One of the proudest aspects of being a part of Bucky’s 5th Quarter has been the high quality of writing from so many talented writers and future journalists.
This site has seen writers move on to become respected members of the media. Names like B5Q founder/godfather Adam Hoge (first at 670 The Score and later WGN in Chicago), my tall adult son Curt Hogg (the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) and John Veldhuis (the Rivals network/BadgerBlitz.com), among others. Our previous site manager, Mike Fiammetta, also wrote for Sports Illustrated for a while during his time at B5Q.
Previously covering Wisconsin women’s hockey for us, the amazing Nicole Haase has continued to blaze a trail in writing pieces for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, USCHO, Sports Illustrated and the Victory Press. Heck even outside of the media, former Badger hockey savant Andy Johnson now works as a regional scout for the NHL while also being the assistant GM and director of scouting for the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers.
Now, I guess it is my turn to move on.
In the coming days, I will announce my next steps, but today is my last day at B5Q. I will miss this great community of readers/commenters and our outstanding staff, the latter of which I’ve become close friends with. Being here nearly six years, you grow a lot more than you think, though it did not necessarily start off smoothly.
In early July 2013, sweat dripped down my brow despite being in comfortable basement, the new “studio” for our first podcast episode for the site.
Just a year into doing the Kielbasa Kings Sports Extravaganza, Scott Wisniewski and I were excited to be part of a bigger, respectable site—with a big “debut” on a LIVE EPISODE on BlogTalkRadio. But in this first show on a new network, there were some connectivity issues when Scotty couldn’t log on (because of course).
Thankfully, Mike swooped in as a special guest, and once we got Scotty on, it was smooth sailing.
Since then, I’d like to think everything ironed out pretty well. I started to cover the team more consistently to the point of essentially walking the beat and somehow wrote a long form article about the walk-on program that eventually turned into a book (that last part is still really dang weird to me). We also started another podcast that is now part of the very successful SB Nation Team Brands network, one that Owen will carry on as interim podcast manager.
I never knew when or if I’d leave B5Q, this team of wonderful writers that I regard as dear friends, or SB Nation as a whole with the fantastic Matt Brown (previously Luke Zimmerman) and phenomenal Caroline Darney leading the college brands.
I am extremely thankful for Mike for taking a chance on me and Scott back in the day, and for allowing me to try some crazy ideas like the walk-on long form among other topics (see: all the wrestling stuff you see on this site whenever possible. I got to interview WWE’s Big E!). Without his guidance on so much of what happens behind the scenes, B5Q would not be what it is today in bringing you great Wisconsin daily news, analysis and updates.
To our writers, the nearly six years I’ve been working here, laughing together, telling Drew Hamm that he’s fired in unison—which is extremely funny, well, because Drew now runs the site—have been part of a remarkable journey. Our Slack channel conversations and roundtables has made me feel like part of a great community.
I am so excited to see a new fresh face and perspective for the site and what it can become under Drew’s guidance. Owen, Bob, Andrew, Jon, Tyler, Neal, Kevin, Ryan, everyone. All have special talents, and they will shine even more.
To our readers, you’re a part of this community as well. Thanks for reading, for our conversations, for pointing out silly typos I’ve made over the years. You are some of the most constructive and dedicated fans that follow Wisconsin athletics. The vast majority of our chats in the comments section have been civil, intelligent and respectful. B5Q will continue to be a place to have just discussions, I promise you that.
To Matt, Caroline, Bud Elliott, John Gennaro and all the SB Nation sites I’ve been fortunate to work with over the past few years—thank you all for your support, your work ethic, and the enthusiasm you have for covering your respective teams/universities.
I did not really know what I was getting into when I started here at B5Q honestly. Was this just going to be a hobby? How long would I do this? How much would my amazingly smart, beautiful, compassionate wife—who is very much my better half—put up with me doing this?
Six years later, I believe I’ve found a passion in reporting that I never knew I had. Admittedly, the past year has been a bit rough professionally in terms of figuring out what I am called to do and I should be doing, especially with a young family that we work to raise and hopefully become better than what my generation is.
This opportunity to be a part of Bucky’s 5th Quarter, and others before it, really hold true to what Conan O’Brien said in his Tonight Show farewell speech, something that I’ve quoted often before:
“And all I ask is one thing and this is ... I’m asking this particularly of young people that watch. Please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism; for the record, it’s my least favorite quality, it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.
Roll Damn Stave,