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A Letter From the Editor: My own “It’s A Wonderful Life” moment

A journey away from BTSC helped to realize where I was, was where I was always supposed to be.

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

It has become a tradition in the Hartman household to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” every Christmas. My wife isn’t fond of the movie, not a fan of Jimmy Stewart, so I watch the movie with our five kids.

Most of the kids don’t understand the very meaning of the movie, and what it ultimately means, but this year as we watched George Bailey learn the tough lesson of what life would be like if he’d never been born, it had me thinking about my time here at BTSC.

Some may not know this, while many do, but after the 2019 season I left BTSC for roughly two months. The move was what I felt was a move up the proverbial ladder in the business. A move to a credentialed site, and the thought of being ‘behind the ropes’ was intriguing, to say the least.

Like George realized in the movie, sometimes you can’t appreciate what you have until it is gone.

I still remember accepting the job, and being so excited to start. I was determined to revolutionize an industry which is still led by dinosaurs and archaic methods. While I approached the job with gusto, I quickly saw my life changing before my very eyes.

While at BTSC, I had built a team of individuals who always looked out for one another. You had an appointment, or needed to get away for a day or so, it was the team who helped you get through it. At the new job, that wasn’t the case. You were on call at all times, and I found myself being glued to my phone or laptop all day.

I felt as if I was a stranger in my own home. My kids asked to go play, and I hesitated due to the restraints and expectations of the new job.

Like George Bailey realized, he wanted his life back. As George begged God, and Clarence his guardian angel, for his life back, he is quick to appreciate the small things he once overlooked or dreaded. The same can be said for me when I was lucky enough to find my way back to BTSC. What once was a burden now became a joy. To work with my dear friends again, and have that freedom back which was gone was immeasurable.

I haven’t talked about the situation this in-depth before, but I wanted to take the time to thank several people at SB Nation, but mainly people here at BTSC to get me back home. Mainly, Dave Schofield. Dave took the reigns of this ship when I left, and he didn’t have to even let me touch them again. For him to do all he could to get me back means more than he will ever realize. For everyone else who was willing to do whatever it took for me to get back to this place, I can’t thank you enough.

On this Christmas day I find myself sitting at the computer and couldn’t be happier for being right here where I am. So this site is credentialed, who cares. I’m a fan of this team, and it feels good to be able to say this and not hide my genuine feelings for the Pittsburgh Steelers. I had to hide that while I was away, but not anymore.

We here at BTSC are family, and you, the reader or listener, are a part of the family. With that said, I want to wish everyone here a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Sometimes it takes you losing something to realize what you had. I’m lucky enough that I was able to get that life back, just like George Bailey was in the iconic Christmas movie.

I think somewhere I hear a bell ringing, and maybe that’s my Steelers guardian angel, Myron, getting his wings.

Atta boy, Myron. Atta boy.