It's 7 a.m. and my eyes bleed. I slept an hour or two last night before waking back up to get back to work this morning, preparing the final elements of the SB Nation United launch. This is something I'm very proud of, and something that's been a very long time in the making. The amount of time and effort that went in to making this redesign reality is, frankly, astounding.
So why should you care? Because this is about you. SB Nation is, above all, about community. It's about passionate sports fans gathering, commiserating and talking about sports. We have over 300 passionate communities, all of which are different and special.
Years ago, I was a commenter when SB Nation went through its first big facelift. Back then comments didn't refresh, pages were bland, and each site looked quite different. SB Nation 2.0 added live-refreshing comments -- something we almost take for granted now -- and a fresh coat of paint. There have been tweaks since then, but this redesign -- SB Nation United -- is the biggest step we've taken.
I've told my story before, but it's worth repeating: I started as a commenter and worked my way up to a full-time employee at Vox Media. In fact, take a look around the masthead. Grady and Jeff started the site, but since then they've allowed it to grow by bringing on commenters as front-page authors. Everyone writing here has been a reader or commenter at one point or another.
This isn't unique to CougCenter. Around SB Nation, you'll find writers developed in comment threads. We're all fans, passionate about our teams. Our roles may have evolved, from commenter to author and beyond, but at the root of it all is a passionate fan.
SB Nation United aims to bring all of together, under one big umbrella. It's a facelift and a redesign, sure, but it's also a shift in thinking. SBNation.com is transitioning into more of a destination, aiming to spotlight the best and brightest minds on the network.
In addition to the new design and branding, Spencer Hall will be taking over as SB Nation's first editorial director. Spencer will be setting the vision for SBNation.com, and if you've read his work you know why this is a good thing. I'm very excited to watch the site and network grow with Spencer at the head of the table.
I'm also in a new role. Starting today, I'll be the managing editor of SBNation.com. It's on me to help Spencer execute his vision, as well as run the day-to-day operations of SBNation.com. As you can imagine, I'm both excited and grateful for the opportunity.
Just a little over two years ago, I was a commenter at CougCenter. Now I not only write about Washington State athletics, but am also managing the biggest site on the network. It's been a crazy ride, and it all started with community.