What the hell happened at Dawgman.com?

Well first of all, I don't write. I talk, I take pics, I network like crazy, I write checks, and essentially do all the things that nobody else on the Dawgman staff will do. I don't write. If I do write, as Dave Samek once said, "Your writing style most closely resembles that of a ransom note." I don't write.

The fact that I am means something pretty unique has happened. I use the term "unique" loosely.

It's been a wild week.

I can't even remember when it first came up, but with our site running on technology that is nine years old we've been due for a facelift for quite some time. It's been in the works for a while. Back in March, I saw a preview. It was pretty cool. I was amped: Message boards with spell check and a search function. Posts would be archived forever (can you imagine having posts still out there when Rick and Tyrone were hired?). Big pictures on the front page. Bells and whistles galore. It was awesome. We couldn't wait.

As time went by we kept asking, "When?" We could never get a firm answer. We didn't care, we kept asking…July…The end of July…Definitely before the season…Soon…Any day…Monday at 3…Later Monday…No, wait! Wednesday at 9…No, later in the day…Thursday…100 percent Thursday morning…Thursday night 8 pm the migration of the new site will begin.

COOL!

Never underestimate your users. Before the site was fully migrated a few of you found back door access. The complaints started immediately. The site, we thought, had fully been migrated and a few of you were already pissed off. Little did I realize this was the calm before the storm. Wow.

The pages wouldn't load. You were asked to resubscribe. After hours of trying to log in you were allowed in only to get kicked off. Sometimes you could get on, most often not. We couldn't access the admin to upload stories. When we finally did get access, the stories wouldn't load. My phone blew up. I had so many emails, I couldn't even begin to answer them all.

That was Friday. That was nothin'. Saturday was special.

We had to cover the game against Oregon in Eugene. You really can't fly to Eugene. You can, but it's a pain in the butt. It's a five hour drive down I-5 filled with Oregon cops looking for Washington plates exceeding the speed limit. Always a special drive, especially on the way back from a night game.

I decided to rent an SUV to make the trip more comfortable for the "larger" members of our staff. Radio show Saturday morning from 10 to noon, five hour drive to Eugene, stop at Eagan's in Olympia for a burger on the way down…just make the best of it.

At 9 am Saturday morning..........load all the gear into the SUV. I have an hour to stop for coffee and get to the station in plenty of time to prep for the show. The ADD kicks in. I grab the phone charger out of my car. I grab my car keys and grab the charger. I throw the charger in, and hit the automatic closing button. As it's going down, I see the SUV keys laying there. In slow motion…"Ooooooooooooooohhhhh noooooooooooo!!!!!!!" as the door closes.

I'm locked out. All my gear is inside the SUV.

To make a long story short, I drive my car to the station and arrange for a locksmith to meet me at my house after the show. They're late. When they finally get there they discover that 2012 model year vehicles aren't very easy to break into. I tell the guys to leave without me, no way am I making it to the game. An hour and a half and three companies later, they finally get the SUV unlocked. It's now 2:30. If I haul ass I can make it for kickoff.

I got there at 7. Fetters was pissed, but that's another story.

The entire radio show Fetters and I were answering angry emails. The entire drive to Eugene I was on the phone and answering emails. Nothing seemed to be working and people were pissed.

Games that start at 7:30 just kill us. We typically finish work 7-7 1/2 hours from kick off, earlier if it's an ugly loss. Around 2 am we finally were able to publish our stories on the new network. They finally replicated to our front page around noon Sunday.

I sent an email off to the head of Scout before we left the press box begging for our old site back until the new one worked. We kept getting emails asking for us to be patient - progress was being made and everything would be fine.

Sweet Lou and I arrived in Salem around 4 am. Fetters decided to drive straight through, something about a scarf. Anyway...........

We got back late Sunday afternoon and nothing had really changed. It seemed like for every fix there were two bugs created. I threw my hands up in the air and waited to see what Monday brought.

It didn't take long for my phone to start blowing up. Publishers across the country started reaching out and strategizing. We were all just getting killed. The Clemson publisher has five other web sites he's competing with every day. Customers were canceling right and left. Nothing was getting better. We were pleading with Scout to turn back the clock.

Finally............about 6 pm Monday night, the powers that be relented. They agreed to give us our old, antiquated, out of date site back. It would take a couple of hours.

Four and a half hours later the old site was back. Like Husky Stadium, she's old. She's tired, she's run down........but she still works.

My phone is still blowing up. My email is jammed. I'm trying to get to them all but it's a little overwhelming.

Like what's happening at Husky Stadium, we're still committed to a redesign. It's going to happen. We're going to reach out to some of you for input as well as beta testing at some point. The architecture is old, stale, outdated and needs an overhaul. It's going to happen. When it does happen, it will be done right. Call it a hard lesson.

We've been doing this a long time. It means a lot to us. We care. Words can't describe how painful this has been for us. We appreciate your patience as well as the trust and faith you have in us. We're pretty passionate about what we've built and what we've done out here. We hope it shows.

For those who know me well, you know how painful this has been and how personal it is. For me to sit down and write something this long is pure torture. I sent it off to Fetters for editing but told him not too much. I'm not a writer - never have been, never will be. I know my lane and this isn't it. What Dave, Chris, and I have built means a lot to us. I told the head of Scout a while back I have two boys - Chris, Kyle - and a third son; Dawgman.com. Screw with me all day long, but mess with one of my boys........that's different.

My hat is off the the people at Scout who worked their asses off to make this happen. I know Moni, Zach, and Melissa worked their tails off. I can't even imagine the calls Maureen and others at customer service have taken the past few days. For Kyle at Scout, it couldn't have been easy to turn everything back.

I cracked open a bottle of 2006 Pepper Bridge Cab. It's drinking nice. The old site is back but my email is blowing up. Tomorrow will be another long day. I'm not complaining. I have a great gig. It's awesome. It's just a bump in the road.

I hope we never have to do this again. Why?

I don't write.


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