I've written over 600,000 words on the Seahawks this year and training camp hasn't started yet
What's ahead for Seaside Joe?
Content Warning: This is a self-indulgent newsletter about the newsletter. Think of it like a clip show, which means that you should definitely skip it if you only want to use your free time to read about the Seahawks. I never want to manipulate my readers into reading everything that I post, I only want you to read shit you want to read about. This is not about the Seahawks, but there are some links in here of past articles about the Seahawks. You could probably skim for those! I do recommend scrolling down to read old tweets about Seattle’s “interest” in Malik Willis. But feel free to ignore this piece if you aren’t interested in self-reporting about Seaside Joe. I’ll be back with another Seahawks article on Tuesday and you might prefer that one over this one.
I initially opened a Substack account as a supplemental newsletter to the original Seahawks daily newsletter that I had started on Mailchimp two years earlier, specifically as a way to start previewing the quarterbacks who would be coming into the league over the next two to three years. I had a feeling that Seattle would be forced to face that sinking feeling with some sort of overhaul in the near future, but I had no idea that that quarterback study would come in handy so quickly.
Over the first year, my focus continued to be on the Mailchimp newsletter and there weren’t nearly as many posts on Substack, and also not many views. Understandably so because “Why would the Seahawks need to draft a quarterback?” And…
“Why doesn’t this guy shut up about Grayson McCall? Who is Grayson McCall?”
Finally I had to call off the Mailchimp newsletter in February because I had spent hundreds of dollars per year to keep it running and was worried that moving to another platform would effectively end Seaside Joe. I was nervous that I’d lose some of those relationships that were developed over the course of 1,000 straight days of talking about the Seahawks.
But financially speaking, I didn’t really have two options. On March 1, 2022, I officially started posting Seaside Joe on Substack. On March 8, 2022, the Seahawks traded Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos.
Sometimes you just get lucky with timing.
The executive decision to trade Wilson for a package that included two first and two second round picks gave new life to a Seahawks newsletter that had previously already decided in January of this year to start focusing the newsletter on Seattle’s need to reset the direction of the franchise. The knowledge that finally the Seahawks would have a top-10 pick and an extra pick in the second this year gave me an incentive to cover the team like I never have before, because even being down a franchise quarterback, Seattle’s front office executed a deal that brought them way up in draft capital and cap space. An original concept is more exciting than another goddamn remake.
And the response from this fucking awesome Seaside Joe community clearly reflected that Seahawks fans completely agree with that sentiment.
On the morning of March 8th, I posted an already-exhaustively-long article responding to a take by Dan Orlovsky that the Seahawks did a poor job of building around Wilson. Then literally moments after that, the trade was announced and I was set off to write five more articles on March 8th. Including my plea to not draft a quarterback this year (they didn’t), and a reaction podcast with Sam Gold.
Then on March 9th, I wrote three more articles, including a mock draft that had the Seahawks drafting Charles Cross, and why Seattle would be stupid for going anywhere near a Deshaun Watson trade, a move that many other writers posited could be realistic and even a good decision.
Then on March 10th, I wrote three more articles, including one on why Pete Carroll’s history clearly pointed towards the Seahawks drafting either a left tackle or an edge rusher with their first pick. If I had written that I believed that Seattle traded Wilson for a first round pick that could be used on Malik Willis, I would get locked away in jail for double-life sentences.
Four more articles on March 11th. Two each on March 12th, 13th, and then four more on March 14th (and an article about how the Seahawks would approach free agency that was actually pretty damn accurate). Just in the first week following Wilson’s trade alone, 25 articles about the Seattle Seahawks. That’s literally like an entire career for some writers.
While others may have seen rumors about Willis or Baker Mayfield or Colin Kaepernick as opportunities for more clicks and followers, I instead went the less popular route of writing that these were still more unrealistic options and anyone positing otherwise was merely baiting you for views.
The Seahawks offseason has been one of the most exciting times in franchise history. There is no need to exaggerate, lie, or fantasize on top of everything that is actually real in order to make it interesting. Seattle is fascinating!
