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.
Powerful stuff brother.
I’ll pay for this guy..
Who Dat! Welcome back
So stoked about this! Glad to have you back Nick.
So happy to have you back Nick. Best offseason news. Can’t be topped.
Welcome back Nick
Let’s fucking goooo!!!!!!
Can’t wait to see what’s coming!
Welcome home, Nick.
Welcome home Nick!
Nick Came Home
Welcome back! I will be subscribing!
No apology necessary bro! You are far and away the best Saints reporter we have ever had. So glad to have you back!
When you were gone, I could tell that you weren’t enjoying it.
I know that feeling. I work for a company that was bought out by another company that was bought out, etc.
The money is good but the passion, the sense of belonging, the camaraderie isn’t the same. I know from experience that just because some people don’t appreciate you and don’t empower you, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t good enough. Nick, you are good enough.
Everyone is glad you’re back. Even other writers/pundits. They don’t see you as competition. They understand that your level of professionalism just makes everyone better.
Bought a sub so you wouldn’t leave. WHO DAT!!!
Good to have the best Saints beat writer ever back home in the Big Easy.
Welcome home Nick. It was a long year without you.
You’re telling me
Welcome back, Nick! So, so glad to have you back!
Thank you for taking a risk and finally providing us with dedicated content. I’d gladly pay a bit to have quality and specifically about the team I love. Good luck and can’t wait.
Best. News. Ever.
There’s no need for apologies, welcome back!
Very Excited that you are back! Already subscribed! Looking forward to a great season and great analysis. You have my full support!!!!
Best Valentine’s Day ever.
My boy home.
Right in the feels man. Happy for you, rooting for you, and so excited to have you back!
So glad you are back!!!!! I have signed up already!
Good decision! Just subscribed..
Welcome home Nick! Can’t wait to see what’s to come.
Let’s go Nick! Welcome back, always rooting for ya!
Yessssss welcome home !
Glad to have you back!
LET’S GOOOOOOOOO! We love you Nick! You’re the best man, I can’t wait to read and engulf all the great content I KNOW you are about to spit! Welcome home Nick
Let’s goooo !!!!
Welcome back Nick.
Soooo glad you are back
BOOM! Subscribed and more than glad to have you back!
This is great news. All New Orleans Fans are lucky to have you back!!
Well….it didn’t take you as long as it took Kat to come back! Glad to have you both covering the Saints!
Legit worth about 10 Athletic subscriptions. No need to apologize, either Nick, you’re the best and I don’t even need to think twice about subscribing! Welcome home!
Nick, the people of New Orleans should and will embrace you with open arms. There are a lot of writers out there, but your stuff is better than all of them. Welcome home.
Awesome to have you back!
Glad you’re back Nick!
Glad you listened to our constant pleas on Twitter for you to come back, lol. 2020 might not be so bad after all!
Nick, this is amazing news, and I can’t wait to read it!
Do you have any specificity on what kinds of content you’ll be putting out?
Will it be Saints only? Or LSU and Tulane as well?
How do we support you? Subscription?
Yes. Link at the bottom of the post. Thanks!
So excited you’re back covering the team! Just signed up and look forward to all the great info I know you’ll bring to the table!
just subscribed to your future… look forward to the content… Must have known that you would comeback to NOLA… still followed you with the Patriots and read between the lines the fact that you missed the Saints and the city… Good Luck!
Welcome back Nick. My favorite Saints columnist since Pete Finney. We knew you weren’t far away as you still were breaking Saints news. Nawlins loves you back man. Welcome home!
Nick we don’t care how long you were gone. And we all understand the game. It’s a crime you are not national yet. Many of us believe you will be soon. So until then……..Thank goodness you are coming home.
Where do I sign up?
Also…..We need you back on the pod. Bring Adam back now and then as well. Especially for training camp.
For the diehards you quickly became our favorite. There was a great void when you left. Many of us had to turn to the Dark Side and listen to Dunk&Holder. I know I speak for a lot of The Who Dat nation…..Good to have you home brotha.
Yeah I went as low as looking for Saints news on CBS Sports… Dark Times
I’m down to sign up if you agree to two things:
-you see fan franchise tags as legitimate and accept their use (with no raise guaranteed) …
-you answer any Greenbrier questions for the next few months
Just kidding…you had me at hello..
Wasn’t The Greenbrier’s fault!
Glad your back Nick. I know I will sign up next month once you start posting work
Cue the theme from “Welcome Back, Kotter”… welcome home
I joined The Athletic because of you. I subscribe here now because of you.
Welcome to the drug in your blood called Nola.
So glad you’re back with us Nick! Cant wait man!!!
Good that you came back to the Saints family.
Nick, will you have access to pressers and ask the difficult (if need be) questions from time to time ? Anyway, you’ve taken a chance by getting this gig together, only fair that I buy the ticket to be entertained.
Your smart snark belongs in Nolatown. See you in the gumbo with the rest of the crabs! 🦀
I couldn’t be more pleased to support your endeavor. You are living the dream, and you do it so well. Congratulations and I wish you continued success.