It has been 776 days since I lied to everyone here and said that I’d written my last post for Buffalo Rumblings.
You might argue that I have actually written about the Buffalo Bills once since I stepped down as this site’s editor-in-chief on June 10, 2016. My counter-argument would be that that post was just a pretty bad time travel fantasy thing that barely qualified as sports writing. If you’d have called me a liar up until today, I might have been offended.
I am, however, officially returning to the Buffalo Rumblings editorial staff today, so yeah - sorry about that massive fib.
Let’s cover a few important details of this hopefully-not-blown-out-of-proportion announcement right up front:
- I am not returning as this site’s editor-in-chief. That will still be Matt Warren; though he’ll always be the Pinkman to my White, I’m only too happy to let him continue to run the lab.
- My new self-imposed title is Editor-at-Large. It’s needlessly fancy, it pretends to be clever, and it carries very little tangible meaning, so it’s perfect.
- My new role, like my title, is pretty nebulous, and honestly better explained by Matt, since he’s the one who came up with it. Functionally, you’ll be hearing from me a couple of times per week, at most. I’m not sure what I’ll be writing about yet, but you can bet that it will at least be loosely related to the Bills.
[Editor’s note: Brian is going to be our columnist. On Monday mornings during the season, he’s going to be our lead voice to provide perspective on the game. He’ll also do the same thing with a major storyline during the week. During the offseason, he’s going to provide that same perspective at less frequent intervals. - MRW]
If you had asked me, even up to just a couple of months ago, if I’d ever go back to writing about sports in any capacity, I’d have probably told you no. Not that I hadn’t entertained the idea - Matt and I had previously discussed this possibility as early as last fall - but I was comfortable with my current position professionally and personally, and after two years out of the game, I wasn’t sure I had anything interesting left to say. I’m still not convinced that I do, quite frankly, but I’m back to give it the old college try, for a few reasons.
First and foremost, Matt made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Even though I’m coming back to the site I helped start over 11 years ago now, this feels to me like a fresh start, because I’ll only have a tiny fraction of the responsibility I used to hold. Right now, I’m just a writer again. I’m looking forward to de-rusting that corner of my brain, and making use of the creative freedom that Matt’s job description will afford me. I’m the longest-tenured member of this site, but today, I very much feel like the new guy, and that excites me.
Second - and this may or may not have been the diabolical part of Matt’s grand plan of roping me back into this business - was the story he put together on the staffing changes that occurred at The Buffalo News this spring, which I’m sure you’ve all read by now. While he was doing Real Journalism, Matt let me help him out a little bit as he worked that story. I didn’t write a word of that article, but ceremonially playing the role of editor while that story took shape proved to me that I still have a proverbial itch to scratch in this field.
The last and most personal reason that I’m back here in your presence is because of the shift in Bills fandom I have experienced this offseason. After more than two decades, I’ve inherited account holder status for my family’s season tickets. My wife and I are expecting our first child, and though we won’t be forcing our hobbies onto our little one, I’m coming to grips with the genetic reality that I probably have years of cultivating love for a sports team ahead of me. I’m thinking about being a Bills fan in an entirely new light as a result.
All of that is to say, in the two years that have passed since I stepped down from my post here, I’ve gained a different perspective on what it means to be a Bills fan - as well as how I follow the team on a day-to-day basis. I’m eager to start talking about it, and the team we all love, with this community.
Up until this point, this post has been for the Bills fans who recall, even faintly, who I am. If you’re new to the site and are bewildered by my byline, you can boil me down to this very short list of traits as a starting point:
- I founded this website you’re reading and ran it for nine years
- I’ve been a Bills fan since I can remember things
- I am currently better at talking about Destiny 2 than I am at talking about the Bills, so please bear with me for a bit while I re-football my brain
For the old-timers here, I’m excited to talk to everyone again. For the new folks, I’m excited to talk football with you. Now that the introductory stuff is out of the way, the real work can begin. See you soon, and enjoy today’s coverage of the first day of Bills training camp.