Happy Birthday To The World’s Fastest-Growing Blog: Highlights and Lowlights

What a great day for celebration! This is definitely my favorite day of the year. And no, I’m not talking about Valentine’s Day. If you read yesterday’s V-Day Post, you already know I don’t celebrate the day of lovers on February 14th.

Today we’re celebrating the Will Blog For Food Blog turning One Year Old!

My friends and family know I’m a modest man so I didn’t have big plans for celebrating this milestone, but the staff at Will Blog For Food had other ideas. This morning they presented me with a surprise anniversary celebration, complete with a candle in my favorite dessert, Peanut Butter Cups:

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Photo on 2013-02-14 at 08.41

You’re probably asking yourself, “What the hell is he celebrating? He constantly mentions how his stretch goal is to get 45 page views in a single day.”

C’mon, you know that’s just my self-deprecating way of making fun of my own failures before someone else beats me to the punch. If the website that hosts my blog, WordPress, is telling the truth with all its stats, this has in fact been an extremely successful year. Let’s take you through some of the highlights in number form:

  • 16,606: Number of views my website got in its first year. And no, I don’t think the 16,603 times I clicked on the blog myself counted towards that stat.
  • 551: Number of views my site got in its first month alive. Not bad, right?
  • 2,551: Number of views my site got in its 12th month alive. I dare you to find another company who grew its customer base by nearly 500% in one year. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
  • 112: Number of countries where at least one person has clicked on my blog.
  • 193: Number of countries in the world that the United Nations recognizes.
  • 58: Percent of the world’s countries that I’ve “captured in one year. If blogging was a game of Risk, my friend Ben would be screaming and flipping the board over because it’s not fair how easily I’m rolling through all the countries.
  • 12,000: Number of views out of the 16,000 that the United States has accounted for. Still love ya, U.S.A.
  • 239: Number of views that the non-English-speaking country with the most views of my blog has accrued. That country is India.

Clicks and Pageview stats are nice, but what about the most successful individual blog posts? I’m glad you asked. Out of the 180 posts on this website, here are the five best that I’ve written based on the number of views they’ve received:

  1. A Thorough Examination of Bird Poop Being Good Luck: I don’t know what it is about this blog, but it’s singlehandedly putting my kids through college. This particular post gets a minimum of 25 views per day. I think it’s due to the fact that there’s no good info on the web about why people say being shat on by a bird is good luck. After monitoring the success of this post for the last nine months, I walk around all day praying to get bird diarrhea all over my head. I want a reason to write a second post about this topic. It might take my monthly views from 2,500 to 25 Million.
  2. Perfectly Good Excuses For Leaving Work Early: What does it say about the American work ethic that this blog post has been at the top of the standings since I wrote it 10 months ago? I guess people hate their jobs enough to be googling for excuses. If you hate your job like I did, stop making excuses and quit. Then move to a really expensive city, adopt a dog that racks up twice the amount of expenses as you were expecting and continue to plan vacations long after your money has run out. Worked for me.
  3. My Life is Complete: Boo Urns!: Pretty self-explanatory, right? People love The Simpsons. People love reading about other people who love The Simpsons. I never thought seeing that license plate on March 23, 2012, would be such a life-changing moment.
  4. Bob Costas is Literally Murdering the London Olympics: If I was making an “Editor’s Pick” for favorite blog post, this might be it. I still LOL and LMFAO when I think back to how awful Bob Costas’ opening monologue was on the NBC broadcast of the Opening Ceremonies. In my entire history of blogging, that goes down as the quickest turnaround from when I saw something blog-worthy happen to when I posted the blog. I literally ran to my computer when I heard him defecating all over the London Games. Well done, Bob.
  5. Adoption Process Complete: Announcing Our Little Bundle of Joy: I think there was an initial spike in views on this blog post because people saw the title and freaked out over the possibility of me adopting a human baby. Luckily I have no interest in raising a human baby. This blog also tugs at the heartstrings of every dog lover out there. Posting about Molly has always been an easy pageviews boon and I will continue to exploit her for my own success. By the way, anyone who has seen Molly in person in the last few months and knows how big she is, go back and look at the pictures in this first Molly blog. Unbelievable that we chose a dog who went from 23lbs to 90lbs in six months.

As far as the lowlights from year one, I’d say any time I allowed a guest blogger to write something it was an unmitigated disaster. I’m not saying I’m the only person capable of successful blogging. I’m just saying the particular people I chose to feature on my blog throughout the year never really found the tone I was looking for. Submissions are still welcome by outside bloggers, but this year I’m going to be a lot more cutthroat about who has what it takes.

