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Change is afoot at Niners Nation

Smith, Davis Goose

Later this month will mark 12 years since I launched Niners Nation. And this month (give or take) will mark the end of my time running the site. I won’t be venturing far, but a new opportunity with SB Nation has developed and it’s time for a new challenge.

My new role with the company will be Gambling Editorial Manager. Some (if not most) of you are aware that I am just a little bit interested in sports gambling. I enjoy making weekly picks, talking about the point spread, and diving into the minutiae of gambling. I imagine growing up in Las Vegas might have had something to do with that!

It’s been quite the ride of these past 12 years. The 49ers organization has had more downs than ups during that time, but the ups have been pretty incredible. At times, running NN has felt repetitive and at times, it’s provided me the opportunity to be on the field as the 49ers stunned the Saints on the Vernon Post. I took the above picture following that game during their postgame interview with Tony Siragusa. The Super Bowl a year later was an amazing experience, but 49ers-Saints or the Pick at the Stick from the 49ers-Falcons Candlestick Park finale are probably my two favorite moments while running Niners Nation.

But the time has come to make a change. Back in May, the Supreme Court struck down legislation banning sports gambling, and opened the door for states and the federal government to start legalizing it. It’s a slow process, but it is going to be a big deal in this country. Shortly after the decision came down, I started designing this job, and last week I got final approval on it.

Technically, that is my new title effective last Saturday, but I am not abandoning NN just yet! I’ll be running the site through the end of the season. During that time, we’ll start the process of finding my replacement. The job has been posted, and we will be sorting through applications over the coming weeks.

We could decide to hire somebody internally, but I want to open up the application process to outsiders as well to see what kind of ideas people bring to the table. The site has grown through my own vision, but I don’t think I have the only vision for how to run a successful site. If the most qualified person has a similar vision, so be it, but I’m not looking to find someone to replicate what I’ve done.

Once we do get someone hired, I won’t be abandoning the site. I will certainly hang around and check out what’s going on and chat in the comments. I also will offer assistance to the new site manager as needed. That being said, I don’t want to cast a shadow over the new site manager. I’ve been running this site for 12 years, and I think looking over the new person’s shoulder would make his or her life unnecessarily difficult.

But with all that in mind, it’s certainly not good bye. I’m excited for the new opportunity, but my connection to SB Nation began with Niners Nation. I want to remain part of the site to some degree, but we’ll play it by ear as a new site manager settles into the role. I mean, who else is going to handle the Colin Kaepernick beat? That being said, not having to focus on 49ers news seven days a week will be a nice change of pace for me.

Thanks to all who have enjoyed the site over the years, and I’m excited to see what the future holds both for NN and myself!