Six years ago today, on April 7, 2007, SB Nation launched its brand new Buffalo Bills blog: Buffalo Rumblings. Headed by a hopelessly naive, 21-year-old college junior and with a daily readership of tens of Bills fans on our first day of existence, we have clearly come a very long way in the last 2,192 days.
My very first legitimate, non-introductory blog post here was an opinion piece on whether or not the Bills should flip two second-round picks to San Diego for backup running back Michael Turner. Less than three weeks later, covering the NFL Draft for the first time here, I watched this fan base buzz as the team used its top three picks on California running back Marshawn Lynch, Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny and Stanford quarterback Trent Edwards. If that doesn't date us, I don't know what will: Turner might have played his last NFL snap, and the three draft picks have been gone for over two years each.
In 2008, SB Nation underwent its first major re-design, and our community thrived, growing into one of the biggest NFL sites on the SB Nation network. Last fall, we underwent our second major re-design, and the community is again thriving: no SBN community wrote more FanPosts than Buffalo Rumblings (187) last month, and we also passed 2,000,000 page views in a single month for the first time in blog history. This community serves as an exemplar of the best of what online sports coverage has to offer: passionate, engaged and diverse discourse, and an unusually high level of civility for the Internet.
Quite frankly, I never imagined that, six years into this, our blog would literally still be doing bigger and better things every day. That's an immensely difficult feat to pull off online. SB Nation and its world-class writing and commenting platform have an awful lot to do with that, but don't sell yourselves short, Bills fans - you're what makes this place tick.
The best part about all of this: even as the team has continued to be terrible and the community has grown slightly more jaded, we're still a massive family. It's a point of pride for many to call himself or herself a Rumbler, and that's kept me going for six years and counting. Yes, we fight. Yes, we're rude to each other, and yes, the anonymity of the Internet has led to more trolling, more banned users and more needless quibbles than I care to count or relive. But in the end, I come back here every day and enjoy the discussions, the banter and even the inane TWSS jokes spewed by our perverted contingent. (Seriously: TWSS is a really old cultural meme too, now, guys.) I love this place. I look forward to coming back every day. That might be our most underrated achievement as a community.
Thank you, Rumblers, for what has been a great six years covering the Bills. Here's to many, many more.