Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thank You For All Your Support

Two years ago today, I was sitting inside the executive offices of WSJU Radio with the room to myself in an attempt to kill time before the station's annual year-end party known simply to WSJU's brethren as "the formal." With nothing really taking center stage in my life; as I had graduated from St. John's four months prior and had yet to land the broadcasting opportunities I currently enjoy, I spontaneously decided to go into amateur sportswriting through the launch of this blog. At the time, the blog didn't have a particular theme or niche, so my two debut posts that early evening chronicled newsworthy nuggets from earlier in that particular week: The retirement of John Madden after a distinguished career that revolutionized color commentary in not just the National Football League, but also sports in general; and the tragic death of longtime Philadelphia Phillies radio play-by-play announcer Harry Kalas.

And so began a journey that has taken me to places I had not envisioned would find me, at least not this soon in my life, which celebrates its 25th year of existence this August 22nd.

Through several reinventions, a six-month hiatus at the end of 2009 and moderate success, I decided to shift my attention toward one arena in February of last year in an attempt to make a name for myself and potentially gain credibility as a media member in what has come to be my greatest passion since becoming a play-by-play announcer in the fall of 2007 at WSJU: College basketball.

Enter "A Daly Dose Of Hoops:" A site intended to be a one-stop source for not just the Big East, (a conference I had come to know intimately through my on-air work calling St. John's men's and women's basketball) but college hoops in general. As the weeks and months progressed, I decided to inject some more opinionated content into this space, as evidenced by my most recent columns; as well as scouting reports and recaps of big games across the country, aspects that I am proud to say will return for the 2011-12 campaign that I (and hopefully all of you) eagerly anticipate the start of in November, not to mention creating an exclusive Twitter account that you can follow here.

Enough background information. Let's get to the real reason behind this post. Two years later, this site has become something I literally never expected it to be: A worldwide hit. Since the inception of this portal for information on April 17, 2009, a grand total of over 8,300 (8,373 by exact count as of the time I write this) visitors have made their way to the "Daly Dose" at some point over the last 730 days. Over eight thousand hits from not just the United States of America, but countries and continents as far away as South Korea and Australia. This past month, I am happy to announce that the blog broke its own record for most hits in a single month by amassing 1,496 views. Whether or not that number was enhanced by the NCAA Tournament (and I'm sure it was) is irrelevant. It's an accomplishment that I have all of you to thank for; because without you, there would be no me.

It's a refreshing feeling to realize that there are people out there that appreciate a person's work, no matter how insignificant it may be. I take even greater pride in the contacts I have established and friends I have made through this space. There are many moments I can look to as instances where this part-time passion took off, like the piece I recently wrote about why Bobby Gonzalez deserves a second chance in the college coaching ranks; a column that earned me the respect of Bobby's sister, Linda, a misunderstood defender of her brother that is attempting to set the record straight (and doing a good job of it at that) on her own blog. Since Linda posted my views toward Bobby in her space, I'll return the favor by plugging her blog here. I implore you to take a look at www.lindamgonzalez.com if and when you have a chance. If nothing else, at least appreciate the effort that went into it. Then there was a short and inadvertent speculation about who would replace Barry Rohrssen at the helm of Manhattan College that started in a Twitter meeting of the minds between myself and the Rochford brothers (David and Quinn) that have earned the right to be known as my two biggest fans. One month later, Steve Masiello was introduced in Riverdale in an event that brought about the creation of a hashtag that has become synonymous with Jaspers hoops; an embodiment of coaching search discussions that spun off several other similar forums: The one and only #mcmbbcoachingsummit.

Those are just two moments that I am grateful for; but the accomplishments I am most proud of are the ones that have yet to make their way into the annals of time. It is with great hope and enthusiasm that I look to the future here, and it is my desire to have all of you join me on the road to what lies ahead. Like I said earlier, without you, there would be no me; and all of you are much bigger parts of my life than any of you will ever know.

For that, and all of the ardent and undying support you've given me over the last two years, I thank you.

Let's make this thing bigger and better than ever by proving that the best truly is yet to come.

Jaden Daly

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