Thanks for 10 great years, now let’s have 10 more

Getty Images

On November 1, 2001, the hamsters were lured onto the wheels and the PFT servers powered up for the first time.  Exactly 10 years later, I’m not interested in checking the rear-view mirror.

Last week, I was feeling a little reflective.  Now that the 10-year anniversary is here, I’m more interested in looking forward than looking back.

As a result, there won’t be any commemorations or greatest hits or other self-congratulatory nonsense.  I want to focus on better serving the people who are responsible for 10 years of PFT, and that means striving to do what we do even better moving forward.

So instead of posting comments slapping us on the back, give us a kick in the ass.  How can we get better?  That’s what will best ensure another 10 years or more of me not working for a living.

95 responses to “Thanks for 10 great years, now let’s have 10 more

  1. How about the use of thumbs up and down in the comment section on the iPhone app?

    Thanks for becoming my go-to place for NFL info on the web.

  2. If you pay me $1 per article I’ll proofread all of Rosenthal’s posts for spelling/accuracy/personal opinions. Seriously.

  3. Well, I want to first say thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. What I would recommend to improve the site is to:

    1) Proofread more

    2) Do not delete/remove comments that may criticize the article that is posted (IE: removing a user post that states specific #’s in a players contract before PFT posts it…..)

    3) Continue to update each article as the story changes but remember to continue to update the article throughout the day until the story is complete.

    Other than that, great stuff!

  4. “How can we get better?”

    Stop being a parrot for Roger Goodell and his “cause of the week.”

    Oh, with one exception, during the lockout you were 100% pro-player and anti-owner.

    However, that’s exactly what kind of unanimous voice NBC wants on these issues. Sunday Night Football commentary is so boring compared to all the other sources.

  5. 1. Hire a proofreader.
    2. Leave your personal feelings about teams out, or at least tone them down.
    3. Hire a proofreader.
    4. See 1 and 3.

  6. Congrats on 10 years Mike.

    Would it be possible to have the league standings on the site? It would save me some time so I don’t have to click over to the World Wide Leader.

  7. I think you should let users login using whichever social network they choose and use that for the comments section…that will instantly make your site WAY more social…and it also will encourage more interaction. would be a great model for revamping the comments section.

  8. I think this is the best place, hands down, to get NFL news. Outside of some of the things that have already been mentioned (however guys, to be fair, I see my fair share of typos on every single sports site, and even the AP Sports stories, which is more than a little embarrassing), I think it’s fantastic, and you allow more interaction then a lot of places do, even if those views don’t share yours.

    Congrats on an awesome 10 years and best wishes for many, many more.

    And now I’ll go hit F5 again 🙂

  9. Those hamsters deserve a raise, or at least a break.

    This is a very big achievement Mike. I remember some of those earlier Rooney Rule conversations we used to have. When it was a big deal to serve 1,000,000 hits in a day.

    This all started with you and a rubber-band server that stayed up for hours at a time, and now you’re showing up in all parts of our lives (I listen weekly on 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore–keep Steve). The biggest step forward probably came when you got under the NBC umbrella, that was a big deal.

    Congratulations to you and your team.

  10. What andre504 said, and

    if you’re going to allow low class attack comments that sometimes smack of racism, please stop deleting reasonable responses to them.

  11. It’s hard to believe that the internet really just started to become popular just 10 years ago. Today, I wouldn’t know what to do without it. Congradulation and hears to another fabulous 10 years.

  12. I recall the early days Mike. The real time game comments(got a few of mine posted), the lively political e-mail discussions back and forth on your aol account. Congrats on the success.

  13. I’d echo the comments of previous posters that came to mind before reading all of the posts so far (these are in order of importance):

    1.) Echo sws222 about toning down your personal feelings. A lot of time you make normative statements about someone “getting it right” on something that is completely subjective and it makes you come across as arrogant and unreadable at times. The hate goes too far in many instances (for instance, any negative article on the Eagles or Vikings).

    2.) Don’t remove posts of people who criticize the article/website/you/etc. Unless the comment is offensive with language/racism or other inappropriate posting etiquette, please don’t delete it. People read the comments sections for a reason…to see what others think. Giving them a subset of that isn’t doing anyone any favors unless they have violated the first 2 sentences of this point.

    3.) Proofreaders – no joke, one of my friends (who is getting a Ph.D. in English) and I discuss this on a semi-regular basis (i.e. how we could do a cheap job proofreading everything before it comes out). In my experience, people don’t fully appreciate when you DO spell things right or get them grammatically correct, but they DEFINITELY recognize when you DON’T do those things right…and it ends up being a poor reflection on the authors’ intelligence/commitment.

