A funny thing happened on the way to my blog …

So, as I was mentioning a while back, I was hoping to start posting here with a little more frequency … but, as I also was mentioning a while back, I had been busy getting my Red Sox website off the ground, and it was eating up a significant amount of my time.

Well, it turns out that the site actually was only nibbling at my time back then—a comparison I am now able to make because, shortly after I wrote that post, the site began devouring my time in massive, sloppy, impolite, noisy, Cookie Monster-like chomps and gulps. Here’s what happened:

Two days after I wrote the aforementioned post in which I addressed my Red Sox site, the proprietor of my second most-favorite Red Sox site, Boston Dirt Dogs, emailed me to say that he was a fan of my work and would like to feature some of it on his site (which, incidentally, is part of The Boston Globe’s boston.com site).

If, on the day I had launched my own Red Sox website, you had asked me which other Red Sox site I would most like to get hooked up with, can you guess what I would have said? Yes, that’s right: Boston Dirt Dogs. Suffice to say, I was pretty psyched.

So, on Sept. 27, as the Red Sox were winding down their regular season and were poised to win the A.L. East pennant for the first time in a dozen years, this comic of mine was featured on the Boston Dirt Dogs site, and was credited with a link leading back to my site. (And I’d post the actual images themselves within the body of this entry rather than simply linking to them if it weren’t for the fact that they are too wide for this template, and thus mess up the page.) Traffic immediately spiked, and I suddenly had an audience. (Chuckleworthy aside: I emailed to Matt Damon’s publicist the link to that comic, and she passed it on to him. This very funny video will give you some idea of how big a fan Matt is of the Red Sox.)

Well, Mama didn’t raise no fool, so I knew I had to make the site a priority in order to keep, and grow, my newfound audience. Thus, I spent the entire month of October watching the Red Sox play late into the night, and, after each game, worked into the wee hours of the morn to create a new image worthy of publication—a number of which also ran on the Boston Dirt Dogs site (which I shall now refer to as BDD, both because doing so is hip and cool, and also because it will allow me to budget an extra .067 seconds into my week).

One such image was this “E.R.” spoof, which appeared on BDD Oct. 18th.

Lots of people read BDD. Turns out one of those people is Peter Wilson, Executive Producer of WBZ-TV, the Boston-based CBS affiliate. Peter emailed me out of the blue on Oct. 18th to ask if he could use the “E.R.” image on that day’s 6 p.m. news broadcast, and said he would run with it an onscreen credit in the form of the SoxNation.net URL. Here’s the result:

OK, so anchorman Jack Williams flubbed the actual dialogue shown in the comic, and it was just a quick hit at the very end of the news, but it was kinda cool. (And, in case you’re interested, that second illustration was created by a talented artist named Frank Galasso, whose work also is frequently featured on BDD.)

Now, as that “E.R.” comic suggests, on Oct. 18th, the 2007 Red Sox were gasping what appeared to be their final breath … but, that night, Red Sox ace Josh Beckett—who has turned out to be the Tiger Woods, the Michael Jordan, the Obi-Wan Kenobi of postseason pitchers—laid a hellacious smackdown on the Cleveland Indians in their own house, thus avoiding elimination and forcing a Game 6 back at Fenway Park. So inspired was I by his virtuosic performance, I created this photo illustration after the game. I liked it. So did Peter Wilson, who asked if he could run it on the Oct. 19th evening news, which he did, prominently, at the top of the main “Sports” segment:

The part where the anchorwoman, Lisa Hughes, says “And the folks at SoxNation.net … “? Yeah, that’s when Wonder Woman and I laugh our asses off. We were watching it with the kids when it aired live, and Wonder Woman goes, “Hey, the folks at SoxNation.net! That’s us!” Funnier still, of course, is the fact that the folks at SoxNation.net are actually me with bedhead sitting at the computer in my underwear.

So, anyhow, the site got some great attention during the Sox’s World Series run (I really couldn’t have picked a much better time to have created it), and I felt compelled to keep trying to outdo myself with each successive entry. The evening the Sox swept the Colorado Rockies to win their second World Series title in three years (woohoo!), I stayed up all night making this one here (which isn’t too wide for this template):

The Boston Red Sox are the 2007 World Champions

Believe it or not, creating that image (the original version of which you can see here) was insanely difficult; it is by far the most difficult photo illustration I’ve ever made, and I almost bailed on it several times during those early morning hours. I am a bit masochistic, though, and it just seemed right that the image that forced me to work the hardest and longest would be the one that would commemorate a World Series victory.

So, in order to strike while the iron was hot, as they say, I devoted an insane amount of time and energy to my Red Sox site this fall. Things have settled down quite a bit—though, fortunately, the Red Sox fanbase is hardcore enough that there is plenty of interest in the team during the offseason, which means I am still getting a fairly steady flow of visitors to the site—but, for several weeks there, I was basically eating, breathing and (not) sleeping SoxNation.net … and that, my friends, is why y’all ain’t seen me ’round these parts for a while.

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4 Comments

  1. Posted November 24, 2007 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    Wow that’s cool. Congratulations on having your site explode like that. I’ll forgive you for being away.

  2. Posted November 24, 2007 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Dan. :)

  3. Posted November 24, 2007 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Z, great post. But the videos say they are no longer available when I click them. Glad your back to posting.

  4. Posted November 25, 2007 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    They’re both still playing fine for me. That seems to happen sometimes, for some unknown reason. Try reloading the page and then click on the play button again … ? Or, you can just click on the “YouTube” logo and it will take you to the video on the YouTube site (but if you’ve already tried to click “Play” on my site before you click on the “YouTube” logo, you might need to reload the page to get the “YouTube” logo link to become active so that you can click on it. Ugh.).

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