We all saw the bomb drop yesterday. Jeff is gone, and with him go his unique talents and voice, leaving the future of Lookout Landing in doubt. Who is going to take the reins? What direction will they take the site? What does this mean for the LL we know and love? What happens in the short term, before we get a new Overlord? How will the inevitable changes here affect our individual and shared experiences as LL citizens and Mariners fans? There's a lot to think about here.
Personally, my first question was "how will this affect my Mariner's fanship?" The obvious follow up is "is fanship the right word, or even a word at all?" to which I answer "fuck it, don't care." But the larger question remains, and my best guess is that the extent to which I continue to care about the Mariners as a whole is closely tied to the health of Lookout Landing and the community here. I've grown to love the discourse and the fan-opinion-driven style of the site. If the worst case scenario unfolds and the site withers without the sweet honey of Jeff's voice, I'd still go get daily updates from mlb.com and go to a couple games, but my emotional connection to the Mariners would suffer. One of Jeff's best skills as a writer is his ability to share his emotional connection to the team with the rest of us, and if that void isn't at least partially filled on this site, it will be to the detriment to my personal fan experience. I'm only speaking for myself here, but I imagine many others are in the same situation.
Well, what happens next? After spending some time last night brooding and worrying about the future, I had an epiphany: Fuck that noise. I had to refine the thought a little before it was actionable, but essentially I decided my connection to this community was too valuable for me to leave up to the winds of chance and change. I need to help keep my beloved LL alive and well. If I'm not doing something to help the site, who am I to have feelings if it suffers? I have a few posts to my name, but I've been mostly silent over the past year or so, content to soak in the dulcet prose of Mr. Sullivan. That's obviously not enough anymore. Does this mean I'm throwing my hat in for the position of New Overlord? At this point, no. The fact that there are others in the community (obviously current overlord Matthew for one, but there are lots of other members of the community I have a lot of respect for) that I would trust more with helming the site than myself is probably a non-starter for submitting a formal application. But the need to contribute, to step up and give back is still there. I've decided the best way for me to contribute without being all uppity and presumptuous is to take full advantage SBNation's FanPosts. Starting very soon, I will be posting something thoughful, substantial, and at least a little humorous once a week.
I have no illusions of trying to fill Jeff's shoes with this token gesture on my part. I don't think there's any one person who could, at least not at first. Jeff was the perfect voice for this community. He embodied our collective heart and soul as internet savvy Mariner Fans. For Lookout Landing to still have that same heart and soul, it's going to take a collective effort on our part. What we need is for as many people as we can to make the same commitment. We need regular, substantial fanposts from lots of people to carry the torch, and I think that working together, we can keep LL the rich, heartfelt, and amusing hub for Mariner fans that Jeff (and Matthew and Graham) built.
So, this is me stepping up. I hope my contributions enrich our shared Lookout Landing experience, and I hope many of you will join me in giving what we can to this wonderful community.