Passing the Torch At Birds 24/7

Eagles fans in stands

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

This profession can be a bit of a high wire act, and I was smack in the center of the arena with balance pole wobbling when the idea of Birds 24/7 was formed.

The start-up site I was writing for, Philly Sports Daily, went under following the 2011 season. Good timing because my wife was pregnant with our first child. I was fortunate to have 97.5 the Fanatic to lean on some, but needed a full-time gig to generate a decent income and keep the career dream alive. My level of vulnerability may have been slightly greater than I let on when I sent a feeler email to Sheil that winter.

You can imagine my reaction when hope came back in the reply.  And, hopefully, you can understand the level of gratitude I have to everyone who has helped breathe such remarkable life into this once far-fetched project in the four-plus years since.

The time has come to hand the project off. Today is my last day at Philly Mag. I’m moving on to pursue another opportunity, the details of which I’ll share soon enough.

Before I head out, some thank yous. First to Tom McGrath, David Lipson, Tim Haas, Patrick Kerkstra and the rest of the Philly Mag group. It takes some guts and foresight to back an idea that had zero accompanying page views at the time. Thank you for the creative freedom, the leadership and the opportunity.

Next to my partners, Sheil and Josh. I was fortunate enough to hit the jackpot twice here, first with one of the finest football writers in the country in Kapadia, and then with a phenom in Paunil. Being surrounded by that kind of talent is humbling, and has served as a great motivator. I’ve spent the last four years more or less just trying to keep up. I consider both to be good friends and could not have gotten any luckier on a professional or personal level.

The force is strong in young Paunil. His creativity will push this site to new heights and his loyalty will ensure it stays true to the original vision. I leave you in good hands. That will be all the more clear when Josh’s new partner is announced soon.

To my family. In the first-ever Birds post, I predicted that the time commitment needed would lead us to being “sentenced to the sofa more than once, undoubtedly.” I was right about the time commitment part, but underestimated my wife’s patience and understanding. Fast forward from the winter of 2011/12, my daughter is now four and we’ve been blessed with a son as well. Without my family’s selflessness, there’s no way I’d have been able to put the necessary effort in. You have them to thank, in other words, for all the on-time Wake-Up Calls.

Lastly, to the Birds 24/7 family. We felt the support from the very beginning, and watched in awe as the audience grew. The respectful, colorful community you cultivated in the years since is perhaps the greatest point of pride for us.

Thank you for that gift, and thank you for the net. Please keep it under for the next in line.

— Tim