They say the bye week can be a blessing or a curse. It can cruel momentum and have you back to square one, fighting to get that momentum back. Or it can allow you to recharge the batteries and kick everything off like its a new day.
Can it be both, though? I argue it can be, and for me, it has been.
This weekend, I pulled a Costanza and went to reflect by the beach, metaphorically speaking. I went to the shore, skipped a pebble across the water and listened to Lionel Ritchie’s “Hello?”… again, metaphorically speaking.
In reality, I slept like a fucking log for the first time since February, played basketball for the first time since November, went to the gym, walked around the city and chilled. Just straight up chilled.
My real job — the one I get paid for — just ramped the fuck up. I can throw a dart in any direction and hit something that’s well past deadline. And my weekends, when the blog is thrown in, are normally spent doing nothing. Like, literally, nothing. I’m fucking wiped at the end of the week and want to just sit and stare at a wall like Elaine has been prone to do.
That can’t be good for business. That can’t be good for anyone.
So, sitting at the pub with Wifey on Sunday, a bye week in hand and following 48 hours of downtime, I came to the decision to cease regularly publishing stuff for 26 Rounds. I had considered holding it out until the end of a season in which I still fully expect this proud and oldest club to go back-to-back. I have yet to see any club — apart from maybe Manly — stand up and say this season is theirs, and the Roosters still have the opportunity to take that moment to put theirs up.
But I can’t find the time anymore to give it the effort it deserves. I’ll maybe post occasionally, and I’d like to keep the stats section going — I don’t think there’s a website out there that quite does it like we do, to trump one’s own horn. But the previews, reviews, team namings, injuries, rumours, and breaking news? I can’t see that happening, I am afraid.
I have a book idea that I want to get going. I also have some ideas for Roosters-based fashion/clothing: so if there are any people out there who know what they’re doing in that area, let me know.
I’ll miss it, for sure. And it’s ending on a high, with a readership much higher than I ever even thought remotely possible.
There’s plenty of people to thank for that. People such as Samantha B and Jimmy Choox and Boothy and Jimmy Rosenberg and Tobin and Aman ans Sam A and Ela and Dr NRL and Stevera and Nadile and Case B and Mario; who were reading, retweeting, responding and/or sharing to the point that I’m sure they suffered an RSI. Alby, appreciate the plugs too mate, and you’ve got a heck of a product over at Steele Sports.
Contributors such as Tim, Chris and DMW — especially the latter, whose believing in the blog kept it going as long as it did and made some brilliant additions. Wherever you are mate, appreciate it. Ditto, the sources who gave me stories upon stories to post (you know EXACTLY who you are, but I will never tell anyone your names).
But there’s a few people I want to thank the most. The first is a Storm fan with a Simpsons/Seinfeld fetish who opened up the blog to a larger audience of fans: Mitch180. Appreciate all the efforts and the columns, dude — we disagree on a bunch of stuff but at least we agreed to disagree. And you helped put 26 Rounds on the map, like Brockway, Ogdenville and North Haverbrook:
And I have no doubt that, deep down, you’d have no hesitation to become a Roosters fan if we signed Ryan Hoffman or some shit. #Mancrush180 and all that.
Eastsfan, really appreciate the avatar, the sharing on Facebook, the plugs, the #realtalk and the constant retweeting. And your missus deserves some mad credit, too. Her more than kind words about the writing made it worthwhile.
But the InfoBahn takes the cake (I had to use that nickname at least once in a blog). The Heighway has helped grow this shitty website, and he’s been its biggest supporter from the jump — well, him and his dad — and any metric of Twitter mentions for 26 Rounds will invariably include this dude.
(By the way — how come we haven’t given the Heighways the same privilege we adorned the Burgii? There’s just as many of them; surely the Heighwii works, right?
Oh, they aren’t fucking grubs? OK, noted. Heighways it is then.)
I’ll still be on Twitter and Facebook, but more the former. Love the banter, and I’ll catch y’all there.
But if you aren’t on Twitter, just remember: I — will — always — love — U — nited — Airlines.
(That’s the final blog-based Seinfeld reference, by the way. Good night, y’all.)
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Oh! I almost forgot!
I’ve clearly seen too many Marvel movies of late, and have gotten a taste for credit Easter Eggs — you know, when they have a teaser to leave you hanging?
In X-Men: The Last Stand, for instance, we see Charles Xavier speak through the body of a formerly comatose patient, paving the way for the possibility of Days of Future Past.
I love that shit, and thought I would leave you with something that sounds God-damned absurd — but no more absurd than a fucking telepath somehow transferring his conciousness to a vegetable.
What former premiership winning Rooster will return to the club — if not next year, the year after — to finish out a storied career?
What appeared to be a falling out when he left the club has apparently been mended, and both he and Uncle Nick remain tight. It sounded absurd when I heard the name, and the fact he may play again with the Chooks despite his advanced age sounded even more ridiculous.
But I’ve been assured there has been discussions between both parties, as silly as it sounds. If he is up for it, he’d likely play out a season off the bench in spot minutes before retiring at the club he won a premiership with. And he’s still match fit — well, enough to play 20-30 minutes off the bench at least.
And no, it’s not Luke O’Donnell.