Former Fox Bloggers finally meet, cure writers block… at least for a day

This article is meant to prove a point, a point that writer’s block is merely a speedbump inconveniently paved into the long road to somewhere.  It’s also a story of friendship, commitment, writing, podcasts, websites, golf rounds, day jobs, cold beer, Irish pubs and the most delicious of hamburgers.

Desk JobAs you well know, about nine or so years ago, I was stuck in a desk job that I utterly despised.  While I still made the most of it as with everything I do, the fact remains that I was stuck in a job I didn’t like, in a relationship I didn’t care for and a city I didn’t want to live in.

Out of all bad things good things come.

One afternoon I was sitting at my desk, surfing the net and counting down the minutes until it became somewhat acceptable to sneak out of the office.  I was killing time online and stumbled upon Fox Sports’ website and a section they called ‘blogging.’

This was 2005.  I had no idea what blogging was.

I soon found out.

All the people on this section of the website had user ids, funny ones too.  They all had avatars next to their names, sometimes their picture, sometimes a cartoon character, sometimes the logo of their alma mater.  Either way, everyone had something to say, sometimes misspelled, sometimes thought-provoking, always opinionated.  Some writers were long-winded, some were brief and all of them had something to say.

It was the Fox Sports Community and from that came a number of friendships I maintain to this day.  You know who you are, you rascals.  They’re out there in hordes, hiding where you least expect them: the Lug-Nuts, the basketball joneses, the college football addicts, the supportive and the argumentative.  On this very website, many of them still flock, read, pine and opine, preach, correct and share the love to this day the words and ideas which stem from the mind of a writer formerly known as Reverend Rhythm.

FoxFox and its community inspired me to continue doing what I do, which is freely speak my mind two to three times a week about what’s going on in the world of sports…. and my life as well.  It’s my diary, my outlet, my therapy.

Despite the unimaginable traffic we all brought to, very few of us were getting reimbursed for our efforts, which is why so many of us went on our merry way to create our own websites or focus on other responsibilities, a graduation of sorts.  But we all stayed in touch.

It was a tightly knit community of sports fans.  We’d spend hours a day on there, or at least I would.  There was always chatter about all of us getting together one day for some beer and healthy sports debate.

Well, for two of us, that finally happened.  Kevin Paul, who now runs his own site and with whom I have collaborated on a number of ill-fated projects over the years, was coming to Tampa on business.  Of similar ilk, albeit he’s the much better golfer, KP was coming to Florida.  Our schedules conflicted somewhat but I encouraged him to stop into my bar for a beer and a meal… which he did.  It had been nearly ten years that he and I began talking sports, long before Facebook and Twitter, back when Urban Meyer still coached at my alma mater and Joe Paterno still had a statue outside the football stadium of his.

KP and the ChumpWe’ve talked a lot since then, just never face to face.  We’ve hosted podcasts and season-long football pick ‘em contests.  We’ve littered, er… decorated cyberspace with material we’d like to think was funny, provocative, informative and entertaining: our views and opinions on what’s going on in sports today.

We didn’t get to golf, unfortunately.  He’d probably beat me at that like he did at picking NFL games last season.  But one of these days, we will.

I no longer contribute to Fox.  He doesn’t either.  But that forum launched a thousand friendships.  So for that I thank them.  I’m sure many of you do too.  And to the never-ceasing-to-amaze world of sports, I thank you for providing me with endless stories to write about.

Ya’ know, I once read Ray Bradbury’s “Zen in the Art of Writing.”  He said he never suffered from writer’s block.  When down in the dumps or struggling at the typewriter, Bradbury taught that all you need to do is put the word “The” in front of something and then start writing about it.  The door.  The game.  The ten year long meeting between two friends.  And there you have it, Kevin my friend, from Ray to you, your cure for writers block.

One burger, one flight, one thousand hopefully correctly spelled words and one sunshine-inspired cure for writer’s block.

Write on, brother.  If you build it, they will come.

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24 Replies to “Former Fox Bloggers finally meet, cure writers block… at least for a day”

  1. Chris & Kevin

    I’ve been privileged to know you both (KP & Sportschump) and for that I will always be eternally grateful ! Keep on keeping on, with the great content and work __ the both of you.

    Tophatal ………..

  2. Rev! Chris! Chump!
    It was a pleasure to finally meet you in person. Let’s do this again soon. I’m still here because there are poodles and kittens falling from the sky, in this, the lightning capital of the world – and I don’t mean hockey.
    This weather is really sticking it through the five hole. That sounded wrong. Cheers, my friend.

    My. Site. Will be back. Wait for it.

