Saturday, October 20, 2007

Happy 1st Anniversary, Sons of Steve Garvey

Today marks the first anniversary for Sons of Steve Garvey.

Believe me, I had no idea it would last this long or evolve into the Los Angeles Dodgers blog you see today. And I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect a bit on the past 12 months, cognizant that I’m coming from the perspective of profound appreciation for what we’ve managed to produce over the course of a year, as well as extreme bitterness over the corrosive way that the Dodgers’ 2007 season cratered in the second half (as well as the smoldering wreckage that has been left in its wake). My perspectives carry a little bit of both emotions, so what you’re about to read (besides being ridiculously lengthy; sorry about that) is probably reflective of revisionist history; I reserve the right to further edit the post later.

When we started this blog, we ended up hitting the ground running without knowing what the hell we were doing. In many ways, we still don’t know what we’re doing. But what’s fascinating is that, without guardrails or initial guidance, SoSG developed its own voice, position, and direction, evolving into its own through a collaborative effort that sort of found itself. Not that we haven’t had the occasional internal discussion about the direction we’re headed or things we want to improve or change, but they have been few and far between. SoSG is much more accidental in its development, which really makes the last twelve months all the more remarkable.

I want to start out this post by reflecting on the one question we get the most over email:

Who are the Sons of Steve Garvey?

The Sons of Steve Garvey are basically seven guys who hail from different walks of life, live in different cities, work in different industries—and by nature bring different perspectives to the table. The only unifying attribute is that we are all passionate Dodger fans—and to be totally truthful, I can’t even fully say that since one Son is only a new Dodger fan (this Son's favorite team hails from the NL East)—but all of us can write about the Dodgers with passion having followed them since we were kids. Since we cherish our anonymity, I can’t get into too much detail on an individual level, but I can say this:

  • We are indeed seven different people.
  • We currently live in four different cities. Four Sons currently live in Los Angeles. One Son has spent a significant amount of time living abroad.
  • Five sons went to the same high school.
  • One Son is a season ticket holder.
  • Only two Sons have met the entire SoSG staff.
  • One Son has gone on at least one baseball trip (i.e., beyond Dodger/Angel Stadium) with five of the six other Sons (at different times).
  • When seated at a round table, if Son A is sitting to the right of Son C, then Son E is not sitting in between Son F and Son G.
  • In aggregate, I believe the seven of us have 15 graduate and post-graduate degrees among a variety of fields. These degrees come from a variety of schools, but I will say that we have a good cross-section of the Ivy League and Pac-10 schools covered.
  • I believe that all of us have been published before (beyond this blog).
  • At least two of us have formal journalism (specifically, newspaper) experience, and one Son makes a living writing (beyond the income from this blog, of course).
  • Three Sons are associated with the entertainment/media industry, and have entries on imdb.com.
  • One Son was at the 1988 World Series Game 1, Kirk Gibson game.

Why we started Sons of Steve Garvey

About this time last year, I went and cleaned out my Dodger-related emails that my friends and I had emailed from the 2006 season. The number of emails was a surprising amount—something like 3000 in total. Most of the emails had content consisting of no more than little quips, many of the quips developed into inside jokes, and a scant few of them were worthy of public consumption. Many times, bolstered by the power of blackberries and treos, the conversation would be fast and furious during a specific game or following a specific roster move; I can recall times when I would come back to my desk at work after a quick one-hour meeting, only to find a chain of thirty emails piling on a specific topic.

Developing a blog seemed like a logical method of collecting the random thoughts among this core group of Dodger fans, in one live document, all in one place. The Game Threads in particular were designed so all of us Sons could chip in and comment on a game in progress, whether one of us was at the game or watching the game on TV or streaming over mlb.com. And since we all have random interests beyond the Dodgers (gasp!), SoSG speaks to the entropy in many of the blogposts which go beyond Dodger fandom. To be honest, I guess what I’m trying to say is, SoSG was originally developed for us, sort of like our own clubhouse—but we would let others in if they wanted to sink down to our level and join in.

What I’ve learned from the past 12 months

And that’s what makes this first-year anniversary so amazing—it seems that there are a couple of other people who have enjoyed visiting SoSG too, beyond the seven of us. At first, we were a little surprised by this; the fact that people might actually find us relevant, interesting, and possibly even funny (notice I didn’t say the words insightful or thought-provoking) was a nice bonus.

