Editor's Note: Lear Pilot has decided to hang up his hat as a writer for the site - this is his farewell. I'd like to personally thank him for his contributions - the Stadium Updates will live on as a fantastic chronicle of the historic rebuild of Husky Stadium
After reading a Q&A in the Seattle PI in September 2008, I stumbled across a Husky Blog by some guy named John Berkowitz. I still remember the first thing I did: I tried to dig up as much information as I could on this guy. I had been reading the Q&A with John and Nathan Ware for a while, and had even commented in the comment section, which was completely foreign to me. The one thing I've always stayed away from in the internet age is comment sections. Everyone has their opinions, they don't have to support their opinion, they don't have to be rational, there are no checks and balances.
When I found the UWDP, I wasn't overly impressed by the resume of this John guy, mainly because I had no clue who he was. Another one of my traits: I don't trust people I don't know and I don't trust people that I've just met. I'm a "prove it to me" kind of a guy. It didn't take long before John "proved it" to me. Not only did he put together great content, he was able to do the impossible: He created an environment where you could discuss Husky football, without all the trappings of internet trolls. For the past 5 football seasons the UWDP has been my haven for discussing Husky football with some great, knowledgeable Husky fans.
Unfortunately, John had to move on. The moment I heard the news, I knew that this Husky paradise wouldn't be the same, my days here were numbered. With that being said, I have decided to step down as a contributor to this blog and will probably greatly reduce the amount of time I spend here. Yes, that means the Husky Stadium updates are coming to an end. I have not decided if I will publish them elsewhere; that's another decision for another day.
I want to make it clear, the decision to step down was completely mine. John's departure, combined with a few minor "creative" differences with a single individual have taken the fun out of contributing for me. This was always a hobby, and when a hobby is no longer fun, what's the point? I noticed it was affecting my attitude and was bleeding over into my comments. I already feel a huge relief and am greatly looking forward to the Huskies kicking some Cougar tail in the Apple Cup!
Please bear with me, I have five years of people to thank:
John Berkowitz: Thank you for the blog, the great stories, the great environment to discuss all things Husky football. All I did was publish a Husky Stadium Construction fan post or two and you went and made me a writer. My high school English teacher would be horrified to know I've been imitating a writer! I'll never forget winning the first Pick ‘Em contest, the Weekend Debates, and the views from FL450. Thanks for giving this pilot another hobby based around my favorite hobby: Husky football.
Chris/Gekko: All Hail MinnyC! When I first joined the blog you were just about to be banned, then you came back, again and again. We've had a lot of arguments early on, but over time we have seemed to agree more and more. You've been a great manager; your consistency with the Dot's is remarkable - I don't know if people realize how much work goes into just one story.
Kirk: You are the man. Your even-keeled demeanor makes you a perfect manager, not to mention you are never wrong. I always knew that if you said something contrary to my argument, I better take another look at what I was arguing. Which is my way of saying I have the utmost respect for you are your opinion. Keep up the good work, I'll be peering in to see what you have to say!
Crazi: Yep, I'm thanking you too. You've been a great nemesis! I almost miss our endless arguments. I might have thought that your opinions could often be crazy, but nobody can question your passion and love of the Huskies. It's just more proof that there aren't any "bad" Husky fans at the UWDP. We are all here because we are fanatical about our Huskies!! I wish you nothing but the best!
Sundodger - We've definitely had our disagreements lately, but I greatly respect your opinion. You always back your argument up with sound logic and/or facts. You've kept me on my toes and you have earned my respect.
Ryan Priest - I haven't had a chance to get to know you very well, but you have been a real work horse this season. You and Gekko are the War Daddies of the 2012 season at UWDP.
Justin Lee - I love the comics. I'm always impressed by artists, because I don't have an artistic bone in my body. Keep up the good work, I'll be keeping an eye on Harry Husky and his Pac12!
CODawg, Ben Knibbe, Randall Floyd: Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to get to know you guys as much as the others. For you basketball guys, you were blessed that I'm not interested in basketball and stayed away from the BB posts! We've had some great discussions, we've agreed on some things and argued other, but it's been a real pleasure.
To all the people/Husky fans who make up UWDP: It has been a lot of fun talking Husky football with you. Through the horrible Willingham years, the hiring of Sark, the great wins, the horrible losses, you guys are the reason that this blog is what it is. I couldn't be more pleased with the way this season has turned around. One thing about Sark, when problems arise, he puts 100% effort into figuring out a solution and getting things turned around. I can't wait to see Sark and the Huskies come running out of the tunnel in a new Husky Stadium next season!
Over the past five years I have learned how incredibly knowledgeable Husky fans are. We have an amazing fan base built of all ages and types. It's amazing to see an elderly couple get all gussied up for a trip to Husky Stadium, to see the young families bring their little kids; even the rowdy college age fans are fun to watch and a very important piece to the puzzle. Husky Nation is something very special, and thank you for letting me be a part of it and contribute to this great blog that John build.
Steve aka Lear Pilot