And I thought the 49ers losing Sunday would be the worst news of the week.
For those of you who are not up to speed, I’m going to direct you to this post here.
Now let’s talk about it: it’s true. Me, along with the rest of the staff, got our eviction notices. We were given options, but it all leads to one thing: we’re done in March thanks to a new California labor law. Not just us, this is all California team sites across SB Nation. You guys will have Kyle and an announcement later on who else is going to come in.
I’m not going into the details of how we found out, but I think with some detective work, you might find someone discussing it. We aren’t completely done, but we are severely throttled. The new law says we can only do 35 posts per year. My contract calls for 25 posts per week. Safe to say, from a business perspective, this isn’t going to sustain itself much longer. Of the some-200 of us being shown the door, 20 or so jobs have been created for the California team sites. We were welcome to apply, as is anyone else who goes to the Vox Media job page.
First of all, thank you for the well-wishes and inquires in both emails and the comments. I’m fine. Disoriented and frustrated, but I’ll be fine. This is going to be a long post where I may run-on a bit, but I think it’s important to assure everyone there isn’t some meltdown behind the scenes or there’s a mutiny.
So, Kyle granted me an open forum to go over what’s going to happen. I was told I’m allowed to say whatever I want about Vox, SB Nation, and Niners Nation and promised it wouldn’t be edited. Not a single word.
So basically, I get to shoot on the entire company.
Truth is, I would not have gotten the success that I’ve had the last couple of years or stayed afloat had I not written for SB Nation and Vox Media. Yes, things are coming to an end, and yes, we are scheduled to go our separate ways, but this site, this outlet, has been my home for the last five years.
What I want to say is I’m very proud of the work we’ve done together, and I want to thank SB Nation and Vox Media for making it all possible.
I’m less concerned about myself and more on those who made their monthly stipend working for an SB Nation site their source of income. Some of us have been fortunate enough to make more than a paperboy, and some probably reside in areas they can live off it. Others planned around the $50-$200 they got every month because times are rough right now, and now that supplemental income, no matter how big or small, is gone. I’m feeling for those other 199 people. When you get past the fact you are finished, and you’re one of 200 others, you realize there’s a lot more at stake than your petty entitlement.
But I’m most concerned with our staff here at Niners Nation. It’s not just me who got nailed. Alex Tran, who runs our Instagram, is gone. Akash Anavarathan? He’s out. Rob Lowder? I hope he’s saved me a seat on the unemployment line. To be fair we can all write and contribute, but it’s in a severely limited fashion and we can only do 35 posts per year. It’s basically a huge reset. I’ll repeat it: at first, I thought a lot about just myself, but when you realize the sheer number of people (many, if not all are far more talented and provide more value than I ever will), you stop thinking of yourself and realize you’re all in a crummy situation together.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you this is great, I support this change, or that I’m necessarily happy because I’m not. To be candid: this sucks, and I’m pretty pissed off. Actually, downright furious. That said, there’s no changing it now.
I know a lot of you are wondering about my state of mind. I’ll be honest: being told I won’t be getting paid to write about the 49ers in March is some of the hardest news I’ve ever had to digest in my life. I took the afternoon off Monday and stared at my screen for three hours, thinking I’d wake up from this nightmare. Most of the time, when you’re fired, you know why you got fired. Your attitude sucked, you were argumentative, etc. etc. This time, I didn’t really do anything, but I got the ax. They had plenty of opportunities to fire me for tasteless content/screwing up, and that was not the reason. Rather ironic.
But really, this isn’t a negative. Look at the positive: people would kill for a chance to talk about 49ers football and get paid for it. And you know what? I got to do it! You know how cool that is? Furthermore, I did it my way. I don’t regret a single post I’ve done, and I don’t regret a single post I’ve helped the staff edit.
And again, it’s worth re-stating: We work with the best staff and crew across all 49ers media. I’m Irish and from Idaho, which means I’ll just knock the [site-decorum] out of you if you want to argue with me otherwise. Fight me, and I will prove to you we are the best across anywhere.
