No guys, I haven't gone into hiding in some remote mountain cabin with only a 2400 baud dial up modem and an old MS-DOS 6.0 desktop computer. I even shaved off the growth on my chin that looked like I had survived an Andean plane crash, for what good that playoff beard did. A few things have consipired this week to cut down on coverage.
First and foremost, with both the men's and women's teams falling out of their respective NCAA Tournaments, it is naturally the time where news slows down greatly. I'd write about spring football, but that isn't incredibly exciting to write about since I can't see anything. As long as there is no "Ralph Bolden tore his ACL" or "A light post fell on Robert Marve" news, there isn't a lot to talk about until the spring game. We're entering the long six months where there are a few spring sports, but not much else.
Second, My work has decided to crack down a little on internet usage. I don't think there has been a big problem, but after eight months on the job (and a full month as a permanent employee) they sent me the "Don't manage other stuff on the internet" reminder. They still love what I do and they had never said anything before this, but I am cutting back because I like having a job that pays for bills. It is also my first permanent job in over six years, so I'd like to keep some job security. Fortunately, I only work full days on Wednesdays and Thursdays and half days on Tuesdays, so I'll be limited on just two days a week. Maybe some of those other guys on the masthead can come up with content on those days, unless Wadas defects to Crimson Quarry because he's an IU student now.
Third, there is just some natural burnout from producing most of the content since before the start of football season. It is nice to have a break. At the end of April I'll be gone for a week in Florida, and it will likely be the first time in several years that I plan on stepping away from the site entirely for about a week.This basketball was exciting, but draining at the same time. While I would much rather still be alive in the NCAA's, the ordeal during the Big Ten Tournament was emotionally draining and I am definitely ready for the season to be over. The fact that it ended the way it did made it even more emotionally draining.
Fourth, it is State Finals week and my beloved Kokomo Wildkats are in the State Finals for the first time in 14 years and championship game for the first time in 22 years. Since my love for my Kats even transcends my love for Purdue I am getting a little amped. The fact that the IHSAA credentialed me for the Regional Indiana site, meaning I could finally be on the floor when they win the State Championship for the first time in 50 years (a childhood dream of mine that I still haven't quite let go), means Saturday is a huge day for me. Unfortunately, they don't have any kids coming to Purdue (unless D.J. Balentine unexpectedly gets a 2012 offer or Tayler Persons 2014).
So there will be more stuff coming. I have some good Profiles in Badasssery lined up. Andy will be publishing a lookahead article this week since Anthony Johnson, Jacob Lawson, and Donnie Hale will be key newcomers next year that need to contribute. John has had a great idea for a "Hammer & Brews" tailgating type of article. I'll try to say a few things about spring football as precious little information comes out, though I don't expect a lot when the projected starting running back and quarterback are going to be severely limited. As always, if you have any other ideas for articles in this dead zone you can e-mail me.
Once again, I have to thank you guys for another great year. Hammer & Rails is on its way to its first month of 100,000+ page views ever. SBNation even sent me a very complimentary letter about how much the site has grown, what a great job the writers and I are doing, and they tripling the monthly stipend (which wasn't a lot, but it is still nice). This is all credit to God for guiding me to make this site and you readers for reading.