There are a million reasons why we started BourbonMeyer.com about 5 years ago. We all share a love for the University of Florida and, of course, its athletic programs… ALL OF THEM.
We embarked on this blog/website with the intention of providing Gators and Gator Fans across the country, fun, new and interesting angles on Gator sports. At our best, we were informative, funny and had an irreverent edge. We opened a Twitter account to help drive people to the blog and interact with Gator fans more.
As time wore on, we changed our name. We held on to the Bourbon Meyer name for a year while the namesake was working for ESPN, but once he took the head ball coach job at a large public University in the mid-west, our staff voted 3-1 to change the name.
Thus, Our Two Bits was born.
It was JUST a name change. Content, and “who we are” was to stay the same. But it hasn’t.
We’ve been fortunate that in our lifespan as a blog, we’ve had guest writers like “the Unsporstmanlike Gent” help out, and others join our crew and write for us. To be 100% honest about it, Dory LeBlanc carried us through an entire baseball season several years ago, and more recently, Morgan Moriarty provided almost all of our writing content for extended stretches of time. For that, we can’t thank you enough.
Today, I thought I’d sit down and share with everyone who may be wondering: “What the hell happened to Our Two Bits?” Here are the reasons, in no particular order, why we don’t write much anymore:
Family Matters: Since the original birth of BourbonMeyer.com, each of our key contributors has had no fewer than 2 children. For those of you with children, you may be able to relate to how well, “Hold on I’ll be right there to help. I just need to finish writing for our free blog” goes over in the home.
Kids are a lot of work. It’s funny that our group, who have been friends for over 10 years, have never really talked in depth about what we wanted to be as parents and family men, but it is clear that it’s a top priority for us all. Even though all of our wives are basically playing the role of Michael Jordan, we are happy to be Horace Grant and setting picks, grabbing boards, and having fouls to give… so to speak. We love being Dads and husbands, and it’s hard to sit down and get through a post the way we’d like. Which brings us to #2…
Competency issues: The way some of us like to write involves research from time to time. We would love to create content that is not just opinion based and howling at the moon. We prefer to have stats and metrics and context to back up what we’re saying, and that research takes time that we just don’t have. So rather than howling at the moon and talking out of our rear ends, we’ve taken a pass on writing.
The other competency issue we have is related to the other Gator blogs. I could name names, but don’t want to leave anyone out because we read just about all of them at various points. However, the moment of clarity came one day while reading a post from Alligator Army. It was the one following one of the several Jameis Winston debacles. I read it… and I read it again. And I said out loud… “Why the hell would, or should, anyone read our stuff when this is out there?”
I like to write. I enjoy talking about sports and Gators. But, it’s not my profession or area of expertise. There are a lot of you out there who can express what I’m feeling or thinking in words in a way I can’t imagine doing as well.
Market saturation: There are a ton of Gator Blogs out there and now, Twitter accounts that make up the greater “Gator Online Community”. We strive to be different and add something that some others can’t do. The real pros out there can’t be as irreverent of funny, but some have sprung up that are just that, and some, outright crude.
There’s just so much out there now. A lot of it good. A good amount that’s not so good. We don’t want to be in that latter group.
Identity Crisis: All of those things considered… we are trying to figure out who we are as a blog. We know who we are as people, and as Gator fans, so now we want to crack the code on how to put that into our site.
We were once drunk guys at football games, but we are not about that life anymore. We’re old and the hangovers are heavier and longer. Children are relentless and don’t care if you have a hangover. They’re up at 6am and they’re hungry!!
We are not pros and so, have no real commitment to being impartial. We love Florida and so that’s where we are coming from. We’re never going to bash our coaches or players. Check the tape… We stood behind Brantley, Driskel, and Muschamp. As long as they were ours, we supported them because nothing we write is going to change what’s going on at the time. We choose positivity and uplifting, over bashing and teeth gnashing.
Being strapped for time, makes it hard to post in a timely manner. I have so much I’d like to say about Lauren Haeger, and it’s pretty much too late now. That ship has sailed, and outside of hardcore softball followers like myself, the interest in it ends as soon as the trophy is hoisted in OKC.
We’ve dipped our toes in all the pools trying to figure out what works. At times, it’s ended up with us in pseudo-confrontations and “spats” with everyone from actual active Gator athletes, to other Gator bloggers/tweeters. That’s not who we are. We’re not trolls and we’re not “Twitter Tough Guys” or “Thumb thugs”. We have a healthy respect for everyone we encounter and while we may disagree with some of y’all from time to time, it’s all love. Also, don’t forget there are several of us who tweet from our account, so one of us may have a bug up our butt on a particular day. It happens.
I’m curious to see what we come up with.
Jobs and job changes: Finally, in my previous job, I came to know a lot of the athletes and sometimes had inside information on a thing or two. I rarely wrote about it, because it was a bit of a conflict of interest and probably some violations that would end up with me out of a job.
In my current job, I travel a lot and I work more closely with athletics than I had before and while I’m not an employee of the UAA or Gator Boosters, I still feel part of the greater UF team and have been super conservative in what I share or write.
It’s not a good or bad thing. It is just how I chose to go about things now. This will direct a lot of what’s next for us.
So there you have it folks. This is what’s played into our absence from the blogosphere.
Going forward, we will try to solve the puzzle of differentiation and create a space that is uniquely us. In the end, we have so much interaction and activity on Twitter and at 140 characters at a time, it’s a challenge to tell the story we want.
Thanks for bearing with us.
Thanks for reading and tweeting. Go Gators!
Update: While editing this post, my fingers slipped and hit something that deleted everything and I had to start over… shit like that is how we end up not writing for long stretches of time.