Shakespeare and just get to it.” Ultimately, I start typing, and the result is usually pretty decent. At least I think so.
Nearly 48 hours ago, I wrote something that I felt was pretty decent. I didn’t feel that it was any better or worse than anything I had written before. I did, however, feel different as I wrote it, because at its core, it wasn’t really a sports story. The fact that it had a connection to sports didn’t even factor into my decision to write it. I just had an experience that I wanted to share, and being that I want to have the occasional break from sports talk, I decided to expand my subject matter this time. This decision would change me as a person, forever.
I went to bed that night, slightly humbled because I noticed that I had over 100 views. I had about 14 subscribers, almost all friends of mine, and I typically would get about 35 views. In addition, I had received about 10 alerts on my phone that indicated comments or new subscribers. I remember saying to my wife, as we were getting into bed, that I was going to turn the volume on my phone down so it doesn’t keep waking me up with more alerts. Off to bed I went.
I woke up and checked my phone. 76 alerts. Wow, people are really reading this post. I quickly log into WordPress to read some of the comments, but before I do, I notice something unbelievable. I have 25,000 views. HOLY CRAP! My wife, without hesitation, tells me to turn off the notifications, or my phone will be going off all day. She’s so smart. I would have never thought to do that. We talk briefly about it, but I have to get ready for work. 20 minutes later I’m out the door.
I spend all day with my phone in my hand. Every chance I get, I’m checking WordPress to see if people are still reading it. As this is happening at every red light, or stop sign, I haven’t actually had a chance to start checking the comments. After I drop at the airport, I have over an hour before my next pickup. Finally, I get a chance to start reading the comments.
I am blown away. I cannot believe that not only people in the United States, but people a continent away are reading this post. Comments from all over Europe and Asia are in the thread. I just posted this thing 15 hours ago, and now I have over 70,000 views. Links to my blog are everywhere. Yahoo sports, NBC Sports, Twitter, etc. Hell, even the Dallas Morning News called. I can’t believe this is really happening. What does it all mean?
I took in these things all day, but I could not stop pondering that one question. What does it all mean? Why all the attention? Initially, I thought it was due to the tragedy. Then I thought it was really about the victim, and the love that his fans had for him. Finally, I thought it was possibly about one man’s emotional experience and how it impacted the way he looked at his own life. Ultimately, I think it was all three things, combined with the fact that I might actually be a good writer. All of the times my wife said I was very good at expressing my thoughts in writing, I thought she was just being a supportive spouse. Turns out, she may have been right. Did I say that out loud? In the end, I believe I need to continue writing about things that mean a lot to me or touch me emotionally. I thank every person who read that blog and especially those who took the time to say something positive about it, and me. I hope I can continue to keep you coming back, even though the subject matter will likely be much lighter.