2013 was a huge year for the Mid-American Conference. It produced a BCS bowl berth, a No. 1 draft pick, a record shattering career, a top-3 Heisman finish and much more. The funky little conference known for its hashtag and weeknight football games has gone mainstream in 2013.
Like the conference we cover, 2013 was a big year for Hustle Belt as well. We’ve been recognized by mainstream media, celebrated our third birthday, underwent our first regime change and had a traffic explosion. We lost a few longtime members, but gained many more. We started some new things, like covering UMass basketball. Grew our Facebook imprint, and recently hit 3,000 followers on Twitter. Our coverage has matured, but, we will always maintain our fun approach.
What makes the Belt special, and has allowed us to succeed, is our membership. From our contributors to our readers we’re made up of a group of fans as diverse as the teams we champion. From college students, to lawyers, to out of work journalists. We come from all walks of life. But, as different as we may be, we share a common characteristic: A passion for the MAC. It's that passion that led me to joining up with the Belt when I stumbled across it 10 months ago. We do this out of love, and in some ways insanity. It shows in our creativity. We have fun, but we also cover the big stuff. We respect the voice of our readers, and most importantly we never lose sight of our core philosophy: That the MAC is awesome, and the world deserves to know it.
As 2013 comes to a close, all I can say is get ready. This next year holds even more for us. We’re continuing to grow, and are adding new contributors every week. We’re starting a podcast soon too, and it should feature some interesting guests. We're going to focus more on the smaller sports, and we're going to do it better than anyone else. A lot of things are going to change, but our desire to become THE home for all MAC news, analysis, and tomfoolery will never falter.
As we embark on a new year I want to personally thank our founder Matt Sussman for laying the foundation, and giving me the keys to the house. I want to thank the contributors who have worked tirelessly to make us one of the most successful blogs on SB Nation College over the past few months, and help me keep some sense of sanity. Most importantly I want to thank you, the reader. Without you, none of this would be possible. You take the time out of your busy days to spend a couple minutes with us a few times a week. It doesn't go unnoticed, and it is appreciated. I promise I'll never call you s**tbirds.
So with all of that I invite you to join us on our next big chapter as we embark on taking Hustle Belt to new heights in 2014, beating one B1G team at a time.
Viva la MACtion.