My friends, things are ending after ten years as they began. In July of 2011, I was working long hours to produce the beginning of 50 instructional videos and that first one, The Inside Zone Read was the foundation video that meant so much to fans, along with high school coaches and players across the US.
Working two jobs, with long hours? Some things have not changed in ten years, and they have to now. I just turned age 65 as this article is being published, (July of 2021) and I cannot have both a full time job and another 25 hours a week spent on FishDuck; I just can’t do two jobs any longer.
To make a long story short–to keep this community together–you must have new content up on the site every day so that we have new discussions in the comments every day. To have those new articles up every day you must have good writers who will work for free, who will put up with you-know-who, and yet follow my 40 documents and videos on how we do things at FishDuck. You go through a ton of people to find a few like those we have on the staff now…
After discussing schedules with the current writers concerning the next year, I learned that most will need to take a break from writing after football season. This is normal, as everyone needs a break from writing over a year and a half straight. But I have slots right now that need to be filled and between them and those needed later–I will need to add 11 new writers over the next four months in order to have training time and first articles completed before I place the newbie on the schedule as a permanent writer.
Recruiting and training eleven new writers? Yikes! Finding that many is near-impossible these days, as UO students now have a much bigger failure rate than just five-six years ago. Recruiting writers is a ridiculously time consuming activity, and I get tired even thinking about all the long phone calls.
Then we have the long arduous process of training the writers in the technology, our Hybrid AP/FishDuck writing style, the different article profiles and all the tiny stuff in constructing an article from determining a topic, to adding a satisfying conclusion. You would not believe the number of hours it takes in online meetings, in phone calls and writing emails to train writers. It is an enormous amount of time…
And I cannot do it anymore.
I have had a number of people tell me over the years that, “they want to take over much of my work to keep the site up and take a load off me.” After only getting halfway through the partial block of work I was to pass along–they each quit citing how crazy it was to do this much work for nothing. Yep!
It is the classic example of turning your passion into a massive management position that you had no idea you were getting into. I like to write and I love to discuss and banter with this wonderful community of FishDuck, but that is only between 5% to 10% (at most) of my time spent. Most of my time is the “have-to” stuff that makes it all go, and they are not activities I would choose, if I could.
So…the site is still staying up for live links, and I will be writing (probably) weekly in the off-season, and twice a week during the season. I am creating an email list where I send a quick notification of a new published article. This way if I am on an intermittent schedule–you won’t miss any articles and we can enjoy the banter in the comments. (Sign-up here)
However, I will first take a break, and while it will seem weird not working on the site every day, this break is so needed. I will have a GameDay article each week during the season, so do check in and we can have a few laughs together. I will probably have a “here-is-what-I-thought-of-the-game; how-about-you?” type of article up each week during the season as well.
I do look forward to staying in touch with those who wish to, as you are all so special. (If you have ever posted a comment on FishDuck–I have your email on the list mentioned above and I will let you know when I publish an article)
Boy will I miss this community, and while I could have waited until late August of 2021, I needed to rip the Band-Aid off now, take a break and get on with my life doing Planned Giving Workshops for Non-Profits and Churches. (More about that here, as it is another passion of mine. I’ve created millions of dollars in Planned Gifts over the years for charities, as everyone wins with the Xs and Os of those game-plans.)
This is a big loss for all of us, but I am going to focus all the good things done by the staff of this site over a decade, and the wonderful readers. I will never again be a part of fantastic online conversations as I’ve had with my fellow Duck Brothers and Sisters on FishDuck. What we have had is so very unique and so very special, and we’ve proven it can be done. And boy did we have a blast with it!
I love you all,
P.S. If you would like to be placed on the list to receive a quick notification email when I publish an article, do sign-up right here, and thus we can gather in the comments and discuss the topic like the old-days.
P.S.S. If you would like to reflect on so many accomplishments that have occurred over the last ten years of FishDuck, and the impact on so many–check right here to read it.