15 years is a long time, but when you get to do something you love, it flies by in a blur. This site has blessed me in countless ways over the years but nothing is more important than the people I’ve been introduced to via this blog. So I thought for this post I’d reach out to a few former writers and ask them to share a few thoughts. As usual, they came through in a big, big way. Cheers everyone, and happy birthday CelticsBlog!
First, congratulations on 15 years. Hard to believe. You created something very special after The Globe kicked us all off the Globe chat and shut it down To an old timer like me, your success is an amazing story of someone building something from the ground floor and making it work in the best of ways. While I have great memories of the blog I’d love to share, I’ll keep it short.
Without you and Celticsblog I would never have had the opportunity to be able to interview one of my heroes - Bill Russell. It was a truly surreal 40 minutes . Thank you for the platform to do that, and to let me write for the blog.
Secondly, and even more wonderful, was developing new friendships with people on the blog all those years ago. People that I still communicate with today and consider friends. I’d like to list them all but I’d forget someone. Thanks Celticsblog and you Jeff for these great friendships and connections. Is it soup yet ? :-) Continued success in all you do Mr Clark.
Master Po - aka Mitch
Without CelticsBlog and Eric Weiss I never would have been a credentialed member of the media when the Celtics won their 17th championship in the 2007-2008 season. Covering the team for several years will always be one of the highlights of my entire life and something that I will remember fondly. Thanks to a post on the CelticsBlog forums, I also have a movie to keep some of those memories fresh and share them with my children who were just babies then. It also gave me the confidence to make a successful career change which has been more rewarding and fulfilling than I could have imagined. Kevin Garnett screamed “Anything is Possible!” and that became true for me that year, in large part because of CelticsBlog. Congratulations on your 15 years of excellence and thank you for making a part of your legacy!
I’m sure I’ve said this or written this dozens of times, but when I was a restless teenage Celtics fan, CelticsBlog was my home. I went to CB and HoopsHype every single day. Back then you didn’t get content shoved down your throat with twitter and app notifications and all of that. You had your trusted outlets and you had HoopsHype to gather the rest for you. For me, I would read the Globe to get my general sports news, go to SI and ESPN for NBA coverage and go to CelticsBlog to read everything from Jeff, Eric Weiss and to make sure I caught everything in Shirley’s daily links. I was an avid listener of Celtics Stuff Live. I’ll never forget how much I loved driving from Charlotte to Asheville with my dad one time listening to a couple episodes of CSL, back when the idea of spending a long drive listening to a pair of podcasts was so innovative that my dad said, “You kids with your technology!” for the 80th time that year. For some reason, even though I worked here for years and owe my career to the platform Jeff gave me, the first thing I think of is just reading CB in class or emailing articles to my dad about Rajon Rondo.
So yes, CelticsBlog was vital in helping me become an established writer and eventually turning this into a career that seems surreal in hindsight. But it’s the role it played in my childhood and with my family that makes it truly special. Jeff has catalyzed so many great careers and the CelticsBlog diaspora is quite impressive. But I think his biggest accomplishment was creating the first real online home for Celtics fans, something more authentic and communal than what we see on Reddit or Twitter. Maybe it’s just romanticizing the past, where interactions were more focused, deliberate and genuine. People were in the forums and making fan posts not for likes or retweets or upvotes, but to spark a real conversation. It was the bedrock of this site and I’ll never get over the feeling of writing a piece and seeing over a thousand comments, maybe 10% of which were actually responding to what I said in the piece. But it just meant so much to try to lead the conversation and hopefully illuminate something new to the readers or at least help shape the way they think. The kind of feedback we got here was pretty remarkable and I haven’t experienced anything else like it.
I learned a lot about how to write to an audience that was both willing to learn, but also ready to share. I also eventually learned the lack of virtue in writing 4,000 words about pick-and-roll defense just because I can. I’m eternally grateful for the blank canvas I was given at CelticsBlog and after painting a bunch of disjointed cubist landscapes, I eventually figured out how to find my voice and refine it. And it’s been great to see how after I left, there have been more great writers coming in to do the same thing. It’s amazing how CB can have so much turnover, yet still find talented and insightful writers every time a slot opens up. Jeff is like the Coach K of NBA writing, except Nike doesn’t funnel nearly as much money under the table.
Dirk van Boxtel
My love for CelticsBlog is one of growth. Helping out as moderator and occasional writer has been stellar. Seeing how the show was run, the peek behind the curtains... it never lost its magic, you know.
The name “CelticsBlog” is dropped at least once during every job interview I have. And every time I talk about copy-writing, I use it as an example of excellence. In fact, I’m now teaching others about writing for the web, in large part thanks to all of you. You could say I owe my career to CB!
Good Celtics teams come and go, but this place has remained superior throughout.
Thanks. I love yas.
Congrats to everybody on 15 years! It’s an honor to have been a small part of the incredible machine known simply as Celticsblog. As a high schooler, I would come here and read/vent in the message boards with fellow fans. Over time that evolved into posting my own comments and threads, and eventually writing for the site I grew up loving. When I was in college writing for the school’s online newspaper, I would e-mail my article links in and then wake up early the next morning to see if they made the list. Sure enough, they always did - even if they were probably painfully bad.
I’ll never forget my first real assignment for Celticsblog. Jeff was able to get the blog credentialed for the Marquis Daniels press conference. It was my very first Celtics event with a credential and I was so nervous and excited. I blacked out most of the presser I think, but do remember how cool it was to be a “media member”, something I wanted for years. The other awesome thing we did was get a credential to Media Day (before everyone in the world got one). That day, I would literally email updates back in real time to the guys on the desk, and they would post them up on the site for viewers. It seemed to be a hit. Little did we know it was essentially what Twitter would become very shortly after... (gee... if only we capitalized on that idea...).
I really have to thank Jeff and the Celticsblog community for my growth in the Broadcast/Journalism field. The OGs like Jeff, Master PO, Tom Savage, FL Celts Fan, Thirsty Boots, Duke & Poulin kept this thing going strong. I also have to thank all the loyal Celticsblog readers for making Celticsblog truly one of the best blogs and go-to sites for C’s content in the world - yes, world. Here’s to another 15 years - and a few more banners.