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All good (?) things must come to an end

After many years at the helm of Bucky’s 5th Quarter, it is time for me to ride off into the sunset.

Dirt bike rider Alex Goutier, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, jumps his Kawasaki KX 250 over a jump at sun
This is me, riding off into the sunset.
Photo by Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

My time as the site of manager of Bucky’s 5th Quarter will be ending on July 31.

I have been writing at SB Nation in some form or another for over eight years and it is now time for me to move on. I enjoyed writing about the Wisconsin Badgers, my favorite school and athletic department in the known universe, for as long as I have but I am now ready to try something new.

For those of you worried that I’m done writing, fear not, I will still be offering my thoughts on the Badgers around the internet. For those of you celebrating the fact that you wouldn’t have to hear about any more of my writing, HA, sucks to suck! I’m starting up a Wisconsin Badgers basketball newsletter on August 1 where I’ll be covering all things related to the men’s and women’s basketball programs at UW.

Basketball has always been my favorite sport, probably because it was the only team sport that I was ever even a little good at, and being able to focus solely on it, while writing completely on my own terms, is too good of a deal for me to pass up. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while and finally sat down and figured it out a couple of weeks ago.

I will miss many things about writing at B5Q. The people I have written with have all been great and some of them have even become friends of mine off the computer. It is cool to meet someone via one shared interest and then find out you may have many other shared interests too.

I want to thank Mike Fiammetta and Jake Kocorowski for bringing me on board and, for the most part, letting me do what I want here. Jake in particular was quite good at politely suggesting that I rethink some story ideas or change a paragraph or two to be less...weird. I want to thank Matt Brown and Caroline Darney for interviewing me and still thinking I was a suitable person to run this site. The other site managers at SB Nation, especially in the Big Ten, were also awesome. Just like us with Wisconsin, they care about the school they write about deeply and were always available to do Q&As and banter back and forth on Twitter.

Other thanks to SB Nation types include: Morgan Kuriloff, community ops manager and budget czar, Beth Maiman, the current director of NCAA team sites, and Kyle Thele, the guy in charge of all of the SB Nation Reacts posts/graphics. A special shoutout to The Good Brand, Homefield Apparel, too for sponsoring our podcast as well as releasing an amazing line of comfortable, officially licensed Badgers apparel last year.

I want to thank the long list of folks that have written with me here, and I’ll try my best not to forget anyone but I know I will: Matt Belz, Tyler Hunt, Owen Riese, Ryan Mellenthin, Kevin O’Connell, J.J. Post, Bremen Keasey, Nick Snow, Jake Dicker, Jon Arens, Neal Olson, Bob Wiedenhoeft, Jon Beidelschies, Nicole Haase, Matt Rock, Luke Mueller, Scary Alvarez, Phil Mitten and surely others.

Writing here was a second job for every single person but it was not treated as such by any of them. The pay isn’t good either, but people kept showing up and churning out interesting content for Badgers fans all over the world. B5Q was routinely a top-10, and oftentimes a top-five, performing site among all of SB Nation’s college sites and I was always very proud when I saw one of our posts was the most read or second-most read of any college articles put up that day.

I would also be remiss if I did not thank my wife. She fully supports my writing, even though she does not care about recruiting or the weird stat deep dives we’d do sometimes, and was a valuable person to bounce ideas off of. I love her dearly and can’t think of anyone better to have in my corner.

That brings me to you, dear reader. You are also an extremely important part of this website because without people consuming the content we create...what’s the point, right? The comment threads on some of the most innocuous posts we put up that ended up 30 or 40 or 100 comments long were always so funny to read through. You all have great insights on Wisconsin athletics, and other things, that made it fun to write things because you never knew what sort of convo would get going below the article.

I would always chuckle when Wisconsin would play a team in non-conference football, or in the NCAA Tournament for hoops, or in volleyball and one of our commenters would go over to that school’s SBN site and report back with “they don’t have an article posted about the game yet and there are four here” or “their game thread post had three comments and ours has 300.” The community of people here is what kept me going for longer than I probably would have otherwise. I liked interacting with everyone in the comments or on Twitter or in real life if I happened to be going to the game.

Every year I see Neal at the Wisconsin/Minnesota men’s basketball game at The Barn. When Wisconsin played Alabama in Texas, multiple people showed up to our tailgate to chat and say hi. Luke and I hung out before the Wisconsin/Duke national title game in Indy and then I don’t remember anything else about that day. Jake stops by my house whenever he is in Minnesota and by my tailgate whenever I make it back to Madison for a game. Rock and I have been friends since we were randomly put together as freshman year roommates. I exchanged beer with drstre when he found some cool stuff in California he thought I’d like and I had some midwest options that he was missing. A dude I didn’t know filled in on my softball team here in the Twin Cities a couple of years ago and was excited to meet me because his job takes him all over the world and he read B5Q to stay as close to home as he possibly could.

All of that is so fucking cool.

Sports bring people together. All of the people on this site believe different things about any number of topics but they all agree on one thing: the Wisconsin Badgers kick ass and we should talk about them more. Coming here after a win was always fun since everyone was in a good mood, but coming here after a loss was also fun, in a perverted way, because I wanted to read if everyone was bitching about the same things I had been bitching about while watching the game. You don’t really get that in anything else in your life besides sports.

I am still helping in the search for the next person to take over running the day-to-day operations of this site, but I’m confident that whoever ends up taking the reins will have a smooth transition because you all will let them know when they fuck up, lmao, so they can get better.

I’m sure I’ll still be lurking around in the comments here and maybe I’ll be asked back to write something now and then. If you want to keep in touch, please follow me on Twitter at @drewhamm5 and subscribe to my free newsletter Badgers Ball Knower (here is the Twitter account) when it debuts on Aug. 1. I’ve already got some fun stuff planned for over there and hope to see you around the comments.

To end this way-longer-than-I-planned-it-to-be post: thank you for allowing me on to your screens and in to your hearts (you know it’s true)...just, thank you, it has been great.

On, Wisconsin,

Drew Hamm