When I started The Scoring Third a little more than three years ago I never envisioned it being anything more than an outlet for me to post my opinions on soccer. To my surprise the blog grew from very humble audiences of a few hundred per month to thousands of followers a day. I enjoyed writing and reporting on the latest soccer news from Central Florida; the fact that other people found this information helpful and entertaining was just a fantastic bonus. With that said it is with mixed emotions that I have decide that this will be the final post on the blog.
To answer the question of why is simple and complex at the same time. The short version of it is that I stopped having fun; the joy of reporting has been replaced with other feelings. The long version involves an internal struggle of wanting to report the latest news while also wanting to see the franchise succeed. I won't go into specifics but what started as a promising article on a new stadium rendering quickly turned into threats of legal action against myself and my website. That is when it became clear to me that the environment had changed; no longer was I able to report freely on the news that I had been covering in Orlando for years. I had always promised myself that when the reporting stopped being fun then I would stop reporting; that is exactly what I am doing.
I can tell you that the decision to end the blog is solely my own and not due to any pressure from outside influences. I came into this media market alone, made lots of great friends along the way, but ultimately I am leaving it on my own terms. That may be a tough pill to swallow for a lot of you, but here's something else to consider that few people know. I don't live in Orlando.
In the summer of 2010, when I started the blog, I was living and working in Orlando; going to see the Orlando Sharks play at the old Amway Arena and making road trips to Tampa to see USMNT friendlies. In December 2010 my family and I made the decision to move back up to the northeast where my wife and I are originally from, more specifically Maine. Since that time I have been reporting on the Central Florida soccer scene from 1500 miles away. I have been lucky enough to travel to Orlando once or twice a year to see my parents who still live there and see the many friends we left behind. I'm not in the stands at matches, in the team offices for meetings, or hiding under Buddy Dyer's desk for conference calls. I used my connections in Florida and good old fashioned research to bring you the latest news and information on soccer in Orlando and I hope you can respect that effort even if I have been physically absent for years.
I would like to wrap up this post with some important thanks to some special people who have supported me through the years. To my wife, thanks for giving me the freedom to pursue this project and taking care of the kids at night so I could write; you're the best. To Alan Lockrem, who encouraged me to start the blog, what can I say that I haven't already said, you are a great friend even if you do like Newcastle. To Zach Gamble, you provided great content during your time on here and you made me want to keep going with the site so thank you. I would also like to give a shout out to several people with the club who offered my little website access to them as if we were the biggest news organization in town. To Phil and Kay Rawlins, you both are such charming and supportive people and the Orlando fans are so lucky to have such fine stewards of the sport. To Chris Jones, you have been nothing but a pleasure to work with, always responding to my questions and requests at all hours just to get the story out. To Alex Wolf, I really enjoyed working together on the street soccer events and team related activities. To the interns and there are too many of you to name, thanks for your support on information and statistics through the years.
In closing I want to thank all of you for taking the time to check in with The Scoring Third on a daily basis. Your comments, tweets, and emails did more to keep me going with this project than you will ever know. I'm not giving up blogging, actually I have started a new project here in Maine, but I am drawing the curtains on this chapter of my life. Orlando has supporters unlike any other club in the country, I trust that they will be rewarded with the stadium and expansion franchise they deserve in the near future.