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Tim, This is Your Blogging Life!

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Our Glorious Leader started this blog nine years ago today. Join us in the comments to celebrate!

Tim, probably.
Tim, probably.
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Today marks the 9th Anniversary of the HMS Titanic BattleRedBlog.com! On January 22, 2007, "Scott" wrote a welcome post on the site, marking its debut. Only later did we learn that "Scott" was not real as nobody has ever met him (kicks MDC under the table), but "Scott" was actually Tim on one of his early blogging-life Zima benders.

Today, however, we're going to make this a celebration of your Blogfather, Tim.  Here's Tim as a baby:

Because Tim is Irish, he was born to potato farmers. Probably. They moved to Texas because of our good potato growing soil. Probably. I DO know Tim attended the best higher learning institution in America, The University of Texas at Austin. And that's all that really matters.  Here's Tim attending a UT game back in college (probably):

After trying for three years to get a job at the Coors Brewery as a Coors Light quality control taster, a position that clearly doesn't exist, Tim finally gave up his dream job quest and settled for being...really? That's what he does? That's terrible.

Back in the early days of the blog, of course, there were only a few commenters. I was around early, along with other lowlifes such littlevisigoth, Shake, BigTexBD, papabear, beefy, txnpwrlifter, and a spunky young blogger named MDC. Heck, even MarkedHoosier was around in those heady days of hopeful Internet fiefdom.

Later, Tim added outstanding writers such as Riott and Jake. Heck, Tim even trail-blazed the industry by hiring a 12-year old DreKeem - the Amobi Okoye of his profession, who wanted me to share these stirring words:

Tim, you hired me. - DreKeem

/wipes lone tear from face

After MDC decided to pull the plug on atexansblog.com because REASONS AND LET'S NEVER TALK ABOUT IT AGAIN, leaving Vega in the middle of the woods, Tim was hard-up enough to ask me to join as a contributor. Of course, the popularity of the blog skyrocketed at that point, for which I take all the credit.  Here's Vega:

Over the years, Tim has added blogging luminaries such as Rovers McCown, TexansDC, UprootedTexan, Vega, tehGrindCrusher, Brett Kollmann, MDC, Capt Ron, Ryan Dunsmore, Matt Weston, Corzo, kdentify, and HoustonDiehards…who promptly retired and now gets all the hate mail. I know I’ve missed a few, so please forgive me. Tim has always focused on quality over quantity, which is ironic considering his taste in beer.

It was also Tim who gave a home to the Colts fans who reside in our basement. Sure, we have to deal with the occasional Old Style cans in the rose bush gardens, but it once again speaks to Tim the person.

But that’s enough from me. Here’s what other, less important people than me have to say about Tim.

Rivers McCown:

Tim is responsible for me pissing all over optimistic Texans fans since 2010, when he encouraged a young writing major to actually try to write. He has been a major supporter of mine when both of my parents passed on, and his help in promoting my material greatly helped me get to where I am today.

In other words: it is all his fault.

tehGrindCrusher:

I met Tim for the first time at the Gingerman, a bar near the Village that features a menu of over a hundred beers. While the name is appropriate for Tim in terms of both complexion and stature, meeting a Coors Light drinker in a specialty beer bar is like hanging out with a vegan in a bacon store - the beauty of their surroundings is wasted on them. I sipped my small-batch IPA while Tim and Rivers discussed whether or not momentum existed in football games. To make Tim feel more comfortable I put some Toby Keith on the jukebox. Later on, Tim decided that we should go out for sushi. I hate sushi, but, wanting to bathe in the warm aura of this miraculous beardless garden gnome, I followed along.

The next time I saw Tim was outside the stadium in Nashville when the Texans played the Titans there a few years ago. His dad was with him, as was someone he referred to as "Scott." To this day, I'm not sure who that guy was. He could have been an out-of-work actor trying to make ends meet. He could have been a homeless man coerced into playing a part by the promise of free Coors Light. He could have been a hologram. I don't know. My seats were on the opposite side of the field from Tim, so I never saw him after that. Perhaps "Scott" was actually Keyser Soze. I spent much of the game sitting in someone else's (a season ticket holder) seats and laughing at Cletus and Lurleen as the Texans devastated the Titans. Then I flew back to Afghanistan. I'm not sure which place was worse.