    4.) Institute a rule where none of your writers can make reference to “Dream Team” or “nightmare” etc. when referring to the Eagles…the beating of the dead horse type stuff…

    I’ve definitely enjoyed 10 years so keep working hard.


  14. Keep up the good work. The spelling and grammatical mistakes make the site seem more human. And don’t leave your personal opinions about teams or coaches out. That’s mostly why I visit the site…to hear what you guys think and how you interpret certain situations.

  15. How to get better? Time to start a radio show! You are fantastic in relief of Rome. The nation could use a daily brief on all things football.

  16. Stop being a corporate stooge.

    Call out the talking heads like Peter King (and others) when they mess up. You used to be good at that. You still occassionaly call out ESPN, but they are an easy target. Be fair and call everyone out when the situation warrants.

  17. Put where we can filter stories to a specific team. For example, you select The Vikings, and all the stories in the last 3-4 days will pop up that are about the Vikes.

  18. Ignore all the people saying to “leave you opinions out of the articles”.

    So many people don’t understand – this isn’t an AP site. This isn’t a newspaper. It’s a BLOG, despite all appearances. Put what you want in the articles. You’re beholden to no one.

    Keep up the good and interesting and readable work.


    1. Stop posting Non-Football related stuff just because they are part of NBC Sports (Knock – Knock – Hello Olympics, and Hockey)

    2. Loosen up on the removal of comments. I’ve has some fairly benign comments removed.

    3. If comments are removed let the user know why. I don’t mean a generic “Not allowed” message. If someone is reading them to delete them, then that same person can respond with a reason it was removed.

    4. Edit Feature.

    5. Thumbs UP/Down for the Android App.

  20. How about a “”””Where’s The Press”””” segment on the show where you disect the corner backs who played 5 to 7 yds off the wide receiver and get smoked and wonder why…

  21. Eliminate the expression “all-in” from the PFT Style Guide.

    And no joke, hire an undergrade English major from the local college to do your proofreading. Hell, if you want to be really cheap, make it an ‘internship’ for a j-school program.

  22. *More of the business side of football. David Cornwell was your best PFT Live guest during the lockout.
    *Less of Sam Francisco from San Francisco.
    *More talk/stories about how small market teams can compete with Dallas and NY.
    *Less questions to players about strategic issues. They only care about next week’s game; they aren’t looking at a schedule and projecting their record in six weeks.
    *Less talk about concussions. If they want more safety, let them sell software.

  23. Congrat’s! Three pieces of constructive criticism…1) do something with “WordPress”….half the time I can’t log in, then when I’m finally able to do so-more times than not my post either doesn’t show up or disappears. I take care not to use curse words or verbally attack others on the thread, so I don’t think my posts are being censored- they just disappear. This is very frustrating…I take the time to craft well-thought out comments. One of the things I love about this site is the interactivity with other football fans.
    2) try writing with a little less bias (apparent with Tebow and certain teams)
    3) spell check….I’m tired of having to read comments about misspelled words.

  24. A decade of pft…wow.

    As much as I want to bash the typo’s, comment on how nice it is to see that the kid from the Wonder Years found work after television (didn’t know his name was rosenthal, though), remind you that Bradshaw is alive and plead for more Favre/Tebow coverage, I’ll simply say this…..

    ….Congrats, many sports fans would love to start/run a site like this, few would have the ‘wont-to’ and work ethic to pull it off.


  25. I check this page about 30 times a day, from my computer or my phone if I’m in school. I appreciate all you do for informing us. Though you’ve taken more of a condescending tone lately. It’s nice and funny to read once in a while, but most contributors are almost trying to force it into every article. I really enjoy the sarcasm, but sometimes it’s a bit much. I would also like to see each team treated fairly. I know sports is all about “what have you done for me lately” where “lately” is an ever changing variable, but it’s really frustrating sometimes to read about one teams accomplishments from 5 years ago when it’s relevant to your point, but then another team’s accomplishments completely overlooked as if they never happened. Just my two cents since it was asked for. I will remain a loyal reader regardless. (Host the DP show more please.)

  26. Interesting that you ask for criticism in this post when the only comments I’ve had rejected are ones that are critical of articles or highlight inconsistencies in what you say.

    So here’s what you asked for:
    1. Accept and publish all non-inflammatory criticism of PFT.

    2. Stop trying to be a journalistic site and start publishing real rumors again. Stop sitting on things and/or trying to get confirmation.

