Welcome to UD Pride

Posted by SwampyMeadows, Features Contributor,
Tuesday, April 11 2006

BEVERLY HILLS (MI) –- Hi, my name is Swampy Meadows and I’ll be your virtual tour guide this afternoon. We want to welcome you to the brand spankin’ new UD Pride website. While the place has been upgraded and renovated, it isn’t actually new -- UD Pride has been around for 10 years now. If you are a member of the Flyer Faithful and/or a long-time reader of the Dayton Daily News and you haven’t been here before, what took you so damn long?

Before we start, are there any questions? Yes, Ma’am, you in the back. How did I end up with a goofy name like ‘Swampy’ you ask? Funny story, which is actually UD-related, so I’ll share it with you:

My freshman year at Dayton, I played on my floor football team at UH (University Hall or West Campus, a former VA hospital on the West Side of Dayton). Everybody on the team had a nickname except me. My buddies went to The Bookstore bar one night (which was located where UD Campus Police HQ is now) and were in the process of getting carded. The bouncer was a guy named Gary who was a dead-ringer for me. The guys knew that my brother went to UD, so they asked Gary “Hey, are you Jim Meadows’ brother?” At that point Gary had already sampled some of the Bookstore’s finest adult beverages, so he replied “Meadows? What the f**k is his name, Swampy Meadows?” And that was it. They came home to UH on the last bus (AKA “The Vomit Comet”), woke me up and told me they had a great nickname for me -- Swampy Meadows. I hated it. However, by the time I met the woman who was to become my wife, I was introducing myself as Swampy Meadows and all of her family still calls me by that name.

No, Ma’am it doesn’t make a ton of sense to me either, but that’s the power of alcohol for you.

Why don’t we start at the lower level of the website and work our way up to the penthouse, where Mr. Rieman works. Watch your step on the way down and try and avoid the cobwebs. Okay, folks what we have down here is the UD Pride archive where eventually, you will be able to find anything that yahoos like me, John Churan, Chris Rieman or anybody else who ever wrote for the site has ever penned. I say ‘eventually’ because all of the articles still have to be migrated from the old site and that takes a lot of (Chris’) time. For example, we have real old stuff, way back on June 17, 1998, entitled “UD needs to sign Hall to contend in A-10” written by Chris Rieman. Yes sir, you’re right -- Chris really went way out on a limb with that prediction, didn’t he? But it turns out he was correct. It was kinda a one man show back then in the early years, but Chris hung in there and kept UD Pride going.

Here you can see the first “From the Swamp” that I wrote for UD Pride…it’s from September 19, 2001, and it’s called “Nobody asked me, but…” No, kid, I can write thoughts that are longer than two sentences each. I happen to like bullet points, that’s why. No, I don’t have ADD. Tell you what, why don’t you stay here and read some of the old FTS columns and you can catch up with us later, okay kid?

This next level is the garage. The Porsche? Well, miss, that’s Mr. Rieman’s 911T, affectionately known as “The Money Pit.” He recently dumped several grand into it for new pistons and cylinders. Mr. Rieman refers to it as the “UD Pride Advance Vehicle.” That’s because his mechanic makes Chris pay cash in advance before he’ll work on the 911T. That’s my 1954 Hudson Hornet convertible over there in the corner, by the way.

Let’s take the escalator up to the main floor, otherwise known as the Home Page. Here you will find the latest feature articles on UD Hoops and other Dayton sports, plus you can instantly connect to any other part of the website, such as the Message Board, which we’ll visit in a minute; the Archives which you’ve already seen; Merchandise; plus lots of other cool new sh*t –- whoops, my bad –- like a real-time chat room for game nights and an Internet-streaming radio media player.

This spiral staircase will lead us up to the Message Board, which is probably the most active part of the whole site. If you really want to know what’s going on with UD hoops or what the mood of the Flyer Faithful is, this is where you’ll come to find out. There are around 1700 members currently registered on the MB and we’re hoping in the coming months we'll attract a few more. Yes, those security doors are locked at all times for your own protection, sir. Speaking of security, we’ve also added an automatic warning system on the MB to alert moderators when machines with the same IP address have had multiple logins under different usernames. Another new feature of the MB is a "GONG and THANKS" recognition system where users can collectively "thank" other posters for making an excellent post, or "gong" them for posting content that's deemed unbeneficial, inaccurate, or otherwise useless. Ma’am, don’t pay any attention to the loud gentleman over there dressed all in red -- that’s John R –- he’s harmless. No, really, he is! And please try not to step on any of the trolls as we travel thru the MB, okay?

That red button over there? Well, sir, that’s the ignore button and it’s a new feature here at the UD Pride MB. If there is somebody here on the Message Board that you would rather not be exposed to, just turn that baby on and you’ll never have to read another one of their posts. Me? No, I’m not planning on using it. Yeah, I’m a glutton for punishment, you’re right.

This next floor is the newsroom. Over there is John Churan’s office. If you’ve read any of the great stuff done by Tom Archdeacon in the DDN -- a classmate of mine at UD, BTW –- you will enjoy John’s columns, as well. He does some in-depth stuff, conducts a great interview and is basically our go-to-guy when it comes to insightful commentary.

Over here is a new piece of behind-the-scenes equipment called Coranto. What Coranto does is allow hacks like Churan and me to post our own stories in real-time, with all of the proper code, so that they are site-ready when we are finished with them. We can blog our brains out, if we so desire. You guys won’t see Coranto, but it’ll always be there working behind the scenes. It’ll save all of us writers and especially Chris a lot of time.

The “From the Swamp” office is over there in the corner. The Red Sox stuff? Well, I grew up in Boston and I’ve been a diehard Sox fan all of my life. Yeah, 2004 was a special year –- I still get out the DVDs and tapes from time to time and watch them. I would like to think that when BG and the Flyers win the NCAA Championship that it will feel like 2004 did for Red Sox Nation. Those are my daughters, Cristen and Caitlin, otherwise known as the Elder and Younger Swampettes, or ES and YS, for short. Cristen is a 2004 UD grad and is in law school at Chicago Kent; Caitlin is a Pre-Med/Athletic Training major at Michigan. That’s my wife, Peggy or Mrs. Swampy, a 1972 UD grad like me. She doesn’t get mentioned in FTS nearly as much as the girls do, but she has to put up with me monopolizing the PC with my writing and listening to webscasts of UD games, so maybe she should.

One thing you don’t see in here are any editorial controls. Not once in the 5 years that I have been writing FTS has Chris ever said “you can’t say that” or “I want you to write about this.” I have total editorial freedom…what more could a guy ask for?

Finally, this glass Wonkavator will take us up to the penthouse office of Chris Rieman, the ‘wizard behind the curtain’ at UD Pride. He may look like Mr. Clean, but underneath that shaved pate is the brain of a true genius. Chris is the architect of all that you see here: he built the original site, made all of the improvements that I have shown you, survived endless requests for autographs, and somehow keeps it all running while holding down a steady job. Of course, Chris has no life, but that’s his problem, not yours.

So that’s it, the new and improved UD Pride, home of the hardest workin’ and lowest paid staff in cyberspace. We look forward to seeing you here at UD Pride on a regular basis. Don’t be a stranger!

That’s it “From the Swamp.”

Jim Swampy Meadows is Features Contributor of UDPride.com.
He can be reached at swampy@udpride.com.

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