In five weeks I’ll be celebrating my five-year anniversary with MiddleEasy. In those five years I’ve been taken on a journey that has brought me across the country, had me work with some incredible human beings and has fostered some of the best friends I’ve ever met. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it wasn’t all because of MiddleEasy.com.
Five years ago, I was a bitter retail worker looking for something more. Caught up in corporate web of utter pointlessness wore thin, and I was (to be honest) still reeling from a previous creative partner’s death a year and a half previous. I had been sitting on my ass, driving too far, spending too much on gas, not seeing my new wife nearly enough and it was all for a couple bucks and a stressful life.
Then Zeus created MiddleEasy.com. I came on officially 2 months after it launched, but many late-night Xbox sessions with Zeus saw me listening in awe of his vision of what a website, a sports site, an MMA site could be. I can tell you right now that the most liberating feeling in the world is to look at a successful business or piece of work and say to yourself, “I can do better.” I urge you to follow-up on that feeling.
So that’s how I felt about MMA media five years ago, and I know that’s exactly how Zeus felt as well. In industry terms, MiddleEasy filled a niche and really hit that 18-34 demographic. For us in the vortex, we wanted to create a revolution even if it was a ripple. Hell, if I could make one person smile with a reference to World of Warcraft or Lord of The Rings, then it was all worth it. I’m not going to speak for the rest of the contributors of MiddleEasy, as Banguize (is that how I spell it, Zeus? For the record, Banguize was a weird dude who would cheer on both the Pistons and the Lakers and would also wear the gear of both. In the early 2000’s this rubbed me the wrong way), D**k Grayson and the OGs Cat, Bauzen and Layzie all did this for their own reasons, but MMA to me was bullshitting with your friends in a bar or living room while cracking jokes and enjoying the madness. That’s what it’s truly about (for me). We wrote articles that we wanted to read, first and foremost. It was built, you came, now here we are.
People have come and gone from the site, some permanently left, but obviously the superpower behind it all, Zeus, is gone. I would be lying if I said this wasn’t a huge hole to fill. Zeus was one of the most forward-thinking and creative people to grace the MMA world in years, but he’s gone. It’s that simple. He was essentially my mentor, but now he’s gone. So what’s going to happen now?
MiddleEasy was Zeus’ baby, but I consider the site my adopted child. She’s a special baby that all of you guys wanted to look at for the most unique take on the MMA world the last five years and now she’s growing up. I promise you that I will be here to make sure she develops into a strong, independent woman that is beautiful not only aesthetically but because of her brains too. Unless MiddleEasy is a man? What is the sex of the MiddleEasy monster? I don’t think Zeus even knows… Either way – you’re in good hands. I’ve been here too long and care too much to screw this up.
Remember, when it comes down to it, this baby is yours more than ours. All of you here made this incredible journey possible. Without you, we’re absolutely nothing.
Now, to the business at hand.
We have some writers coming back, some new names (that you’ll recognize) joining us, and in general, MiddleEasy will see a new energy. Running this beast can be tough, but we will be hitting the MMA world hard, with gaming coming in secondary. We’re axing the science section, and I’m in preliminary talks to get back the MiddleEasy Network so you guys can see all of the content you want to see every day. The MMA world is in a lull right now. Things are strange, but this is also the perfect launchpad for further greatness. I have full faith in Jason Wurz, Dave Walsh, Nick Robertson, Kieran and of course, Gary to bring us to that greatness.
Beyond that, the only other thing on my mind is filling up the now dual 40-team MiddleEasy Fantasy Football league in which two conferences of 20 teams see a week 16 conference champion, then the two teams redraft for a week 17 championship.
That will be good too.
Thus concludes my rambling hello to the future and goodbye to the past. Things are going to get even more (r)awesome around here, and I can’t wait to take this new ride over the next few years alongside all of you.
Please, throw any feedback in the comment section. Now is the time for change, and you guys have the floor.
Here’s to the next five years,
PS. Let’s watch a Fedor Highlight in honor of everything MiddleEasy over the last five years and to the future. It seems like the right thing to do.