    3. Likewise, realize we don’t really care how PFT is treated by the mainstream sports media. There’s a reason why we are here and not there. A corollary: we don’t care who gets a scoop first, just that we read it here soon after.

    4. I like how you take points of view on controversial issues, but then don’t like how much you yammer on and on about them. Like with the coaches after the 49ers-Lions game, you took an interesting situation that was quickly over and wrote about it for DAYS. blah-blah-OUTRAGE-blah-blah.

    5. Drop the phrase “ESPN-on-ESPN crime.” Its time was over the second time it was used.

    And FWIW, I don’t care about the spelling and grammatical errors, I find them humanizing. At this point I think it is funny how they rile some people up.

    Thanks for asking, Mike! I wish you and the site much future success.

  27. As I said before, hire a writer from your readers. It would not only make the site better, but make the entire community feel like they are a part of it (I would be happy to take the job so that I too would no longer have to “work for a living”).

    It seems though that everyone agrees a proofreader would be of utmost importance, so let me start as a proofreader (for free) and allow me the honor of writing a guest article from time to time as a trial run. You can determine whether or not I get the job based on the feedback.

    What do you think? 🙂

  28. Allow for another form of feedback (other than comments) that goes to site editors, for correcting of errors, typos, etc. I’m sure you can’t keep up with all the comments on every article.

  29. Echo others on censorship for reasons that aren’t apparent, making sure articles are decent as far as technical aspects (spelling/grammar) and bringing back the pic of the week.

    It might be a neat idea to take a commenter per week who makes a great post and feature that or something, or let them write a post or two. There are a lot of intelligent commenters here whose thoughts I really enjoy and learn from.

    I appreciate your bringing back thumbs up/thumbs down thing too.

    Congrats on 10 years! I’ve only been reading for about 7-8 years since I was one of those backwards people who didn’t have internet access anywhere until then. The success story of PFT is a great old fashioned American success story and it’s hard not to appreciate that. Pop the champagne and bring out the GOOD food pellets for the hamsters to eat. 🙂

  30. happy to share my birthday with PFT!

    fast forward:

    24 hour comments and content

    more writers from other parts of the country

    a pft planet fantasy league

    enhanced user profiles that share favorite teams and create more connections between users

    cheers PFT!

    hope we’re all still here in another 10!

  31. What I learned from watching “A Football Life” last week: Ed Sabol didn’t ask the people what they wanted; he already knew.

    And so do you, if you look deep enough. Own your vision.

  32. If I never read “Brett Favre…..” I wouldn’t complain and I’m sure neither would a lot of people on here.

    Also, keep bashing ESPN, that is genius, accurate and the rest of the world wish we had the forum to say the same damn thing.

  33. I miss Taco Bill. Also, an audio podcast would be nice to listen to in the car.

    Congrats on the next 10 years.

  34. This might be a little extreme, but alot of us look at your website well at work. You should have an option that exports all the articles to an excel Spread Sheet. So I don’t gotta keep minomizing my browser. Just keep that bad boy up all day and no one thinks twice about how dedicated i am to spread sheets.

  35. GREAT SITE!!!

    I’m a LOYAL visitor and have been coming for years, but I do have a couple of ideas:

    1) PLEASE start allowing us to leave comments via social website logins (i.e., twitter, facebook, etc.)… not only will this significantly increase your twitter following, but is also the direction similar sites are headed in…. almost every other site I visit allows this as an option now (and still allows for the other wordpress-type of sign-in as well)… This really HAS to be considered and implemented.

    2) Start taking proof-reading/spell-checking seriously… its sort of embarrassing.

    3) Please STOP deleting comments. I am always VERY careful to not use foul language or personal attacks… but have had many comments deleted… usually when I disagree with the original post… this kind of stuff really stinks.

    Thanks for your consideration and looking forward to another 10!

  36. Make it so people (like me) who use android phones can download PFT live . My phone isn’t compatible with your software so I always miss your live guests.

  37. 1) A stats page is a great idea. Why lose clicks when you can possibly rss feed NFL stats here?

    2) More moderation on these boards. Irrelevant comments like “Raiders SuckLOL” add nothing to the discussion.

    3) Don’t let NBC change your basic concept, or tell you how to run this place. You’re doing great.

    I’m personally delighted to see the level of success you’ve attained. Undoubtedly you deserve the accolades.

  38. Some good suggestions so far, but here’s one I haven’t seen – improve the policing of the comments sections. I realize that traffic has grown exponentially and it is probably much more difficult to achieve these days, but I look back fondly on the days when there was a more rigorous screening process.

