The Cerebral Vortex

So I see people on this site periodically extolling their accomplishments. People will spend their hundredth blog post thanking the people who befriended them en route to their milestone, or they will gain admittance to a group, or win a particular tournament and speak out. But what is behind these achievements?


A lot of people know my feelings about the entire concept of "blogging" -- as an aspiring writer, it has always been my goal to put forth writing for the public which I feel would stand up against any writer who gets paid to do this for their daily bread. So with that in mind, sitting at 130 blog posts according to FanNation, I set out to see what I had really accomplished in attaining that number...


This site is replete with groups dedicated to nothing more than chatting with other sports fans. Some are centered around a specific sport or event; others take place during specific hours. Recognizing that starting these threads can be a necessary evil, it nonetheless inflates and artificially enhances those numbers like Jose Canseco on a Winstrol binge. So the first thing I did in culling that number was to subtract all the various threads begun for groups like the Night Owls...


Next, I took a look at various posts put out there to inform people of my whereabouts. For instance, one involved when my laptop was malfunctioning and I was going to be absent from the site for a while; another was a reminder to people that I would be gone for a week visiting my wife's family on the east coast. While heartfelt and meaningful in their own way, they nonetheless serve little purpose beyond their immediate message and therefore are as extraneous as group thread posts...


So what I was left with astonished me, for it seemed as though fate had intervened to force me to catalogue my writings posthaste. I had written ninety-nine articles for FanNation. For better or worse, thousands of words have been lost in the cerebral vortex that is this website. Now instead of just going about praising my achievements on this, my hundredth "official" post here on FanNation, I'll do one better: I'll SHOW you what got me to this point... so sit back, because here comes the archive from the mixed-up files of Alfred E. Bigalke...




1. Tradition Left College Football Long Ago...

2. Week One Remembered...

3. Musings and Motivations on the Mitchell Report 

4. The Best Team No One Wants To Acknowledge - Volume One 

5. Rose Bowl Reminiscing... 

6. 2007 Holiday Bowl Running Rant... 


These first half-dozen pieces came after I had gotten my first fill of throwdowning out of my system. I had been writing on other websites for over a year when I joined FanNation, yet still had not found the right outlet for my various long screeds on sports. Some got posted on Helium; others, like the Running Rant, sat on my computer, ten-thousand words of unviewed effort. I started testing the waters with college football and NFL articles (incorrectly picking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to make some noise last postseason), and gave my thoughts on the Mitchell Report...




7. What's In A Name? 

8. Out-of-Control Calendar & Thoughts on Change 

13. Formidable Opponent #2 - From Watchdog to Watched? 

14. Is the U.S. becoming a fascist state?

17. Going "Green"... 


My wife had given me a Moleskine journal for our anniversary, and I had taken to starting to write my political thoughts inside. The Spin Room provided a way to link my thoughts posted on other sites through to FanNation members, so that a cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas could begin... 


49. Welcome... The Spin Room is BACK...

50. Thoughts on Mainstream Media...

52. Real change... really? 


I helped take over the group from CavaBearDians after several months of obsolescence. Lack of other writers, alas, has led to its continued dormance. Want to write? I can't do it all...



9. Thoughts on Marion Jones...

10. Formidable Opponent Vol. I

11. Downside of the Winter Classic

12. I'd Really Appreciate Some Thoughts... 


Having been writing on a site called Helium, where writers get paid for their article hits, I started to link through my Helium articles about sports from FanNation. My personal blog, The Cerebral Vortex, provided a great medium to advertise my writings elsewhere as well as a spot to churn out some original work...



15. Asterisks, asterisks, asterisks...

16. Coaches getting criticized?!


21. Can another American win the Tour?

22. A History of the Tour de France...

23. Remembering Number Four... 

28. NHL Standings Calculation 101

30. The Impact of Professionalism at the Olympics... 




After having been a member of SIFS for mere weeks, hiya approached me to write a weekly article. Itching for the challenge of trying to maintain a deadline, I agreed... and A Non-Traditional Sports Fan in America was born. Now I can honestly say that this is the longest continuous writing project I have ever undertaken...


