I hate goodbyes – so this isn’t oneBy: Jack | July 31st, 2012
Goodbye? More like hello.
Yes, a new day awaits us all. By now you are well aware of the latest development in the brief but cracking existence of Chelsea Offside. In short, this space, in just a few hours, will be no more. A redirect – and a lovely archive at our new home, We Ain’t Got No History – will be all that’s left of this small slice of the web I called home for a good long time.
This, my friends, is indeed a sad day. However, it is also an incredibly exciting one. The possibilities ahead are immense, and the idea of partnering with a flagship site like WAGNH is mouth-watering. We’re geeked about this transition – you should be, too.
Bookmark it. Evernote it. Sleep with it. This site, the finest Chelsea blog on the web (by a fucking distance), had at its disposal a stunning arsenal of talent already. Now, with Devin and myself inducted into the fraternity, it’s become, well unfair. People are talking. They’re questioning this move in the era of FFP. El nuevo Galácticos, they have begun to call us.
And you know, I can’t really argue with them.
WAGNH is for the future, though. Today is about The CO.
Nearly six years have passed – and more than 2,100 articles posted – since Chelsea Offside launched on Oct. 16, 2006. Four writers, three distinguished, one not so much, have contributed to the site. Each brought with them a unique voice to the joint, this to go with the key component – a shared love of the Chels. Andy, a True Blue since 1966, laid the foundation before leaving the site in winter 2007. I assumed possession of the baton (sweet Olympics reference, bro) in January 2008, whipping up a rather unconventional take on everything Chelsea for three flawless years. Seeking diversity, and fresh points of view, I sought a co-creator(s) in January 2011. It was the best move I made during my time here. Easily.
Jamie was the first person to respond to my public cry for help. Already a blogger, working at Werder Bremen Offside, Jamie brought a sense of reason to a discussion that had mainly been driven by a psychopath. She, of course, also provided the site Chelsea news and analysis from a female perspective. Heaven sent, she was. Oddly enough, Devin was second to respond to the announcement. As you know, he is still in the mix – thank God. I initially wasn’t looking to add more than one writer to the staff, but I didn’t really have an option after taking a look at what Devin had to offer. I was sold on the Californian immediately after reading the opening line of his sample post, which hit my mailbox on Jan. 19, 2011.
Death to The Offside servers
Curious what Devin cooked up? You’re in luck:
Transfers? Child please..
Admit it. You’re been scared into an almost catatonic state of denial by the rumor mill. Every day, the famous CFC are linked with another tantalizing prospect, another hot-shot center back, another dream striker. But progress, measured in inches and pounds, never amounts to much of either these days. It used to be that we’d enter the month of January strapped with an endless supply of greenbacks and a sweet-tooth for big-name bambaclads to bolster our already superior squad, but those days of lore are long since a hazy memory. In this period of austerity, featuring a wage reduction and a drastically reduced transfer kitty, our famous Blues have been rendered inert by age, injuries, and fatigue. Though we’re saying all the right things, and preaching that youth will get a go this year, you me and the guy at the pub know the only ailment for what pains us is an injection of life and experience. So lets run the names, numbers, and attempt to make sense of this hazy mess that we call the January transfer window.
Really? Not only did the kid have talent, but he also reminded me of, um, me. Rae & Ghost.
We’ve been developing what we believe has been incisive content, blended with a lemony twist of humor, crassness and pop culture, ever since. We’ve enjoyed it immensely, and you, the readers, seem to have found it entertaining as well. We both started out at Chelsea Offside simply looking for a creative outlet in which to discuss the football club we support. In the end, we found much more.
What we unearthed here at Chelsea Offside was a place to live life, essentially. We share our views and interests, our dislikes and frustrations. We debate, sometimes even in a constructive manner. We argue. We fight. We earn another’s respect. Sometimes we don’t. We laugh. We cry – see Manchester United 2008. We riot – see Barcelona 2009. Within this small, seemingly insignificant space, we’ve lived Chelsea, and a hell of a lot of other aspects of life, over the past six years.
That, in my opinion, is pretty amazing.
A stray Google search led me to The Offside network in 2007. Shortly thereafter I stumbled onto The CO. While I found it a good read, it was nothing more than that at first, really. Personally, I had never gave much thought to the concept of blogging about soccer. I was a sports journalist, sure, but I never thought I’d write about Chelsea, much less write about Chelsea on a platform as substantial and accessible as this. Coupling Bill and Ted references with Gang Starr videos, to support tactical analysis on Chelsea? For an audience? Not a chance.
Yet here I am, some four years later. Loving it as much now as when I started.
I look forward to the future, We Ain’t Got No History and perhaps beyond. This next step in the evolution of The CO – that’s what it is, an evolution not an extinction – is going to blow people away, we feel. You are in store for something special over the next few months. Where we’re going we don’t need roads – or WordPress. Or rubbish web servers. WAGNH, as you know, already is an epic website; Devin and I simply plan to crank up the volume to 11.
Slight case of overload
I would be remiss if I didn’t thank a myriad of people prior to casting The Chelsea Offside off into the sunset, Last Crusade style. First, to the founding fathers – Daryl, Ian, Martha, among others – who not only guided me during my early stages with The CO but also made The Offside, as a network, what it eventually became. You might not know that, in March 2008, the Guardian named The Offside the 35th most powerful blog in the world. High praise. World Cup Blog x The Offside – the partnership may have never reached the heights it potentially could have, but for a period it was one of the best dedicated football hubs on the Internet.
To the writers I’ve had the pleasure to work with here, many thanks. Jamie – you brought repose to the chaos if only for a brief spell. Devin – my man. Thanks for grinding, and excelling, through it all. Thanks for stepping up when I was on the road. Thanks, simply, for being a friend. Speaking of friends – thanks to all of you who have provided inspiration, needed criticism and, most importantly, love during this insane trip. To my better half – thanks for being a rock (a gorgeous one at that) and providing that hard dose of reality when I need it. I’ll see you in DC soon, permanently.
Lastly – to you, the readers. I can’t say enough about you guys. You are the heartbeat of this community. Without your dedicated presence, your energy, your unmatched passion for Chelsea – The CO doesn’t exist. You built the house, Devin and I just added some killer furniture. That heartbeat isn’t dying, mind you. It’s just shifting to a new, improved locale. We expect to see all of you – I mean all of you – at the new mansion.
It’s been a hell of a ride, Chelsea Offside. I’m going to miss you.