Changes and farewells

What a ride. When I started as a commenter over at The Offside Barcelona, who ever thought a space with a few voices would become something as interesting as it did. Back then, when I was just another voice in the crowd and Isaiah asked me to consider becoming a moderator, I was, frankly, terrified. I was then (and still am) learning about the team, the players, the history and how to watch and explain matches. Thoughts became reviews became something else, etc, etc.

When The Offside/Barcelona expanded into Barcelona Football Blog, leaving the comforting arms of The Offside corporate family, it was a risk. As the space grew and grew, into what I still believe to be the best English-language Barça site out there because of what it does, it also seemed something of a family because the comments space was a significant part of the feeling and mood of the space. We developed one hell of a powerhouse team for a while. Mods came and went, commenters came and went but through it all, the sense of pulling toward a common goal and a common love always remained intact.

I’ve tried to walk away from this space more than a few times for many reasons, and could always find a reason to stay. Time crunches were worked around by not spending more than an hour on any post, etc. Someone or something, usually me, has always worked to keep me here, often a sense of obligation in not wanting to see something that was so much fun wither on the vine. It’s huge fun thinking about the club in ways that are outside of the norm, being able to roll in after an event and contribute something that I hoped would spark discussion. I learned a lot, and hopefully shared something of what I had with people.

Things are very different these days, and not just the state of discourse. The site’s spiritual father has returned, which is huge. Isaiah is a writer whose quality attracted me to The Offside/Barcelona back in the day, and still makes me green with envy. He loves this club just as much as any of us, even if, as with all of us, real life conspired to intrude on his active demonstration of that love. His return makes me a lot more comfortable and confident in being able to move on with a clear mind.

Being better at “Hellos” than “farewells” (and who isn’t?), it’s easy and pleasing to say that the blog will be in excellent hands with Isaiah and Levon, and probably a few other mods who will be stepping up to the plate. Don’t be shy about shooting Isaiah a note. There have been some top-quality comments flowing here. In the past, commenters such as Kari, Euler, nzm and blitzen moved up from the comments space, and I am sure that will happen again. It’s the way that it always does, as in many ways a comments space is like Barça B, right? There will also be the likes of SoccerMom, whose stuff deserves a lot more love than it gets. She’s also in my “green with envy” group.

But my time here has run its course. I will certainly find other outlets for writing about Barça and the beautiful game, as that’s just too much fun to stop. But as with any family, there are changes: divorces, kids growing up, and the like. It’s part of the deal. The fun that was had here was huge, and there have been some memorable commenters along that road, from Euler to Ramzi, ciaran and Jim, Jnice, Jawsytown who always held my ideas’ feet to the fire, Peter, barca96, CuleToon with the insider’s view and so many, many others who shared knowledge and insight that I, and hopefully others, learned from. Frankly, the smartest thing we did was opening comments to one and all registered users. So much good has come from that, things that have made this space and its writers better.

Most important is that the space isn’t going to die, most assuredly. I’m over the moon to be able to hand it over to its father. And as much as I dislike official goodbyes, just wanted to put something up for folks who might wonder, “Whatever happened to that jackass?”

Thanks again, and for anyone interested, I am @kevvwill on Twitter. Visca!

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In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

25 Comments

  1. PrinceYuvi
    June 18, 2015

    🙁

  2. norden
    June 18, 2015

    Kxevin, I will definitely miss your articles. Thanks for all you have done here!

  3. kosby
    June 18, 2015

    Farewell ! Its been a privilege to read and comment on your articles.

  4. Davour
    June 18, 2015

    Go well, Kxevin. It’s been a pleasure!

  5. Inamess
    June 18, 2015

    Thanks Kxevin!

  6. Ryan
    June 18, 2015

    Gracies per tot, Kxevin!

  7. June 18, 2015

    I am new here and have just created my profile to share my words of appreciation for Kxevin’s superb work. I enjoyed hugely every line, every article you have been posting for the last year or so almost on a weekly basis: it was witty, it was insightful, it was elegant, it was truly culé less the fanaticism… kinda sad I could not enjoy of it anymore but of course Isaiah is of the same caliber. Maybe Kxevin should consider contributing with special posts once in a while. Many thanks from a corner in northern Ethiopia (where saddly the Premier League reigns and watching FCB live is always a struggle)! በጣም አመሰግናለሁ!

