Saturday, July 7th, 2007.
That was the fateful day I began my reign of terror on Fannation. Well, not so much a reign of terror, more like giving hugs and trying to make rainbows appear... At any rate, on that day I began an account on the website we all know and love called Fannation. I had just finished my freshman year of high school when I started on this site. Yes, I finished 9th grade, and was 15 years old.
This site has been a gateway, not from reality, but from stress over the years. You know the drill, I am not going to get into full details, but you know the stupid high school stuff that nobody wants to hear about. There were many competitive users that took part on this site from the beginning. People like UofMrules, NCshvDavid AdamLee, Gruden, Goodell, Steelercooz,B0mbers, Coletrain, YankeesLifer, DJTG, and so many other active users that I enjoyed having the usual conversation with. The best part about it all, was that I was able to name those people off the top of my head and I could name so many more. All of those people participate in the throwdowns, created blogs, and ran tournaments like well oiled machines. Everything was pretty cool, and I just knew I had to take part in it.
I remember the first throwdown I took part in, it was against a fan by the name of "Mike Zagurski". When I accepted the throwdown, I didn't know what I was supposed to do, so I basically sat on it for about 30 to 40 minutes because I honestly had no clue what I was doing. Eventually I got the concept and lost the throwdown. I wasn't a sore loser, but never liked to see more losses than wins... (Yeah, make your Detroit Lions jokes all you want!) So I changed my ways of arguing and started to get better, and well, you know the result. But what I grasped from this was that I still remember this throwdown vividly.
There were a select few guys that I would talk to on a regular basis about life, sports, the weather, etc. I could name them, but if they come here and read this, they will know exactly who they are. And while I don't see them much at all anymore here, I think I can thank them.
Now onto the eternal flame crap I was talking about in the title... Finally, right? Well, I have been through it all here in my time. From the first "Cassidy's House" account to the Witch Hunts of multiple account accusations to the TnR vs TDers. It has been a wild ride if you stuck through it over the last 6 years, because that is when things started to get dramatic. Peoples' attitudes changed because of these happenings, and many others left. However, CNNSI at one point was actually promoting this site, so it was not an issue. For every person that left, it seemed like 10 more people entered the arena. Those new people were not ridiculed to no end either, they were treated as if they were always here.
What I remember very well, is that NCshvDavid and I would be the DJ and Pch of the TD board, but we would always do our throwdowns in the way early morning. I woke up for school at 5:30 AM and that would be the only time I could do throwdownsand have time to research them. It was the same for David, because he was tech support at the time for a computer company and always worked the night shift, so that is when we would always talk and whatnot. It was nice going on a website at any point of the night or day knowing someone was there to want to talk about the same things you did.
There eventually were times when people cried 'foul' over TDs and people got into heated exchanges on the internet. It got to points where people were making rumors about others, people were slandering others, and sometimes things got out of hand. Yes, you old timers all know what and who I am talking about. Cassidy's House is what came to your mind first, admit it! Yes, people created problems, but when one door closed, it opened others, which is what I want to turn to next. It seemed as if when tensions got high, group activity became much more popular. Those were the best. My favorites were places like the Night Owls, where people like me, Hemogoblin, Tracy, BigBen, Ghost, and even CCC would talk the night away for hours on end. Yes, it is true that we "grew apart" in a sense, but those are some things you don't forget, which is why I am writing this tonight. The Night Owls were by far and wide my favorite group on this site.
And there were times we all had the utmost respect for people. A user by the name of BSchwartz07 was sent overseas to Iraq for awhile. Me and a few others began a group dedicated to him and others. We would place part of their username under our usernames to show that we cared. We would do it for a few other members too, another one I recall vividly is CaptainBags. I may have got his spelling wrong on his username, but I'm human, I'm no interweb dictionary! At any rate, this was supposed to elude to the fact that respect for others was at a maximum on this site for the longest time. I am not saying we need to or should have sent everyone a gift basket that went overseas that has ever posted on Fannation, but just the thought or the effort of sending a fanmail that said "Thank you" would make someone's day. And I can proudly say I was part of something good here on Fannation and I thank the others for following suit.
