Five years ago today I was pretty directionless. I had no permanent job and I was forced to eek out a living early in my marriage by grading tests on north Michigan Road and covering the occasional high school football or basketball game. I had been underemployed for over a year since moving to Indianapolis after leaving my job in Kokomo as a TV commercial scriptwriter. I was not getting many interviews, I spent several days sitting at home bored out of my mind, and it looked like I couldn't catch a break.
In an effort to fight my ennui Mrs. T-Mill suggested that I start writing about Purdue football. It had long been a passion of mine, and blogs were still relatively new, so she suggested that I start one just to have something to do in my free time. At 6:52pm on August 28, 2006, I completed the registration for boilermakerfootballblog.blogspot.com and posted my first ever entry, starting with the following paragraph:
Welcome one and all to the opening of my Boilermaker football blog. I wanted to begin with a little bit of angst at how I am sure we all felt at times last year. Since that is what every sports publication out there wants to focus on, I'll hit it at the beginning of this, and then move on. Yes, we sucked last year. It was frustrating, we choked, we've never recovered from The Fumble, blah, blah, blah.
The first comment didn't come until a few entries later on September 16th, but thanks to posting each entry in the GBI football forum I slowly grew small audience. Things started slowly, but after about a month or two I had a real, live audience. The blog was shuttered after football's loss to Maryland, as I didn't think ahead to do basketball yet, but there was enough of an audience that it picked back up the following season.
Five years, millions of site hits, two names changes, and close to 2,000 updates later, it has grown beyond anything I could possibly imagine. I never thought I would make a dime on it. When the first ad sale happened I thought that would be a high point. Now it is an amazing community for Purdue fans that still humbles me. I'm amazed that anyone would even want to read my writing (especially back then when it was much worse), but now I have had people all over the country tell me that H&R is their first visit of the day for Purdue news.
I'd be laying if I said this was only a hobby for me. It's become more than a part-time job. You guys have helped me through some pretty rough times (especially in the last year), making you all members of my extended family.
This is mostly a rambling thank you for growing this site from those humble beginnings. What I do here is absolutely nothing without the community of readers that visits every day. With Yuengling, Megan Rapinoe, Hilary Duff, and Bo Ryan this place is always as much fun as the game itself. Thank you very much.