Tim's a pretty remarkable guy, though. He's managed to honcho a blog that features consistently good writers and has frequently stood up for the integrity of the masthead. In today's blogosphere, that's quite a feat. I was a fairly frequent commenter on the site (and that other site) and I approached him to see if I could join the masthead because he'd just added a few guys I admire (bfd, Rivers and MDC). He was gracious enough to agree and I really enjoyed being on the staff for the Texans' first playoff run. During that time, I grew to consider Tim (and bfd and MDC and Rivers) friends as well as fellow travelers, guys who didn't compromise when it came to writing (either stylistically or analytically), who believed that blogging can be an outlet for quality independent journalism and not just a vehicle for SEO-driven, click-producing hitzbait. Tim has consistently supported that vision, with the help of the masthead (and a couple of phonebooks to stand on). He also allowed me to indulge my more eccentric side, such as the How I Spent My Offseason series and the imaginary road trip with Arian Foster. Pieces like that don't necessarily fit in on a sports blog, but I appreciated Tim's forbearance. Tim also graciously gave sanctuary to those Colts fans who were banished from their SBNation blog under the reign of King Bradley the Hypersensitive. In this world where people are loath to accept refugees, Tim's act of kindness deserves recognition.

Blogging is a labor of love, and the blogosphere ain't necessarily the most congenial place. Being able to consistently produce quality content for even a short period of time is tough. Being able to do it for as long as Tim has been at it is nearly miraculous. Eventually, living on the other side of the planet took its toll on me, as did family commitments and those two years I lived in a shipping container under fire from the Taliban. Tim was gracious enough to keep me on the BRB writers listserv even though I couldn't contribute. It's still the best place to get my Texans news. A lot of the stuff that ends up on the cutting room floor, so to speak is chock full of value. Plus, we learn more about Ron's mysterious background and how he got his adamantium skeleton. But I've said too much already.

In any event, tonight I raise my Tsingtao in a toast to salute Tim, our Dear Leader, the hand at the tiller of the good ship BRB, the straw that stirs the Texans blogosphere drink, everyone's favorite oompa loompa. May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May your glass of Coors Light always be full and never at room temperature.

Tehgrindcrusher
Hong Kong
January 22, 2016

Brett:

What more can there be said about Tim? He's a Coors-loving, Andy Dalton-worshiping masochist who one day decided that he hated himself just enough to not only become a Texans fan, but to start a damn blog to record all of his future disappointment for all eternity. Even those burnt orange heathens that he so foolishly claims loyalty to haven't done anything worthwhile in the college football world since Vince Young left town, but knowing Tim's thirst for pain, he probably enjoys UT's mediocrity. The sadness is all he knows - it's a cold but familiar comfort, really.

I have become convinced during my years on this blog that BRB is not really a place for Texans fans to gather and talk football, but rather it is just a simple monument to one man's insatiable lust for emotional trauma. Between the Rosencopter, Petey Faggins, Frank Bush, Joe Marciano, and even the later years of Matt Schaub, there is no conceivable reason for why Tim keeps doing this other than he actually likes watching all of this bullshit unfold season after season.

Happy anniversary, Tim. You're a sick, sick man...get some damn help.

UpdootedTexan:

Friends, Texans, countrymen, lend me your ears. I come to bury Tim, then to praise him. The ev...

Wait, you mean he's not...? Oh, crap, these are the wrong notes.

Hold on.

/shuffles pages around

Don't know how that got in there.

Where was I? Oh, right!

Ladies and gentlemen, I guess that covers most of you, I come today to pay tribute to Tim on this, the ninth anniversary of his glorious leadership of this fine establishment.

/looks over at speechwriter

//points at speech

Really? I'm supposed to sa--okay, then...

So what can you say about Tim that the writers haven't already said behind his back?

I'd say we all owe a debt of gratitude to him, frankly. Without him and the blog he helped found with the mythical Scott, we would have no other choice but to become productive members of society. But thanks to Tim's time and tireless efforts to keep the good ship Battle Red Blog afloat (and I'm being serious about that part), we have a sanctuary where we can duck our heads in for a few minutes a day, okay several minut--okay hours a day, you happy now? He created a sanctuary where we can duck our heads in and vent about how awful our current incarnation at quarterback is, whoever the hell that might be, or join together in revelry over winning a division championship for both ironic and non-ironic reasons, or bicker about two draft prospects everyone is certain will be taken by the Texans only to have them take Whitney Mercilus instead, or even to talk about the things that make the universe worthwhile (beer, barbecue, music, and bubble wrap) but have nothing to do with football.

