111 days. That’s how long it’s been since we launched the site. It certainly doesn’t feel like it. It feels like just yesterday that the conversations between the editors, myself included, were going deep into the night. It seems like yesterday that I was reaching out to established colleagues and those with great potential looking to make a name for themselves, to take a leap of faith, not only with me, but for me. It seems like just yesterday that it was in the early morning hours of March 1st, and I was lying in bed, the clock having clicked past midnight long ago, staring at my ceiling wondering if I was making the right decision, unable to sleep with the thought of the monumental day ahead of me. I refer to it as a leap of faith, but it felt more like a basejump of faith off the Empire State Building.
It’s funny, as I sit here and try to recall the details of the week following up to the launch of The Sin Bin, they’re a blur. Hours and hours were spent trying to make the site as good as it could possibly be. Plans were laid out to announce all of the writers and photographers that would be joining me on this adventure. The truth is, no matter what we did leading up to the launch, or how much we planned, we didn’t know what was going to happen. There was a good chance that this “project” would fall flat on its face. Launching a new site is not an easy thing to do. I know. I’ve done it before, and failed miserably. Perhaps that is why I was a little gunshy this time around. There are so many things to do prior to the launch, and even more important things to do on a daily basis when the site goes live. The smallest thing can throw your dreams off track, and if that happens, it’s hard to get back on them.
Luckily for me, those brave souls who put their faith in me, have ended up being the backbone of what The Sin Bin has become. Granted, 111 days is a small sample size, and I will not call what we have done so far a “success.” We have merely taken the first step in achieving our goals. The premise behind this site was not to become rich and famous (although that wouldn’t be terrible). It was to bring something to the table that no one else would or could. Sure, we report news-worthy information like other sites do. We talk about league announcements, roster moves, and affiliations. But more importantly, we open up the conversation to the fans, because at the end of the day, that is what all of us here at The Sin Bin are as well. We don’t write things to appease or impress the various front offices that we cover. We don’t write things to make friends with the players. The work that we produce is to tell a story, a story that might go unnoticed to those who don’t have the luxury of getting a sneak peek behind the curtains like we do.
Here is the exciting part: We haven’t even scratched the surface on what we’d really like to do. Over the next few months, we will be working as a team to try and make what we do even better, not for us, but for you, the fans, our cherished supporters. We will be doing a lot more podcasts (which Matthew Harding has already spearheaded, and they are fantastic). We will be looking into hosting a weekly radio show, which I am really excited about. We will be broadening our online store so that The Sin Bin can be represented across the realm of minor league hockey, uniting our supporters from coast to coast. We will also be looking to add to Team Sin Bin, as our ultimate goal is to give a voice to each fan base throughout the ECHL (and eventually the AHL, SPHL, and so on). Those are just a few examples of what we are cooking up.
I would like to take a minute to thank Team Sin Bin for all of their hard work, and their willingness to step out onto the ledge with me. To Matthew Harding, Barry Janssen, Dakota Johnson, Dan Foley, Duck & Hound, Eric Rodgers, Greg Simon, Justin Strohm, Michael Finazzo, Ryan Gibson, Ryan Hrankowski, ECHL Memes, Joe Alsman, John Howe, Kimberly Sauer, and Kelly Zurawski, thank you for not only embarking on this journey with me, but for doing so for the right reasons. A special thanks to our Associate Editor, our silent partner known as Sin Bin IT Guy on Twitter for always responding to my countless emails, and crazy ideas for the site with an open mind. No one has worked harder than you to get this site created, and running smoothly on a daily basis. We can’t thank you enough. Most of all, thank you to those who have supported what we are trying to do, and for sharing our work with your friends and families. We will go as far as you take us, and if what you have shown us throughout these first 111 days continues, I am incredibly excited at the thought of writing this piece again after next season.
The 2014-15 season is officially in the books, but now the real work begins for us here at The Sin Bin. We will continue to work our asses off in the hopes that our stories, debates, and conversations make your experiences memorable, and, more importantly, your love for this beautiful game of hockey even greater. The Sin Bin is still in its infancy, but we’ve taken our first steps. Every step from here on out will be one for the scrapbooks. We hope you will be with us along with way.