It’s our second anniversary
LARAMIE -- Today, 7220sports.com turned two.
Considering what we have all been through over the last 15 months or so, I'd say that's reason to celebrate.
Things were looking pretty glum in 2020. COVID-19 was running rampant, leagues were canceling seasons, businesses around the globe were closing and people were losing their lives, among many other new realities with this ongoing virus crisis.
We were not immune.
Most advertisers bailed. Who could blame them? With no sports to cover, people weren't coming to our site at record rates. It was all truly unnerving. My parents owned a pair of restaurants in Pine Bluffs, one for more than 20 years. Those became casualties of the pandemic, too.
What could we do?
There's only one thing I've ever known to do: grind.
Despite having a six-game football season -- which we were darn lucky to have, by the way -- this website continued to pump out stories, features and columns daily. Since we went live 730 days ago, 1,926 stories have been published on this site, all revolving around University of Wyoming athletics. That's an average of 963 articles per year.
We are very proud of that.
The ups have been celebrated and the downs have been brutal, but we grinded it out. I suppose I owe my Wyoming upbringing for that.
The thought of folding up shop never was a reality. I never let it be. Instead, I improvised. Throughout 2020, I spent my days as a driver, delivering newspapers, of all things, to the Denver Metro Area. I also did some freelance writing to help make ends meet. Kasey Orr did the same.
The virus forced us to try new things. One of those was the video series "Gourmet 'Gaiting with Mr. Rogers," which put a new spin on tailgating from home. If you didn't check those out, do yourself a favor:
Kasey did an outstanding job with these videos. He also made a couple for some local eateries in Laramie -- free of charge -- just to try and get the word out in hopes people would still visit the Gem City and eat out. These were really cool, too:
When the Mountain West Conference changed course in October and decided to go on with an abbreviated football season, we couldn't be happier.
Yes, there were plenty of new challenges. There were also some unfortunate changes we had to make to our own gameday routine. DJ Johnson, our awesome photographer, was not allowed on the field or court because of protocols. Kasey was also sidelined as only one person per outlet was allowed in the press box at War Memorial Stadium and inside the Arena-Auditorium.
Zoom calls became the new norm. Unfortunately, those are still a thing. Hopefully not for too much longer. Can you believe I have still never met UW basketball coach Jeff Linder face to face?
Hey, we're not complaining. Sports were back. Sanity was somewhat restored. Still, questions about the future remained.
MORE UW SPORTS NEWS:
* Just the facts: 2,000-point club
* PODCAST: Who is the best player in UW football history?
* Just the facts: Steppingstone U?
* Child writes Josh Allen letter asking for only one thing
When I decided to leave Pittsburgh in 2018 and started dreaming up what this venture would ultimately look like, I imagined making a decent living and covering a program I grew up with. The second part came true. The first, not so much. One question inevitably started to surface in the midst of the pandemic: How much longer can we really do this?
That's where Townsquare Media comes in.
This national brand officially purchased the site last February. Stability became a reality overnight for this little company. Never in a billion years did I think anyone would purchase that dream I had while stuck in yet another Steel City traffic jam. I still pinch myself.
This new version of 7220sports.com is still in its infancy. We don't know all the roles or players yet. That will come when football season -- and more normalcy -- is on the horizon. What I do know is today I am very grateful to stick two imaginary candles in this invisible birthday cake. I had my doubts we would get to this point, but here we are.
Thank you for all the love and support. If there is one certainty about these uncertain times it's this -- none of this is possible without you.