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SB Nation

My first post on Eighty Six Forever was on August 10, 2010[1]. I said "hi". There was a picture of the Vancouver Whitecaps home at Swangard Stadium, starting goalkeeper Jay Nolly warming up in the foreground. The old Whitecaps logo, the one which helped inspire this site's logo, is plastered on blue tarps in the background that kept the people of Burnaby from peering through the fence and watching the game for free, when of course they could have just bought a ticket for about $10.

Different days.

After more than two years as manager of Eighty Six Forever, I'm stepping aside. Those of you who've been following me for a while probably know that I'd love to spill some beans, go out in a blaze of sour grapes and burning bridges. Sadly, I have no dirty laundry to air. I've loved writing here, enjoyed working with SB Nation and its MLS community. There's a lot of good stuff on this network and I'll be continuing to read and comment even when I'm not writing.

I just don't feel like I'm in a position to contribute as my position requires me to, and want to move on to writing something thoughtful once in a while than trying to churn out content because I have to. SB Nation remains for my money the best community of its type in the blogging business and I'll continue to cherish the friends and contacts I've made through my time here.

I don't think I'll be missed too much. This is, I dare say, the best Vancouver Whitecaps blog around, and will continue to be because of excellent contributors like Rob R. Scott and Jay Duke and the best comments section in the business, one where you could pretty much bet money on reading something insightful or at least interesting.

The new boss will be Jonathan Szekeres, late of Red Nation Online, who of course introduced himself on Monday[2]. Jon was brought in after an exhaustive search by SB Nation's MLS editor, Jeremiah Oshan, and I have every confidence that this site will continue to be just as brilliant going forward.

I'm not getting out of the soccer blogging game entirely, although I certainly won't be trying to pump something out five times a week like in the old days. I'm hoping to post the occasional longer, more thought-out piece on my old site, Maple Leaf Forever!, at but without any fixed update schedule (or, indeed, much hope that anyone will read it).

If you're reading this, I owe you my personal thanks. No matter how much we pretend, very few of us can just write for ourselves. The fact that a few hundred people would come by this site and look at what I had to say, the fact that perfect strangers could come up to me in the pub and say they really liked (or really hated!) one of my posts, means more to me than words can tell. What a pathetic cliché, but it's true. Thank you all.

[1] — Massey, Benjamin. "Welcome to Eighty Six Forever!" Eighty Six Forever, August 10, 2010. Accessed November 8, 2012.

[2] — Szekeres, Jon. "The Barry Robson Conundrum." Eighty Six Forever, November 5, 2012. Accessed November 8, 2012.