I'm out before the Big Ten buys me out.
The night I decided to hand Hustle Belt over to someone else, I had a really weird dream. I was looking for a replacement and this girl applied, reorganized the entire site better than I thought was possible and later I learned she also played MAC softball. I have no idea what this means, but I was at peace with the idea of someone else running the show, and that made me feel better.
But maybe it is a sign. Over the last few months we've had some very cool new cats join the site, and if they weren't capable of running the asylum, then I probably wouldn't leave. Effective last Friday I am no longer the site manager for Hustle Belt, and chose Bryan Vance as my replacement, because in his time with the site he's been an incredible addition and showed both hard work, attention-to-detail and initiative needed to run the show.
I began this site in August 2010 as an outlet for my MAC adoration (since there wasn't much else out there). I am not entirely sure why SB Nation said yes to me when I asked to start a site on their network, but they did and it all worked out. Three years later a couple things happened: not only did our site grow, but the conference got better and broke some happy new ground: a soccer championship, a College World Series, an Orange Bowl, a record number of Super Bowl participants, a Sweet 16, a WNIT Championship, and a No. 1 NFL Draft pick. There's been some scandals, arrests and other unpleasantness, but on the whole it's been fun just watching the success unfold across all the sports, and let's hope it continues.
So why leave now? I've written for a bunch of places in my life for the last 10 years, some of them creations of my own, and this site is some of my proudest work. The main reason is that I just don't have the time anymore. I'm never going to be a full-time blogger because I enjoy things like money and health care, so I have to pick and choose my side projects. Hustle Belt isn't, and shouldn't be about me and what I think about the MAC. It's about all of us, so I encourage you to join me in continuing to read the site.
I'm not going away. (It's the freaking Internet, nobody ever leaves; they just switch IP addresses.) But the main thing is that Bryan is in charge of the site and our Twitter account. If I desperately need to say something about the state of Bowling Green basketball, for example, hopefully he has the benevolence to publish it.
Thanks again to the folks at the Mid-American Conference, as well as all the MAC schools, for taking an interest in the success of this blog and I hope they continue their good wishes with the next generation of Hustle Belt writers and editors. And if you still have a hankerin' to write about the MAC, I highly encourage you to do so. Passion for your favorite MAC team detracts from the hegemony of Big Conference college athletics, even if just a smidgen, and this improves the quality of competition for everybody. I still maintain this is the greatest conference around when you factor in all the components: accessibility, value per dollar and quality of play. Go MAC.