Today, Ed Farnsworth goes back to being a normal human being.
As he revealed today, he is stepping down as The Philly Soccer Page’s managing editor. He will remain part of the PSP team in a lesser role, writing soccer history articles, breaking news and helping out behind the scenes, albeit to a lesser degree.
That means you’ll be seeing some significant changes and transition at PSP, some of which I’ll explain below, but before I do, let me talk a little bit about Ed.
Ed Farnsworth: Kind of superhuman
When we first started kicking around the idea of The Philly Soccer Page during a Casa Soccer League board meeting back in 2009, either Mike Servedio or Adam Cann (I forget which) suggested we contact this guy named Ed Farnsworth. Of the original eight-man team, Ed was the only one I didn’t know.
For the last six years, Ed has put in an effort at PSP so herculean that I spent 2011 to 2014 arguing with him that he should do less work. Eventually, I gave up. Ed is that sort of guy.
PSP readers have seen his incredible output: 3,170 posts since November 2009. (No other PSP contributor has exceeded 1,000.) His daily news roundups have become the most meticulously curated daily American soccer digest available anywhere. His writings on soccer history have garnered wide respect from fellow historians. He routinely produces breaking news pieces for the site, and if you’ve depended on him for your TV soccer listings or transcriptions of Philadelphia Union press conferences, you know just how thorough he is.
What you don’t know is what Ed has done behind the scenes every day at PSP. Let’s just say it’s a lot.
We started PSP with a pretty good idea and a good core group, but the reality was that, had Ed not stepped up to run the site when I moved away from Philadelphia in 2011 and, for a while, wasn’t sure whether I could still write for the site, PSP probably would have faded into obscurity years ago.
Ed has become a unique treasure in the Philadelphia soccer community, and not just because of PSP. Maybe you have met him as a part-time bartender at The 700 pub in Northern Liberties, which is the best place to watch European soccer on weekend mornings not because they serve great food – sorry, there’s no food – but because Ed and the regulars there shaped a really cool environment in which to catch a game. Many of the region’s soccer luminaries, including Union players and coaches and the occasional soccer hall of famer, have made pilgrimages down to The 700 to talk soccer with Ed or just hang out and catch a game. Ed is the biggest soccer fan I know.
I’ve known for a while this would be Ed’s last year. I just didn’t know when he would decide it, and I hoped we’d keep him through the MLS season. It turned out that we’re losing him now.
If you can’t tell, I’m sad to see him go, but I’m also kind of happy that his life has changed to the point where it’s full enough to draw his eyes elsewhere. Life changes when you get married, as Ed did last year. As one PSP contributor told me, he hasn’t seen Ed this happy in the 10 years that he’s known him.
We’ve seen this before at PSP, and we’ll see it again. Eli Pearlman-Storch met his current wife, and it was only a matter of time before we lost him. Jeremy Lane and his wife had a child, so he ratcheted back his involvement. I started moving all over the world, and my son was born, so my level of involvement had to drop. Most of you didn’t know Kyle Mathiot, but he was crucial behind the scenes in fixing what was in 2013 a very broken website. We lost him when he got a job with the Union. So it goes.
It’s an all-volunteer team. Nobody gets paid. Life happens. People move on.
Good people need to replace them.
Transition at PSP
PSP will see significant transition this year. We’re going to change the way we do certain things, and we need to bring in some smart, reliable, new volunteers to help cover the Union. Here is what to expect.
Some content will disappear, at least temporarily.
- TV listings will not be continued.
- Transcribing of press conferences may end too –that will depend on how much time and desire for this task other volunteers have – although we plan to continue to post video here when available.
- Daily news roundups will cease until we find a new volunteer to take on the task. (Note: We do not expect anyone to be as detailed as Ed has been with roundups. Rounding up the top 10-15 soccer stories of the day, with a focus on Philly, will suffice. So if this interests you, let us know.)
On the flip side, we plan to change the ways we recruit new contributors and plan our coverage so that we provide more MLS and Union content.
Over the years, we have been too cautious and slow to offer new volunteers the opportunity to write about the Union and MLS, and we intentionally limited our Union content because we were wary of oversaturating our readers with too much Union at the expense of other soccer news. That’s going to change. We are now looking for volunteers to write specifically about the Union and MLS, including looking for 1-2 people to be groomed to join our rotation of Union beat writers, led by Mike Servedio, who are in the press box during games and in the locker room afterward. Look for more on this next week.
If MLS can move onto v. 3.0, then so can PSP.
Things may be a bit bumpy over the next couple of weeks as we sort our post-Ed existence, but we’ll figure it out. We’ll just need your help to pull it off.