This is the time of year where our nation collectively stops and gives thanks.
'Giving thanks' is a general term, so this is the time of year where I like to take some time and thank people for a number of different things.
It's been an amazing year on HawkeyeNation.com and for Hawkeye Nation, the magazine.
There were a lot of people that felt I was more than a bit nuts to move HN.com from it's previous location, as it was one of the biggest sites on ‘the other' network. (Sorry, I just get a kick out of how often that term is used on both networks to describe, well, ‘the other'.)
There was a time when I thought I was nuts, too.
But now, some 13 months since I was able to once again publish under the HawkeyeNation.com banner after having been forced to sit on the sidelines doing nothing for four months, HawkeyeNation.com is producing the same numbers as when I was no longer affiliated with the other network after 18 months at that location.
The Math: five fewer months, the same production.
Thanks to Rob Howe, Josh Clark, Jamie DeMoney and Marty Gallagher for getting things going during those four ‘off months' and for your work after that point and up to now.
Hey, I know that we are not miracle workers. Having the finest football coach in the world certainly helps to keep things clicking around here, we recognize that. We also recognize that we write for the most rabid per capita fan base in the country, and the most loyal fan base in the country, regardless of population.
We are all blessed and fortunate to do what we do, and we work very hard at it. Thanks for taking the time to check us out and to support our efforts. We hope that you feel as though you get an equal or greater value in return.
THE THANK YOU'S
First, thanks to Jesus Christ for enduring so much so that a sinner like me will one day see your Kingdom. Thanks for the gifts you have given to me; they are too numerous to count.
Thanks to my wife Andrea, for supporting my career. You are infinitely more intelligent and talented than I am; yet you have sacrificed so much to be an ubelievable mother and wife. You do not complain about the long hours I have put in for the past five years, yet your efforts in our home are equally as important to the success Hawkeye Nation. God has truly blessed me with you and Gracie.
Thanks to my daughter for teaching me so much about life in just two years.
Next, I would like to thank each and every person who takes the time to visit this website or who has picked up one of our magazines. Thanks for making us a part of your Iowa Hawkeye information experience.
A special thanks goes to the subscribers of this site and the magazine. It is your support that pushes each and every staff member to do our best and continue to raise the bar. HawkeyeNation.com has changed the way in which people receive their Hawkeye news, as well as having changed the fan's expectations of what it is they want to read. That goes back more than three years.
We have always sought to be the trend setters and the website that sets the pace for others to follow, and it's your support that pushes us to continue to do just that.
There are few things that I enjoy more than meeting many of you at various events throughout the year. Our staff CHOOSES to travel with the fans on our bowl charters, because we enjoy your company. It's not just a way for us to add a revenue stream and lend our name to something solely for profit; we like to be around fellow Iowa fans.
It's like we are a family; I just want you to know that I really appreciate your investing in us and trusting us to deliver you a good product in an ethical and moral fashion.
Thanks to Rob Howe for his loyalty and commitment to the website, the magazine and to me. Thanks for taking a chance on me when you left the world of traditional media and your position as Iowa football beat writer for the Press Citizen. You took the road less traveled. I am thrilled to be working on the same team with you. Also, thanks to your wife for supporting your career and the demands on your time.
Thanks to my parents for the discipline, the love, for taking me to church as a child and for your amazing generosity that continues to this day.
Thanks to my brother and sister for your support and for your love. Mindy, thanks for coming to watch Gracie so Andrea and I can go to the Cap One Bowl together, and Jason, thanks for your work this year in helping us bring the post game quotes to the Hawkeye fans. I look forward to working with you in the future.
Thanks to Scout.com CEO Jim Heckman and Scout Publishing Chairman Brian Kosar for supporting me at a time when others chose less than honorable paths.
Thanks to Steve Deace for all of the on and off air support you have given me as this business has grown, and thanks for being a very positive influence on my life.
Thanks to Josh Clark for keeping us up to date on recruiting, and thanks to Barry Crist for your support.
Thanks to Tim Bohlen for being a great, great role model for me and for providing me a great opportunity with Gold Key Mortgage.
Thanks to my friends for treating me the same as you always have and for telling me when I might be wandering off the path.
Thanks to the people of West Branch, Iowa and Princeville, Illinois for your roles in shaping my life. Thanks to my high school football coach Butch Pedersen for playing a role in making me who I am.
I probably shouldn't thank anyone in Carbondale, Illinois for that, because those were more destructive years than constructive years ;) But we had fun, didn't we?
Thanks to all of my friends in Kansas City and Troy Stedman of The Other Place.
Thanks to Jim Zabel for all of the kind words this year and allowing me to co-host ‘Sound Off' with you. Thanks to Van Hardin and Joel McCray for making that possible, as well.
Thanks to WHO-TV 13 in Des Moines for allowing me on your airwaves and thanks to CBS-2 in Cedar Rapids for allowing me to write a column for your each month. Thanks to the Local Sports Connection for the same.
Thanks to Bret Balbinot for allowing me to be a part of ‘Good Call' each and every Thursday.
Thanks to Chuck Hartlieb, Bobby Hansen and Karen Schulte for your time and allowing us to share your views on Hawkeye athletics with tens of thousands of Iowa fans who want to read what you think.
Thank to Brian Tripplet of the Daily Iowan for being a dependable contributor this fall. Doing what you say you are going to do is important to me, and you were all aces.
Thanks to Pal Joey's for a great seat all season. Thanks to Joe Chmelka of the Polk County I-Club for your support.
Thanks to our friends in the Iowa media and thanks to Iowa's fantastic Sports Information Department.
Thanks to my critics and the skeptics; you help me to examine what it is that we do and try and make it better.
I think that might do it, though I am thankful for hundreds, if not thousands of others who have played important roles in my life.
Wait, there is one more…
Thank you, Bob Bowlsby, for hiring Kirk Ferentz.