Well, well, well! When I joined Bleacher Report way back on April 28th of this year I would never have thought that seven months later I'd still be writing.
If I'm honest, I only really started writing for this site to humour my friend, Sam Langley who seemed to want to take this seriously, and saw it as a chance to get working on his journalism skills.
I fully expected, after writing my first article, to never come back on this site again.
But, while writing that first article, I began to think about journalism as a possible career path for me. And, as I wrote more and more, I realised that I enjoyed writing about sports, and my opinions on it.
Now, imagine getting paid to do that! Journalism is now what I plan to do at University.
Bleacher Report has given me a chance to hone my writing skills, and I think I have come a long way since that first article.
Lots of people have taught me lots of lessons that have helped me along the way, and I am grateful to all those who have done so.
I first hit the 1000 reads mark with my second article, and have been lucky enough to have gone on to hit that mark a fair few times in my writing.
By far my most successful article in terms of reads, however, was "The Top Five Weirdest Olympic Events", which topped 50,000 reads.
In my 250 articles to date, only one has become an Article of the Day, but I am proud to have had even one! They certainly aren't easy to get!
There have been a few articles that I have been particularly proud of, most of which coming inside the past month, most notably "The Power of Sport", "Jogo Bonito: The Beautiful Game", and, from a few months ago "The Poisoned Chalice of the Manager and the Devolution of Football".
In the inaugural Bleacher Report World Football Rankings, I was awarded the Most Controversial Writer award (probably solely for my article on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer), and in the second edition came second in both the Most Consistent and Most Creative Writer categories.
Looking back through my archives, one thing I have also noticed is the amount of series' I have produced!
Most, I would like to think, have been quite successful, such as the "Player Duels", "Great Quotes", "The A-Z of...", "Liverpool Legends", and "The Great Debate" series, but some have been note quite as successful, notably "The Great Bleacher Report Quiz", which I thought was a good idea but it never really caught on!
The three series I am particularly proud of, however are the "Greatest Ever" series, in which I count down the greatest members of the history of different sports, my "A Tribute To..." series where I look at legends of various sports, mostly football, and my "Unofficial World Club Championship". Click here to see the latest installment of that.
I am also incredibly proud to be the Liverpool Community leader for Bleacher Report. What's better than being the community leader for the best club in the world? (Oh no, wait that's Fulham at the moment!)
After 250 articles in 222 days, 724 comments posted, 2207 received, 100 Pick of the Day votes received and 236,446 article reads, averaging 945 reads per article, I have worked my way towards the top, and now sit snugly in 17th place on the entire site Writer Rankings.
But enough about me, and on to the most important thing—you readers! I thank all those who have read any of my articles, commented on them (whatever you said), or picked any as their favourite.
But a special thanks to those 51 who have become my fans. Apologies for the long-winded nature of the following, but I am going to name all of you in order to thank you all individually!
Thomas Leemon, Farooq Ahmed, Michelle Alves, Salaar Shamsi, Ismail Ayub, S B, Rahul Basu, Nithin Bekal, Trey Bradley, Justin Bruce, Isreal Butson, Myles Cameron, Alex Dimond, Isaac Elyacharshuster, Yoosof Farah, Dave Finnocchio, Zander Freud, T G, Willie Gannon, Baris Gerceker, Michael Griffin, Chris Griggs, Long John Silver, Simon Johnson, Jeremy Kaufman, Andrew Kearney, Sean Kelly, Miles Kenton, Anthony Kern, Jermaine Koko, Sam Langley, Jon Marum, Liam McLintock, Alan McGuinness, Illya McLellan, Andrew McNair, Guido Merry, Tanade Mohamed, Jon Naylor, Karen Patel, Jessica Potter, Benjamin Rogers, Steve Saquella, Brad Simkulet, Saraswathi Sirigina, Harry Smith, Bryan Trafford, Jamie Ward, Rosie Woolnough, Peter Wright and Alby Jnr, thank you all so much.
Wow that was long! For all of you who aren't on that list - why not?! Don't you want to join that elite group of people?! Become my fan, what's stopping you?!
Only joking! Only become my fan if you think I deserve it. That's the way I hand out my fan adds, so that's the way I expect it in return.
Other great writers who I have not yet gained the fan add from (grrr!) include Shyam Parthasarathi, Ricky O'Neal, David Gore, Maire Ofeire, Anthony Sanchez, Joe Guarr, Danny Penza, Marzia Hazra, Callum D'Souza, and Mark Andrew. There are many more top writers out there, but I'm tired and it's getting late!
Special mentions have to go to Salaar, who has helped the World Football community grow into what it is today, S B, who brings a South American view to B/R, and has had great success writing in a niche market.
Alex Dimond is one to whom I am eternally grateful. There is no doubt in my mind that he is the best editor I have come across on this site. He edits to a high quality, gives useful, constructive feedback every time, and adds tags to help the articles get more coverage, a far cry from some editors who just remove relevant tags, leave no feedback, and don't do anything else.
Writers such as Willie Gannon, Illya McLellan and Andrew McNair are among the best I have encountered during my time here. That's not to say, however, that no others are up among this quality, as many other writers are.
And, of course, a huge thank you to Zander Freud, Dave Finocchio, Bryan Goldberg and Dave Nemetz, without whom this site wouldn't exist. They continue to do a great job day after day after day, and they are never too busy to ignore a writer asking for help or a request to read their articles.
To all those I have and haven't mentioned, you're all doing a great job, and helping this site evolve, so keep it up!
Here is to the next 250!