This is bittersweet for me. I am sure this is also out of nowhere for those of you who have gotten used to me as a steady presence on this excellent website. With that said, I would like to announce that I am
entering the transfer portal leaving The Only Colors. My last day will be Wednesday, Nov. 30.
It is hard to find the words to describe what The Only Colors means to me and what SB Nation has done for me. The opportunities I’ve had, the things I’ve gotten to experience and the bonds I’ve built are nothing short of incredible. I want to be clear here: I never once looked at this job as a stepping stone in my personal career, as many seem to do, and I certainly didn’t do it for the money.
This website was a passion project for me, a labor of love. To be honest, writing this is actually a little bit more emotional than I thought it would be. I have nothing but the utmost respect for The Only Colors, SB Nation and Vox Media. This company took a chance on me when I had very little experience and I am eternally grateful for that.
When I first emailed Austin Smith (yes, from The Only Podcast) way back in 2017 about writing for The Only Colors, I was simply looking for a platform to write out my thoughts on Michigan State football, basketball and other athletics. I had no idea what it would turn into.
I never dreamed it would lead me to one day being a credentialed media member, road trips to away venues such as Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois (Northwestern), invites to numerous podcasts/YouTube shows, having my work featured on SB Nation’s homepage (and other websites as well) or to where I am heading next.
I was not expecting to have one-on-one interviews or be in-person at press conferences with players, coaches, recruits, athletic directors or other staff members. A big shout out to David Harns for his work in getting The Only Colors to be one of the few nontraditional media websites that MSU Athletics credentials.
I have so many people to thank — way too many to name individually — but most importantly, my hard-working, dedicated staff. Most of us (including me) also balanced full-time day jobs or were full-time students in addition to our writing duties, attending press conferences, attending games, etc.
The members of my staff have come such a long way in their writing, reporting and other tasks, and I am so unbelievably proud of them — and happy to not just call them colleagues, but friends. This group is special. Anybody who has ever written for me or done work for me — and those who I have annoyed the hell out of with my extreme attention to detail — thank you so much.
To the community, you are the absolute best, most passionate bunch of readers and commenters on the internet (in my opinion). Did some of you piss me off sometimes, have absolutely awful takes on certain subjects or make fun of me for typos in my work (I actually appreciate those who point out typos when done kindly)? Yes, but I am sure you thought the same about me on certain days.
Seriously, though, some of you are extremely loyal to this site and have read every piece of content I have ever produced. Truly, you don’t know how much that means to me. If you have ever so much as clicked on one of my articles, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
I’ve come a long way as a writer. I’ve learned a lot over my five-plus years here. I never really cared abut notoriety. I simply put my head down, became a daily grinder, then eventually the assistant manager to my guy, Kyle Thele, and later, the managing editor of the website. I simply wanted to provide content for people to read, help my writers improve and learn and improve myself.
We truly accomplished great things here and turned The Only Colors into the best damn free Michigan State website out there (maybe I am biased, but you will not convince me otherwise). Others have taken notice of what we built here, leading to new opportunities, but this is an experience I will never forget.
I will miss you all. The good news is, I will be remaining on the Michigan State beat. I cannot say just yet what I am up to next. However, I will announce that news very soon. If you are interested in following me and want to continue to support my work, please follow me @RyanOBleness on Twitter. Additionally, I will continue to write for SB Nation at Big Cat Country. I know very few of you have any interest in the Jacksonville Jaguars, but you can still catch me there for now.
This new opportunity came together rather quickly for me. I don’t know what the future here at The Only Colors look likes. There will obviously be some big changes. I do know that I will forever follow this website, support its writers and maybe even chat in the comments section from time to time to check in with you all.
In the most cliche thing to say, this is not “goodbye,” it’s see you later. Again, thank you for everything.