As everybody knows, Meck has put a lot of effort into his bus and the tailgates that he's thrown in the last couple of years. About a week ago, Meck called me up frustrated because he didn't feel like he's been getting the support from the Orange Mane that he feels like he should be getting for the tailgates that he hosts. Things have been getting overwhelming for him and his crew, and apparently he says that Orange Maners are starting to ruin the experience because they're always reaching into the coolers, but they're never the ones cleaning them out. Meanwhile, he feels like a sense of entitlement is growing around the tailgates, with not enough people chipping in to lend support.
Frustrated, we spent an hour last week talking about the situation and brainstorming on some ideas. My idea was to have a sign-up sheet and charge people a set amount to participate. Turn it into a business and only serve those who pre-register to be a part of it. He had a good point, though and said he didn't really want to turn it into a business. That it's a party, not a soup kitchen. That's a good point.
Another idea that I had was to maybe throttle it down so that the bus only comes out for special occassions. Its a lot of work, not to mention liability to drive that bus out to every game. And that's without mentioning the cost. The effort is tremendous to get that thing rolling. Meck didnt' like that idea either, saying that he doesn't want to "lose momentum" on the bus tailgates.
In the end, we decided that maybe the best idea would be to take it to the community and see if there were enough people out there to "keep the wheels on this thing."
Things start to get controversial here...
On August 8th at 5:05PM meck started a thread titled "Looking for Broncos fans.........To help keep the tailgate going." At 5:31PM, I browsed the thread, stuck it, and then started on preparations for dinner as my wife in her final month of pregnancy would be home soon and we have a nightly routine. I needed to get dinner done, because I had work to do upstairs once it was over. I lost a client at work, and as such am getting my paycheck cut until we manage to get the business healthy again. That's just a reality of the career field I've choosen, and I'm confident we'll be ok... The timing is just bad with a son on the way, while I'm also trying to tune up the server for the upcoming season. I did my work, and popped into different threads now and again to break the monotony of the sales writing.
What I didn't do, and what I should have done, was pop into the thread Meck started and encourage more people to take part in supporting Meck and his tailgate bus. I've been on that bus a few times, and know first hand what a great thing he's got there. I know first hand the work that goes into it. I know first hand the stress it causes Meck, as he tries to manage the entire thing. I should have said something to support Meck in that thread as quickly as I could have. The guy has done a lot for this site, volunteering himself by printing up cards that he hands out to people that walk by that include the Orange Mane website address. He's given of himself, and the least that I could have done was drop a line of support. I didn't do that and am ashamed of myself for it.
At 8:21am, the next morning, Meck asked me to unstick the thread and tore me a new one for not having said anything in the thread. He then asked a mod to have the thread moved to the Tailgate forum where he has the powers to delete it. I'm disappointed that he took this action, as the thread was actually starting to take off. Meanwhile, feeling the pressure of all the various things happening in my life right now, I echoed the tone he took with me in his gripe, I shot back at him that "I don't have time right now in my life for the drama surrounding this place or your bus. My son is being born this month, and my paycheck hangs in the balance." It was a poor thing to say, even under the pressure. I know better than echoing the frustrated tone of a frustrated man. When you do that all that comes next is more drama and frustration.
Sure enough, we've been having it out trying to get the other person to see things from eachother's point of view. Unfortunately, neither of us seems to be succeeding. Steve feels like the Orange Mane isn't reciprocating the efforts that he's putting in. I feel like I'm doing everything that I can to maintain my little part of the universe and have to make certain I take care of priorities like mortgage payments, baby preperation, and keeping things together with this site to be able to offer anything but moral support for the bus right now. But when he started a thread, I didn't even provide that, so what kind of friend am I?
In any case, Meck has made it clear that he no longer wishes to be the official "Tailgate Coordinator" for the Orange Mane, a position I created for him when he offered to get involved a few years ago. I don't blame him. He's been great at the position, and I wish it could have worked out forever. While the bus has never been an official part of the Orange Mane, Meck has always held his doors open for the folks of this community, asking little in return but a few bucks in the coffee tin, and some help on the side.
Meck has let me know that he's decided that rather than use the Orange Mane to plan his tailgate outings, he will be creating his own forum on his website at http://www.orangeforceone.com
to better gain control of the tailgates and solicit the local support he needs to keep things moving and unencumbered by the frustrations that he has with myself and the lack of support he’s been receiving here. While I'm disappointed that he's turned this into an all-or-none proposition with his involvement here, I understand and respect his decision to withdraw his support of the Mane, and let people who are interested in tailgating with him and the bus do so on his terms, and under his own banner. It's probably for the best, as it makes sense that he shouldn't feel obligated to cater to anyone and everyone who claims to be an OManer, especially if he's not getting the support he needs to keep things running from game to game.
I’d like to thank Meck for the time he put into this place with his volunteer efforts, and encourage him to remain engaged in the community here in any way that he’s comfortable with. I hold no ill feelings for his decision to formally split off, and have nothing but love and respect for the guy. We had a lot of fun together, and I’m sorry that it had to come to an ugly situation like this.