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Happy Birthday BGO!

It may have escaped your notice.

But this little baby, our burgundy and gold swathed pride and joy, was birthed one year ago today.

I love my little Nathan Junior!

And as with all anniversaries, we would be a little remiss if we didn't engage in just a little retrospection and sentimentality.

Today, I asked myself the question. It was the original question. Why build a Redskins fan site? Lord (and Daniel Snyder) knows, there are plenty of them out there. BGO was actually born from a casual conversation with a friend when I offered to help out on his blog site. Next thing I know, he'd fallen from a slick commode while changing a light bulb, hit his head on the sink, and woke up with his vision for the flux capacitor....err....a brand new Redskins messageboard! Truth is, I wasn't sure then why we were going down this path. Except that my best friend was asking me to take a plunge into the mysterious unknown with him. And when friends ask, the only answer a friend gives in return is 'Hell yes!'. We found a couple of other old dear friends to tumble into the abyss with us. An idea was born.

The real 'why?' we figured out along the way. We'd found, experienced, and helped build a great Redskins community before. We'd seen impassioned groups of fans who *gasp* met, talked, argued, and discussed a common obsession, all on the internet. We'd seen people, comfortable, safe, and secure behind anonymous usernames, step out into the light, voice their true names and identities, even meet and forge real-life friendships. But we'd also seen the promise of beautiful online communities dissolve into something less admirable and rewarding. Whether that decline came as a result of low expectations, lack of vision, poor management, or just because enough humans in one place will eventually
figure out how to muck things up, really didn't matter. We had learned that true community, even on the web, is a fragile thing to be cherished and protected.

We spent a lot of time talking about what OUR site would be about. We wrote it down for our future members, cleverly christening these words 'What We're About'. We were going to be about a lot of things.

Intelligent discussion.
Passion for a common obsession.
Fan-produced content.

Those were the words we said over and over again in those early months. Once we knew who we wanted to be, we dove into minor details, like moving beyond an 'idea' to an actual website. Not knowing HTML from ROFL seemed like a minor obstacle given our enthusiasm. We taught ourselves vbulletin software, we learned basic HTML coding, we spent countless hours discussing the look of the 'vessel' that would hold our community and help define what kind of place it would be. We designed every graphic on the site with meticulous care.

Somehow, with determination, elbow grease, a lot of Google searching and Help file reading, and a couple of human sacrifices to appease the Gods, BGO was ready for its unveiling. She opened her doors to the Redskins-loving public on 15 July, 2009.

Slowly, inexorably, other dear friends showed up. We didn't advertise. We didn't market. We didn't beg, solicit, or pimp ourselves. We just opened the doors and put out the Welcome mat.

So mostly, other than the obligatory, requisite, and aforementioned sentamentality and retrospection, I just wanted to say Thank You dear friends. For showing up. For staying. For starting countless conversations, wowing us with your smarts, passion, friendship, and style. For giving us a great first year, and a wonderful fledgling community of great fans who are now dear friends.

BGO is not the biggest site in the Redskin's web-o-sphere. And that's not among our goals. But it's a special place. And we're just getting warmed up.

Happy Birthday BGO!
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As we enjoy today's conversations, let's remember our dear friends 'Docsandy', Sandy Zier-Teitler, and 'Posse Lover', Michael Huffman, who would dearly love to be here with us today! We love and miss you guys ❤

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