Longtime Mount Union fan and radio play-by-play man Ric Brienza recently announced he would no longer continue to publish his Mount Union football fan site, Mtunionfootball.com.
This was how he put it in a post on our message board.
Over ten years ago I put the www.MtUnionFootball.com website online. It was born from my passion and love for Mount Union football. At the time there was a strong need for more information online about the past, present and future of the most successful college football program of our time.
Since that day my love for the Purple Raiders has grown ten-fold. But the need for this site has not been as great over the years due to the increased availability of information from the college based website at the University of Mount Union.
With the introduction of the new Mount Union athletic website on August 1st, and after much thinking and soul searching on my part, I have come to the decision that the time has come to end my site’s run.
Simply put, I have felt over the past couple of years that I have not added anything “new” for Raider fans, but rather, have just duplicated what was already out there. This is never more true than today.
So its with a bit of sadness, but great pride, that there will be no more updates on my website. Thanks for the great times and all the great comments along the way!
I will continue to be a part of Mount Union football as the radio voice of the Raiders and my love for the Purple & White will never die.
I hope you can understand my decision. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all the support. The best thing I have gained from all this is all the great friendships I’ve developed. Thank you all!
Ric’s site was basically the godfather of all football fan sites, and even before the days when blogging software made it easy to put a site on the web, team sites started popping up. Once upon a time, there were fan sites for Union and Wittenberg, while the Bridgewater fan site is still on the Net, even though founder Matt Barnhart had to leave the site when he took a job with the University of Virginia football staff.
Other sites still exist, including sites devoted to two of the Purple Raiders’ main national rivals at various points in the past decade: Rowanfootball.com and Warhawkfootball.com. Rowan’s site is run by fan Tom Wilson, with varying amounts of resistance and little help from the university, while UW-Whitewater’s site is run by Tom Pattison, who does radio for the Warhawks and basically runs his site as an extension of the football office. Pattison recognized Brienza, saying, “Your ‘unofficial’ Mount Union Website was the inspiration for me and former Warhawk head coach Bob Berezowitz to develop Warhawkfootball.com back in 2003 (following UWW’s nonconference games with then-MUC in 2002 and 2003).”
“Websites like Ric’s filled a void,” Wilson noted. “His work encouraged me to start rowanfootball.com. Economies of scale, advancing technology, and out-of-the box software has leveled the playing field for Division III sports program websites. They have caught up for most part to their Division I counterparts. I thank Ric for his contribution to Division III football.”
“I congratulate Ric on his decade-long run at mtunionfootball.com,” said Barnhart. “His Purple Raider fan website was the example of what all other Division III fan sites were trying to build to, including my former site, bridgewaterfootball.com. I also applaud Ric for being able to walk away from something he loves so much. I made the same decision in 2008, and it was one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make. My wife jokingly called bridgewaterfootball.com ‘the other woman’ in my life.
“I think I speak for most Division III fan site publishers when I say we do what we do because we simply love Division III football and what it stands for, and take pride in covering the sport for our particular schools.”
More recently, fan sites for Linfield and St. John’s have grown up, with Linfield’s Catdomealumni.com, run by Ryan Carlson, more of a one-man shop with a heavy focus on video. Johnniefootball.com has a wide variety of contributors, almost all of whom are identified solely by their posting handle from our message board, D3boards.com.
“Really, that site was the inspiration for many of us that started fan sites for our respected teams,” Carlson posted recently. “Ric’s site was true class and the DIII community is a little worse off for the site going dark.”
Agreed. While Ric remains a Mount Union fan and his voice will still be heard on the air, his site will be missed.