PFT turns 14 today

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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.”

56 responses to “PFT turns 14 today

  1. .
    Roger Goodell is the one person who you omitted from your ” thank you” list. From Spygate to dog killing to Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson to bounty gate, cap gate, and framegate, Roger Goodell’s stupidity is the fuel that powers this site.
    .

  2. Happy birthday.

    I will say that your “deflategate” coverage was fantastic and well-analyzed at nearly every step of the way – miles above the coverage seen elsewhere.

    You’ve made me a fan!

  3. Sorry I forgot to get you a present for your birthday but I never liked you much anyway.

  4. 🙂

    We may disagree sometimes – ok, lots of times – but kudos for taking the plunge and following a dream.

    PFT is one of the few sites I visit regularly for NFL news. Even though, y’know, youse a maroon….

  5. Hopefully the site will finally start to mature as well as stop whining and spewing rhetoric that has nothing to do with football.

  6. Congrats Florio. I remember the early days & the hampsters keeping the site running, during the NBC transition.
    Great site, great stories & great writing.
    You are my go-to sports site. Also love the basketball & baseball talk.
    Cheers for another successful year.

    GO BIG BLUE!!!

  7. I do miss the old days of the Monday night football interaction comments section. I still have your old aol address stored somewhere. The old days before you sold out to the creeps at NBC.

  8. Happy Bday PFT. Thanks for the Seinfeld references, the same format, and the great posts. I could go without the occasional PC barrage, but I’ll live. …..

  9. Great Job Mike… Congrats on all your success. I remember those days when you would actually answer emails personally.

  10. That was a nice trip down memory lane. I’m happy to say I was here from the beginning and will be here until the lights go out (either yours or mine). Thanks for sticking with this thing, Mike.

  11. Congratulations and happy birthday to PFT. The only site that I visit at least fifteen times a day.

    Keep it up, and please don’t consider ever changing the format. This works.

  12. And thanks to you Mike… It was around ’02 or ’03 that I typed “nfl rumors” into a search engine. I’ve been here ever since… Congrats.

  13. Congratulations on the milestone. Your site is one of the few I visit every. I found the site about four years ago, and have been reading it ever since.

    Oh, and never change to the new format adopted by the other sites. It is terrible, and one of the things I really appreciate is that you were able to recognize that and kept the old one. CFT is practically unreadable with the new format.

  14. I’ve been a loyal reader since 2005.It’s been so refreshing to read football coverage that isn’t the whitewashed mainstream crap. But you’ve got to ask your moderators to stop letting in obvious troll comments by guys with 25 user names, while deleting sensible comments from real people for no reason.

  15. Great job and happy birthday PFT. Been visiting daily for gen plus years.

    Pleae , please, PLEASE don’t let NBC push that god awful format on PFT. I used to visit hockey and hardball talk as much as I vistied this site. Can’t even use the sites anymore. Thanks for not giving in!!!

  16. This site drives me crazy, but somehow I can’t get enough. Congratulations on achieving your dream, so awesome to hear Success stories. Now just start saying “redskins” and we can all get along

  17. This was the first insider sports site I had ever seen and was tipped off back in 2003/2004, and to this day is the only NFL insider site I read.

    I’ll never forget how Florio was the first and ONLY site to keep on the Michael Vick/Ron Mexico stuff when everyone else was afraid of the NFL to continue to report that sort of controversy.

  18. Happy Birthday PFT

    If you had gone to the new format I would not be here to say that. Have not been back to CFT or NASCAR talk after they changed to goofy format

  19. Happy Birthday PFT…you are living the dream – well at least for those of us too old to be able to still play…what you’ve done is awesome…and some day Terry Bradshaw actually will die and you will already have the story ready…

  20. You better thank Terry Bradshaw for not dying too. Best thing that happened to you. And Larry Mazza for financing you.

  21. Congrats, love the site, stories, arguing, and trolling.

    That said, please start using the word REDSKINS, until such a time that the name is officially changed. just an opinion.

  22. Congrats Mike, been a daily reader since the early days and have always enjoyed it. Only suggestion is to bring back Taco Bill and the PFT pic of the day.

  23. Congratulations to all involved!

    I usually come here a couple times a day and enjoy the articles AND the comments equally.

    Here’s to the next 14 years!

  24. Wow!

    I tried to remember when I started following. But I know it was after you posted at least once per day but before signing with Sprint.

    I was, and still am, a football junkie and loved the unfettered scoops you’d never get in such a direct, personal way. It was like having Adam Schefter on Twitter before Twitter. And it felt much more personal.

    As someone who works in their car for long hours, I’d have my laptop always on and a browser page always set to PFT.com I’d hit refresh at least a hundred times a day waiting for those precious updates.

    Your site is still the one I keep an open tab on my phone for, refreshing a number of times per day. This is where I go for all things football, as it happens. I don’t have many opportunities to watch the show, but PFT is it for me…

  25. A pretty good achievement!! I remember when Mike was the only writer, and if you had s question he answered you email personally!!! Good going, it’s been a pleasure watching you grow. Except for all the Pats fans that have inundated the site the past year. Haha

  26. Happy Birthday/Anniversary PFT (Mike Florio, MDS & Co).

    I enjoy multiple daily visits from July thru February and at least one daily bite-to-eat from March until camps open.

    Keep it going, fellas. Cheers.

  27. Great site but I remember when Florin use to post zinger after zinger with no regard for the consequences. Now it’s become corporate and sanitized with comments carefully screened. Unheard of in the good old days. Still the best in the business though.

  28. Tons of fun!! I visit several times a day EVERY day! I just miss Taco Bill so much though. Thanks for the best football site out there!

  29. Well done, Florio. I found the site about 10 years ago and go on the site every week. Turned some friends onto it as well. Keep living the dream. And thanks for years of entertaining material.

  30. Congrats Mike Florio & Co. for a job well done. I’ve been reading PFT since 2003 or so.. Like a lot of long-timers I remember Taco Bill fondly, and feel a tad glum at the more corporate tone things have nowadays.

    But seeing the success of the site, and MF on television, it’s like a pal who made it big.

    You deserve it, big guy, now get back to work. And stop deleting so many of our comments.

  31. Been here since 2004.

    The days when you said “I have court in the morning, hope to post in the afternoon” are long gone but not forgotten.

    You were one of us who worked hard to become one of them. If that was the goal, congrats…

  32. And in my best “Saturday Night Live” Chevy Chase voice:

    “In other news, Terry Bradshaw is still dead”

  33. Happy birthday! Please keep up the great work!

    This is the only site I visit regularly for football news other than my team’s page in their home-town newspaper’s site.

  34. Happy birthday PFT. Please don;t eliminate all the typos and grammatical errors. Makes it feel more homey. Homey!

  35. Congrats, Mike!! Although I don’t always agree, I’ve called you names, and when I post something you don’t like you sensor it, I love the site and usually visit a couple times a day. Nice job!!!!!

  36. Hi Mike,

    Been a long-time fan of PFT since the early days.

    PFT is one of the great success stories for a blog in any space, and it happens to cover my favorite sport.

    I’m definitely not a fan of the shout-based, clickbait style of news pushed by ESPN, and your site provides the opposite – insightful, objective commentary blended with humor – and that’s combination has driven PFT’s success.

    Grats!

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