Big Cat Country has seen a rapid rise in readership over the last few weeks. With this rise in traffic comes a chance to re-introduce ourselves to our long-time readers and recent followers to the SB Nation platform and also the guidelines and principals of our community. Whether you're a long time reader or a new member, think of this as a "Welcome Guide to Big Cat Country".
Even the original readers from the dreaded early days of August 2006 might learn something.
The Abridged History of Big Cat Country:
I was very tired of writing about political science while at Stetson University, so as an outlet I began commenting about the Jaguars over at Stampede Blue. Those Colts fans eventually grew weary of me, so Big Blue Shoe and SB Nation offered to let me start a Jaguars blog, the first one of its kind (I think). So in August of 2006, despite having little clue of what I was doing, Big Cat Country was born. We've gone strong now for almost three years, have posted somewhere near a thousand stories, and become the largest Jaguars site of its kind. I'd encourage you to go back into the archives and look at the early material, but I'd then get really embarrassed at how bad my early writing was.
Everyone should take a look at the Big Cat Country Community Guidelines. They're short and sweet, and can be summed up in one sentence: "Be kind to each other". We all believe that following the Jacksonville Jaguars is a worthwhile endevor, there should be no disagreement that supercedes that underlying principal. If we all stick to these rules, BCC will be the home of the highest level discourse of any NFL team.
Creating an SB Nation User Account:
You'll want to head on over to this link if you're interested in creating an account and participating on the blog. If you were referred here from Yahoo, there is an option to create an SBN account through your Yahoo ID; there are also OpenID options as well. Even if you're not interested in participating, an account may be a good idea simply because of what it allows you to do in scrolling through user comments.
If you are logged in with your SBN account, using the tools available to read comments is, in my humble opinion, the single best technical feature of this blog. When you click on a post that has comments you haven't read, press "Z" to highlight the first comment. Press "Z" again, and it'll mark the comment as read and move you down to the next comment. "X" unmarks a comment without taking you to the next one, and "C" scrolls through comments without unmarking them. If there's ever a comment you'd like to respond to, tap "R" when it's highlighted and it will open a dialogue box that will thread your comment into the conversation. SBN's commenting tools are top of the line, and it makes keeping up with our often rapid-fire conversations infinitely easier. (More tricks appear in the fine print at the top of the comment section on every post.)
The Big Cat Country Team:
Big Cat Country belongs to the readers and commenters. Myself and the writers merely exist to guide the conversation. That said, I'll introduce the team at Big Cat Country. (John, Collin and Terry, please feel free to edit these accordingly)
River City Rage (Chris): I am the founder and editor-in-chief of Big Cat Country. I started following the Jaguars in 1994 when my parents decided to buy season tickets before the team ever took the field. We sat in the very last row of the stadium, which might explain why my perspective on the team is very distant and strategic. I'll never forget the second of silence when Morten Andeson missed his kick in 1996 and the stadium was stunned as we realized that the Jaguars were going to the playoffs.
In my real life I do things that I don't talk about on here. Long time readers might know that I have a strict "no politics" rule, which might have something to do with my career choice.
Sliencecs (Collin): Collin is the Associate Editor and also the first co-writer that Big Cat Country brought into the fold. He's a hard working father and student in his personal life, something that's too cool to make a joke about. He's also obsessed with the icy hand of Gene Smith and perhaps Star Wars, something that I should make more jokes about. He's the guy who will often "clean up" my posts when I make typos and forget to fix them.
[Collin's edit: My first love is psychology and I am in currently about to begin the second year of my doctorate program in Psychology at NOVA Southeastern University in Davie, FL (The Dolphins training camp is also held here every year). I'm desperately trying to get into the Sports Psychology tract at my school, although it is incredibly competitive. I will be participating in a research study on the effects of concussions on players in the coming months, and will include any sports psychology information I can incorporate into the site to broaden our collective minds. I'm as much of a corn-fed white boy as one can be. I was born in the Mississippi Delta, however, I absolutely love all things exotic (especially my Egyptian wife...), including ethnic food, music, and traditions. I want to personally thank Chris for all he's done for Jaguar fans and for giving me the opportunity to be a part of it with him about a year ago. The fans on this site never cease to amaze me with their passion for the team, and I've yet to find another site with the quality writers and readers that BCC has... Thank you, everyone.]
FSBlueApocalypse (John): If you ever need to start a fire, John's the guy to turn to, as he can stir the pot and start a fire with the best of em. John brings an element of intensity to the site that can be offputting, but he's a die hard fan with a good eye for talent, and a voice that I respect.
[John edit] I was born and raised in Jacksonville. I was there when Morten Anderson missed the kick, when the team showed up at the stadium at 2am after beating Denver, and when we retired Dan Marino. I was also there during the 2nd half of the 99 AFC Championship game and Christmas Eve vs the Texans. I'm finishing up a Degree in International Affairs and Economics from Florida State University. I've been to Vic's mountain before, but being the cynical bastard I am, I wasn't impressed. I forget exactly how I found BCC but I'm glad I did. It certainly beats ESPN mentioning us for a minute every month. Outside of the Jaguars, I play too many video games. My last words in life will most likely be "Hold my beer and watch this"
Tkopa (Terry): Here we have our much needed "voice of reason", if anyone has done more to rasie the level of discourse on this site, it's Terry. He's the guy who understands the importance of perspective more than anyone else. He's not as frequent of a writer as I'd like, but when he does, it's usually made of gold.
Seriously, if you have any questions about the site, the writers, or anything else, drop it in the comments.