The feeling was always there.
It grew more powerful, more encompassing. Everything inside of me was telling me to stay. I think I knew where I was supposed to be, how lucky I was to be supported by a city in the way New Orleans supported me. The bond we had was special. I spoke about it often.
And then the call came, and I broke it, because, well, that’s what you’re supposed to do when opportunities like the one presented to me arrives.
This was a chance to get on the path. Do well in a smaller market at a midsized publication and then move on to a more prominent company in a bigger market. Do well there, and you’re national. Those are all the things you’re supposed to want. Everyone knows the equation. More success and more money mean more happiness.
Unless it doesn’t. The opportunity with The Athletic was incredible. The people are incredible. I just wasn’t up to the task.
I could spend every day of the next decade apologizing to you all for leaving, and I will, hopefully, through my work as long as this venture survives, which I’m praying is for a very long time. But here’s the thing: I now know what makes me happy.
That path I was on? I know where it leads. I sat down, had a couple of discussions about various opportunities, but I knew my heart wasn’t in it the way it was supposed to be. After one of the interviews, I texted one of my friends in New Orleans and told him about it. He asked me what I thought about the opportunity. “Well, at least I’d get to hang out in the city now and then.”
So here we are.
I want to work for you. This thing is called New Orleans Football. This site, these words, are in essence, yours. I want to give everything I have to this city, you guys. This is the most direct way to do that without interference. This venture isn’t about getting rich. This is just about me being here for you, and I hope you for me. I’m not going to browbeat anyone, but the reality of the situation is this: If you want me here, I’m going to need your support. All my chips are down.
When I first came to New Orleans, I was told that if I loved it, it would love me back. I had to leave to realize just how deep those feelings run on my end. I never knew what it felt like to belong somewhere, to get accepted for exactly who I am until now.