05 September 2016

OYB: Really? A Decade?

If you'll permit me a bit of self-indulgence...

Ten years ago, I started this site out of boredom and a lack of football writing on the internet. Well, ten years and two days ago. I'd like to plead extenuating circumstances as to why this is two days late, but it honestly seems fitting.

Ten years later, we've seen two seasons where Liverpool nearly won the title, and too many more seasons where Liverpool's disappointed us.

Ten years later, I've written 2041 posts, now 2042. Which is probably somewhere around a million words. And, for some reason, y'all read it. Some of it, at least.

So, in looking back, I'd like to highlight a few of my favorites.

The vast majority of links included below came in the last few years. Reading my early stuff is painful, especially in that first year when I had no clue what I wanted this blog to be. There were super short posts, Premier League predictions (which were spectacularly wrong), and actual things written about teams other than Liverpool. It's all quite embarrassing in retrospect. Which, I'm pretty sure, is what everyone always says about stuff they've written.

I'm unsurprisingly proudest of the infographics. I like to think they've gotten a bit better than the first. There are those on Liverpool's season-long goals scored and conceded, in-depth looks at individual players, and an animated chalkboard, among multiple others.

The match infographics have become the most prevalent, my preferred way of looking at a game in a bit more depth than is possible in a post-game write-up. Once again, I like to think they've gotten a bit better than the first.

But the most in-depth – both my favorites and the longest to make – have been about Liverpool's former captain, arguably Liverpool's best player. Steven Gerrard. The man who inspired the line which this website's named after. A career retrospective. His goals, all 186 of them. A timeline of his career with another Liverpool-born legend, Jamie Carragher.

Some of my other favorite stuff's come when working with others, especially the lot over at The Liverpool Offside. A long, long conversation with Ed about Rafa Benitez that came just a few months before he was fired. The 2010-11 Blog Carnival with them, Anfield Asylum, Paisley Gates, and a few other good folks, arguably the best thing to come out of that season (well, after sacking Hodgson and getting rid of Hicks and Gillett and signing Luis Suarez). The 2013 March Madness, where y'all voted on your favorite players from the Premier League era (spoiler: Steven Gerrard won).

And, while I can't take credit for much of this, three outstanding maps – where Liverpool players were born and Liverpool's European games – made by Eben Dennis of Chartophile and LFC Denver.

Ten years ago, there was a dearth of good football writing, whether about Liverpool or the sport in general. Now, there's a plethora. In addition to the above sites, there are This is Anfield, Anfield Index, The Anfield Wrap, The Tomkins Times, Bass Tuned to Red, and numerous others. We've all got our favorites, whether they write about Liverpool, or the Premier League, or international soccer, or analytics, or all of the above. I can't possibly list all the ones I read. I'm sure you read multiple sites that I should but don't know about.

Football writing is in an amazing place.

Long story short, it's been a wild ten years, and this ain't goodbye. My deepest thanks to all who've read, commented, shared, emailed, tweeted. To all who've gotten in touch in any way. It's what makes this worth doing.

21 comments :

Zētētikos said...

Dear Nate,

Happy blog birthday! I started following your blog six years ago or so at a time when I (as an American Liverpool fan) wanted to know what the hell was going on with my club.

Years later, you are still the first blog I go to in order to read match build-up posts and one of the first that I go to in order to read the match report. Your infographics are unmatched; I spend my Monday mornings hitting refresh until you post them.

You are right that online football writing has changed and improved over the years. But of the various sites that you list (and a number that you don't), many authors charge for their content. Frankly, it's surprising (and rather foolish) that you do not. Don't you realize how great you are? You could be making a killing.

Well, no matter, I will continue to enjoy reading (and occasionally commenting on) your stuff. And when the day comes that you hang up your keyboard (or move behind a paywall) - though I will mourn that day - I will think with fondness of the ways your writing both lifted me up when Liverpool dragged me down and also allowed me to revel in victory when Liverpool accomplished the miraculous.

Okay, now this sounds like a eulogy. I didn't mean to sound that way. Thanks so much for this blog. I really love reading your stuff. Long may it continue.

Gaffer Tito said...

many thanks.
keep up the good work.

Swinefever said...

I've been enjoying your blog for at least 5 years now so congratulations, and here's to the next 10 years!

eugene said...

A good job done, have been enjoying your blog for the past few years!

aru subermaniyam said...

Your blog is one of the first I look for before and after any Liverpool game ( living in east Asia - sometimes the games are too late for me). Great work. Long may it continue . Thanks mate.

Anonymous said...

I read this blog on a regular basis. The content is great. Thank you!

Ryan McKain said...

Your online presence is fantastic. Don't ever stop.

theoneRAH! said...

Nate! Love! You're the best

Anonymous said...

Love your writing as it is insightful but also digestible. Thanks for the memories.

Anonymous said...

Appreciate the effort you go to and always find it informative. Must be 5 or 6 years reading at this stage.

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate your writing Nate. Thanks for all the work you put in.

TomW said...

Read it each week, love it. Keep up the good work.

Vicky Agastya said...

September 3rd is my birthday too!!

Thanks for writing such great stuff. Your posts after matches - both the match review and the match inforgraphic - are a must-read for me.

Thanks again and keep on writing!!

Stephen said...

I love TLO as a go-to for LFC news but NOTHING beats OYB for insights and analysis of LFC performance, always delivered in a clever, fun way and with a "supporters mentality". Thanks Nate for a great 10 years and please don't stop writing the OYB blog!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on reaching such an impressive mile stone.

Like many others, I started reading a few years back we all keep returning; a true sign of quality.

Thanks for all the great articles over the years and keep up the good work.

nate said...

I am overwhelmed by, and deeply thankful for, all the kind words.

As I said in the post, it's why I still do this. Pretty much the only reason. And I will try to not let you down as I continue.

Anonymous said...

You fully deserve a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle.

Better than a gold watch.

The game analysis and info graphic are a must read for me.

Always provides an insight into the match I can't get anywhere else.

alcatrazzle said...

Nate, I don't know how you do it. I've been coming here every week for close to 10 years for Liverpool analysis, and every time your posts make me smarter and more entertained. And often sad. But to be fair that's not your fault.

You're the best. Thanks for everything you do!
Jason

Nithin said...

Congratulations!

I started reading OYB back in 2007, when I was a brand new Liverpool supporter, and didn't have a clue what was happening on the field, tactically. A friend pointed me here for match analysis, and I've read every single post here for 9 years now!

Thank you for all the work, Nate. Here's to another decade! :)

Anonymous said...

I have been reading for years and I love this blog. It is my go to source for everything Liverpool. For pregame write-ups (and where and when the game will be on TV or streaming) and for post-game analysis Oh You Beauty is my first (and often only) stop.

Thanks Nate!

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