I've noticed over the past couple of months that a fair share of big name writers on Bleacher Report have decided to call it quits.
Upon doing so, they offer some sort of "farewell" to their peers, their fans, and people who have helped them mature as writers along the way.
Since I really don't feel like I've accomplished all that much during my year and a half tenure as a Bleacher Creature, consider this more of a personal form of closure than a farewell to any one particular group or community on the site.
Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed being a part of the Pittsburgh Penguins and NHL Communities thoroughly.
I take great pride in knowing that I was here before it was "cool" to be a Penguins' fan.
I take even greater pride in having been able to write Penguin articles leading up to and including the 2008-09 Stanley Cup Finals when the Detroit Red Wings dismantled the confident young Penguins, only to have revenge bite them where it hurts the most the following season: the ring finger.
The nights I spent writing a handful of articles during the weeks following the Penguins' Stanley Cup Championship were some of the best nights of my life.
It's been a fun ride, but as they (whoever they are) say, all good things must come to an end.
I have been indifferent to Bleacher Report dating back some seven months.
I guess it started when logging in became a battle with pop up advertisements for a video game that a couple thousand nerds around the world play because they don't like sports.
Following that, the bandwagon rolled into my Community.
More and more articles and comments appeared by "Penguin fans" who joined the site to tell everyone how awesome and/or hott they think Sidney Crosby is.
Most of them thought Big Arty was Martin Brodeur's kid brother or Badger Bob was the Penguins' former mascot.
During my tenure as Penguins' Community Leader (a position which I was removed from for not being enough of a, how did they put it, "glue guy") I failed to see an increase in hockey knowledge or writing ability within the community.
Now granted, I'll be the first to say that I am a far from grammatically and/or politically correct writer, but I'd like to think that I have exhibited a good sense of the game of hockey.
Guys like Sergey Zikov have revamped the Penguins' Community recently, and make it a reliable place for thoughtful, intelligent insight, but they are by no means in the majority.
For these reasons I have decided to step away from Bleacher Report.
During my time here, I have feuded (as if this were an episode of WWE Raw) with just about anyone and everyone in the NHL Community.
I have shown an extreme bias for the city of Pittsburgh and the Penguins in every article I have ever written.
This bias created the turmoil that fed the fire in feuds with solid writers like Bass, Caggiano, Armer, MJ, Ronnybrook, Harmsworth, and even the B/R administration.
During my time here, I've used the word "joke" more times than Scott Hartnell's mother when he forgets to take out the trash on a weekly basis.
I've insulted the city of Philadelphia and the Flyers in 95 percent of my articles. Hell, I have even dedicated whole articles to doing just that.
I've called certain players overrated, and praised others who played with nothing but balls, disregarding their age, talent, or the size of their paycheck.
At times, I have come off as an arrogant prick with a total disregard for "respecting my peers."
And I've loved every minute of it.
You see, I didn't join this site to become a better writer, broaden my scope, get my name out to big time sports networks, or to make new friends in an Amish barn raising type of ceremony.
I joined this site because I had a passion for hockey, and a pride and passion in where I came from and the teams I grew up cheering for.
Bleacher Report provided the first real haven for me to get all of my thoughts out there.
I never expected people to agree with me, or even to like me.
I never expected people to respect me as a writer, or even to engage in serious debate about whatever nonsense I threw out about their beloved Joke Thornton or Alexander Ojokekin.
But, because of all the turmoil, all the fueding, all the name calling and finger pointing, what I gained was a wealth of respect for hockey fans.
What I had failed to realize before coming to this site is that there were in fact a handful of people who were just as passionate, just as proud, and (almost) just as biased toward their team and their city as I was.
And for allowing me to realize this, I thank you all.
While I don't think I've become a better writer or a better person or any of that happy go lucky horse manure, what I have become, thanks to all of you, is a better fan...
And let's face it, that's what Bleacher Report is (or at least used to be) all about.
So, 231 articles, 742 comments, and 58 fans later, for one last time here on B/R...
Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has just left the building.
Let's Go Pens.