It’s November 1, which means it’s time for the perfunctory annual post in this space announcing to the world (or the much smaller subset of the world who gives a crap) that PFT is another year older.
We turn 14 today, a non-milestone unless you’re a Dan Fouts or Brad Johnson fan. (Or Stefon Diggs.) On this day in 2001, we flipped the switch and starting posting blurbs and somehow grew slowly but surely over the next few years.
There was no revenue at all for a long time, so it was simply a hobby that cost $500 to set up and $50 a month to maintain. I didn’t care very much about the absence of cash because, in those days, I spent maybe three hours per day working on the site. The first few years, while still trying to build a solo law practice that had opened in 2000, I’d often post nothing at all during off-season Saturdays and/or Sundays.
I nearly pulled the plug in September 2002 (actually, the plug was pulled for about 36 hours), and the turning point came on January 1, 2004, when I made the only New Year’s resolution I’ve ever kept — to post at least one story on the site every single day.
Two years later, it became a lot more than one per day, after Sprint signed on as the first major PFT sponsor. Three years later, NBC reached out, I resisted, the servers exploded on the first day of free agency, NBC gave us temporary space to keep the audience up to date on the many moves and visits and rumors and negotiations, and on July 1 the space became non-temporary.
The NBC relationship has grown and strengthened over the last six-plus years, with PFT involvement in NBC’s Football Night in America, Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, and PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio.
But the core of the business continues to be posting one story after another and another after another, consumed via desktop, laptop, tablet, and/or phone. The team presently consists of Michael David Smith, Josh Alper, Darin Gantt, Zac Jackson, and part-timer Curtis Crabtree; the best compliment I can give them is that I spend hardly any time managing them.
Instead, I can focus all of my time on doing all of the stuff that goes along with making the various platforms work. And none of it ever feels like work.
I’m thankful to everyone who is reading these words for that. Without a compelling sport to cover and a robust audience to consume the coverage, I’d be sending information into a vacuum — and I wouldn’t be making enough money to buy a DustBuster.
So thanks to all of you. These PFT birthdays serve not as an occasion to navel gaze or to become satisfied but to express genuine gratitude for those who have made this operation what it is, and to renew the commitment to keep providing the information you crave about the NFL in a way that sometimes will make you think, sometimes will make you smile, sometimes will make you laugh, and sometimes will make you declare, “Your a idiot.”