  3. Yeah, I forgot to tell you, man.

    Bring an umbrella.

    The Bay today is doing its best Portland impression. But at least you got a nice Wednesday-Thursday out of the deal.

    Safe travels home, kiss the baby for me and we’ll work on a project that’s sure to bore soon.

  4. I RESEMBLE (!) that remark about being long winded!

    I always said if I won the big lotto I’d rent a floor in one of the fabulous Las Vegas hotels for a long weekend, invite all my friends and pay airfare, meals, party supplies and lay $5k on everyone to do with as they would… Those friends would most certainly include all of the old FOX crew… It would be a wild and crazy time!

  5. Chris

    In the ten years since , my hairline has receded (completely bald of my own choosing) and I’ve had a divorce . Added some tattoos . What the hell else, can I say ? LOL,LOL !!!

    Those were fun times over at Foxsports .

    I see that both Bill Simmons and Keith Olbermann have landed new gigs since being jettisoned by ESPN ?

    Craziness happening in the world of baseball. Scott Kazmir leaving the A’s to join the Astros . Now there’s talk the Tigers will move both Yoenis Cespedes and David Price . Cespedes has played for more teams in the last two years than I would have thought possible .

    There will be more fire sales in terms of rosters being gutted between now and the trade deadline on the 31st of this month . Next up the Boston Red Sox . How badly have they stunk up the joint since their last win of the World Series ?

    Check out the latest pieces . I sent you the details via e-mail .

    Tophatal ………..

  6. Good times back at Fox…Too bad they changed the format and it imploded.

    I too maintain friendships with several of the old heads. It was a great forum with an eclectic mix of personalities…Too bad someone doesn’t duplicate the format and start their own site that allows freelance blogging by users…(Hint hint)…I would, but I can barely log on a computer. The most recent comments and hot list feature let everyone know where the action was…I miss it.

  7. All I can say is YEP! I have personally met a good many bloggers while going to the races over the years. Great people one and all.

  8. I staggered into foxsports blogs in 2008 and thought the world wanted to hear my take on sports. Even though I’m sure I would be embarrassed to see some of my old blogs now, I had fun with that tight group.

    It’s great that 7 years later, I’m still in contact with a lot of the folks I first met through fox. They are like family… well, maybe close friends. Beyond the ones that stay in touch are the dozens more that I’ve wondered from time to time, what ever became of them?

    The Rev and KP used to be must reads at fox. And there were so many others… including a few on this comments thread. I miss the good ol’ days.

  9. Very nice post. Enjoyed it & love the pix. Two great guys. 🙂

  10. Speaking of new gigs, Al, what the hell happened to Cowherd.

    I still haven’t heard the comments and I know he was already on his way out at ESPN but apparently they told him not to let the door hit him on the way out.

  11. I’d totally be down for a meet-up, Han.

    And heck, if Dwin is footin’ the Vegas bill, I say we blow this thing up!

    Just make sure we don’t steal Mike Tyson’s pet tiger.

  12. Great bunch of people and still in contact with a bunch of them

  13. Chris

    If the rumors are to be believed then both Bill Simmons and Colin Cowherd will be making a great deal of money from their respective new gigs. Having signed multi-year deals , I don’t believe they will be crying that they’re broke for years to come.

    Is Roger Goodell such a disdainful moron ? His not wanting a member of the Seau family to speak at the induction ceremony of Junior Seau at the Hall of Fame induction weekend, smacks of sheer stupidity if these latest allegations are to be believed. Members of Seau’s family are said to be furious and their non participation at the event .

    It’s bad enough with the recent revelations about Tony Dorsett and his ongoing battles with the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) . Can it get any worse for the NFL in terms bad publicity at present ?

    So Lance Armstrong simply can’t keep his mouth shut or out of the way of the press . With the end of the Tour de France in sight , he’s making claims that several of the top contenders in this year’s race have been doping . Way to go Lance . LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    Have a great weekend and my regards you and the immediate members of your family !

    Tophatal ……….

  14. Great to see you guys reminiscing about the Fox Sports blogs. They did have a great thing going until they put the kibosh on it! Rev and KP had two of the most hilarious, yet informative, blogs on the site. Now, having said that, who am I going to throw under the bus this week??

  15. Al…

    I haven’t heard that about Goodell and the Seau family. Is he afraid they’re going to say something bad about the league and its concussion policies? Sounds like it to me. Why else would he not want them to speak?

  16. Jon…

    It was good to finally meet him after all these years.

    I think we can all agree a group meeting is in order.

    Dwin… got those Vegas arrangements made yet?

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