18. Inaugural Column

19. Volume II

20. Volume III

24. Volume IV

25. Volume V

26. Volume VI

27. Volume VII 

29. Volume VIII

31. Volume IX 

32. Volume X

38. Volume XI 

40. Volume XII 

42. Volume XIII

45. Volume XIV 

47. Volume XV 

53. Volume XVI (Part 1) 

54. Volume XVI (Part 2) 

64. Volume XVII 

73. Volume XVIII 

82. Volume XIX 

88. Volume XX 

90. Volume XXI 

96. Volume XXII 




33. A Love Affair Begins... 

34. The Love Grows Stronger...

35. Preparing for the Voyage...

36. The First Throes of Freedom...

37. Final Preparations...

39. Day 3 - Waking up in Bondurant & Heading South... Part 1 


I got the motivation to start working on a longer novel form. The framework settled around the bike tour I took through the state of Wyoming with my chef back in October 2004. These six posts are the nascent efforts at producing a book, which still take place to this day. Who knows, perhaps more posts will be up to keep the story going real soon...




41. Play-in Round 

43. Round One (Part 1)

44. Round One (Part 2) 

48. Round Two (Part 1) 

51. Round Two (Part 2) 

61. Round Three (Part 1) 

66. Round Three (Part 2) 

77. Round Four 

92. Round Five 


David put together the Elite Throwdown Tournament to pit the best debaters on FanNation against each other to seek some semblance of order and ranking among the greats. Before the first arguments were waged to determine who made the final field of thirty-two, we had started to formulate the Prediction Show, the model of which has bred several studio-style imitators (as well as one of the greatest modified FanNation photos, in my opinion, that the site has ever seen)...




My most ambitious undertaking to date, if not the longest, the group was conceived to provide daily coverage of international sporting events less heralded by the American sports media. It was also my first foray into daily reporting. The first marquee event tackled? The 2008 Tour de France...


55. Welcome...

56. Tour de France Primer

57. Stage 1 News and Notes

58. Stage 2 News and Notes

59. Stage 3 News and Notes

60. Stage 4 News and Notes

62. Stage 5 News and Notes

63. Stage 6 News and Notes

65. Stage 7 News and Notes

67. Stage 8 News and Notes

68. Stage 9 News and Notes

69. Stage 10 News and Notes

72. Stage 11 News and Notes

74. Stage 12 News and Notes

75. Stage 13 News and Notes

76. Stage 14 News and Notes

78. Stage 15 News and Notes

79. Stage 16 News and Notes

80. Stage 17 News and Notes

81. Stage 18 News and Notes

83. Stage 19 News and Notes

84. Stage 20 News and Notes 

85. Stage 21 News and Notes


And then, with the Tour de France over and Carlos Sastre sealing the third straight Spanish victory, my thoughts inevitably had to turn elsewhere... and I zeroed in on the Olympics. Alas, life interfered...


86. What is next for Bigalke Presents? 

87. Dispatch on Beijing - 30 July 2008 

91. Quick Thoughts Before it All Begins... 

93. Quick Thoughts - Day 1: 08 August 2008 

94. Olympics: Cycling -- Men's Road Race 

95. What a time to get sick... 

99. Hundredths... 




Much as hiya asked me to join the stable of SIFS writers so many months before, so too then did SportsFan come to me and ask me to write on occasion for the group Best Vets on FanNation. I agreed... and while this column is just budding, it shows great growth potential... a nice counterpoint to A Non-Traditional Sports Fan...


70. Dispatch #0001 

89. Dispatch #0002


Then, thinking I had a deadline, I contacted SportsFan. There was no deadline, but a challenge issued forth to take on Dyhard in a blogging competition for his BVOF Blogging Title. I accepted, as I so ofted do to requests here...


97. A Sports Fan's Discourse on Politics 


Having beaten Dyhard, there will surely be more challenges on the horizon along with future dispatches... stay tuned...




Wait... that's only ninety-six... did I count wrong? Nope... here you go... the first is a cry for help for a beleaguered website; the second is the most in-depth personal reflection proffered before tonight by me on this site; and the final one is an interesting look at what a collegiate football team eats before bedtime...


46. Thoughts on the State of FanNation... 

71. Hall of Fame Induction Speech 

98. What Do Ducks Eat? 





So there you have it, folks...  there's how I got to where I am today, posting this hundredth article post (and the most self-congratulating one you hopefully will ever see out of me!) and looking forward to more great times on FanNation. May the next hundred yield even further insight, both into sports and into the "riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a vest" that is Bigalke...


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