    A little back and forth is always good (and it felt like a small accomplishment when you could sneak a good shot at someone past the screeners), but too many of the exchanges these days have just gotten downright ugly. The way I see it is if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face you shouldn’t write it in the comments.

  39. Start an Won’t be able to update as regularly as for the NFL, but the fanbase is there and this thing is growing.

  40. It was more fun when you could swear and be politically incorrect — not big on the NBC corporate “sell-out” schtick.

  41. Please get rid of the ALL CAPS headlines, they are annoying and hurt my head, and either left justify or write your headlines a little more concise to make them fit in the space alloted.

    But lose the ALL CAPS, that will be a large step forward.

    Otherwise, the content is great, like to read the stories, just hate the homepage.

  42. Mike,

    I found this site in 2006 and have been checking it about 20 times a day since. The growth from a Mom & Pop site where you shared your kid’s garage band auditions and Catholic school football practices to a mega-corporate site has been fun to see. I hope that you continue to instill part of your personal life into this site. It makes us feel like we know you and your family. That’s why I continue to check the site. Oh…and I enjoy your radio appearances with my main man Ken Broo on WLW on Sunday mornings talking about all things Bengal. Peace.

  43. oh AND, get back to the “rumor” mill more like the old days. too much now you seem to wait for someone else to report it, sure, you’ve become a great one stop shop, but you haven’t had much “rumor” coverage since the Revis holdout. I’ve seen more and more over the years a story that starts with, “we caught word of this a couple days ago but…”. put it out there man! it is afterall a “rumor” mill.

  44. Allow more exchanges between commenters. Do people get insulted sometimes? sure, but whatever.

    I would like to be able to level more personal attacks on the Vikings fanbase if possible.

  45. I’d like some more fantasy content. I’m a fantasy nut and can’t get enough.

    Do something a little different though, not just another start ’em, sit ’em.

  46. Get rid of the ‘Turd Watch”.

    As your site has grown, it has become mainstream and attracted a wide audience, including young impressionable fans. Backhandedly ridiculing the real-life off the field problems of the athletes that fuel the entire industry will do nothing to bring legitimacy to PFT or to you as it’s creator. The perception, based on the content of the site and the often condescending tone of your write-ups, is that you have a certain disdain for NFL athletes, and you are all too eager to trumpet their mistakes. I don’t see what purpose this serves the greater good of the game.

  47. You have to choose between journalism and blogging. You hide behind one of them when it’s convenient. For example, Suck For Luck, which you basically made up out of your own head. It makes your concussion stuff less credible.

    More investigative journalism, less articles. We can find news on our team from a lot of places.

  48. The one and only thing I have to complain about is the commenting format. You are in need of a big upgrade. It needs to be something where you can reply to other posts and that will actually encourage conversation. Right now the comments are a jumbled mess. I bet you would be surprised how much more good conversation you would have and how much less of the dumb one lines like “Jets suck”

  49. I really like PFT! I have been checking this site everyday since I found it just before the NBC merger. I like that I can go to just one site to find all NFL news and rumors.

    But last week I commented twice about looking farther back than 1 year to show that there are new trends happening in the NFL, and you quickly deleted those posts. Why?

    I am a Bears fan, and I also check the Chicago newspaper sites and people post all kinds of nasty things about the stories and whoever wrote them, but they dont delete posts unless the are really bad, which they should.

    If some one just points out a flaw in logic or says you missed somthing, it should not be removed.

    As far as profreaders, who cares if there are some erorrs, unless it makes it hard to understand your point. (I can’t spell or type well either!)

    Congrats on 10 years!

  50. PFT is my one-stop shop for all NFL news, keep up the good work and congratulations on 10 years.

    But I am begging you, fix the Android app (I guess it’s more of a NBC SportTalk thing than a PFT thing but either way it constantly crashes for me) or allow the RSS feed to have the entire article so I can use the Pulse app.

    Also, the podcast is hard to find in Google Listen or Stitcher, maybe you can recommend another android app for podcasts?

  51. A runnign theme here is a complete revamp of the comments section…. everybody seems to want that and would improve the overall experience and site TREMENDOUSLY!

  52. I’d love less Draconian methods of moderating the comments. Seems comments critical of the editors on this site and some commenters are not often allowed. Constructive (key word here) criticism should be encouraged as it helps you make this site better, and spurs good, deep conversation.

  53. Thank You Fellas,
    As I often drive home to work,
    many of the sport talk radio shows get so much of the info from PFT. I actually know what the heck they are talking about. Keep up the great work!!

