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Death Of A Brand

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Few things are as hard to stomach as the slow, deliberate, and seemingly intentional systematic dismantling of what we consider to be the institutions of our lifetimes.  For those reading this blog that institution may ostensibly appear to be the Washington Redskins football club, whose twenty year descent into a level of hell the depths of which even Dante Alighieri couldn’t fathom needs no introduction or recap here.  No, this is about the slow and steady demise of THN.  For those of us fortunate enough to have been around for the duration of the site it is easy to recall a time when the feature of the site was exclusive blog content and training camp photos.  The THN crew would get together for tailgates.  Mark was always coming up with new ways of making the site unique and interesting, from the cartoons to the graphics, including the ones the Redskins “borrowed”, to interviews with former and current players there was always something special about THN.  The forums were more or less an afterthought.

 

Seventeen years later everything has changed.  As many know Mark’s personal life circumstances have changed drastically.  Many of the THN staff who helped build it into the site it became moved on.  In 2002, almost no one blogged.  Now everyone has a blog.  Social media has made information available in seconds that used to take hours to compile.  Twitter has caused people to have no attention span for long-form writing.  The internet at large has become one big homage to self.  Everything is one giant “Look at me!”  I don’t care to look at you.  You’re not special.  What I do care about is that everything on THN other than the forums has become stagnant.  The forums are simply a cesspool of half echo chamber and half ad hominem.  And the one prerequisite member who replies to everything, has the last word on everything, and adds nothing to the discussion.  Quite frankly, it’s a small miracle the forums have any activity left, and to be clear, they have very little.

 

No one seems to like when this is brought up.  The reactions tend to be of the “who are you to have an opinion?” variety.  Well, I’ll tell you who I am.  I’m a person who hoped to somehow make a small difference in making THN more than just another message board forum with a handful of members.  There are thousands of those, all staying online for more or less no good reason other than to say they’ve been around since X date.  THN deserves a better fate than those sites.  It was first.  It was better.  It’s owner put more into it.  Unfortunately, you can’t make people care.  Granted the Dan Snyder years have made being a fan difficult.  Mark never made being a fan difficult.  Because of what this site has given me over the last seventeen years one guarantee I will make is that if this site is going out it’s not going out with a whimper.  It’s not going out as “just another Redskins site” because it never was just another Redskins site.  It’s The Hogs.net

More By Michael Stahl

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