  8. ciaran
    June 18, 2015

    All I can say is that it’s been a pleasure trading thoughts with you since the Offside days. I hope this is a sabbatical and not a goodbye. Sometimes it takes being away from something we love to realise how much we need it.
    Go raibh maith agat mo chara

  9. say2
    June 18, 2015

    To start with thanks a lot Kxevin,it has been real pleasure following this blog. Started to follow team in 2010-11 season, and I felt that I need to know more about the team. Searched length and breadth if internet to find a good site which was fun to read and stumbled across this beautiful site and I must I haven’t gone to many other blogs after that.

    The quality of writing is been of highest quality just like the team we love. Through this medium I have come so many of fellow culers whose thoughts and comments have made me understand the team and understand more about the team and sport.

    In past year when articles dried up and we were not getting our usual dose of eulers awesome technical preview of reviews, soccermom’s lovely thoughts, blitzens awards. You have kept the space so much interesting and lively, I have learnt tons of things from your writings and I have heartfelt thanks to you,mods and all the commentators of this site

    Lastly I hope this is not bye and just see you later guys. Coz your presence will be hugely missed for those who look for quality writing.

    Have not been an active commentator here but have read and followed each article that was written here.

    Thanks again

  10. AngelCul1
    June 18, 2015

    Thank you Kevin. I found this site during the madness of January, and your writing helped me realise there were Cules out there that were not negative all the time. I remember one day going back and reading so many articles, I got very little done.

    Good luck in your next venture.

    ps: this is my first comment, and will probably be the last for a while. I am content to just read the articles :). I am sure I will follow whatever you write, and look forward to reading more of Isaiah’s stuff too.

  11. June 18, 2015

    It’s been a pleasure reading you these last, what have it been, six or seven years. Incredible how long you’ve kept it up.

  12. Lord Eddard Stark a.k.a. Brichimbrodvoken, the vulnerable one!
    June 18, 2015

    .

    Mr. Kevin Williams,

    I am not sure what I am more disappointed in.
    The audience and tone of commenting that drove you out or your insistence on letting your tantrum persist and finally culminate in all this.

    I have, in my early comments, compared you to Messi in your Post churning rate AND quality for so long. He keeps getting kicked, but he keeps going. Of course I know he is being paid for his troubles and understand why its so easy to give up in your case.

    But I would have liked you to do a Messi. Because I know you like what you do and you do it well even if people can get a little touchy here sometimes – much like the culeverse and fcbarcelona in general – We have a scorching need to feel loved and appreciated.
    But you are doing a Dani alves. And thats fine by me. Because, even alves ended staying, inspite of his threats many a time. There will come a time when dani will leave for real. But it will be okay then. Just that, its not, now.

    But.
    Whatever.

    I enjoyed your posts and your perspective, which was identical to my own world view many a time.

    See ya.

    Best wishes and fond farewell,

    Ned

  13. agar2515
    June 18, 2015

    Farewell, we’ve had our differences but at least we had a place to
    Have them

  14. socrates
    June 18, 2015

    I became a regular reader of BFB some three years ago, prompted by Kxevin’s exquisite prose. It was a revelation. Reading Kxevin’s writing about Barca was like reading Hemmingway about bullfighting – with a similar balance of passion, knowledge and wisdom, accompanied by that haughty fighting spirit. (I don’t like bullfighting, but I have been trying to think of a comparison that does justice to the power and presence of Kxevin’s writing; Hemmingway fits for me. Apologies if that appalls you!)

    I have read everything for three years and enjoyed every sentence and every post. After an initial flurry of posting myself, I tired of the endevour –it is exhausting!– all the more reason to applaud Kxevin and all the other long-haul participants. But I digress. I just want to say thank you, maestro, mil gracias, and that I hope to meet you some day to shake your hand – maybe while you sign my copy of your forthcoming book …(!)

  15. Benj
    June 18, 2015

    Hey Kxev, all the best buddy. The space wont be the same wiyhout ya. YNWA

  16. Dreamteam
    June 19, 2015

    Maybe now we can disagree in peace without being lectured/made to feel stupid/ having our POV marginalized by being labeled as an “attack”. Credit to you keeping the space alive but I do not like how you conducted himself at times.

