This whole Grit Tree thing started back before the 2009 season. I was at work sitting in Ucheedawg’s office, and we were talking about our favorite topic-the Bulldogs. While we were discussing and debating, the thought occurred to us. We talk about this all the time with each other, why not do a blog? There, the Grit Tree was born.
But first, let me back up a moment. When I started working is when I started reading football blogs religiously. Sure, I would read them while I was in school, but not like I do now. In school, you know, you are on the go and working, playing poker, drinking cold beer, etc. I would go to David Ching’s blog and check it, and I would go over to Georgia Sports Blog, Get the Picture and Everyday Should Be Saturday on the advice of Granite to see the headlines. But by and large, I just stuck to the print newspapers and good old fashioned AM Radio tuned into 960 the Ref. But one blog I made a point to go visit on a regular basis was T. Kyle King at Dawgsports. That was it.
When I started working in 2008, it was the summer time and the Dawgs were preseason #1. We had Stafford, Knowshon, and we were going to kick ass and take names after finishing #2 in the country. Excitement was at an all-time high. Tickets were being ordered. Tailgate plans were being made. I had a job and was newly married. What else was I going to do when I got bored? The Dawgs were #1 and I was out of range to listen to 960 the Ref. I was going to start reading all the Dawg blogs I could, jack.
So, back to August 2009. When we started this blog, I told Uchee that I wanted to be like T. Kyle King. Well, no one can be quite like Kyle King, especially me. I am not a lawyer and I think if you compare writing samples of the two of us, you will see I am clearly not as smart as him. Now, I don’t agree with every word that Kyle writes. But I knew that when I wanted to write my own blog, I wanted it to be in the vein of of Kyle King. I appreciated Kyle’s approach to clear, thought out reason. His post might be a little long, but hey, if they are well written and make a good point then why not? He was a gracious host to the people who commented on his blog, and always saw that the message boards and comment sections at Dawgsports were run in a polite and courteous way. The way Kyle conducts his blog reminds me of the Robert E. Lee quote. ”We have but one rule here, and it is that every student be a gentleman,” sums up everything in which Dawgsports has stood for under Kyle King’s leadership.
Early on in our blog’s life, it was around Christmas time, we received an email to our Gmail account. It was from Kyle and he asked if we knew the exact wording of a Lewis Grizzard phrase. He then complimented our work. This told me two things. One, people actually read our blog. Two, knowing that the Mayor of the Dawgblogs read our lowly site, and moreover was pleased with what he saw was pretty cool validation. It was all Santa needed to bring me that Christmas. It made us feel justified.
Kyle King wouldn’t know me if I sat next to him on a park bench. Though he is one of the few bloggers who use their real name and pictures, I probably wouldn’t recognize him if we passed on the street, either. But I do know his work will be missed. I can say that if it wasn’t for Kyle King, the Grit Tree more than likely wouldn’t exist either. This ringing endorsement doesn’t mean as much as one from Rep. Jack Kingston, but know it means just as much to me.
Reading his announcement yesterday, I noticed he referenced to some personal and professional changes that have been the impetus for his departure. I sincerely hope that everything is alright on all fronts and the changes are positive in nature. I also hope that he enjoys being able to be a fan of the sports again, rather than a dedicated blogger.
Goodbye, Kyle. And good luck.