I was in a different place 10 years ago today.
Mrs. T-Mill and I had barely been married a year and half and I was having a hard time finding a job after moving to Indianapolis. I was just discovering that I wanted to have more of a writing career after writing for my hometown newspaper as a stringer since 1999. Every time I applied for a writing job, however, I was told I didn’t have enough experience. Mrs. T-Mill had a great response for that, however:
“Why don’t you go out and get that experience?”
With that, Hammer & Rails was born. I went to Blogger, registered an account, and went headfirst into blogging because that is how Bill Simmons got started, so why not me? I was going to write about Purdue football and see what happened.
It was not Hammer & Rails in the beginning. It was the creatively named “Boilermaker Football Blog” on blogger started simply as an outlet for me to write. That first year was only about football, as basketball was mired in the first sad year under Matt Painter, but there was a beginning. I started with no audience, posting the links on GBI, and no idea what I was doing.
I had no idea at all that I was beginning this entire site.
I know many of you have been along with me on this humble journey from the beginning. Others have come along at various mileposts (Paintergate, Hope getting fired, Swanigan, etc.). Whenever you came across this blog, I thank you for reading from the bottom of my heart. This site is nothing without you. In March of this year we hit over 850,000 page views in a single month. That is an absurd number considering where I started this.
To my co-writers (Juan, Andrew, Casey, Kyle, Rob, Rachael, Jack, and Drew) you make this place better than I can ever make it. I am a repetitive, simple writer that started something people like to read regularly. You make this place better. I could not do this without you.
Finally, to you readers, thank you. This is a place that wears me down every day, but still gives me great joy. I hope I can do it for another 10 years for you.
It is an honor to do this.