A Big Blueshirt Banter Thank You

Sometime on Monday morning, Blueshirt Banter earned it’s 50-MILLIONTH page view in site history. I used the word “earn” intentionally, as this space is one of many where fans can consume Rangers news and you select to come here.

Thank you for that.

I remember the first time the Banter hit a thousand views in a full day. We stayed up until close to midnight, waiting for that “999” to make the turn to a thousand. I remember the first time we hit 10,000 too.

Little milestones like that have felt a lot more personal, because of how hard we’ve all worked on this place. I was here in the beginning, weeks into the site’s creation, and this place has been a daily destination for me since. Outside of trips that have taken me out of the country, I’m on this site in one way or another every single day. So is every member of the staff, whether they’re writers or doing things behind the scenes. The Rangers never stop, and neither do we.

When I officially took the site over in 2011 I was a year into my job as a sports reporter for a local newspaper in Connecticut. I envisioned a more professional take on the Rangers, that sort of mimicked the feel I had in that newsroom. I made some changes right away, already had a great team as a part of the site (seriously, 75% of the things you love about this place are because of Mike), and the Rangers were on the upswing.

After their run in 2014 I did a traffic analysis on the year’s figures and surmised we’d never see another season with traffic so high. The Rangers had made an unexpected run to the Stanley Cup, had traded for Martin St. Louis a few months before, and hockey was hot again in New York. It was the perfect storm, I thought.

I was wrong.

Since taking over in 2011 this website has grown in key traffic metrics every single year. That’s especially impressive when you think about the 2016 and 2017 seasons of quick playoff exits compared to the years before. A lot of that has to do with the work we put in behind the scenes here (and then provide for you) every single day. A lot of it has to do with you guys making this community as much fun as it is — to the point where Tony does a yearly BBQ and there are regular meetups at games. A lot of you guys interact with us on Twitter, or listen to the podcast, or join in on Facebook; this place has truly become a community. How much of that is because people bond over mocking my typos? Probably more than I want to admit.

We’ve expanded from just the site, too. We have an enormous community on Facebook, one of (if not the) most listened to Rangers podcasts, and we are the biggest Rangers blog out there. That’s all because of you guys, too, and I can’t thank you all enough.

I don’t want to get overly sappy and emotional. Everyone on the current staff has played a huge role in making this place what it is, and helping us continue to grow.

Specifically, though, Mike deserves an enormous shout out. I wasn’t kidding when I say 75% of the stuff you love here is because of Mike. He’s easily one of the most talented people I’ve ever worked with and pushes me to be better every single day.

Big shout outs to Bryan and Jack who do a lot of the game threads, recaps, and daily links — small things you’re all accustomed to that still take a lot of work. Adam, Alex, and Tobias who do a ton of work behind the scenes watching and scouting prospects, then taking more time to put that stuff together into prospect rankings and draft profiles. Shayna and Tom for stepping in and making a difference to the staff right away, adding more legitimacy and beef to the site. Mika for his countless hypotheticals, and loving knowledge of the salary cap that seems to know no bounds. Kevin, Beth, and Pat for their continuous good work, and helping keep us sane ... or maybe making us crazier in our BSB group chat. And Scott and Phil, who are the newest additions we’re expecting big things from.

I also want to take a moment to shout out 50, Wolfer, Big B, and Keith because they do a ton of the work behind the scenes in the ever-active comments to make this place run and you never (well, rarely in the case of 50) see their names on the buylines.

And finally to Tyler and Travis, both are no longer a part of SB Nation, but they always believed in me and this place. They’re a big reason why this place is as special as it is too — they let us do things our way and it worked.

We’re going to keep trucking forward and continuing to do all the stuff that makes us great. Thanks to all of you for the support; keep that coming, too!