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One Final Article as Managing Editor - Thank You For Everything

This may not be my last article ever on here, but it is certainly my last article as Managing Editor for Blogger So Dear, and I want to thank you all for everything.

Florida St. v Wake Forest Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images

By now most of you have probably seen that Blogger So Dear is currently hiring its next site manager. Obviously since that is occurring it means that I am stepping down as Managing Editor of Blogger So Dear. This will be effective May 1st, or whenever SB Nation and Vox Media finds my replacement.

This is a decision that I made and one that I have been dwelling on for the past few months. I have had extensive discussions with friends, past managing editors, and family over it, and is not one that I made lightly.

I know I am usually very wordy, almost excessively so, but I do want to shed some light on my decision and why I am stepping down.

My interest in Wake Forest is not simply a hobby, it is more of an obsession, and perhaps better put, a way of life. I was born 10 minutes from campus, and raised on Wake Forest basketball, football and baseball. My parents attended Wake Forest for graduate school, and my twin brother and I were both fortunate enough to graduate from the undergraduate school in 2012 (me, perhaps solely by the grace of whatever spiritual being you believe in).

Wake Forest runs deeply both inside of me and on the outside of me, as “Mother So Dear” is permanently inked on the inside of my right bicep, and will probably not be the last Wake Forest oriented tattoo that I get.

More than that though, Wake Forest sports has always brought me great joy. It brought me close to my family when we attended sporting events, it brought me to meet friends, most of those lifelong now, and it has provided hundreds, if not thousands of hours of escapism that very few find in this world.

In my opinion, at the core of all fandom in sports is the concept of escapism. It is mentally vacating the physical spot that you occupy in the world and getting lost in an event for 2-3 hours at a time. It provides a sense of relief, camaraderie among friends, and unification with thousands of others who are experiencing the same thing that you are. It provides the highest of highs, the lowest of lows, and strong sense of pride, self, and spirit that not a lot of other things do in the world.

These aspects of socializing is what humans have striven for, cognitively or not, for most of the history of mankind.

I have always loved talking, writing, and sharing my thoughts on Wake Forest sports. I am tremendously honored and amazed that people actually wanted to read what I had to write, and not only that, interacted with me and kept coming back to read more.

The experiences that I have had with Wake Forest fans who actually seek out my thoughts is humbling and something I never really thought would happen. I don’t mean that in an overly egotistical way, but it is something that is empowering and certainly self-gratifying to experience.

So why, if I enjoy all of these things immensely, am I stepping away from something that I cherish and love? The best answer that I can come up with is that it somewhere along the way this became less fun and more work, and I always told myself that if that became the case then I would step down. I also do not want the quality of the site to suffer because I cannot devote the time to it that it deserves.

Of course I still love writing (and Wake), but as I continue to get older and have moved away from Winston-Salem, I find myself less invested in the overall outcome of individual sporting events and more looking forward to the time that this provides to spend time with friends and family.

It’s really cool to know that at 9 PM on a random Tuesday night in the winter I am going to be able to sit down in front of a television five hours away from Winston-Salem and have multiple text threads going on with friends and family when Wake Forest takes on Syracuse in basketball.

Wake Forest athletics may “let me down” as far as results go, but no matter what, they never fail to show up (at least physically). I can always rely on them to provide that escapism and two or three hours of getting in touch with the people that I love tremendously. That is something that I’m not sure many people find in the world.

That is what is important to me now, and worrying about whether or not I am letting people down because I don’t write a recap at 11:30 after a close win or loss was dampening the enthusiasm that I had for Wake sporting events.

I am not endorsing a Marie Kondo “part with anything that does not bring you joy” mindset to the world, but I do want to get back to what makes Wake Forest special to me, and that’s the time that Wake provides for me to spend with friends and family.

I hope that I have provided you all with an escape from time-to-time. Even if it’s simply 2-3 minutes every day to get away from a tough problem at work, see what’s going on with Wake Forest athletics, or chat back and forth with other Demon Deacon fans. If I was able to do that for even one person then this was all worth it to me.

Anyway, this is getting a bit long and I want to wrap all of this up by thanking everybody, from the bottom of my heart for reading, interacting, and making Blogger So Dear what it is today. I took over for Robert Reinhard two years ago, and can honestly say that he did a much better job handling the stress of a full-time 40-hour job and this 20+ hour part-time job.

I want to thank Martin Rickman and Jake Sloan for getting me started on Blogger So Dear ten years (!!!) ago. Without their encouragement and mentoring I would never have gotten to where I am now in writing, or in life. I am pleased now to call all three of these fine gentlemen my best friends.

Additionally, I want to thank all of the writers who have put up with me as their “boss” for the past few years. Adam Bridgers, SamuraiFoochs, Ed Foster, Elijah Kim, Cam Lemons Debro, and countless others who have contributed to Blogger So Dear and been the best staff I could have ever hoped to have.

I also want to thank every single reader, commenter, lurker, and beyond who has taken time out of their day(s) to think about this website and help make it what it is today. It’s a wonderful sense of community that Wake Forest fans and alums alike have brought to this website that makes it so hard to write this article.

This isn’t “good-bye” per se, as you can still find me on Twitter at @BSD_RaJohnston (perhaps with a slight name change in the future), and I will still have season football tickets to #WinTheTailgate and keep up our undefeated record. Hell I will still hang around here and I may even write an article from time to time if the new person in charge allows it!

But as far as running this website and managing the day-to-day operations of it, that time has come to an end (perhaps gladly for some!).

Thank you all for everything and for showing me over and over again what it means to be a Demon Deacon and the spirit of Pro Humanitate. As always, Go Deacs!

-Riley Johnston