So what’s coming in year two of the fastest-growing blog on the web? Probably a lot more of the same. But maybe I’ll start to delve into some entertaining childhood stories. After all, you guys haven’t heard about the time I ran face-first into a parked car and knocked all my teeth out (silver lining: I got to eat only McDonald’s milkshakes for days) or the time my parents gave us a puppy only to maliciously take it away from us three weeks later and return her to her original owner (I was so scarred from this that I wrote multiple college papers on this traumatic period of my life). There’s also the time my asshole brothers convinced me to wear my jean shorts backwards to a family event because I’d be “as cool as the guys from Kris Kross.” Or how about the time that I thought my older brothers and their friends were saying “condoms” when in reality they were saying “condiments.” I ran home to Mom and Dad and told them about the bad words they were saying. I’ve also given my Mom at least two near-heart attacks by convincing her that my brother Aaron was failing out of high school and dead (two separate pranks that went a little too far).

See, there are plenty of shenanigans from my childhood to write about in order to milk more page views from my readers. I’ve just barely gotten started. Thanks for all of your loyal reading and don’t be shy about spreading the word.

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The NFL’s Scheduling Problems, the Packers’ Offensive Problems, the Bears’ Jay Cutler Problem and the Rest of Week 8 in Review

As much of a football expert as I am, even I can’t pretend to understand what the NFL was thinking with its Thursday Night Football schedule. It’s almost like someone purposely decided to take the worst matchup of each week and schedule it for Thursday night on the NFL Network. Through seven Thursday games, we’ve had one great matchup where the game didn’t live up to the hype (Green Bay 23, Chicago 10), one game that came down to the wire despite an undesirable matchup (Tennessee 26, Pittsburgh 23), and five awful matchups with correlating hideous outcomes (NY Giants 36, Carolina 7; Baltimore 23, Cleveland 16; St. Louis 17, Arizona 3; San Francisco 13, Seattle 6; Tampa Bay 36, Minnesota 17).

And then there’s the NFL Network’s schedule the rest of the season: Kansas City @ San Diego, Indianapolis @ Jacksonville, Miami @ Buffalo, New Orleans @ Atlanta, Denver @ Oakland, Cincinnati @ Philadelphia.

Seven of those 12 teams have essentially been eliminated from the playoffs already. Only New Orleans @ Atlanta is semi-interesting because the Falcons might be going for 11-0 at that point, and the Saints still draw a crowd even though they’re looking at a 6-10 record at best.

If I was making the NFL TV schedule, I wouldn’t give a shit about making sure every team has a nationally-televised game. I would prioritize the most popular teams and the teams most likely to have a strong season (unless of course there’s a legality in the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement or the TV contracts that states every team has to have a national game. If that’s the case, disregard the previous 250 words).

Anyway, I’m sick of telling my girlfriend to go find something to do every Thursday night from 5:30 – 8:30, and then realizing the game is awful and wishing she was around so we could continue catching up on Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta.

Let’s quickly recap what I thought was noteworthy from week 8:

-Speaking of the NFL TV schedule, can someone please explain the logic behind the unbalanced Sunday schedule? This past weekend there were nine games on at 10am PT and only two at 1pm PT. Someone tried to tell me it has to do with the World Series being on, but that can’t be true because the schedule continues to be extremely heavy on the early games for the rest of the season. It can’t have anything to do with too many games being on the east coast because they  schedule plenty of eastern time zone games into the later game slate when they want to.

-Two negative things come from this Sunday schedule: 1). Andrew Siciliano’s head almost explodes live on the Red Zone Channel because he can’t keep up with the dizzying pace of touchdowns and big plays that he has to update us on during the early games, and 2). I end up feeling like I never saw a second of a couple early games because it’s impossible to stay on top of them all.

-This week’s “game that I had no idea was even on because the Red Zone Channel never had time to flash over to it” was Jacksonville vs Green Bay. Here’s what I found out about that game when I read the recap on Sunday afternoon: the Packers somehow only put up one offensive touchdown at home in the first half against a Jaguars team ranked 23rd in passing defense. And with about nine minutes left in the 3rd quarter and the Packers up by 2, this happened: From the Jacksonville 38 yard line, on 4th & 4, the Packers lined up to punt, but decided to run a fake and have their punter Tim Masthay throw what had to be one of the worst passes in NFL history for a lucky incompletion (lucky because it wasn’t picked and returned for a touchdown). So they wanted to convert a 4th down in a key spot and the best way to do this was taking the reigning MVP of the league out of the game?  I continue to think something is terribly wrong with the Green Bay offense. How else can you explain the recent trend of them calling for some trickery to generate points? This week it was the fake punt, two weeks ago it was a surprise onsides kick. I’m just saying either Mike McCarthy is outcoaching himself or there’s worry that they can’t put up enough points with a traditional offense.

