World Soccer Talk

Dirty Tackle Blog Returns! An Interview With Brooks Peck

Last month, it was reported that the popular soccer blog Dirty Tackle was no more. Thankfully, we’re here to report that Dirty Tackle has returned. The popular and irreverent blog is no longer on Yahoo Sports, but Brooks Peck — the man behind the site — is here to update everyone on the future of the blog. And, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, where to find it.

Here’s our exclusive interview with Dirty Tackle’s Brooks Peck:

Christopher Harris (CH): In your opinion, Is the cry that “soccer blogs are dead” premature?

Brooks Peck (BP): Very much so. The landscape has definitely changed, though. When DT first started in 2008, there was a good number of soccer blogs, but almost all of them were independent labors of love. Too many of those have now fallen by the wayside for various reasons good and bad, but now it seems just about every major sports site has its own soccer blog (or multiple soccer blogs) run by people actually getting paid to do it. And that’s great.

CH: What was the reason that Yahoo shut Dirty Tackle down? And is the rumor true that it was part of the mass layoffs at Yahoo Sports.

BP: I’m afraid I’m not at liberty to answer that.

CH: What did you learn from the experience of having your blog on Yahoo?

BP: A lot! More than I could ever list here. But the biggest takeaway from a blogging standpoint — especially since what I do on DT can be a bit…strange at times — is that freedom, both creatively and logistically, is invaluable. I was lucky enough to be afforded that for the majority of my time with Yahoo and I always appreciated it. From a soccer standpoint, I learned that trying to defend the game against someone who has nothing better to do than bash something they don’t like is a complete waste of time that can be put to much better use talking to the huge number of people who do enjoy the game. In other words, “don’t feed the trolls.”

CH: How do you plan to make money from Dirty Tackle so you can continue with it being your full time job?

BP: Ideally Ryan Bailey, who was a DT contributor from the 2010 World Cup up through the 2014 World Cup, and I would like to plug it into a new platform. DT has built up a considerable following and the exposure and name recognition it’s had thanks to Yahoo over the last five years provide a strong foundation for further growth and development. The amount of interest since parting ways with Yahoo has been flattering, but another thing I’ve learned is that taking the time to find the right situation is important. So that’s what I’m doing right now.

CH: What was your reaction to seeing the positive comments from your readers to your new site on Dirty Tackle?

BP: Overwhelming, proud, happy — words can’t accurately describe it. The last year or so was challenging in some respects and I had been asking myself a lot of questions as a result, but the response over the last few weeks has cemented my view that this is an opportunity to take DT to a new level and that people really want that.

CH: Thank heavens for RSS, eh?

BP: Our RSS feed mysteriously disappeared a while back (something readers have continuously asked about since), so it’s nice to have one again on the new site we’re using!

CH: Can we expect anything new or different about Dirty Tackle 3.0 or will it be more of the good humored writing we’re accustomed to?

BP: A lot of that might be down to where DT ends up, but I would love to have more contributors and different voices, new features and more community interaction. But definitely all humor based and with the same DT feel (uncomfortable and a bit sticky).

CH: What’s your favorite column to write for DT?

BP: Would it be lame if I said all of them? Some of the new ones like Letters from Bojan and Conspiracy Theory have been fun. “If it continued…” is always great to do since the possibilities are endless. Then, even though I haven’t been doing them as much lately, I also have a lot of affection for “Dimitar Berbatov is…The Continental” and Artur Boruc’s Friday Rage List since they were two of DT’s original bits.

CH: As someone myself who can attest to how hard it can be, what made you want to continue blogging at DT after being let go by Yahoo?

BP: I’ve felt for a while now that DT hasn’t become all I want it to be yet. So that combined with the great response from readers over the years is what makes me believe that to keep going with it is the only option.

CH: Is it easier or harder for Dirty Tackle to differentiate with a more crowded blogosphere/web?

BP: Harder, but that’s a good thing. As I said before, there’s a lot more voices getting major exposure in a similar space now than six years ago, so being unique and doing things in ways that others aren’t is more important than ever. It’s a motivator.

CH: Where can people find the new DT? And any final comments for readers?

BP: We’re still at our original URL — DirtyTackle.net! And I’d just like to say, again, thank you all so much for the support and help in spreading the word about DT, especially in this period of change. I’m certain that this will prove to be for the best and we’ll share a lot more laughs and waste a lot more time that could otherwise be devoted to being productive members of society (which is a hugely overrated endeavor). Also, the corn menace is still out there. Together we can defeat it once and for all. Oh, and: Happy birthday.

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