2020 Recap – State of Hotard Huddle

To close out what has been quite the year, I wanted to do a three part series recapping 2020. The first (which you are reading) will discuss the state of the blog and include my top 10 columns for the year. The second will be a personal column where I will give my thoughts on how this year went for me. Third will be a column talking about the best and worst of 2020 in pop culture and politics.

Starting with my creation of Hotard Huddle. To say I am proud of what this is and has become would be an understatement. I put plenty of time and energy into my writing and content. A: I enjoy the hell out of it. B: I like continuing to push my own creativity.

For those who have been with me the four years I have been doing this, I appreciate you more than you will ever know. To those who jumped in the Huddle along the way, I appreciate you more than you know. Some of you I have known my entire life. Some of you I have never met in person. No matter who you are, how we met and how long we have known each other, I appreciate your support for the blog every day that ends in y and twice on Sunday.

To the mouth breathers and troglodytes (the one’s who only show up to shit on me), keep showing up and I’ll keep destroying you. To quote one of my favorite wrestlers (Maxwell Jacob Friedman), I’m better than you…and you know it.

I plan to do a Q and A podcast for the 4th so stay tuned. One of the questions asked was whether I enjoy being a hero or a heel more. That is a great question which you can listen to on the Hotard Huddle Podcast, new episodes twice per month on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Anchor and more.

The reason I bring it up is because one of my closest friends said something to me earlier this year that stuck with me. I wrote a column in January that I re-shared with him midway through the year saying what the fuck was I thinking with that? He had told me prior to the pandemic, I had gone soft with my blog. Part of my shtick and part of me being me is unapologetically talking trash and smiling while I do it. I write from the heart, but the unfiltered part is what makes it me. I thought long and hard about that knowing he was right. I am glad he told me because I always appreciate genuine and honest critique of my work.

This year I became more open politically with my writing given the pandemic, Black Lives Matter and my disdain for Donald Trump. It caused me to lose some followers. Quite frankly, fuck em because I don’t care. I had a friend tell me regarding a column that he felt I was leaning more toward one side versus trying to call it from both sides (like I had done in the past). I just told him if one side is more wrong than the other side, I don’t care. Fuck em. I am not going out of my way to ensure one side doesn’t get their panties in a wad. Again, fuck em.

So 2020 was a bit of reinvention year for me as far as Hotard Huddle goes. I have always considered my blog similar to a personal diary. Except my diary is open for anyone to read. Often times, that leads to people taking shots. It’s happened on more than one occasion. It usually ends the same way. Some mouth breather attempts to take a deep dig (or at least in their mind), I call them a troglodyte, mouth breather or some other common insult you read in my blogs and the floodgates open. They get hot and bothered. The second I get someone to insinuate they want to kick my ass, game over. I won. Usually when this happens, I share it to my blog highlighting the dumbasses of the internet and it leads to more traffic for me. So thanks for the free hits as well as your anger there ya dunce. I am here for that shit.

As far as Hotard Huddle is concerned, 2020 was a healthy year for the blog. I published over 200 posts including podcasts. I cracked 20,000+ hits for the first time, which is roughly 1600-1700 views per month. It was the first full calendar year where I cracked 1,000+ views every single month. I created a podcast format that is working wonderfully. I have recorded 35 total episodes so far with some amazing people, averaging roughly 40-50 plays per episode. I even landed comedian Steve Hofstetter for my last episode, which I fanboyed over. Lastly, I have three great sponsors with 985 Products, Cluey Consumer and Cheers for Ears. Then one of my best friends has produced all of the music for my blog. Check out my boy Tangent Infinity.

To my sponsors and to all the people who have done me the pleasure of being a guest on my podcast, thank you very much. 2020 sucked in a lot of ways. It certainly didn’t suck for Hotard Huddle.

With that being said, here are the top 10 most viewed columns of 2020…

10. Black Lives Matter, period. Stop Letting Others Hijack the Narrative.

This is pretty straightforward. I discuss my thoughts on Black Lives Matter and how the narrative was hijacked in 2016. I highlight why the message in important and why the conversation needs to keep moving.

9. Why New Orleans Sucks

This honestly cracks me up because it isn’t even a well written column. I wrote it in 2017. If you google Why New Orleans Sucks (apparently people do), it is in the top 4 in search results.

8. The Job of a Journalist and the Irony of Facebook as a News Source

Misinformation and disinformation rules the scroll of social media. The people who beat the drum about the media tend to be the ones who share the most dumb and false shit.

7. 15 Best Promos in Wrestling History

This is one of my favorite columns because I fucking love wrestling. I am surprised at how well this performed given wrestling columns don’t do well for me typically. Pretty straightforward shit here. “IT’S ABOUT THE 14 YEARS IT TOOK ME TO GO FROM UNDESIRABLE TO UN-GODDAMN-DENIABLE!”

6. Bye Bye Louisiana – It’s Gonna Be Peachy Baby

I did something I have wanted to do for a long time, move from my hometown and home state of Destrehan, Louisiana. This was my farewell bid as I headed for Atlanta, Georgia.

5. March Madness 2020 Ultimate Pop Culture – TV Shows Bracket Selections

Straightforward on what this is. Pure awesomeness.

4. America and namely Louisiana – The Arrogance and Ignorance is Coming Tenfold with Covid19

This was the first of many Covid posts in 2020.

3. NFL Draft: I Said Chase Young Would Be a Bust and Placed a Bet On It

I made a bet that Chase Young would be a bust. I said he would be irrelevant to spot rusher at best. I placed a bet with one of my best friends on this. So far, he’s been solid. But, not what everyone expected. I wrote a follow up in which Washington fans got hold of it before I shit on them. Good times.

2. Get It Right. Stop Trying to Get It First. Everyone on that Helicopter Deserved Better. (Vulgarity Alert)

I hated the coverage for the infamous helicopter crash in which Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna died in. That was a sad day for so many people including myself. That was one of the hardest celebrity death to process for me. Watching the emotional testimonies of people talking about not only Kobe the basketball player, but Kobe the dad just struck a ball of emotion. The way the mainstream rushed to get this story is so unbelievably fucked up. RIP Mamba

1. Buddy Meter Quizzes – How Well Do The Folks Know the Man Behind the Huddle?

The best part of cheap gimmicks is they sometimes land well. The Buddy Meter quizzes back in March did just that. It was my most viewed column of the year. People have to guess what answers you chose. It was stupid and fun. In a time of uncertainty, stupid and fun was the best medicine.

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