He, and his talented writers, both past and present--

Why, thank you UprootedTexan.

You're welcome. Please focus.

He, and his talented writers, both past and present make this blog a worthwhile place to go and that somewhere else we'd rather be than work.

On a more personal note, I owe him a debt of gratitude as well.

I owe him (and the other writers who had to vote me in, you guys know who you are) for giving me a shot as a writer on this nutso, crazy diamond blog; to have my name in lights. To this day, I still dine out on the fact that I was one of the first interviews J.J. Watt ever gave. Tim could've taken that assignment for himself or passed it off to a more veteran writer, but he didn't. I appreciated it then, and I still do now.

He let me write a full-length murder mystery novel involving the Houston Texans where all the names were changed to protect the innocent; except maybe Joe Marciano, because (expletive) him. Whether he allowed this because it was the dog days of summer and content is exceedingly hard to come by or because I dosed his Zima with oxycodone, we may never know for sure. But he didn't object, didn't try to stop me, because he wanted us writers to feel like we had essentially free reign to write what we wanted. It's one of the things I liked most about writing for him.

But the thing I'll always remember about him is the year I went to cover training camp for the Texans; he and his wife took me out to Ninfa's. It stands out for two reasons. One, I can actually claim that I've seen him drink something OTHER than Coors Light, but more importantly, after dinner, he bought me a couple dozen fresh tortillas from Ninfa's out of the goodness of his heart. As I was not in a financial happy place at that time, that meant the world to me at the time; and to Mrs. UT back in Seattle, I had to fight her off with a stick to eat those tortillas. Thank you, Tim, for your generosity, from both me and Mrs. UT.

So to answer the question, what can you say about Tim? Two things come to mind.

1: Thank you for all your hard work, and other stuff, Tim.

2: WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?!

kdentify:

Capt Ron:

I can't imagine how many empty bottles of Bushmills were scattered on the floor the day Tim decided to add me to the BRB staff.  What kind of jerk would unleash a scruffy looking nerf herder, known for countless run-on-sentences, into the masthead?!!

In all seriousness, I am so proud to have Tim as our founder and editor in chief around here.  You folks have no idea how bad some of those articles look (mine, not the other writers) before Tim forges them into more comprehensible gems for your benefit.  I have learned so much from him about writing that a firing squad should be assembled for my former professors and teachers who failed me so completely.  His endurance and tolerance in keeping this blog going are without measure.  Raise your glasses high, my fellow bloggers.  "Harrumph!"

Weston:

As I’ve traveled around this great country, I’ve lived in Ohio’s butthole (Northern Kentucky), the desert, the woods of northern California, and the rolling hills of a Civil War battlefield. During these travels all the people I’ve spent my life with, or cared deeply about, weren’t real. They were poltergeists who existed only in a computer screen during a Skype session, on an iPhone in a Facetime call, group text messages, and random photos. People, who at the present, existed only in the past, and in the internet, but not in reality.

This goes on until I get home. When this happens everything flips. The friends I spent every day for months at a time with are just phantoms of the past. People I’ve hiked with or drank Red Dogs with or watched terrible baseball with. And now, they too, are just words on a screen and voices stuttering statements through the phone who exist only in keep in touch phone calls that summarize the amount of time that passed since the last time we caught up. They too, are nothing more than a speaking, manifestation of the past that doesn’t exist in the present.

Tim is no different. He doesn’t really exist. He’s just a mind-fabricated being. I’ve never heard his voice. I’ve never seen him in person. I only have a feint of what he looks like because of a LinkedIn email I received a year ago. He’s a name in an email thread, and an "Another great post," that lights up green at the end of an article.

Although he isn’t a real person it doesn’t mean he isn’t important. He’s the reason why BRB exists the way it does. He’s the main reason why I spend my free time the way I do. If it wasn’t for BRB, I probably would have grown frustrated with my lonely Blogspot I wrote at after college classes. I don’t know for certain, but it is likely I would have grown tired of writing for no one, no matter how much I loved it. But because I saw BRB needed writers, and because Tim gave the thumbs up, I am writing this in between my time charting every one of DeAndre’s Hopkins’ targets, and I have learned to love writing and the game of football more than I ever could have on my own these last three years.

