In May of next year I will have been at this blog thing for five years. Five years, of simply doing what I love to do, watch Milan and write about it. In those five years I have seen Milan win the Champions League Title, not even qualify for it, and then return to glory with a Scudetto. I have witnessed heroes like Sheva, Kaka, Pirlo and Maldini leave, and the purchase of bums like Ronaldino and Huntelaar. In short these years have been a Milan roller coaster of every possible outcome.
At the same time, in these five years, I have been given responsibilities I have never once requested or welcomed but begrudgingly accepted. I simply wanted to write about Milan, my way, in my own little space, so expertly provided by the folks at Boots N’ All. What I never anticipated was the volume of emails and comments that slowly started to trickle in, some of them incredibly insightful and others simply to disgusting to even discuss. I took requests from readers to co-blog, something I was always against and still am to this day, because selfishly this is my space. This blog has always been for me, my little creative outlet, my soap box, and never did I expect the comments to become what they did and have, and never did I expect to read some of the awful things I have. Many of you have done an incredible job in that forum, sparking email discussions and relationships with each other and myself outside of the blog maybe via email, or together for a match. That to me is pretty special.
Sadly, early on however, I was naïve. I thought I could simply write and the comments would remain civil, and I wouldn’t need to do a thing. A belief that I know now is impossible because of certain people’s anonymity and lack of accountability. It is a terrible how easy people find it to use the internet as a vehicle to say whatever they please, whenever they please with little to no consequence. To put it into perspective this is merely a soccer blog, imagine what horrors exist in other forums like facebook? I still however hold the belief that free speech is of the utmost importance, and that people, when afforded a bit of leeway will lean towards the good, and that at end of the day, censorship, and babysitting each comment was never anything I planned or wanted to do. To this day I have still never deleted a comment, nor even banned a user, but for the first time in a long time I am simply considering going back to what I wanted in the first place, my own space, on or off the internet.
Two people, specifically Elaine and Jovan, approached me to be co-bloggers, they were not the only ones over the years but clearly those two people continue to hold a grudge because of my choice to keep this space my own. For that I am sorry, I am sorry that you feel that way, but your outcry for respect and most recent choice to use this blog as your own personal forum for your vendetta is simply poor. You could have written me an email, like a normal person would have, and aired your grievances privately to me but instead you made it shamelessly public. You had no problem crying for respect and looking for thank-you’s, but neglected to realize that I never reached out to you for anything, you always offered, and I simply took it, in return allowing you to post your links to your own blog in these comments, helping your traffic and giving you credit when I felt it was necessary and warranted. In fact I never even asked to do a podcast, had no interest really, until pressed and even then I was subject to continued pressure to do it in such a way outside of my own. That doesn’t work for me, I am my own person, and I will always do things my own way. I don't understand why that can't be "respected..."
I am actually embarrassed it had to come to this. A petty vendetta mission from people looking for “respect” when they don’t actually give any, shamelessly using this space for their own personal gain and creating a me versus everyone environment. In fact I am even embarrassed I had to write this. But if I didn’t I would simply stew and cloud my thoughts as I take a real hard look if doing this is worth it anyway. For the record, yes I get paid, $100 a month, barely enough to cover the cost of cable and internet to even watch Milan, with no share of traffic revenue. Yes, the blog has in fact been sold to SBNation and will eventually migrate over, when that happens, I am not sure. A point that I had to argue over email obsessively with Elaine, who couldn’t’ fathom why I would want to leave such a “great forum” selfishly neglecting to consider what I wanted for once or maybe that after all these years of being berated and belittled and wanting a little anonymity in my writing? The thing is at the end of the day; I did and do this for me, not for money, not for comments, and not for traffic. I never set out to be the best AC Milan blog on the web, or the most comments, or the most traffic. I just wanted a place to express myself.
So I leave you with this, if you don’t like my posts, my opinions, or even the little things I have shared along the way about myself and my life that’s fine. But please remember and realize this, unlike some blogs, I have never shamelessly plugged for readers and never once asked you to stay. I never visited other Milan sites and posted my links in their comments, I never felt threatened by other blogs or felt the need to advertise this site. I also have always respected the fact that like me, you are entitled to do what you please, and if you don’t want to read I am OK with that, always have been. If you want to tell me my opinion sucks, I am OK with that too, but that’s a two way straight. A point that is continually forgotten as people taking opinions about players or the team so terribly personal you would think I was commenting on their own mother? Something that I have actually endured via email and comments, so take a minute to consider that before you cry for respect or look for me to censor or moderate, when even comments such as those were upheld. With that I am going to click publish on this post, and then I am going to take a few days to gather my thoughts…I apologize to anyone who has been offended in the last week by the comments, or by my unwillingness to post simply due to the fact that my heart is not in it at the moment. At the end of the day one thing is really all that ever really mattered here before all the nonsense, and that is and always will be FORZA MILAN…