But when the Sports Illustrated 2007 Baseball Preview issue came out, I think that’s when we really realized we might have a wider audience than we had initially thought. In that issue, SI mentioned Sons of Steve Garvey as one of four blogs in an online poll for the honor of best Dodgers blog (specifically, it asked for the blog "with the best Dodgers info" (it can be found at si.com/dodgersvote)). And after only six short months of blogging-—again, without knowing what the heck we were doing or where we were going-—to be even mentioned alongside such basic blog necessities like Dodger Thoughts and True Blue LA (6-4-2 was categorized as an Angels blog) was absolutely mind-blowing for us. These are blogs which are the canon of Dodger fandom, and to be even loosely associated with them in a major national magazine was quite an honor. One of us happened to be on an elliptical machine at the time, working out while reading this issue of SI, and has this hilarious story of almost falling off the machine when he saw SoSG mentioned.

Suddenly, we had an audience. And suddenly, this became something bigger.

The rest of the year we were always pleasantly surprised to be linked from ESPN, the LA Times, and USA Today. From a macro level, today’s democratization of media and power of the internet is so astounding, that we were blown away by how wide our random missives could carry, shocked not only that they resonated with anybody at all, but also that they got to these people in the first place. It was even more surprising that these other readers wanted to join the fray and comment with us, agreeing or disagreeing or even just chiming in. And it’s been a fun, fun year from our side; we hope that those of you that have read SoSG have had as much fun as we have had these twelve months.

So where does that all of this leave us now?

To be brutally honest, this offseason comes at a good time as we try and figure out if we want to re-up for another year of this mayhem or not, and how we would take this blog into year two. All of the Sons have full-time jobs and competing interests and shifting priorities and worldwide travel, and keeping up the blog has been rewarding but far from effortless.

As we still are, and always will be, huge Dodger fans, you can tell we have no shortage of opinions. And we're proud of the fact that, almost accidentally, we've helped to cultivate a territory for the Dodgers community, where true Dodger fans who share our zeal can come and express their opinions on our favorite team. We love the Dodgers, deeply, and we root for our team with passion. And hopefully, this passion has come through on our blog.

I know I for one am interested in what you think of Sons of Steve Garvey, what you’d like to see more/less of, what we do well/poorly, etc.—so please post a comment or drop us an email. This month, we've been busy recharging our batteries, but now that we’re aware we have some readers out there, we’d love it if both of you could give us some feedback and/or words of encouragement (or discouragement). In the meantime, we do have some changes in store for next year (if we all agree to do this again and re-up our contracts); I can't get into details but it basically falls under the guideline "more rock, less talk"--except for the "less talk" part.

And above all, thanks for reading. If you've enjoyed the ride, glad we could help. If you haven't enjoyed the ride, there are other Dodgers blogs to read (and again, that's why we're anonymous--it makes us harder targets at which to throw tomatoes). But above all, thank you. It’s been a great 12 months, and we hope it’s been as fun for you as it has been for us.

GO DODGERS!

12 comments:

Orel said...

You know, that was exactly what I was going to say. Nicely put, Sax. Happy anniversary!

Rob said...

Wow, thanks for the nice words. To paraphrase a much smarter fellow than I, if my theories of team construction prove correct, Angel fans will declare I'm a Dodger fan, and Dodger fans will declare I'm a citizen of the world. Or something.

Rob said...

And, yes, congratulations on one-year-ness. It's a great blog.

Eric Karros said...

Random trivia: also (once) celebrating his anniversary on Oct 20 was William Shatner, who was a guest at the wedding of Sandra Bullock and Jesse James, whose previous wedding to ex-wife Janine Lindemulder was also held on Oct 20. Only on SoSG, folks.

Orel said...

Janine Lindemulder (probably NSFW)

Steve Sax said...

Awesome. SoSG's anniversary party quickly becomes NSFW. Bring on the strippers!

cigarcow said...

Happy anniversary indeed. You guys do a great job, keep it up. Definitely one of the top sports blogs out there.

Delino DeShields said...

I was worried we'd go the entire off-season without one mention of a major porn star. Thanks for the link by the way (I'm writing this comment two hours after I read Sax's post). I wasn't sure what NSFW was, till I got fired.

Lasorda said...

Happy Birthday to all of us. Just think, now that we're done crawling, we should start to walk!

sanfrandodgerfan said...

SoSG...I thank you for creating this blog...I had fun today...and...will return frequently...cool stuff and people here...

Steve Sax said...

Thanks for joining us, sanfrandodgerfan!

Kristian Jimenez said...

Hello, my name is Kristian and I met one of the "Sons" last night at the Dodger/Padre game. It was good talking too you and your family. Thank you for introducing me to your blog, it is great! If I can, I'll post a picture of my Vin Scully ball later.