  17. ferdydurke
    June 19, 2015

    I’ve lurked for many years, but decided to join today to thank you for all the insight and enjoyment you’ve given me over the years. This is a special space on the internet.

    • Jim
      June 19, 2015

      I was going to make sure I left an appreciation of Kxevin’s on his last post but to be fair I couldn’t top Ferdy’s comment above. For a writer it probably doesn’t get much better than that.

      I will say though that I’ve been listening and discussing with Kxevin’s for years and I’m going to miss that voice in this space. I’ve often thought we should have organised a BFB meet up at some point in Barcelona, take in a game and chew the fat in a nearby establishment. I’ve a feeling that in person we might get on rather well . . .

      I’ll end with a final disagreement if I may. Kxevin was never a problem to this space. He is the sole reason it is still running and I’ve never seen a discourteous word written by him to anyone I didn’t think had brought it upon themselves in some way. Here’s hoping after a break you might feel motivated to write the occasional comment at least, Kxevin. That would have the added virtue of knocking me off the long post perch.

      Lang may yur lum reek !

  18. rg23
    June 19, 2015

    I don’t post often. But I sure do come to this space every day and ready every comment.
    Have been reading this wonderful blog for many years now and would just like to thank Kxevin for everything he has done.

    Wonderful writer, with great thought provoking articles. On many occasions I wholeheartedly agree with his ideas. On many occasions I don’t agree. And then there are so many that I still don’t know where I stand, but nevertheless appreciate the views!

    I will greatly miss reading his articles. Kxevin… You were the Xavi of this blog. The metronome around which everyone was playing!
    But just like we said to Xavi, this is not a goodbye, but hopefully a see you soon!
    Gracies!

  19. luisthebeast
    June 19, 2015

    I dont have a twitter account and the only english site i follow for years is this blog.It s a v good good blog with great people who post.Kxevin is a great man even i disagree with him in some thinks.But i read his twitter and i will read his opinions there.I believe the other writers here will keep their great job.I also wanted to ask if people like Peter Ramzi is there a chance in the future to post here.Keep the good work!!!!

  20. CuleToon
    June 20, 2015

    Sad to see you go… Glad to have shared this unique period of Barça’s history with you!

  21. Messiah10
    June 20, 2015

    Kxevin,

    Thank you for what you started & contributed over the years. This is hands down the most comprehensive, thought provoking, respectful, Barca(any blog for that matter) blog currently in existence. Your efforts have helped shape the dialogue & direction this blog has taken since I started reading, then commenting, when I heard the venerable Ray Ray Hudson give the blog a shout out in 2010 or 2011(can’t remember). You will be sorely missed. I haven’t been able to partake in the discussions for the past 18-24 months like I used to, but this is still the first place I go when I want to quench my thirst for the club & team I have come to love as an extension of my greater passion for the beautiful game itself. As a fellow Mid-Westerner, I know all to well how lonely it can feel to have so much passion for a game, for this club, & it’s supporters, & not have an external outlet for it. I wish you & your family the best on whatever the future brings you. I will miss your superb writing and moderating. Farewell!

  22. efcmentor
    June 20, 2015

    Do i say end of era? It have been a wonderful ride. Thanks for all these years. Thanks for all you have done for us and for keeping this space alive. I don’t know you personally, but you have impacted my life so much as a culer. You’re one of most cool headed person i have came across. Even when most citizens of culer republic smelled doom and the atmosphere were in tumoil, you will always identify the silver lining. I remmeber back in January when the atmosphere of this space and most notably twittersphere were heated up, you still maintained your calmness and dedication to restore other. Just like Xavi, i’m sad and happy you are leaving on a high note. You will always be remmembered! I am just like a prodigal son because i have been away from this wonderful family but have no option than to come back and say my farewell! 3 years in the wilderness even though i do read your post and comments of our great commenters most times. Hope to find more time to comment. Will always read your post whererever you contribute and also on twitter as usual. Eres el mejor! Kracias kelvin!

  23. Raj
    June 21, 2015

    This is the first disappointing transfer in this window. We consider that you are on loan to some other space and be back soon. There are many blog space but nothing has life in it as in BFB and you are one of the prime factor. Expecting guest posts atleast on dhamma or messi…

  24. ilie
    June 22, 2015

    Thank you for everything Kxevin!

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