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Permission To Go Ashore

I’m moving on, and man am I gonna miss this team

us-politics-trump-amfoot Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

It’s a weird thing to say for a random internet blog, but I remember exactly where I was when I got an email from Navy Athletics SID Scott Strasemeier that SB Nation was finally starting a service academy site and encouraging me to apply for the position of site manager.

See, two years before that, while attending Georgetown for a Master’s degree, one of my professors was a VP at SBN, and I had approached him about this very idea. I came prepared with a laundry list of reasons why they needed a service academy site.

I was covering Navy for Underdog Dynasty at the time, and our Navy stories did really well with our readership, exceeding nearly every other G5 school covered. I told him that though the schools seemed small, their followings were actually quite large, and that if they would give me a chance, I knew it would be a win-win for all involved.

Things seemed to be in the exploration phase for quite awhile, but nothing really came of the effort, and eventually I moved on. I moved back to Virginia Beach from Annapolis to finish out my time in the Navy, and was deep into the selection process for a business opportunity that I knew would significantly alter my ability to write for a hobby if achieved.

So, when I got that email, I felt both excited and disappointed. I was excited because nearly three years later, I thought SB Nation was making a really good decision in finally bringing service academy athletics to the team with their own dedicated site.

But I was disappointed because it felt like I had already moved on from that chance and would more than likely not pursue the opportunity to be the inaugural site manager.

Eventually, I decided that I would go for it, being nudged in that direction by my Naval Academy roommate Austin, who ended up coming on board and being one of our main voices and contributors the last two years.

I still knew that if this business opportunity presented itself, however, I would eventually have to move on, and well at least for this reason, I’m glad that process ended up taking nearly two more years to finish because I got the chance to start something from scratch with an incredible team and build it into what it is today.

I’m forever grateful to Matt Brown and Caroline Darney for taking a chance on me as the site manager for Against All Enemies (and for agreeing to the site name which I was pretty adamant about). In two years, we have laid the groundwork for a community that is underrepresented 364 days a year in the national sports media landscape, in my opinion.

And through their trust, we also put together an incredible team of individuals who contribute to this site and represent all three major service academies in Air Force, Army, and Navy.

I’ll be honest, and I’ve said it many times, but covering your two biggest rivals in a fair and unbiased manner is not easy to do, and yet our team of contributors has done that about as well as could possibly be imagined. It’s always such an interesting dynamic trying to put out worthwhile content when 23 of your readership is probably going to disagree with a lot of what you have to say at times or feel you are not adequately covering their portion of the CIC triad.

But the AAE team somehow finds a way to be both critical and **gasp** even at times complimentary of each other, and in the process, I know I personally have grown to understand and appreciate each school more.

It’s weird to be staying up for a Mountain West Conference football game at midnight as a Navy fan, and yet, for the last two seasons, I have done just that. And here’s the thing, even though I am moving on as site manager, I’ll probably still continue to do that.

Now that doesn’t mean I’m cheering for Army and Air Force, so don’t misunderstand. I hope Navy never gives back the CIC trophy again, they surpass that streak of 14 from a few years back, and they take the Star Series for the next two decades at least.

I’m certainly going to miss this awesome team of contributors most of all, who have grown from random people I had never met into friendships I hope continue far into the future.

Being site manager at Against All Enemies gave me the opportunity to establish those friendships, to bond over service academy athletics, and to have experiences I would otherwise not have had in just two short years.

The time has come for that opportunity that almost kept me from taking the site manager position to begin with to come to fruition, and with that, I’ll have to give up running Against All Enemies. It’s bittersweet for sure, but I couldn’t be more excited for what lies ahead for me and my family as we are off on a new post-Navy adventure.

To whoever takes over this site, just know that the team you have in place is incredible, and you are lucky to have them for however long they decide they want to keep writing here.

And to all the members of the AAE community, who have showed us love and support from the beginning or just joined in on the fun in the last few months, just know that there is so many more places to take this site that have simply not been explored yet as we worked hard to build its foundation, and I’m certain that we will continue looking for new and creative ways to shine a light on service academy athletes. After all, that really is the whole point of this silly blog to begin with.

I hope I will be able to find my way back as a contributor to try and help out along the way as we take Against All Enemies even further in the future.

Until then, Beat Army! (and Air Force too for good measure)