Back when I didn't think there was a blog that was what I wanted in the SounderSphere, and due to the encouragement of Jason Churchill, I decided to start my own little place. The goal then was simple. Write a blog that I wanted to read. Those goals kept expanding. I found that I was granted access and could use that in unique ways, ways that continue to this day, where one could combine original interviews with stats, chalkboards, metaphors and more.
As the site was being set-up I was writing and networking with other blogs in the SounderSphere. But on Sept. 1, 2008 the first ever post on Sounder at Heart went live. We've grown quite a bit since then. And it really is a shift from I to we.
That we includes writers like Doug, Carlos, Timm and Dizzo who no longer post on the frontpage and more than a dozen that have frontpage rights now. There have been significant milestones - the first comment by someone who didn't know me personally (hi cornchops!), joining SB Nation, leading SBN/Soccer for a few months, Jeremiah talking his way onto the "staff," continually adding more and more writers (I'm going to forget someone and for that should be shot) Graham, Kirsten, Aaron, sidereal, agtk, dano, abbott, jake, agent J, olysounder, and sum anon (kinda LikkitP and Pain Machine), adding a podcast, and combining forces with The Offside - Seattle. There will be more big steps in the future because we aren't done growing.
Last month was our best month of traffic ever. And while it is dwarfed by a few EPL team-specific blogs on the network, it is far and away the grandest of MLS team-specific blogs on the 'net.
Most of that is because of you. Because this is more than blog. More than social media. It is this thing that has grown into a community with more than 600 scarves scattered around the Sounders' world celebrating what it means to be a Sounder at Heart.
Nos Audietis - You will hear us
Us is what Sounder at Heart is about. It is about expanding the reach of the Sounders. It is about providing a forum for fans. It is about connecting with each other in reality and not just online. It is about Twitter, Facebook and Podcasts. It is about FanPosts, FanShots and archives of news/opinion/analysis/previews/recaps/statistics over the past years.
What started as the passion of one man has grown beyond his dreams. It is 1,767 comments about an Open Cup loss while hundreds of readers took over bars in Renton and Capitol Hill.
We've heard you. We'll keep hearing you. MLS and the Sounders will keep hearing us.
Thank you. Thank every single one of you.