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Twenty Years
Twenty Years
Published by Swampy Meadows
06-04-2020
Twenty Years

BEVERLY HILLS (MI) -- Way back in June of 2000, “From the Swamp” was unleashed upon an unsuspecting public on the old FlyerHoops.com message board. The two guys who ran the site, Greg Bilotta and Joe Lombardi, were desperate for some actual content beyond a bunch of Flyer fans peppering their MB with hot takes.

I had crafted a post on the subject of favorite Flyer recruiting classes, mine being the Class of 1974 featuring Donald Smith, Mike Sylvester, John von Lehman, Jack Kill, Joe Coladarci and Pat Lyons. Greg and Joe liked my post and nominated me for the up-until-then-non-existent FlyerHoops.com “Hall of Fame” and did a profile on me.

Then came an email asking:

“Hey, Swampy, you want to write a regular column?”

Bilotta and Lombardi even conjured up the name “From the Swamp” and told me that I was free to write about ‘whatever I wanted.’

It was obvious that I was totally being set up, but in a nice way, so I agreed to do it. Then, as now, there was no compensation involved, so Greg and Joe were not exactly betting the farm on my writing ability.

Shortly thereafter, FlyerHoops.com succumbed to the dotcom bubble burst and Chris Rieman invited “FTS” to slide on over to UD Pride and the rest is history.

Since that time, I have written on a variety of subjects. You can search for old “FTS” columns here in the UD Pride archives, all the way back to 2007:

http://www.udpride.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=2

Just scroll down to ‘display options’ and select ‘from the beginning’ and have at it -- there are 99 pages of content from me, Chris, John Curran and several others. Unfortunately, everything that I wrote for UDPride prior to 2007 has been lost in the ether, including some of my favorite pieces on subjects as varied as the Woodward Dream Cruise, the Ryder Cup, WVUD and the Red Sox winning the World Series in 2004.

Over the past twenty years a lot has changed. In 1999-2000, the Flyers were at long last emerging from the dark days of the Jim O’Brien era. Dayton was finally reaping the benefits of the OP rebuilding process, finishing the season with a 22-9 record and an NCAA Tournament appearance, where they got jobbed in a loss to Purdue.

Back then, I was working as an Account Executive in advertising sales at CNN; I am now retired. The Elder Swampette was a junior in HS, the Younger Swampette in 8th grade; they’re now both professionals and they each have two kids. One thing hasn’t changed: still married to my first wife.

Some notable columns:

Memorable Interview: Johnny Davis

http://www.udpride.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24164

Until Obi Toppin came along, JD was my favorite Flyer player of all time.

Favorite Game: The last one

http://www.udpride.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34131

I have never paid more for two tickets to a sporting event in my entire life than I did for this one. For some reason, I just felt that I had to be there to watch Obi’s last game and the Flyers cutting down the nets with my wife sitting next to me, just as we had done 50 years ago when the Arena first opened. It was worth every penny.

Outstanding HS Player: LaDontae Henton

http://www.udpride.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17328

“Buckets” put on an offensive display in the 1st quarter of this game unlike any I have ever witnessed. It’s a shame that he never got to don the Red and Blue.

Best Letter: Dear Coach K

http://www.udpride.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25380

I wrote another one two years later -- never heard back from him on either one.

Favorite Instructional Column: FTS on FTs

http://www.udpride.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3926

Nothing has changed in the 12 years since I wrote this.

Coolest Chance Encounter: Former Flyer football star Mel Taylor

http://www.udpride.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18534

Second Coolest Chance Encounter: NBA All Star John Drew

http://www.udpride.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30840

Totally Unexpected Resurrection: My column on Christian Dawkins

http://www.udpride.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31944

Chris Rieman was somehow able to unearth this piece on then HS student/“Talent Evaluator” and current convicted felon Christian Vaughn (now Dawkins), the subject of the HBO doc “The Scheme.”

Clearly, back in 2000 when Joe and Greg cajoled me into penning “From the Swamp” I never imagined that 18,000 people would end up reading anything that I had written. But for some reason they did -- this piece from 2009 reviewing that years crop of college basketball yearbooks:

http://www.udpride.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11061

Having sold interactive media, I realize the power of SEO is what actually generated most of those pageviews, via Google searches for teams and/or players mentioned in the article. But still.

I especially want to thank Chris for giving me this platform and for all of you for putting up with me for the past two decades. I’m really just trying to disprove my old Creative Writing prof Herbert Martin’s assertion that I wouldn’t continue to write after having finished his class.

Here’s to twenty more.

That’s it “From the Swamp.”
You can email me at: swampy@udpride.com
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  #1  
By Chris R on 06-05-2020, 02:54 PM
Time flies! Thanks for hanging in there.
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  #2  
By Glen Clark on 06-05-2020, 11:12 PM
Originally Posted by Chris R View Post
Time flies! Thanks for hanging in there.

Signed: Herb Martin

_____________________
Whether your glass is half full or half empty, you still have more to drink
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  #3  
By Swampy Meadows on 06-06-2020, 10:30 AM
Herb and I exchanged emails and he sent me a snail mail letter saying he was glad that i kept writing. He's an absolute prince of a guy.
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