Sunday, December 25, 2016


Scene from It's a Wonderful Life
About 6 years ago, I made it a point to watch It's a Wonderful Life at least 1 time around Christmas.  I had seen the film a few times when I was much younger and remember a few things but as I've became a man with a family, certain moments about life struggle, happiness, helping others and integrity seemed to hit home much harder than it ever did before.

You see, George Bailey is much like me and you. A hard working individual who has many dreams. But for some, that's where it ends.  There are folks in this world that take their dreams one direction when they see the fork in the road.  Maybe they marry late, have kids later and do what's good for them when they want to before all that.  They don't want attachments. They don't want distractions or dependents. They want to do for themselves. Hey, there's nothing wrong with that... it's a success story for some.

I'm different. I tend to take the George Bailey approach to life.  I'm proud of it, but no doubt there are days I want to jump off a bridge.  Not literally of course, but symbolically like Bailey wanted to in the film.  Life can be hard... family can make it harder.  No one tells you of all the responsibility you have when you have children, a tough occupation, a mortgage, and friends who sometimes need alittle help to make ends meet too.  You try to be everywhere at once... it's not easy, but you do it...putting your own dreams on hold because you have people around you that depend on you. Stress is much, and there are days where you realize about midnight that you never really have much time to yourself to unwind, to have a glass of wine, to read alittle of that book you're trying to get through.  Maybe you don't travel as much as you'd liked because the kids are constantly running your wife and you around like chauffeurs... and maniacs.

And some days... like George Bailey, you feel like maybe you went down the wrong road.  I know you think it... everyone does once in a while. I do too.  But then I walk through my quiet house once everything has settled down and the family is asleep and I look at each of my boys sleeping and I immediately have a rush of highlights from each of their young lives... school plays, spelling bees, Little League, a girl they might like and talk to me about... and I get emotional for the better. 

It puts me at ease once again. It resets me for the moment.  I'm happy again with no stress in the world.  And when I finally lay down with my wife to bed, we chat about our day... knowing the hamster wheel must spin again in around 6 hours. A kiss goodnight, and soon starts all over again.

It's a whirlwind every single day.  Some days my wife is going while I'm coming home from work and then, when I need to take a kid to practice, she's coming home from practice with another. But in the end... if we had to do it any other way... we wouldn't, because we love our kids to death... and we love each other too.

George Bailey had integrity. How else do you explain getting offered a big time money job and turn it down? He knew working for Mr. Potter went against everything he believed in and so, even if it could have been easier for him, he didn't do it because he had integrity and strong values of what was truly right and what was truly wrong.

I believe in integrity. Not too many people I know do.  That's the truth.  Look around at your own life. How many do you know who truly have integrity?

How many people do you know that when push comes to shove would actually stick to their values rather than give in to make a few extra bucks even though they didn't believe in what they were doing to make it? Not many. How many people do you know would rather be popular on a fake image of themselves for that moment, be a social climber rather than sticking to their guns, their beliefs and do it the right way? How many? Many. Right? Integrity is lost these days and it's disgusting.

Integrity is important.  I believe in the importance of standing up for what's right, even if someone tells you no. I believe that if you believe in yourself and someone is putting you down, ignore it, prove to the world and yourself that you CAN.

Look at BYB.  No one thought this thing could fly.  They picked on us early on... telling us we'd "Never make it." I was told that I was "too soft" and "didn't know how to do it."  Hmm... look at me now. Look at US now.

It's not about getting clicks for me at BYB. It's about good, solid, honest and smart content. And smart content doesn't mean Sabermetrics. It means solid opinion, presentation... product.

It's not about BYB being carried by Fansided or FOX Sports or YES or anything like that for me. It's about doing it on our own; hard work, sweat and dedication and all of that. I will never bend over because some aggregator wants my product to help them. I will work hard to get noticed because of the product WE put out and promote on our own, as a unit! That's because we believe in Bleeding Yankee Blue. This is about product, not clicks.  To me, the day we start looking for clicks and stop implementing character, passion and integrity is the day we DIE as journalists. BYB will never do that.  That's what I am trying to instill in our writers here. That is how I was raised, and while I will not be a rich money man doing it, at least I can stand tall and know that we did it correctly and didn't give in and strip ourselves of our balls. We will always do it the correct way.

And if I do become the richest man on the block, it's because I stuck to my guns to help and provide for my family and friends first and provide content the way you want to receive it...and along the way, grew as a person... an honest, solid and good person with friends everywhere who love and respect me.

I cry every time I watch the end of It's a Wonderful Life. Not because I think George Bailey is truly me or anything.  I cry at the same moment every time I watch it.  It's the part where George's brother, Harry stands in front of George, Mary and his family and friends all around and says "A toast! To my big brother George... the richest man in town."

It's not about money... it's about integrity and sticking to one's values and character.  And everyone, family and friends coming together to acknowledge that and appreciate it so much.

That, my friends is what I find incredibly important in my life and that's what's threaded here throughout Bleeding Yankee Blue, and on this Christmas day, I just want to say "Thank you" to my family and friends for surrounding this product with love and appreciation for the past 6 years.

I love you all very, very much.

Merry Christmas.

Robert Casey
BYB Chief, Managing Editor & Head Writer

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