The first edition of the Hoddle of Coffee went up in May of 2011. It had one comment. It was from me. At that time, Cartilage Free Captain had a few hundred readers per day most of the time, a few thousand on a good day. A 10,000 pageview day was enormous. No SB Nation Soccer blog had ever gotten 20,000 pageviews in a day. The site had about a dozen regular commenters. About half of the site's comments came from me and the Bri(y)ans.
I put up a call to see if someone would want to write what would become the Hoddle and I was surprised to get about a half-dozen emails. A couple of them actually seemed serious, and I picked Roosevelts to write it because he was one of the most active members of the community. I could tell he cared, and I figured he'd stick to it for a while.
He did -- for four years. I've never met Roosevelts' girlfriend, but I love her for not leaving him after four years of him going to bed late because he had to stay up and do some blogging.
I might have more posts on this site than Roosevelts, but he was an even more consistent contributor to it than I was. I've gone two weeks without posting on this site before. He never has. He's never taken more than a week off writing the Hoddle at a time. On days when I was overextended, trying to do 5 jobs, back when Dustin was just a mod, the Hoddle was the only post that went up on the site. In that sense, the Hoddle was the biggest factor in keeping the site alive when I didn't have much time for it.
Over the course of a couple years, the Hoddle grew from something only I commented on to something that had hundreds of comments every single day. It's been a 2,000 comment thread on multiple occasions. It is the single biggest factor in this community's growth, period.
This community's growth was one of the biggest factors in me getting a job with Vox Media. I did a lot of things to get hired, but that was the biggest one. Some people could look at the soccer blogs and see that one about a team they've only vaguely heard of was growing faster than the Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona and Real Madrid sites. That guy knows what he's doing, someone higher up thought, and he can help grow other parts of our business too.
I, like many other people, often question if I actually do know what I'm doing. I don't think I'm that smart. I don't think I make the right decisions most of the time. But the best decision I've ever made in my life -- any decision, not just in writing or running websites -- was asking Roosevelts to write the Hoddle. I would not have a job without him, and given where I was in my life when I got my job, I'm not sure I'd be alive without him.
He might not want me to share this, but I'm going to do it anyway. Last night, Roosevelts told me that me giving him this opportunity gave him the confidence to move on with his life after losing his job roughly five years ago and try things he's always wanted to do. I don't feel like I did anything for him, but if that's how he feels, then I've done way more good in running this site than I ever thought I would.
Roosevelts and I both hope that this post is a nice little way to start your morning and meet a handful of cool people. It's been a hell of a lot more to both of us. I'll miss having him on the site.
And with that, here's your regularly scheduled Hoddle of Coffee.
Is DeAndre Yedlin's loan to Sunderland good for his career? | ESPN FC
Graham Hunter's conclusion is that it is, and I agree. Remember the last time we sent a winger converted to fullback on loan to Sunderland, and they came back with some idea of how to play defense? Hopefully the same happens for Rufio.
Christian Eriksen set to return but Clinton N'Jie might not be ready for Sunderland | London Evening Standard
Clinton will never play, because we live in hell.
Premier League 25-man squads | Sky Sports
Here they are if you want to see the rest of the teams. We didn't register Emmanuel Adebayor. Surprise!
AVB hit with 6-game ban after making contact with official | Express
Misfiring Kane hopes to learn from Rooney | AFP
That headline gave me a fever and Kane's quotes made me vomit.
How will the Bundesliga cope with losing so many players to the Premier League? | Jason Humphreys
The same way they always do: by promoting youth talent and snapping up undervalued players that Premier League teams want to ditch at cut rates.
Netflix will never have everything you want, and neither will anyone else | The Verge
We live in hell, Part II.
And finally, here's Gareth Bale's goal for Wales.