-Speaking of less-than-impressive NFC North performances, did you know the Bears defense didn’t allow an offensive touchdown to Carolina on Sunday? Even with the Panthers controlling the ball for 37 minutes? And yet somehow it took a last-second field goal for Chicago to pull off the comeback win? I guess the fact that Jay Cutler had -8 fantasy points for me at halftime partially explains how this game was so close. Is there any difference between the 2012 Chicago Bears and the 2006 Super Bowl-losing Chicago Bears? Historically good defense complimented by an atrocious offensive line trying to protect a quarterback with a propensity to turn the ball over? No difference, right? And yet they still look like one of the best four teams in football.

-Do we even have to mention the hideous Pittsburgh Steeler uniforms from Sunday? It’s a common misconception that those uniforms were throwbacks to what they looked like back in the 1930’s. Actually it turns out they just wanted to honor Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite Simpson’s character because the actor who voiced him died recently. That character of course is the Bumble Bee Man:

-Love how the suicide picks this week were supposed to be a gimme. In my pool, half the people still remaining picked Green Bay and the other half picked Chicago. Yep, didn’t have to sweat those picks out at all. But we all survived, and now sadly I’m looking at the possibility of having to pick the 3-4 San Diego Chargers in week 9.

-Speaking of the Chargers, WTF happened to them on Sunday? I know they aren’t very good, but they only turned the ball over once, Philip Rivers was only sacked once, they had a time of possession advantage over Cleveland, they had more total yards…and they lost 7-6? And Norv Turner still has a job, right? There is no one steering the ship down there in San Diego, huh?

-No matter how bad you think you have it as a football fan—I’m talking to you Cleveland, New Orleans, Buffalo, Dallas and Tennessee fans—just remember there are people in Kansas City who are not only spending their money on tickets to see their horrific 1-6 team sink to a new low every week, but also on hiring planes to fly signs over their stadium begging for Chiefs GM Scott Pioli to be fired.

-Julie spent the entire Giants/Cowboys game being amazed that one of the pregame analysts predicted Tony Romo would throw three interceptions and that he was actually doing it (he threw four, actually). I had to explain that this was one of the safest predictions any analyst could have made in all of sports.

-Gronk’s touchdowns dances have been talked about enough at this point, but I just wanted you to know that when he caught his second TD and did that suggestive hip-thrusting dance, I made a note in my journal that said, “Gronk’s 2nd TD dance?? Rubbing his cock all over a stripper’s face? Tits??”

-I haven’t been this happy about a Patriots win in a long time. They did an incredible job over the first seven weeks lowering my expectations to the point where I had none. And then on the Rams’ first drive when Sam Bradford connected with Chris Givens on a 50-yard touchdown, my expectations went even lower than “no expectations.” So to have the defense not let up another long pass all day and come away with a 45-7 win, it was quite the surprise. I will continue to expect only the worst from them.

-I thought I had an off week in terms of my picks against the spread. After all, I bragged about how locked in I was last Friday and came out of the weekend with a modest 9-5 record. But I suspect a lot of people missed badly this weekend because somehow in my two Pick ‘Em leagues, I still came in 2nd place. Let’s all try to be better next week, OK?

-My record for the season now sits at 67-46-5.

My Life is Complete: Boo Urns!

The 2nd best line in the history of The Simpsons, captured on this license plate

It finally happened!  After 17 years of constantly quoting this one particular Simpsons line, where Hans Moleman brings down the house by stating, “I was saying Boo-urns,” I finally realized my purpose in life was to see this license plate.  I don’t think there’s a single line from any movie, TV show or Broadway play that I’ve quoted more in my lifetime than this.  The episode where he says this aired in 1995, and for these 17 years, every single time I’ve heard booing at a sporting event, I’ve never missed a chance to say, “I was saying Boo-urns.”  And here we have someone else who obviously obsessed over this line as much as me (someone rather successful I’d add, driving that nice 5-series BMW).  This person is probably my soulmate, but I guess I’ll never know.  What a day!

For those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about, here it is in all it’s glory:

And for anyone sitting on the edge of their seat, waiting for me to say what the best line in the history of The Simpsons is, it’s what Homer says at the end of this clip: