A Pause for a Multitude of Reasons and Some Post-Thanksgiving Gratitude!

Howdy, Planet Effzeh folks.

As you may (not) have noticed, Planet Effzeh didn’t return from the last international break, letting the last two match days come and go without the normal previews and reaction pieces or anything else. I want to first let anyone concerned know that I did not somehow get trapped beneath something heavy, nor did I suddenly decide that being a fan of the FC was too much work and flee to the side of the Bavarians where you get to just show up every weekend and relax with the only drama being how much bigger your goal-differential will be by the final whistle.

owwerhesse

Sports journalist or sports dork/Kölschophile?

No, I’m still physically here and remain as steadfastly rut-un-wiess as I’ve ever been.

When I launched Planet Effzeh this summer past, there was always going to come a time when either I’d somehow become one of the few to unlock the mystery behind monetizing a sports blog or I’d have to put the site on a back burner in the pursuit of money.

Unfortunately, it was the latter that arrived first and is the primary reason I’ve been unable to post more the last few weeks. There are additional family considerations involving being the father of two young boys and the Thanksgiving holiday that just passed, but the big one has been that my limited free time has been necessarily directed at the full-time job that is, in itself, searching for work.

I know. “BOO-HOO! Get a job, hippie!”

Having worked a few journalism jobs after college and having seen the sea changes in how sports information is now consumed, I knew I might be tilting at windmills in hoping I could run a website that would create a decent living for myself, even with very low expectations on what sort of income that would entail. Reading about former professional sports journalists trading their media credentials for shoe polish doesn’t exactly inspire hope,

Stöger trying to not let show how incomprehensible my German is.

Stöger trying to not let show how incomprehensible my German is.

Yet, even with the continued struggles of this site, I believe there will be a better model than the current “Write for us, not for money, but EXPOSURE!” that is making plenty of cash for some big websites, but I’m not sure how that’s going to work in the age of SEO-gaming. As far as I know, there are no sites dedicated to English-language coverage of this club, but a Google search for “1. FC Köln English” will take you a lot of places (including 1. FSV Mainz’s German homepage) before it will bring you here. Fixing the issue with search ranking gets to go, along with things like “sell banner advertisements,” in the queue of things I will need to learn how to do if I hope to ever make this function as a business.

And I suppose that’s what I’m doing: running a business. It turns out I may not be very good at it, but I am not ready to stop trying because I continue to have hope that I will figure it all out, because this is what I want to eventually be doing with my “work time.” My long-dormant love of writing about sports was returned to life because of the 1. FC Köln and all the people I’ve gotten to (virtually) know from following the club. To me, nothing makes sense other than to continue to pursue it.

It is with that in mind that I, on this Monday after our Thanksgiving holiday, wanted to get a post written extending my gratitude for all the citizens of Planet Effzeh who unwittingly encouraged me to continue to push this thing into existence and beyond. While it all started innocently from watching some football matches, regular exchanges via social media helped spark an obsession. I went from asking effzeh fans for help with information in writing a season preview for Bundesliga Fanatic, to finding myself with my own club.

Just a pair of old pals, hanging out. No biggie.

Just a pair of old pals, hanging out. No biggie.

That I would find myself a few years later behind the scenes at the Florida Cup would have been unthinkable at the time. Yet, there I was earlier this year talking basketball and books with Miso Brecko, chatting with a jubilant Anthony Ujah on the turf at EverBank Field about how the club should be invited back as defending champion (I’m not certain they were.), shaking hands with Peter Stöger, and having Jörg Schmadtke stop mid-thought while talking to German journalists to give me a fist-bump and ask what I thought of  the Florida Cup Sieger.

Considering all that, it would be ridiculous for me to surrender this dream so early.

And it is early. While I thought there would be a bigger spark of interest in the club from the USA based on the new Bundesliga TV deal with Fox, there certainly has been some benefit of it, which I expect to increase over time. Football in Germany continues to be increasingly of interest to the English, too, who love the ticket pricing and in-stadium atmosphere. There is room for Planet Effzeh to grow along with the expanding base of fans who simply don’t read German.

At least, that’s my hope.

A special added “THANK YOU” must go to all those who have been supportive, whether through encouragement or through fiscal support. I likely do not show my gratitude enough, but you’re the reason (beyond my own egotism, that is) I can continue to do this at all.

For now, I’ll need to get back to preparing for interviews and the day I’ll have to wake up hours before the rest of my family in order to do my Effzeh writing before we all must get ready for work and school. I just wanted to drop a note for those who wondered (if anyone were wondering) what happened to Planet Effzeh.

If you would, raise a Kölschglass with me and toast the future, hoping it’s bright for both our club and this website.

And I promise to try to get a preview of the coming Augsburg match posted, okay?

and COME ON EFFZEH!

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