I wish I could join in on the fun of calling him names and saying "BOOM ROASTED" before bringing it all back home into a sweet ending. But I can’t. That’s reserved for those who actually know Tim. I don’t, and I probably never will. He’ll forever be a three letter name on a screen who’s added millions of semicolons and commas in my posts and has guided BRB to be the thing it’s been these last nine years.

Ryan Dunsmore:

Tim is a menace to society. Enabling enthusiastic madmen and woman to write about a team that brings him and his staff much pain and suffering. For me specifically, he enables the enjoyment of two football teams with bovines on their helmets. Tim is Heisenberg and the real reason for the war on drugs.

That said, Tim is the example to look to when I'm captaining TCB. The example for writing and leadership that I strive for. Thanks, Tim.

MDC:

Tim makes me sick.

I don't mean that figuratively, mind you. I literally mean that there is something about being around Tim in real life that frequently leaves me violently ill in ways I've never previously experienced.

Example #1: I met Tim for the first time in late summer 2007 at Char Bar in Houston. I was in town to go watch Texans' training camp the next day--this was back when DGDB&D was still a thing, which is what led to my knowing Tim in the first place--and getting together for drinks with the real (read: non-Scott) half of BRB seemed like a fine idea.

Over the course of several hours, I consumed roughly 483 bottles of Guinness. Tim had a similar number of Coors Lights, which is an impressive amount of urine for anyone to consume in a single sitting. I left the bar around closing time and somehow made it back to my hotel a few blocks away. The alarm was set for 7am, and I slipped into the warm embrace of passing out...

...only to awaken about 2 hours later with the distinct feeling that someone had driven a railroad spike between my eyes. Even looking at the light from my phone was blindingly painful. I began projectile vomiting. Repeatedly. When this continued for going on three hours, I finally decided to call a cab and go to the ER. Now, the doctors will tell you that this was an acute bout of migraines brought on by a sinus infection and exacerbated by dehydration. I know better. I've had a sinus infection before. I'd never had migraines.

Example #2: In 2010, I went to New Orleans with Tim and a bunch of other people to see the Texans take on the Saints. The trip was wonderfully fun, save for the loss (which was still mildly entertaining). I drove home Monday morning, thinking I'd escaped Tim's curse for once.

By Monday evening, however, something wasn't right. Since this is a family-friendly blog, suffice it to say, that my bowel movements were...wrong. As in, "Hey, that's a lot of blood" kind of wrong. A trip to the doctor the next day gave me a diagnosis of gastroenteritis and a 10-day round of the kind of antibiotics that they give gangrenous horses.

***

Knowing this pattern, you'd think that I would avoid Tim, if only to increase my life expectancy. You'd be wrong. Because, despite the health risks of being near him, the upside includes things like being introduced to Whataburger, having one of the most amazing dinners of my life at Uchi in Houston, being convinced that Bushmills is better than Makers, attending a Texans playoff victory, having an elaborate and awesome story that centers on hypothetically punching a police horse, and being one of the fortunate few who gets to contribute to what is without a doubt the best Texans blog on the whole damned internet.

What I'm saying is, Tim may be a modern Typhoid Mary, but he's our Typhoid Mary. And, honestly, the upside to knowing Tim is worth the occasional bloody stool...which also seems like the most apt metaphor I can come up with for BRB's place in the blogosphere.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm pretty sure I need to get tested for TB since I was around Tim last weekend.

Ha ha ha, that’s great stuff, everybody!

We’ve had a lot a little minimal fun at Tim’s expense here today. That’s because nobody wanted to upset Tim in the least. Why? You know how some people say, "this person will give you the shirt off their back?" Not only does Tim want to give you his shirt, but he wants to give you his underoos as well. But not the Wonder Woman underoos. That’s totes not cool.

Y’all have no idea how much work Tim puts into the blog, much less the love. As tGC said, this is a labor of love. Every week during the season, Tim sends the masthead an email with all "weekly" posts planned out and volunteers to take said posts. This takes time, thought, and effort, and it’s just a small glimpse behind the scenes of BRB. It’s also why it’s no coincidence how coordinated this blog and posts are done.

This is your day, Meinem Glorious Bloggenfuhrer. PROST!