  54. Oh, also, threaded comments – let me reply to a comment without having to copy/paste their text into mine.

  55. CKL says:
    Nov 1, 2011 9:36 AM
    It might be a neat idea to take a commenter per week who makes a great post and feature that or something, or let them write a post or two. There are a lot of intelligent commenters here whose thoughts I really enjoy and learn from.

    Thank you.

  56. Congratulations!! It’s mind-boggling what you’ve built from nothing but your love of the game. Seeing you on NBC Sunday nights is like watching a neighborhood guy live out all our childhood fantasies. I honestly couldn’t be happier for you!

    To improve the site, I’d like a little more Mike. Your schedule must be overwhelming, but I’d love to see you (and the other writers) interact some in the comments when time permits.

    Please champion more league issues as you did Hall of Fame voting–for instance, officiating. We all care about safety, but players are being flagged for textbook tackles. Calls are completely inconsistent. The new Red Zone review has led to more mistakes, not fewer. And why are players fined for common penalties like facemasks? Please be more aggressive in taking on the league. Perhaps David Cornwell could write an occasional guest column.

    As others have said, please loosen up moderation. They’ve clearly been instructed not to permit name-calling–but censoring Southern colloquialisms like “Honey” seems extreme, as does restricting criticism of articles or Goodell. Let us post links to reference articles on SI and on ESPN or They’re competitors, but your readers are very loyal. Don’t censor unless something is obscene or particularly vicious. Since you’ve already blocked obscene words, perhaps you could consider letting posts go through immediately–24/7–and only taking down those that receive reader complaints. That would allow us to engage in real-time discussions.

    In addition allowing us to reply directly to posts, could you add an edit button so we can correct our typos after a post has gone through or remove our own posts if we regret them after hitting submit?

    Thank you for providing such a terrific all-in-one stop for NFL news and for inspiring its entertaining college spinoff.

  57. Ten years eh. Just found you this year via the late Tom Kowolski. Boy have I been missing out.
    But I’m hooked now… and at 70 and the Lions FINALLY winning, I didn’t find you any too soon.

  58. Great job with the site. I found the site a few years ago and visit a couple times a day. Here are my recommendations:

    1. Don’t get caught up with the bad spelling. This is a blog and blogs are not supposed to be perfect. Your shooting from the hip.

    2. Ban anything that has to do with Brett Favre.

    3. Don’t overdue big story’s. I always see multiple articles on here that all say the same thing.

    4. I know PFT is under the NBC umbrella, but don’t be afraid to shake a few feathers. Example was 2 weeks ago when the NFL officials decided they were going to get flag happy there was very little on here about that. I was expecting you to call the NFL out.

  59. This site changed the way I followed football about 3 years ago. It has been great and I am back multiple times a day ever since.

    My only complaints:

    You seem to pick a topic you believe in and plead your case over and over until I start to disagree just because its annoying me…Make your point and move on. We know concussions are bad and teams are bad at diagnosing them, if you want to talk directly to NFL office, then email them.

    I love the idea I read about having a spot to click on all stories involving a team and having a standings link.

    Congrats and thanks for keeping the site FREE (or should I thank sprint and NBC?)

  60. Feedback for PFT…

    1. In general, you guys are awesome. I check PFT about 10 times a day because it’s THE place for news. Love it!

    2. On certain issues (i.e. Vikings stadium issue) you sometimes get a major case of tunnel vision. Remember the bigger issues we’re facing as a country — football is not one of them. Not even close! For example, MN is in dire financial straits right now (hell, the state literally shut down for weeks this past summer!). People in Minnesota DO want the Vikings, but in a climate where the state has had to cut thousands of teachers and various state programs, a new stadium (requiring $300M from taxpayers) isn’t a TRUE PRIORITY. The stadium would get used 10 times a year for NFL football. What kind of message does that send? “We can’t afford it, but we’ll spend the $300M+ anyway!”

    Business relocation happens all the time, and it’s not always a bad thing. It seems like PFT is “in bed” with the NFL on certain things like this, which is strange because PFT usually stands up for things like common sense.

    3. That being said, see #1.

  61. This is the greatest website in the history of the world. Fantastic insights, number one stop for breaking news, please stop deleting my comments, witty comments from the writers, and just overall brilliance all around. I hope this site stays successful for decades to come please stop deleting my comments and I wish you nothing but the best in your professional and personal lives.

  62. Figures you wouldn’t post my last comment, even with the compliments. Unfortunately may be time to look elsewhere.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!