Welcome to the new new-and-improved GROTA website!
Our web designer has been slaving for quite a while in making this blog more reader friendly and turning it into eye candy. You maybe surprised to see that we've changed - well, everything - including our color scheme and banner design. But if you're like me and you like the Cubs blue and red colors, then you're in luck! We have improved the Skins option. Once you're logged in, you can change the skin to reflect whichever layout you prefer. (Note: this option should be up and running within 24 hours, it's all touch and go this morning.)
Additionally, we've decided to make this website less of a blog and more of a community. We'll have Sunday night pot lucks and Tuesday night bingo every week from now on. Well, actually, we've stolen from Hire Jim Essian and added a shout box, and we've also stolen from Bleed Cubbie Blue and, in the very near future, will have an active Readers' Blogs section. That's right - if you want to post your thoughts about the Cubs without having to make the effort of creating your own website, then you can do it here.
More exciting, we're going to try to do this without all the god-forsaken rules. I've learned from experience that it can be tough going to moderate a community. People start to take it personal if readers get unhappy and may be a little quick to click on the Ban Button. On this website, we're going to try to have two rules.
1) No personal attacks. John Doe may have just made the most idiotic post you've ever read in your lifetime, but it's the post that is idiotic, not John Doe. I welcome you to say "John, that's a horrible idea." I would prefer that you don't say "John, you're a horrible person." Rule 1.5) Try to keep personal politics/religion/etc. out of it too. This isn't your pulpit, it's a place to talk Cubs baseball. Hell, we fired a writer because he couldn't adhere to that one. Just try to avoid the post where you stump for McCain or Obama, or the post where you lament that Aramis Ramirez hasn't been traded because he's a chicken killing douchebag. (If you want him traded because he's lazy and overrated, that's a different story and I welcome you to tell us all about it here on GROTA.)
2) None of that thar Showtime/HBO/Cinemax language. You never know who's reading, and you should be able to express your complete rage and frustration at the Chicago Cubs without mother-f***ing the team. I won't delete your post if you drop an f-bomb, but I will step in and edit the swear out. Look at it another way. Maybe you're a great writer and a newspaper/major website is scouting for talent. They come to this blog and love your writing, except you rely on vulgarities as your primary adjectives and adverbs. You think they'll EMail you an invite to try out for their paper/major website/whatever?
In terms of everything else you say and do, I welcome you to disagree with me loudly. I know that we sometimes butt heads with our readers here, but what's so bad about that? We know that we are not the end-all be-all of blogging. We know that we're not the ultimate Cub fans. We're just five or six jerks with a forum to voice our jerk opinions. If you think we're wrong, say it and say it often.
Oh, and if we like your reader post, we retain the right to promote it to the front page of the GROTA Blog so the whole world can see it there. This encourages you to write well, and it encourages us to be lazy and let you post for us. Everybody wins!
Now, there may be a few bumps over the next week or two. We may change a few things, move a few things, and add a few things. As far as I know, and Kevin will correct me if I'm wrong, there may be a third skin sometime soon and we have some interesting things in store for how we link the Cubs Blog Army, along with a few other things. Stay tuned and enjoy the new look. Things are going to get very interesting here and elsewhere in the near future. Go Cubs!
I won't be giving too much away, but there are a couple of really, incredibly cool things in store for GROTA over the next week or two. I'm not sure how much I should be saying at this stage, but the website may look very, very different in a few day's time. Additionally, we want to make this blog more of a community, and we've taken steps to get you guys to contribute more often. In other words, we want to be like BCB but without all the rules.
Keep your eyes peeled to the blog. I think that what you are going to see shortly will really knock your socks off.
I just wanted to give you, a loyal member of the Goat Rider Army, an iggy on what to expect for the day. At some point, we will have a Series Preview/Game Recap Combo, other bits of random baseball news, and best yet, our first Debatacolypse in a while. So, stay tuned, and check back regularly. It should be one of those fun days that we sometimes have.
Tribune writer Robert Mitchum contacted us a few weeks ago for a feature he was writing on the prospect of selling the Cubs. His question was, would it work if fans bought the team? You can read the entire article here, but below are my comments that he used:
"I think the first response would be 'Hell yeah, that would be awesome,' " said Kurtis Evans, a writer for the Cubs blog Goat Riders of the Apocalypse. "But the second reaction would be the complete paralyzing fear that comes with actually realizing the responsibilities."
Evans said that years of frustration may have made the collective psyche of Cubs Nation too fickle to make the best decisions.
"Cubs fans might not have the right mental disposition," Evans said. "We're never really in a place emotionally to run a team with our intellect as opposed to our gut."
I'm actually mildly disappointed. He used some a couple of my stronger quotes but I basically went on to say that Cub fans - myself included, natch - are psychotic. Anyway, check out the article, it's an interesting read.
I'm going to sticky this to the top of the blog for probably around 24 hours, so if you come back tomorrow in search of content, just scroll down.
Some of you may remember that, hey, we have a store! In that store is some sweet stuff. I've recently created a new shirt which is now available at the store, so I thought I'd share with our loyal Goat Rider Army what's currently available and remind you that, in this day and age, where gas prices are insane and we are entering what may be the greatest depression of our lifetimes, nothing says "I'm poor" in quite as much style as GROTA wear.
And so, as our society collapses in on the weight of itself, as cities burn and wars erupt, enhance your likelihood of survival by wearing GROTA gear. Because if that guy with the semi-automatic who's shown up to steal your water supply sees your Steroids T, he might pause for just long enough for your 12-year-old daughter to sneak up behind him and kill him with a rusty shovel. That's right, GROTA wear. Don't miss out! Some hot items include the following (click on the images to be taken to the store):
Remember that lovable movie Napoleon Dynamite? Now that we're like, three years removed from the topical reference, help yourself to this Vote For Carlos t-shirt! It can be yours for only $16.99!
Celebrate the indestructible Carlos Zambrano by wearing this awesome t-shirt! It's yours for just $19.99!
Celebrate our fear of using actual pictures of players and personel with this Lou Piniella homage! This is our cheaptest shirt, only $11.99!
Enjoy a sweatshirt with the GROTA logo on it! $22.99!
And, our latest creation ... which is currently too hot for Cafe Press:
At present moment, Cafe Press is NOT allowing us to sell these shirts. We will try to fix the problem, but if they persist on forbidding the shirts from sale, we will make them available any way we possibly can!
Additionally - and importantly - if you'd like to view the entire GROTA store, follow this link. We've got far more products than what you've seen here.
If you tried to log on earlier this morning, you may have found our website down. We are back now, but I'm told that our web host's website isn't back, and that just can't bode well for anybody.
Anyway. It's the Friday before a long weekend. I anticipate that the next four days will be weird in the blogging world - there may be sporadic updates, and our readers may be too drunk or too busy to spend time on the net regardless.
That said, we'll have a Series Preview coming up later today, and we'll keep updating the blog throughout the weekend. You may have noticed by now that we tend to be one of the most updated Cubs blogs on the net, and I'm sure you appreciate our reliability as much as we appreciate your patronage.