Sep. 08, 2016
The Pursuit Of Happiness
"Writing has always been something I've loved to do, and I've started a sports blog! If you get a few minutes to check it out and leave feedback, I'd be so happy lol help me out!"
Truth is, when I wrote that on my personal Facebook after my first blog post in April 2013, I wasn't expecting much. By that point, I'd become -- at least, in my own head -- public enemy number one in high school, the end result of bad decision after bad decision; I'd cut a lot of people off, let the pursuit of happiness with one person cloud my judgement. I wasn't expecting much; wasn't expecting my classmates to read my thoughts on Geno Smith, wasn't expecting it to go anywhere in part because of my view on life -- the same one that has caused numerous readers to unfollow me on Twitter.
And three years later, four days away from Florida Atlantic's kickoff against Southern Illinois where I'll be in the press box, I can't help but look back at that point of view and think...I was right.
I mean, it's no secret that I was different in high school because I wasn't spending every Friday and Saturday drinking a ton of Ciroc and putting it on Snapchat, instead spending that time either writing articles or doing side work for SportsBlog. How many other kids that I graduated with actually used a real email for work and actually checked it daily? This isn't one of those 'pity me because I was different' things I've been accused of, but come on -- I wasn't those kids and I hated it.
So, SportsBlog gave me a nice little escape outlet, as did The Examiner, BeAMusicPro.com, and plenty of other places I've wrote for either as a freelance or as full-time staff. Since that April day where I first signed up, I've had nearly 300,000 views on this site alone, worked boxing events with Sirius XM's Randy Gordon and Gerry Cooney, interviewed athletes I grew up idolizing and dominating with in video games, and finally started to figure out how to be happy. I've been published in local newspapers, been shouted out on bigger sites, and helped engineer in a successful era for SportsBlog.
Getting to attend a high school game with an amazing fan section like Fox Lane's is one thing, but getting to then write about it and have it published? That's a special feeling entirely, especially when you have parents come up to not just you, but your parents at the store saying how great a piece it was, how much they loved it, etc. If any of this seems like an attempt to boast my own ego, trust me, it's not intended to be.
And yes, even if I had to go through five months of treatment, wind up in the hospital four times and scar the area above my left eye, and nearly die twice, it's all been worth it. That's what being a fighter is: we fight, we don't give in like little boys. Thank you for letting me use SportsBlog as a way to spare myself from going crazy, especially when I was in treatment.
So, let's get to business. First off, SportsMix as you knew it is dead. I will be devoting my time fully to FAU OWL ACCESS and The Inquisitr while using SportsMix as a site for the following:
1. A place to document my thoughts on stuff and thangs in my personal life -- so yes, this is really becoming a blog.
2. Classic sports games reviews, which will start back up again later this year.
3. Any takes on topics in the sports world that I feel need to be addressed here with my full, uncensored opinion than on a site where I can only say so much.
This is not a retirement from SportsBlog nor is it me being frustrated with anything the company has done. In fact, I'll also be taking on a recruiting role to help young, aspiring writers have the same experiences I had.
And also, this isn't a retirement from writing in general. I love SportsBlog and I love SportsMix, but the time has come in my life for some change and both Owl Access and The Inquisitr provide that. Obviously, this website will stay up as will all posts, so anyone wanting to read about the glory days of Fox Lane lacrosse from 2014 or a 2016 piece on Alex Rodriguez can do that.
I also may be working on a novel that I hope to release in early 2017, so be on the lookout for that. No details on that just yet.
Whether you're a longtime reader or someone who just started, thank you. I mean it. All of this has been an amazing chapter in my life and knowing that I'm 'leaving' on my own terms is even better. If any of you want to keep talking to me or you're a young writer who wants some feedback, follow me on social media and let's talk. I don't bite.
My brother in everything but blood, Will, once told me this blog had taken over my life. Three years later, my answer is the same now as it was then:
I wouldn't have it any other way.
And one last thing. If you graduated with me or went to Fox Lane with me and even gave this a click despite the asshole I was/became, thank you. 914 for life.
-- Jake Elman