Photo by: Erik Fitzpatrick, Creative Commons, Flicker.com
We’ve talked before about the day after (American) Thanksgiving in 2014 that the concept of The Other Half was born. But it was January 1st of 2015 that Eliza and I sat down to buy the domain, choose our platform, pick a layout, and prepare our project to launch. We didn’t know then how successful, or not, we would be. We had no way of knowing how popular, or controversial, our writers would be.
Ultimately, I think that given our size, and our dependence on volunteer writers and editors who had the time and desire to write what they chose in their spare time, we’ve been pretty successful. Especially if you count our success by how many of our staff have been snatched up by much larger (and better funded) sites than ours. :)
It’s been a pretty great year for women in sports, and sports journalism. More women are present and visible writing about men’s sports, and more women’s sports are gaining traction in mainstream media. More sites have launched with a focus on women writers and athletes. It’s been awesome to be a part of that slow but steady change.
I feel it’s a good time – a year to the day The Other Half first truly began to exist in the world – to share this, our final post.
As of today The Other Half will be closing our figurative doors.
It may seem sudden, I think. But if you’ve been a regular reader I’m sure this isn’t going to come as a shock, as you’ve no doubt noticed that it’s been awhile since we have posted any new content to the site. And if you happen to be among those few who follow Eliza or me on Twitter, you probably even have a good idea why.
First and foremost, our AMAZING writers are what made the site what it is, and without them, it’s tough to keep going, and our day jobs have to come first. And for some of our incredible editors, their day jobs have come with new NHL media credentials, and we’re so proud we could burst. But, keeping TOH up and running takes a lot of time, and a lot of volunteer work. Managing the schedule, reaching out to new potential writers, the editing process with the fledgling writers we want to support and encourage, and working around the deadlines of paid work takes a lot of time and energy.
Unfortunately, it’s time and energy we have simply run out of, for the worst reasons – and the best possible.
I announced to our staff a month ago that I was resigning as Managing Editor. I would remain co-owner, and site maintenance, but I am unable to commit to being a reliable and stable contributor to the day to day running of the site (not that I had been since June, anyway).
My seven year old child has been in treatment for recurrent brain cancer for most of the year, it has spread through his spine and he has endured three separate surgeries to go after five new tumors since June – the most recent on December 18th, three days after his birthday. He will be undergoing a relatively experimental treatment plan – in an effort to prevent further relapse – for the foreseeable future.
I don’t suppose I need to spell out where my priorities are exclusively directed, and have been for months. He’s healthy, and strong, and honestly kind of a superhero (and I hate that hyperbolic crap dumped on sick kids, but he truly blows my mind) and I have (at least some measure of) hope we might just buy him enough time to find a miracle.
That’s the worst reason we are closing, and it sucks.
So how about we end on the best?
Eliza and I went into business together a year ago when we barely knew each other, it was a pretty significant risk, really. But it turned out to be an excellent gamble, we’ve become close friends – the kind that share big news with each other first, the kind that I can call on at the last minute to come to the hospital and help me get my kid packed up to go home after surgery, the kind that lean on each other for support AND excitement.
We’ve been celebrating some pretty fantastic news recently.
Eliza is going to be too busy to take over my responsibilities for The Other Half because she’s going to be educating young humans, as well as growing one of her own.
Teachers are a precious commodity, especially ones with the passion and talent and love for children that Eliza has. I literally shrieked and flailed my hands in the air when she told me she’d been offered the job. I’m so excited for her, and I’m also SO SO excited for her students. I hope they come to understand how lucky they are.
I laughed and laughed and laughed when she told me she’s going to be a MOM and I could tell over text she was hyperventilating with overwhelming joy.
Educating the future of our society is a time consuming endeavor. Growing humans takes even more of everything you have.
We had to sit down and talk realistically about the future of our beloved little site.
Ultimately we decided the best thing is to shutter the site. We certainly won’t take a single thing down; we’re super proud of what we’ve done here, and we hope we’ve served as even a little bit of inspiration and encouragement for often-ignored sports fans and writers.
But we’re also not ready – or willing – to just walk away from our original goal. Elevating, celebrating, expanding women’s voices in sport and sports fandom. And even throughout our struggle the last few months to keep things going, our social media accounts have been easy enough to keep up, and they don’t take a whole lot to maintain.
I told you yesterday why you should totally be following us everywhere else. We work hard to make sure we’re not just posting the same content over and over on every account. Join us where you like to hang out, come and chat with us about the stuff we’re reading.
And maybe, just maybe, someday in the future we’ll find a way to share our own work with you here again.
Thanks for sticking with us, friends. You’ve made this endeavor truly special.
<3 Sasha & Eliza
I am often asked what people can do to help, when they find out about Gus. The Tanner Seebaum Foundation funds the research for the cure that will save Gus’ life. Donate, if you can. But also share the link. Spread it a far as you can. Pediatric cancer research is the most underfunded in the country by MILLIONS of dollars, and so it is up to us, those it affects personally, to try and find the money to save our children.
It’s been a privilege to share our mission in sports journalism with you, and I hope you’ll join me in my new one.