In seven years I had the pleasure of seeing more than any fan can ever imagine. Those seven years, in truth, are just a sliver of what my 25 years of AC Milan fandom really do mean to me. Supporting a Club, one that you are seemingly born into, that plays it's matches 3,000 miles away is no easy task. Today, yes, it is different. The advent of the internet has made it simpler but as a 7 year old boy, in front of a spotty RAI satellite signal it was a challenge but in turn pure magic. The invincible season, the CL trophies, the World Cup and the memories...the fondest being right here in this slice of the internet with many of you.
To be honest I started with to much fortune, a Champions League title three months into the job. It was like a miracle a team to old to compete goes to Athen's to avenge the demons of 2005. For many it was a story tale finish for me it was a story tale beginning. Since that day I have seen only one more true Title, a Scudetto in the 2010-2011 season. Sure there was a Club World Cup, and it was special in it's own right, but it wasn't the trophies that defined my seven year tenure it was everything else!
I have enjoyed, at times endured, five coaches: Carletto, Leonardo, Max Allegri, Clarence and Pippo. I have seen to many Captains to remember. I have overseen the worst purchases in Milan history...Ronaldo and Ronaldinho! I have overseen some of the worst sales....Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. I have had the pleasure of great transfers and botched ones, Pato! I have also seen players complain, players get sick, and players get hurt in every season in every venue. The more you hang around this team, this game, the more it sort of starts to become one endless cycle.
For those that already know, football was more then just a blogging hobby for me. For a few years it was an honest profession. Coaching, blogging, scouting, podcasting...even a season long guest stint on World Football Daily with some great guys in Steven Cohen and Kenny Hassan. I lived and breathed football of all varieties. In the same season the team I Coach was ranked second Nationally, only to lose the State Title, Milan went on to win the Title. When it seemed my attempt at making a Profession out of this game was not going to materialize I turned to a nine to five, succeeding there in ways I never did with my Football life. One thing always remained; however, the AC Milan Offside!
From humble beginnings, it was onto the SB Nation platform. An amazing transition really, and one that I would do again in a heart beat, but it was also the beginning of the end for an old dinosaur like me. Social media, instant news, even blogging began to evolve into something beyond what my original desires and intentions were. To write about my team for me, to write about my team when something occurred so profound, so awesome, so stupid that I couldn't shut up about it. To write something for myself and provide a release for the emotion. Then something weird happened, people actually read it!
I still remember the first comment on the Offside, it was from someone I would call more then a commentator but a true friend. That comment came from Avia and as more readers came so did more comments, from there more friends, more stories and more emails. Of course with those comments come trolls and fanboys, a reality in today's blog-o-sphere, but no matter how ignorant the comment I always knew I would be the one left standing and still standing all these years later while those trolls are long gone! In these seven years I have seen all kinds of comments, all kinds of trolls, but more importantly made many new friends. I have supported your right as a reader to free speech, believing that at the end of the day the same liberty I am afforded, writing, should be shared by all. I have not blocked, erased, or censored comments like some blogs choose to do. I gave each and every single one of you a chance because you gave me the exact same thing until the very last day.
I want to thank all of you for giving me the opportunity to share my words, my blog and my team with you for seven years. For the select few, Chad, Raf, RPalma, Kemba, Avia, Milams, Juan, YTOWN (I know I missed some) who I have shared emails and stories with you know who you are and where to find me. For everyone else, while my twitter name will change, I will keep the page and hopefully a link to many of you where I can share my next step(s).