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Moving On

Dear Friends and Family of the BSD Community,

I am writing today to inform you this is my last day as the blog administrator for Black Shoe Diaries. I submitted my resignation last week, and this will be my final post.

Before I get into the reasons, let me first assure you that this blog will continue to exist without me. The fine people of SBNation have found a talented group of writers to keep this site going. You will be hearing from them in the coming days. So rest assured you can continue wasting countless hours discussing Penn State sports, bacon, WWII battles, and generals from the War Between the States to your heart's content.

This decision of mine has been in the works for quite some time. Many of you have surely noticed my posting rate had dropped off considerably since January. At first I thought it was just the offseason blues that hit me at the end of every football season. You have no idea how grueling a football season can be on a blogger. But I figured I would eventually get out of that funk like I did every year. Then I became busy with Nittany Lion Kickoff 2011 (Buy your copy today if you haven't already!). I figured once I got that out of the way I'd be alright.

Normally by the midway point of the summer, I'm starting to feel the flame flicker a bit. The season is coming up, and camp will be starting in a few weeks. This is the time when I start gearing up for the season and really getting fired up. But this year, I'm just not feeling it, and like you've probably heard from Joe Paterno and a lot of athletes in the twilightof their career, when you don't feel that passion while preparing for a new season, it's time to get out. I'd rather turn it over to someone who cares than keep slugging along giving less than 100% effort.

But don't feel bad for me. I actually feel a sense of liberation. For five years I let this blog consume my life. Don't get me wrong, until recently I enjoyed every minute of it. It was a hell of a ride building this puppy up from nothing to the internet monster it is. I wouldn't trade these past five years for anything. But make no mistake, it's a ton of work. I eventually got to the point I realized the blog was keeping me from the things I really wanted to do in life.

My boys are six and three, soon to be seven and four, and they want more and more of Dad's time. They are getting into sports which often means spending my Saturday's at the soccer field while the drum major is doing his flip and the kickoff is getting under way. This Fall I plan to take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam to begin working toward obtaining my Professional Engineer License. This is going to take a ton of classroom time to prepare. Once that's done in October, I've got a few home improvement projects I want to knock out that have been on the to do list since we moved in back in 2008. I've also picked up some new hobbies lately. Namely, smoking BBQ and craft beer making. I really want to master each of them, and I even have this crazy idea to start my own microbrewery ten years down the road. Frankly, I'm sick of working for the man these days. I'm still trying to get PSUWifey on board with that one.

I also just want to go back to being a fan again. I want to be able to watch a football game without having to take notes, or without having to think about how I was going to craft my defense for a kid that had an awful game. I'd like to be able turn off the game in the fourth quarter of a blowout and go play catch in the back yard with my boys or challenge them to a game of Madden on the Xbox instead of telling the family to hold dinner while I get a recap posted. I'm also looking forward to getting my Sunday afternoons back to watch some NFL football or NASCAR instead of rewatching the PSU game from the day before to break down the offense or defense.

Ultimately, though, and this is going to sound a little weird, but I feel God putting a burden on my heart to do great things to the glory of His name. He has convicted me in recent months that I'm wasting too much time on frivolous things and not dedicating my life to advancing His kingdom. This really came about as a result of a small group of people in our church we meet with weekly. Our goal is to do everything we can to support orphans and people looking to adopt children. Our motto is Isiah 1:17 which reads, "Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow."

There are 163 million orphans in the world. Half of the world's population lives on less than $2 per day. Two billion people have no access to clean water or sanitation. This is a travesty, and as part of God's people I am called to help them. I don't know what God has in store for me, but I can feel him telling me to get ready. He's going to present me with an opportunity, and when the time comes I want my slate to be clean so I have no excuses to resist my calling. I want to do everything I can, and I challenge you all to do the same. We have the resources in this great nation to find every orphan a home and eradicate world hunger if we put our minds to it.< /sermon>

So again, don't feel sorry for me. I'm excited for what my future holds, and a bit terrified as well.

In my final words, I would like to thank Peter Bean, Tyler Blezinski, and all of the fine people at SBNation for giving me the opportunity to operate this blog for the past five years. They saw a guy with no professional writing experience and they believed in him. I'm eternally grateful to them for this opportunity.

I would like to thank all of my fellow contributors, past and present. Somewhere around year two of this endeavor I hit the wall and realized I couldn't keep up the torrid posting pace on my own. Their contributions were invaluable in allowing me to hang on several more years before I finally burned out. Though we didn't always agree and we don't always get along, I feel like we share a common bond, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to have known and worked with them all.

Finally, I would like to thank you, the readers. We shared laughs, we shared tears. At times we lashed out at each other, but when forces from the outside came looking for trouble, we always circled the wagons and stuck together. Words cannot describe the impact you had on motivating me to keep going. I never blogged for the money. I never cared to be famous. I just wanted to create an environment where Penn State fans could come together to have a good time. I am so blessed to have known you, and I couldn't be more proud to call you all my friends.

Don't cry for me, and don't cry for BSD. It'll be in good hands and keep right on rolling along. And though I won't be writing for the front page anymore, I'll still be hanging around in the comments as well as on twitter (@mhubbell if you can stand my tweets about politics, NASCAR, BBQ, and craft beer). So give me a shout every once in a while.

Goodbye, and see you around.

We Are!!!