Back on Dec. 11, 2006, Mike Prada, a Bethesda, Md. native and student at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, launched Bullets Forever, a blog for Washington Wizards fans. It was actually the re-branding of Bullets Fever, a smaller blog he created. That blog and tens of others would eventually become part of SB Nation, a collective of team sports blogs ranging from NBA teams to NHL, NFL, MLB, MLS, college and more. Ultimately, there were team sites for all of the teams in the biggest American professional sports leagues and most of the biggest college programs.
When this site first launched in 2006, I was a newly minted college grad. I lurked on this site every now and then in my early and mid-20s as a way to pass the time from one job to another. I may have been denied a promotion because I was eventually commenting too much on BF. And later on I began writing on Swish Appeal and later, this site. I will admit that I wrote some articles when I could have been doing some rote admin task that no one gives a shit about, except for a random manager looking to “manage.” That’s how much I loved reading SB Nation sites and participating in communities, in particular the ones I read and wrote on the most.
As SA and BF have become bigger and more respected sites within the WNBA and the Wizards in the 2010s, I thought that their readership and communities, especially the online community here, would be here to stay. SB Nation became Vox Media and took on more brands. I knew the focus would focus on general news, especially when then-Washington Post writer Ezra Klein founded Vox.com, the company’s now-flagship brand.
I get it. Political news and explainers are more important to the future of our society than whether Kelly Olynyk could have been stopped in the fourth quarter of Game 7 in the 2017 Eastern Conference semifinals.
What I never expected, however, was seeing Vox Media move on from many team sites after today. Many of these sites are the same ones that ultimately built the foundation for the quality content Vox Media as a whole publishes today.
It’s not like Vox Media killed a defunct team’s site because that team no longer existed. Rather, SB Nation sites of contending NBA teams like the Denver Nuggets or other local teams like the Capitals and DC United will be in new eras starting tomorrow. The Nuggets and Capitals are STILL in the middle of a regular season. And DC United as well as MLS team coverage is largely done by team sites not unlike ours.
So today, I feel sad and admittedly anxious about the future. Do I know what that future is for Bullets Forever from folks who are paid a lot more than me? Is our site next to be defunded, whether it’s during the middle of NBA Draft season or perhaps even the WNBA Playoffs? I’ll be honest with you. I don’t know.
What I do know is this. I have an outlet, at least for now, to express my thoughts about the Washington Wizards and Mystics.
This site isn’t just a product of Mike’s creation, or Jake Whitacre’s KD2DC-isms, or my management of the site during a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. It is also the work of our many other writers over the last 16 years. And most of all, it depends on support from readers like you. The reading, commenting, and sharing of our content has allowed Bullets Forever to keep on thriving, let alone surviving for 16 freaking years!
So even though I am sad and anxious about our site’s future, I still have optimism. If we kept this site going for 16 years, I am damn sure we can keep it going for the next 16 years, and another 16 after that, regardless of the economic conditions that lie ahead.