Shortly after, the Hall of Fame was created by yours truly, just for something fun to do to get people interested in something other than just blogs and throwdowns. Sometimes we could all use a little change, right? That went on for awhile until I think it was until Junior year of high school took control of me. Or I took control of it, I basically changed who I was for the better and became much more involved with my personal life and helping others out that much more. Rudedog took the reigns maybe a year later, but with the new groupmail feature that was implemented, it was never the same and does not have a timetable of when it will return. If you ask nice, and get people to come, I will reconsider its revival... That's a big if!
Another group of gents came along, Bigalke (Zach), Oso, Rstowe, Ramdrumaster, Porkins, among others, some names I already mentioned above. They, along with me, took part in numerous popular groups such as No More Idiots (NMI) and Daywalkers. I know some people get touchy or weren't fond of Daywalkers, but they were just like any other group. Their opinion only mattered as much as you wanted it to. You can ignore people, it is your right, but these guys were the most hysterical bunch I have been around since being on Fannation. As someone who firmly believes laughter is the best medicine, I thank you guys for the good times. Everyone may have had their disagreements that led to the eventual downfall, but it was fun while it lasted.
We had other miscellanious groups too that were basically for people that wanted to have no part of any drama. Let's face it, it's the internet... But places like the Rumor Mill and Agrippa's lounge were pretty nice places to be late at night when you came home from that movie you went to see in the theater to just mellow out for the night and eventually call it a night. It was great to know I could log in and people would be there and want to talk about anything. There was Dyhard, Pitt, CaptainAmerica (Fernando), Ethan, Agrippa, Fizz, Roberts, Hiya, PhillyEagles36 and a few others I know I missed. But the fact of the matter is, even when Fannation looked rough, groups weathered the storm and didn't make people want to leave. They had such a huge impact.
Then the last group of people that I had the opportunity to talk with a near regular basis was people from White Lightning, White Lightning II, and so forth. People like Flambo, WWJ, Twinsy, BM, Baron, Tnerb, DJ, and others all took part in the group and it has been the most diverse group in my opinion. Which is one of the reasons I like/liked it so much. I am not sure of how active they are now, because this semester of school kicked my butt, but I knew I would always get a good chuckle.
In the midst of all this, how I remember Fannation so well is that it got me through some rough times in my life. I would come home and just hop on Fannation and forget, just for a couple hours, about some of my life problems. It was a scapegoat just long enough for me to have a break from the people that literally surrounded me. I was this shy, nearly non-social kid, but as soon as my junior year of high school began, I wanted to change. I wanted to be one of the loudest people I could be and not be embarrassed by anything. That is the person I have become today, and while that is not relevant to Fannation directly, indirectly, this site has always been there when I needed somewhere to go. Going to your room and turning up the music was not enough at times. We have all been in that situation.
Now, there are still some people I am acquainted with on Fannation, like Marlinsfan, but there just aren't enough of us to keep this site active. Everything I listed above came with similar problems we are encountering now. When I first started, there was no timer on throwdowns, there were always biased votes, and I am sure there were a lot of other problems people have now compared to then. But the difference between now and then was peoples' ability to persevere. My example was creating a lot of different groups to create barriers from the drama that took place.
Another note before my final thoughts is the Truth and Rumors users. There are/were a lot of Truth and Rumor users that I personally never talked to, but am pretty sure they know the events and problems that I am talking about. I never really got acquainted with them, but I never had a problem with them and none of them ever had a problem with me. I just figured they deserved a shout out, because I am trying to include everything possible here.
One last note, a lot of users that have talked to me and helped me over the years deserve credit where credit is due. So I thank you: Tracy, Ghost, Bigalke, Dyhard, UofMrules, Krobe, BSchwartz, EdReedFan, Ethan, CaptainAmerica (Fernando), RStowe, NCshvDavid, and anyone else I may have missed over the years. To conclude, this is why Fannation is the eternal flame. We remember most, if not all things that took place on this site, and how everything turned out. In the past, when it looked rough, people found a way to make it better. I am not leaving Fannation by any means, I try to log in almost nightly to see what pops up, but we need to make this place better if we don't want that flame to die.
Thank you very much everyone, I hope you enjoyed what I had to say. Have a good night, and a pleasant tomorrow!