Strotty's Blog

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My 200th Post: A Big Thank You to Everyone!


199 posts have come and gone, and Strotty’s Blog now finds itself writing its 200th post.  Since I did nothing all that special for my 100th post (an article on the Packers extending Greg Jennings’ contract), I thought I would go through and thank everyone for helping me get to where I am today.

For me, it wouldn’t be fair to start a thank you note without first mentioning my dad.  Above anyone else in the world, yes that includes you Brett Favre, he has been my ultimate and absolute passion for sports.  From including me on trips to Packers games to telling me to find something I loved and pursue it to the fullest, the person I am today is because of him.

As a youngster, he would watch Monday Night Football and leave the TV room door open, knowingly or unknowingly, which let me watch the game from the hallway until my mom caught me.  He coached just about every little league team I ever played for and once took a visit to the mound just to let me know I could throw at my grade school rival.

He shares the same passion as I do for sports and is the main reason I am where I am today.

If dad is 1A, then consider my mother 1B when it comes to who I am today.  Everyone is supposed to say that they have the greatest mom in the world, but only my three brothers and I are telling the truth when we say it.  She might not completely understand what I write on, but you can bet she’s the first to read it.

When I was younger, she was the one telling me where my baseball uniform was as I frantically raced through my house before my ride came.  She was the one given the task of cleaning my football practice uniform and was truly the one behind the scenes that made the Strotman boys function on the field.

Speaking of the Strotman boys, next on the list of thanks are my three brothers.  Starting with the oldest, Jack has been my role model since before I can remember.  As my only older brother, I looked up to him and he did a perfect job of showing me the right way.  He is also credited with teaching me how to play sports by practicing with me in the backyard, so thanks for that Bigten.

Then there is Matthias.  Because of some circumstances two summers ago, Matthias and I became best friends through spending every day with each other.  We played countless games of catch in the backyard, browsed ESPN.com for hours, and watched as many Brewers games as we could.  Two years later, he could probably beat me in fantasy sports and knows just as much, if not more, about sports than I do.  Watch out Batting Stance Guy…

The last of the Strotman brothers that I have to thank is 14-year-old Luke.  Where do I even start?  I guess I’ll begin by saying that he is my hero and has been the inspiration for everything I do in life.  Until you meet Luke or hear his story of being a two-time cancer survivor at age 14, you can’t understand what I mean.

Being his bone marrow donor has given us a special bond that will never be broken and I could not feel more honored.  “Small but mighty” were the words on a shirt given to Luke, and it’s the perfect slogan for him.  Yes, he’s small in size because of the effects the cancer had on him, but the true amazement is that his huge heart fits inside that small of a body.  I hope he knows I’ll always be there for him whenever he needs it and that, yes, he can keep the blood I gave him even if the Cubs win the World Series.

My family has been amazing in their support of my work so I’d also like to thank my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who have supported me through everything.  There’s no substitute for family and I’d be nowhere in life without all of you.

Leading the way for my friends is my go-to guy, Chris Rogers.  We push each other in everything we do and that Deerfield Review article that mentioned me throwing my arm around his shoulder after a 9-year-old baseball game that “seemed to scream, ‘I love this guy’”, still rings true today.  His hilarious aliases on Examiner also make my day.  1 for life…

Other friends that I need to thank include Mike Fowler, my partner in crime for countless years in Holy Cross Basketball and CYO.  HC’s finest backcourt if I do say so myself.  Kevin Shanley and Greg Smith, my future roommates, are a big part of why I love Marquette.  Sports debates are a common occurrence with them, but it’s part of why I love sports.  I wouldn’t trade those guys for the world.

Friends and family have been instrumental to where I am today, but the blog still had to be written!  I started the blog on February 10th on my iPod Touch while in Sociology of the Family class.  Sorry, Mrs. Williams.  I literally typed in “how to start a blog” on Google and clicked the first thing that came up, WordPress.com.

From there, Max Tcheyan found my blog on WordPress.com about a month later and asked me to begin writing for Bleacher Report.  I found a lot of success on B/R and it seems to have grown every month since I have been there.  The majority of people reading my work find it on Bleacher Report.

From B/R, Larry Garot of PackerChatters.com and BrewerChatters.com stumbled upon my work and asked me to begin writing for them.  There are a lot of opinionated fans on the site who like to discuss, debate, and argue my work and it has given me a lot of insights on the Green and Gold.

After writing for those three sites for a while, Garot approached me and said that Examiner.com was looking to fill a paid position for the Packers on their website.  I did not hesitate to take the job and received my first paycheck from them about two weeks ago.

After Examiner.com, ESPNMilwaukee.com asked me to submit my work to them and they posted it as a link for their Packers Updates in the off-season.  It was truly an honor to write for them and I hope to continue my work with them in the future.

As the Marquette basketball season rolled around, I was then approached by John Dodds from MarquetteHoops.com, a FOX Sports affiliate, to join their staff.  This has been my first real “media” action as I have attended media day, press conferences, and will get to sit court side for a few games this season.

That’s pretty much the story of how I got where I am today, so I’d like to thank Max Tcheyan, Larry Garot, Steve Harbula (of Examiner.com), and John Dodds, amongst others who have helped me get to where I am today.

I also want to thank Pat Lawton, a good friend of my dad, who really “recruited me” to Marquette.  When he found out I was interested in Marquette, Mr. Lawton brought me along on Marquette’s NCAA Tournament trip to Anaheim and showed me a wonderful time.  A lot of the reason I am at Marquette and having an unbelievable time is because of him.  He has gotten me in touch with a lot of people at Marquette and helped my blog grow.  He is a great contact to have, helping me whenever I need it, and I hope to have him there for a long time.

The last thank you I want to give is to Steve “The Homer” True, voice of the Golden Eagles basketball team and a radio host for ESPN Radio.  I visited him as a senior in high school for a school project, and as we talked about what it meant to be a great sports analyst he mentioned that if I didn’t have passion for what I was doing, I had nothing.

From that point on, I kept in contact with him and sent him my work.  He gave me constructive criticism and a boatload of confidence that I have continued to use in everything I do.  I hope to have him as a mentor for as long as I write and talk about Milwaukee sports, so thank you Homer.

I had to keep this thank you somewhat short, so if I forgot to mention someone in this let me know.  Even if your name is not in here, I thank you.

To date, Strotty’s Blog has 28,951 views, my work on Bleacher Report has 75,036 views, and my Packers material on Examiner.com has generated 6,737 views.  These numbers are humbling and I am beyond grateful for everyone who reads my work.  I still have a lot of work to do before I consider myself a great writer, but the people mentioned in this thank you are a big reason why I know I can accomplish the goals I have set for myself.  Thanks to all the fans and people who read my work and I hope you continue to do so.

Thank you,

Mark Strotman

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November 12, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

2 Comments »

  1. No mention of me?? Your most ardent reader…

    Comment by Bill Derleth | November 12, 2009 | Reply

  2. Congrats!

    Comment by Josh Dhani | November 12, 2009 | Reply


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