As the frequency of new posts on the homepage of FrontOfficeFans.com may indicate, the Project Franchise Team Captains has been a bit busy lately with life away from the game - as the Mrs. Team Captains seem to have all had a visit from the baby stork in recent months. Unfortunately between all the diaper changing, bottle feeding and non-sleeping, we just haven't had the time to keep the blog up the way we expect from die hard sports fans like ourselves. So, today is the final day for FOF, as we will shut down the site as of June 1 to make way for even more great, SBNation properties to be managed by the fans, for the fans.
It seems fitting timing, as a pair of fan-centric teams face off in an NBA Finals re-match that is certain to bring a heap of joy to the fans in South Beach or Big D. While LeBron James didn't announce where he was taking his talents last summer in a fashion that impressed many fans in Cleveland, we have to give Pat Riley and the Heat management a load of credit for putting their money on the line to bring the Big-3 together and help Miami fans enjoy a potential dynasty. And while we have our roots in South Florida and would usually be all in favor of the Heat winning it all, this year is a little different as they are going against the Dallas Mavericks.
Before Mark Cuban bought the majority ownership of the Mavs in early 2000, the team was abysmal - perennial cellar dwellers who hadn't provided more than a brief smattering of exciting moments to local fans in its prior history. However, Cuban wasn't like other owners. He didn't view the team as purely an investment. He didn't wear a suit or sit way high up in a skybox hobnobbing with league execs. Instead, Cuban rocked a team jersey or t-shirt, sat courtside and barked at officials like he was your drunk Uncle Sal. He also opened up his very fat wallet, helped the fans get a sweet new downtown stadium, hooked up the team with a private plane and made the locker room look like an episode of CRIBS.
This culture of fandom resonated with the squad and the city and on the shoulders of superstar big man (and seemingly all around good guy) Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs became the third best team in the Western Conference over the last decade - which is actually pretty impressive when you consider that the Lakers and Spurs are the top two. This season the Spurs ran out of gas in the playoffs, then the Mavs rolled over the Lakers and then through the upstart Thunder on their way to an NBA Finals rematch with the Heat.
Although our gut tells us that Miami is just too tough to beat in a seven game series, we will be rooting for Cuban and the fans in Dallas who scream alongside their owner - just like we envision at Project Franchise.
It's been a great time writing for SBNation and we'd really like to thank Tyler, Jim and the entire SB team for welcoming us to their awesome community. We look forward to working together on future collaborations as we continue to further the voice of the sports fan through the digital world. We'd also like to thank all of our readers for making FOF so much fun, as we truly believe that Project Franchise has been and always will be defined by our fans - even the folks who told us we were fools in the comments!
To keep in touch with Project Franchise and stay up to speed on our progress as we seek to acquire a real life, entirely fan run minor league baseball team, please sign up for free at ProjectFranchise.org
-PF Team Captains