I’ve had more good fortune these last two years since becoming No. 2 than anyone I know. And if my next gig is me handing out handwritten novels on 2B/2A tablets, I will try to find a way to make it entertaining for you. I have no problem with that, and we will make it fun!
...Just for the record, I don’t want to handwrite a novel on a 2B/2A tablet.
Here on Niners Nation’s comments, a couple of you mentioned me by name and expressed genuine concern about where I went. This goofy, silly support you have for me and the rest of SB Nation’s California contributors is unparalleled. We asked for nothing and you guys want to give us everything. The fact that people are willing to get banned from yelling for us or the few suggesting a GoFundMe to get a new blog set up and pay my salary specifically is an act of kindness I will never forget. Everyone, you’ve taken a devastating situation and made it joyous and humorous. For that, I can never thank you enough.
So now everyone wonders A: What’s going to happen?
And then to the three people still curious B: Where am I going?
Well, here’s the deal. The 49ers are going to the playoffs despite looking like dog [site-decorum] on Sunday. In my five years here, I never got to write about the 49ers in the postseason. So dammit…I’m writing about them in the postseason this time. And if they win the Super Bowl…I’m breaking the goddamn news that they won the Super Bowl. Unless if one of my incredibly talented coworkers want it. After March 31st is when we hang this thing up, and I become a community insider or whatever that fancy title me and everyone else gets. When January hits, my capacity is limited, but it’s my understanding I’m getting paid full price despite my drop in work. So you’re saying I have to do half the work on the first, and I get paid all my money? Who’s not going to take advantage of free money? Of course I could have misunderstood, but hey, that seems like a great deal right now!
But to be truthful, I am a bit burnt out. Here’s a quick example: Sunday morning at about 1:30 AM before the Falcons game, I’m about to go to bed, and I see that no one has done the Golden Nuggets. It’s not my night; I’m not at my place, I’m like, half-drunk near a gutter somewhere and have no computer. Regardless, I pulled out my iPhone with 18 percent battery life and thumbed out a post and links for Sunday morning because it needed to be done. This takes about an extra hour more than if I did it normally, but I didn’t care. I felt like we needed Nuggets Sunday morning since we thrive on consistency. In about three months, this will no longer be my problem. Giving a [site-decorum] is no longer my problem. It sounds glorious.
It’s a new chapter, a new adventure. It’s no secret I love the 49ers but it’s also no secret I’m not the brightest of football minds (pretty lousy, actually). I did this, hoping that it could lead to exposure for me to do more long-form journalism and maybe even fiction. It turned into something else, but what it turned into was truly magnificent.
Which brings us to Deicide
A couple of you are wondering if this is the time or place for me to drop that bombshell known as “Pat’s unpublished young adult novel” on the world. I’m let go, why the hell not? And guess what? I have time now. It needs an agent first, and then an editor. And before all that, another editor, that’s two years of unpredictability right there. And let’s not forget the fact that while the novel is revised and I have a degree in English, my grammar isn’t the best (read this very post if you want proof). So it’s an uphill battle just trying to get a fair shake.
I can’t just say “Alright, let’s get the book out,”— doesn’t work like that. I worked on that thing for ten years. I have 375 rejections already (God, I’m pathetic) and most agents can’t get through the query letter or first 10 pages. It’s been extensively revised, nominated for awards (yes, I wrote something that was actually nominated for awards...). Still, I’ll have to go on submissions again and probably get more letters saying, “Thanks, but [site-decorum] you.” Any of you agents out there that want to help me? Email me. Let’s do this. The point is, I lost my job, but it lets me go and pursue other things that matter. So there’s good that comes out of it, or at least I can tell myself that.
That’s it for now and me shamelessly self-promoting myself (I did you all a favor and saved it till the end). I’m not gone yet, and the boys got a Super Bowl to win. So let’s hold back on how horrible this is and focus on football.
I’ll see you all in March. We’ll say our goodbyes then.