How much can you really learn in a year?
You can learn about passion. About sacrifice. About ingenuity. And about focus. But most importantly, you can learn about voice.
It took us an entire year, but we have finally found our voice. And that voice tells real stories, paints vivid pictures, collaborates with other sites, and brings you the news – raw, genuine, and unfiltered.
For us, Flournoy Over Riley – and by extension the Thin Line Collective – has from day one been a passion project. It’s that thing you wake up thinking about, or that takes your attention away in the middle of the day from that job that pays the bills. It’s that thing that always keeps an idea swirling about somewhere in your head.
It’s that thing that you don’t care if anyone ever reads. It’s what doesn’t need shine or recognition. It’s just a space to get your thoughts out to the world, and for you to be proud of your own finished product.
And then y’all started reading. And kept reading.
We didn’t have any great expectations for this project when we got it off the ground. We just started with a dollar and a dream (actually we didn’t have any dollars, and still really don’t). We wanted to contribute thought-provoking discourse to the world, while engaging sports fans in a deeper level of critical understanding about cultural and racial intersections involving your favorite childhood pastimes.
Really, we just wanted to see how far this train would take us before we were forced to stop. But so far, even though the speedometer ebbs and flows, we are still on track and accomplishing many feats along the way, some of which include:
- Launching our site – because you have to actually start somewhere, right?
- Choosing a name; changing the name; sticking with the new name.
- Publishing 38 articles written by the two co-creators and two contributors.
- Showcasing 1 reader-submitted debate, and 2 more conducted amongst ourselves for you to enjoy.
- Collaborating with two other startup online magazines – The Sports Fan Journal and Abernathy Magazine.
- Somehow, some way, managing to work Jeremy Lin and professional wrestling into two of their own stories each.
Most important for us, we have learned in the last year that there is a space for this voice: the voice that addresses the 200-pound gorilla in the room and tackles it head-on; the voice that doesn’t shy away from creating debate or simply weighing in; the voice that elucidates struggles and slights that most people would miss. People want to hear from us, and from Us. It’s a beautiful and ever-humbling thing.
We aren’t ESPN (seems we’ve been slightly defeated by The Undefeated, but that’s another shot to be taken on another day…maybe). We aren’t Bleacher Report. We’re not Yahoo or Sports Illustrated or Deadspin. We don’t pretend to be; we don’t intend to be. We are our own unique voice in the universe – not bound by convention, and certainly not bound by censor. We don’t report, we present. In the end we hope that the content we have given you over the last year is enough to keep you coming back for more; interacting with our contributors; and creating your own water cooler topics to opine/argue/do-anything-short-of-fistfight over. We really do take great pride in what we produce.
We thank you all for following us on our journey. We just hope you’re ready for Year 2.
Oh yeah, and year 2 will definitely have podcasts (at least A podcast). Seriously. For real this time.