The response from the community has been great and my fears about Seaside Joe’s audience shrinking because of the move to Substack have instead proven to be my worst prediction of the year. There are way more people reading the newsletter today than at any other point in the last 1,237 straight days of writing and sending out an episode of Seaside Joe.
But while consistency was once the trademark of the newsletter, volume and a more focused approach to covering the Seattle Seahawks has added more layers to Seaside Joe over the last five months. The newsletter has gone out 240 times since the beginning of March and that makes over 300 Joes in the year 2022… and training camp doesn’t start until Tuesday.
Just imagine what’s ahead.
(You don’t have to imagine, it’s going to be a lot more of what you’ve already read, but with months that end in -ber.)
This article you’ve read today is approaching 1,000 words and this is only what I refer to as “a quickie.” Others call 1,000 words, “A single tweet to announce that I’m leaving a gig I had for a short while.”
With 300 articles averaging 2,000 words, that’s at least 600,000 words about the Seahawks between the tail end of Wilson’s final season in Seattle and to this very moment with Drew Lock and Geno Smith preparing to go to battle to replace him tomorrow.
Nobody would do anything that many times, including back to my first season of covering the Seahawks in 2011 to starting Seaside Joe in March of 2019, if they didn’t really love it. So no, I do not need you to do anything to help the newsletter today. It’s the most wonderful feeling to just know that anyone cares what I have to say about the NFL at all. There’s no other sport I care about, no other form of entertainment that consumes as much of my daily thoughts, and nothing else I want to do other than continue to learn more about the game so I can tell you what I’ve just found out!
“You’re not gonna believe this, check this out!”
That’s the energy I hope to bring to every Seaside Joe newsletter over the next however-many-days-in-a-row until the wheels fall off. It’s funny that this newsletter has been going for three and a half years but somehow I feel like I only recently reached the starting line. I’m ready to run that marathon with you until the Seahawks win another Super Bowl.
If you’ve never touched a single button on this newsletter like “subscribe” or “share” then that is totally okay and I am happy to have you as a reader. Some of you have been subscribed since day one and had a very hands-off approach and I understand that too, it means a lot to even know that I have that mysterious connection with hundreds of people and in various parts of the world.
But even to those of you who only want to lurk, or to those of you who have messaged me hundreds of times, there is one thing you can do for Seaside Joe that would be an immense help and it doesn’t have to cost $5: This newsletter is begging you, “Share Me, Please!”
What would be best at this time is increasing the number of Seahawks fans who become aware that there is a FREE daily Seahawks newsletter that has been hyper-focused on content that relates to how Pete Carroll and John Schneider plan to right the ship, with an intense amount of coverage on the players who will be a part of the plan in 2022 and could be added to the reset in 2023.
My plea to you now is to share Seaside Joe at some point between now and Week 1. There is one person on Twitter (who is a gem) that shares every single article, but they are responsible for probably 98% of the shares reported by Substack of Seaside Joe. If everyone who reads this newsletter were to share only one article over the next six weeks, we could double the size of the community between now and facing that very same Russell Wilson on Monday Night Football.
That’s something that I think would be great to see because I happen to like all the fans who hang out here and I know that we share a point of view on the Seahawks that maybe not everyone shares. Or maybe they just don’t know yet that they share our point of view. Or they could have a different point of view and then we talk about it until finally one of us storms off of the internet…
It would be great to see this Seaside Joe community do something that nobody expects of us, which is to continue to grow and to have an impact on what is said about the Seattle Seahawks in the media. The success had here is something that I share with everyone who reads this newsletter, whether it’s been 1,237 days or if you signed up today. If you could share this newsletter—a Facebook post, a tweet, creating a secondary burner Twitter account where you only share articles, an e-mail to a friend, a conversation with your mom or brother-in-law, a billboard, a fortune cookie, a group chat, sliding into someone’s DMs, or a handwritten letter sent across the pond, ANYTHING counts—even only one time between now and Week 1, it would mean everything to me.
But most likely just liking an article enough to hit the Share button and sending it to someone or adding it to Facebook would probably be the most appropriate.
Word-of-mouth campaigns will never stop being a thing. Maybe Seaside Joe has no end in sight either.
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