If anyone wonders why you started this site and kept it alive through so much, and then worked with Rock to get it independent again (right in the middle of the whole mess with Scout and their awful interface, and thank you for forcing their hand and making it at least legible when we all had to go back... grrr
) and then eventually got here and had the place all ready and waiting to go... then look no further than this thread.
Todd... you built a place of kindness, friendship, fun, and oh yeah... shared love of the Seahawks. You've done anything and everything to keep it alive, and Mark has gone above and beyond to continue that mission. How many years in are you now? I remember Seahawks98, so it is at least 15 years. I can't remember what it was called before that, but I remember being here and many names have come and gone, but the mainstays have been here and even if they've left for a bit they've always found their way back. It isn't a website. It is what the web was created for though. It's here to share information and interact with others. Not for JCPenney to sell dockers.
That mission of uniting Hawk fans stays strong. What really honestly scares me to death is that with all I've gone through the past almost year, I'm worried that I'll disappear one day and my wife will have to come post that I'm gone. She doesn't know the specifics, but I did take the time to leave instructions in my will to alert you guys. Sounds terrible. But I have so many friends here that mean the world to me. As I've withdrawn from life I rely more and more on this place to keep me up to date on life and what's going on. I've missed everybody a great deal and missed out on Hawks news for months. It's been pretty crummy. I'm glad I got a few to log in over night while I'm up sick. Thankfully the good vibes and thoughts have made it a much better night than usual.
I worry about us all getting older and the inevitability that as we age, things will happen that will hurt us all. It's not a pleasant thought, but I'm worried about it.
Hopefully the next group that comes around (and we see them coming along) remembers this place and remembers to care about each other. Behind these words and behind these screens there are real human beings.
I fully admit I was a complete ass for many years here. I made a lot of mistakes. I was rude to other fans. I was rude to opposing fans. I went above and beyond to be irritating. I guess I thought it was funny. But it wasn't. It was hurtful to others I'm sure. I am grateful I've gained perspective on many things. Becoming a husband, a father twice, breaking my leg and back, blasting out the discs in my neck, going through college, having a teaching career that crashed and burned due to repeated back surgeries and a jerk of a boss, and now fighting the fight of my life have all taken place as a member of this board, and I hope I've grown from each thing and am truly a different person than I was the day I got here.
I hope that those of you who are new to the site realize that there is genuine care from others here. When I left my teaching job and was absolutely heartbroken, the guys on here filled my inbox with words of kindness and encouragement. That was two years ago and I remember all of the words of kindness, support, advice, offers of help with my resume' and tips on jobs. It was stuff that nobody needed to do. They just did it. They all took their common love of the Seahawks and used it as a connecting point with some guy named Jon who was really struggling and saved his life in some ways, and that to me is what makes us a family. Our common "brother" is the Seahawks and since we all love the Hawks then we all share a common passion. But we see the other commonalities we have, and that's a wonderful thing. New guys.... watch how the guys interact with me. They joke around, especially Pehawk, because I've known the guy for like 10 years and he knows that when he says that stuff that I'm laughing my head off, and he knows that I need it. Rockhawk has done many nice things over the years. I'm going to keep all of them quiet, because he didn't do them for credit. He did them because he is a good man and he cares about us. He wouldn't have set this place up when Scout went in the toilet if he didn't care about all of us.
So I thank you all. I also hope everybody else sees that this isn't guys pitying me or anything else. It is just what strong neighborhoods, or communities do. But to me this is more than a "hang out" or a "neighborhood" or a "community". It's much tighter than that. It's a brotherhood and a sisterhood. It's very close to a family, because the folks here that have been around forever and keep coming back and show class and kindness are like brothers and sisters. We laugh, we poke fun, we argue, we make up, we go through all of the emotions, and when somebody needs a lift, they're there to lift them up.
I can remember Dr. Diags giving me kind words randomly one day on another board entirely, because I think I had been banned or something for a bit. He just wanted to say hello and that he'd wondered what I was up to. Radish tracked me down on Facebook just to tell me to come back and say hello and that people were concerned about me. That's cool stuff. Pehawk offers to get me a steak dinner, and I don't even have to put out (for once!).
Rockhawk offers me game tickets for myself and my little boy who wants nothing more than to go somewhere with this Dad other than to a specialist and sit in the waiting room playing his PSP and hoping like hell that I don't come out and say I have cancer. I've watched that kid stress to the point where he's ready to crack. And here somebody on this board has offered to step up and make sure that me and Ben can just have a day to forget all of those many visits to the hospital and all of the unpleasantness that went with it and just enjoy a day.
Learn from it young guys. Be a part of the community. Do something nice. Say something nicer. Lift somebody up. You never ever know what's going on to the person on the other end of the screen. I learned that the hard way, and I wish that I could take a thousand rude comments I've made about and to others over the years back. But I can't. All I can do is try to be more like all of you who posted in this thread and be as good of a man as I can be.
Thanks for all you've done guys. There's not a dry eye here right now. Thankfully I'm typing this at 4:00 AM when the family is asleep and Dad gets to have his quiet moments of contemplation and get the "this sucks and I hate it" stuff out of the way so I can put a brave face on for the day so the kids don't get too suspicious about how things are. They know. Kids are smart. Especially Ben. He's too smart for his own good. But he lets me pretend things are a-ok and he plays along. He's a good boy. I'm rambling as usual, but as long as I'm an overly emotional girly girl right now then I might as well get it out of my system. I promise to man up and be the 39 year old who thinks he's cool and likes to talk Hawks real soon. I just needed my chance to get up on my little podium and thank you all for seeing me as I am, accepting me as I struggle, and lifting me when I fall down. It means the world to me, and I'm very blessed to have so many wonderful friends here that I know and care about, and the opportunity to meet so many more and hopefully I'll get to give a positive back to somebody else down the line. Even if it is just the realization for somebody that we all are real folks with real feelings and although it's not "cool" to be all sappy and such to your online pals... sometimes it's the only right thing to do, and some places (like THIS place) we won't accept anything but the best of treatment of our big .NET Family. You get what you give in life. Let's give our best to each other, and get a ton of positive karma in return. Whether that's wins on the field, or just wins in life. We all deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.
Thanks for letting me get it all out of my system. It's been all dressed up with nowhere to go for a long time. Thanks for making this place what it is Todd and for having a vision, and thank you Mark for carrying it forward, and thanks to the rest of you guys for carrying that torch on and making their vision a reality.
Jon (who was not assisted by any performance enhancing substances during this. I made sure not to take any of the stuff that makes me sleepy or loopy before typing this, as I figured it would be "I love you man" enough just on my normal emotions).