Dear Old U.Va. Signs Off
Monday, June 27 2011 by Tim
A little over four years ago, I sat at my computer reading TheSabre and saw several U.Va. fans asking how the lacrosse team looked during a recent game. I chimed in with my thoughts and people seemed to appreciate it. Around that same time, I happened to take my camera (I was then using a dinky little point-and-shoot model) to a lacrosse game and snapped some photos. I posted a few of them to TheSabre and once again people seemed to appreciate it. I thought maybe I was on to something.
At that time, there wasn’t much coverage in the mainstream media of The University’s exploits in the so-called “non-revenue” sports. You’d probably find a box score in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, or a brief write-up in the Daily Press. But outside of the Daily Progress, and brief recaps on the Charlottesville TV news stations, you didn’t really find much coverage.
But at that moment, the fans wanted more. The Virginia men’s lacrosse team had just won its second national championship in 4 years. Those titles surrounded a 2004 title by the women’s lacrosse team. Swimming & diving was in the midst of an unprecedented run the ACC and the rowing team was doing the same. Baseball was able to host NCAA regionals less than a decade removed from near-extinction. Men’s tennis was beginning to look like a true national contender.
While football and basketball are the “kings” of the college sports world, many U.Va. fans certainly took notice of what was going on at Klockner Stadium, Davenport Field, Snyder, the Aquatic and Fitness Center and all the other venues around grounds. There was a thirst for more information about these teams - a desire to witness a level of coverage similar to what football and basketball received.
That’s where Dear Old U.Va. came in. Well, sort of. There were a few different site names, domain names, layouts, writers, etc. This domain wasn’t actually registered until March 22nd, 2008 – about a year after I started writing.
We’ve had an amazing run. Our team created 781 posts. We’ve served three-quarters of a million views of those posts. We’ve covered every sport. Top to bottom. We’ve covered national titles. We’ve covered heartbreaking losses. We’ve covered idiotic fan arguments. And we’ve had statistics, numbers and graphs (thanks Ben!).
But the Virginia sports world is different now in 2011 than it was in 2007. The national media has taken notice of Virginia teams. The local media has finally started covering them appropriately (well, sort of appropriately – some of the SWVA rags could use some work). There are more Virginia-dedicated sites out there than there were before – Wahoos247 has taken the recruiting world by storm; Streaking the Lawn has provided consistent coverage across the board; From Old Virginia, Great Blog of Virginia, the list goes on and on. TheSabre’s message boards are full of people who know a lot about the various teams (though after losses they can also be full of a lot of morons who know nothing about the various teams; you’ve been warned).
And so it is with much sadness that I announce that, effective today, Dear Old U.Va. is being retired. DOU needed to grow in order to continue to be successful and we simply did not have the time or resources to commit to both running/growing the site AND writing for it.
There is some good news, though. It’s not like we’re all just going to disappear into the mountains of western Albemarle County.
MelbourneHoo will still be able to be found on TheSabre while he takes care of his family. Ben can be found on twitter, which is a good way to find out about the very entertaining articles he writes. He too will be taking care of his family. Hopefully both of them are raising good little Wahoos. Ones with a terrific jump shot, perhaps.
And Tiki and I have joined with Brian Leung, Will Campbell and the others over at Streaking the Lawn (part of SBNation) to continue covering Cavalier athletics. I strongly suggest you bookmark that site. The whole team over there is committed to a great fan experience and has some great articles on tap.
Thanks to all of the loyal readers out there. I hope you’ve enjoyed what we’ve been able to do and will continue to follow us in our future endeavors.