I have some news about this here little website, but first, let me tell a story.
A lot of people still ask me about where Daily Thunder came from, why it started and how it got to where it is today. The short story is this: The Sonics announced they were relocating to Oklahoma City, and then a month later or so decided they were going to name the team Thunder, and unveiled a logo.
At the time, I was a senior at the University of Oklahoma, set to graduate in December, and recently married. I was majoring in journalism, and had written for the school paper for the last few years, but decided to stop in that last semester because I needed an actual part-time job that paid actual money. But when the team announced the name and the logo, I felt compelled to voice my displeasure. I hated singular team names, and the color scheme felt little league. I didn’t have a column in the OU Daily anymore that no one could skip over as they looked for that day’s Sudoku puzzle, so I didn’t have an outlet to say so.
So I started a blog. The original, which I embarrassingly will link you to here: The Thunderworld dot blogspot dot com. Please don’t go look at it. Please. Especially not this post about Danny Granger. That one’s horrible.
I was an avid reader of Bleed Cubbie Blue, and thought, “I could do something like that.” The team was new and headed into a new market, so no one really had the blogging thing on lockdown yet. I reached out to SB Nation, and they initially turned me down. I was an unknown, just some dude that was writing about a sport he didn’t really know anything about. I wanted a career in sportswriting, but didn’t know how to get it.
As has been everything in my career, I got a lucky break. ESPN was starting a network of team blogs, and for whatever reason, they somehow stumbled across my stupid little Blogspot. I got a Facebook message from Kevin Arnovitz asking if I’d be available to jump on a call with Henry Abbott. Suddenly, I was joining the TrueHoop Network, and launching Daily Thunder dot com on January 20, 2009.
A lot happened since then. Daily Thunder inexplicably grew, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook got really good, and I ended up eventually getting a full-time job working for ESPN.
Over the last couple of years, this hasn’t really been my blog anymore. With a family, and a job I need to keep to feed them and stuff, I’ve really been committed and focused on my career. Daily Thunder has suffered because of it, and I know that. It bums me out some, but there have been so many great people that have helped keep the engine running here, like Alex Roig, John Napier, Daniel Wojciechowski, Dustin Ragusa, Andrew Schlecht and the Down To Dunk bros, and so on.
I’ve had a lot of tough decisions to make with Daily Thunder, about possibly selling it, about what the future holds as I focus on my career, and recently, I made what I think is the best possible choice: Daily Thunder is merging with Up The Thunder.
If you’re not already following Up The Thunder — first, stop reading this stupid post and go do it — but you’ve probably seen something awesome they’ve produced. They are shepherded by Weston Shepherd (SEE WHAT I DID THERE), and generate some truly creative, awesome stuff. Like this. Or this. They’ve taken a Twitter account and built it into a Thunder coverage powerhouse, launching a successful website last summer.
And I’m thrilled and honored that they’re going to be bringing their talents over to Daily Thunder to take the main content wheel from here on out.
In Daily Thunder’s eight years of existence, it’s been re-designed one time. That was in February of 2013. It needs another one, one that is responsible to smart phones and tablets. That’s in process right now and we’re really excited about it. It needs a refreshed content plan, one that is reactive and timely. It needs a shot in the arm, and Weston and his group are going to join forces with the already great team we have here at DT to do it. I’m pumped about it and you should be too.
So what does this mean? It means don’t go anywhere, because Daily Thunder 3.0 is coming soon, and it’s going to be the best version yet.