Yes, "Miner Rush" was almost called "Ed Hochuli's Tricep" or "Miners In Possession."
It was exactly one year ago today, when the Rush first launched. Last year on this date, the Miners were riding an eight game winning streak on the hardwood and were on the verge of being ranked in the AP and USA Today Coaches Polls. In fact, UTEP was ranked #28 in the Coaches Poll, just two spots off from where the Miners sit today. In the last year, we've been blessed with an NCAA Tournament appearance, the "homerun" hire of Tim Floyd, the end of UTEP's 15 year drought in the NBA Draft, and the third bowl appearance of the Mike Price Era. UTEP also said goodbye to their legendary track coach, Bob Kitchens, and one of the greatest athletes ever to wear orange, Blessing Okagbare. What an incredible year for the Miner Nation.
While, I'm obviously a little bummed that the anniversary fell on a day right after a UTEP loss; but I didn't want to miss this opportunity to thank the community for supporting the site.
First of all, know that this isn't a news or recruiting site. I have broken some news once or twice, but that's not my goal. My goal is to provide a place where the community can have constant updates on all new Miner news that can lead to vigorous debate and discussion on the issues that matter to us. I don't care where news comes from or who was first or second in finding something. I care that we have a place to discuss it with sound, reasoned, analysis.
A few months ago, I was very happy when Asalom came on and started writing regularly here. I've really enjoyed his C-USA Power Rankings, Bubble Watch, and other posts. I can't tell you how nice it is to have another set of eyes here. This site will only be as good as the community that supports it. That's why I'm so grateful to all of you "Miner Rushers" who have joined the community and contributed. There are hundreds of you out there who read and don't write. I'm fine with that too, but just know you're always welcome. We don't bite.
I came up with the name "Miner Rush" simply because I thought is sounded cool. Truth be told, this site was very nearly called "Around the Mine." Someone else suggested it be titled "Miners in Possession." Another SB Nation blogger suggested we call it "Ed Hochuli's Tricep." While that would have been hilarious (the logo alone would have been awesome), I think we got it right with Miner Rush. You?
Building the Miner Nation
I've been blown away by the growth this site has had in our first 365 days. Here are some numbers that will give you guys an idea of where we are one year in.
173,983 Visitors: Can you believe that? We've had nearly 175,000 unique visitors in our first year. Those visitors have clicked on 352,747 pages and counting. By any standard these numbers are very low. But, I think of it this way. In our first month in 2010, we had 1,992 visits. On National Signing Day alone, we had just under 2,500.
I have often given this blog the tagline "Building the Miner Nation." I don't take that lightly. I have put out feelers to members of just about every UTEP Alumni Group in the country with a simple message: "We're here if you need us." If any UTEP organization needs help getting the word out on something, we're here top help. From hosting a tailgate to raising money for scholarships, this site will help get the word out on any event that will help bring Miner fans together.
We''ve been very lucky to have been linked to by Dr. Saturday, the Birmingham News, the Seattle Times, the Houston Chronicle, The Dagger, and several other news sites and blogs from coast to coast. I'd like to thank the El Paso Times for continually supporting this site by seeding some of our posts on their website. It's incredibly generous of them and I appreciate it immensely. The exposure these sites gives us only helps as we continue to build the Miner Nation.
I Don't Work for UTEP
My love for UTEP and El Paso, and my hopes of bringing Miner fans together here, isn't going to prevent me from calling it like I see it. If Mike Price screws up in a game, I'm going to write about him screwing up. If Tim Floyd is accused of NCAA violations, or slammed in a book, I'm going to write about it. If a UTEP player is dismissed from the team with a one sentence press release, I'm going to do my best to find out what really happened. Why? So we can talk about what's really happening in the Miner Nation.
If you think I'm wrong on a topic, let me know in the comments by presenting your take. I will always respond to the comments of a post and defend my position on something. While I want you to comment, I understand many people simply don't want to do that, so know that I don't mind emails either. I've had emails from Memphis fans who thought I was a "hack" for this piece and even angry NMSU fans for calling NMSU a "renegade program." My favorite email was from a loyal reader who suggested I proofread better! I love it. I enjoy any and all feedback I get. Please, keep it coming. I'm proud of the fact that I haven't deleted a non-spam post or comment this year. Not one. If you have a point, and you make it without unnecessary four letter words, I will try to respond to it.
If there is something you want to talk about that I have ignored or missed, please do. You can write a post by using the FanPost option. If you see a link, image, video, or quote you want to share, use the FanShot option. Even if you just want to express your frustration by using a series of random pictures, I appreciate it. SBNation has done an incredible job of providing us with these tools to help spread the word on Miner news as it happens. In our first year, you guys came through with 78 FanPosts and 474 FanShots. I appreciate every one of them.
So, thanks again to all of you guys for coming by here. One year in, I think we're off to a heck of a start. Now, let's beat Houston and get ready for what really matters: March Madness.