So our tech guys moved faster on this then I thought they would. (They're great like that.) Apologies I didn't announce this in advance as I had planned.
You might have noticed that all of the articles that used to be bylined "cocknfire" on this website are now bylined "Brandon Larrabee." Yeah, it's the same person. My name is Brandon Larrabee.
I decided to make the change after a lot of thought. And I have a variety of personal and professional reasons for doing so. I loved going by "cocknfire," and I will certainly still answer to that or the variations that people have come up with over the years, be it C'n'F or C&F or whatever. And the name is in safe keeping.
A little background: When I started blogging back at a blogspot site that was called Cock & Fire -- because that's what Spurrier was calling his then only half-competent South Carolina offense -- I got called out by my then-boss for blogging on the clock. So after honestly assuring him that I wouldn't do it again, I also decided to trim my last name from the site -- not so he couldn't track me, per se, because that would have been pointless by then and I wasn't blogging on the clock, but more for the general purposes of being anonymous and buffering myself from any fallout of anything stupid I said on the blog.
So when I moved over to start Garnet And Black Attack at SBN in 2007, the logical move was to go by the nom de plume cocknfire. Nom de plumes were still sort of the the "in" thing in the blogging community at the time, and it kept my relative anonymity.
Why the change now?
There are a few reasons, as I said. But part of it is that you guys come on this site every day and read and comment on my posts, and you have no real idea who I am. And maybe that's fair and the way it goes on the Internet, but it's still asking you to put a lot of trust in someone you've never met and don't know the name of, and I've come to the conclusion that it's a lot to ask. Also, from a practical perspective, anyone who wanted to could find out my name with a little digging, so it's not serving as that high a barrier.
I also want to be very, very clear that this is not an implicit criticism of Year2 (who's actually been pretty open about his "real" name for some time now) or anybody who uses a pen name or remains anonymous. That's their choice, and this is mine.
Very little, if anything, will change content-wise with the new name. I might be a bit more circumspect with some of the political humor I do from time to time, simply because there are folks on both sides of the aisle who might have an interest in trying to mistakenly tie me to one side or the other. But when it comes to my opinions on the issues of the day in the SEC and around its teams, they're going to be just as honest an up-front as they've always been. (None of that should reflect on my employer, by the way, whose name I'm not going to mention here but whom you can probably find out with relative ease.)
I was planning on doing a post a little bit more about who I am, but this moved kind of quickly and I've largely already done that once, so here is part of it again:
I was born and mostly raised in Huntsville, Ala. At 16, I moved to Boiling Springs, S.C. -- a suburb of Spartanburg -- and from there went to the University of South Carolina, graduating in 2002. So my college career coincided with the Brad Scott 1-10 debacle,
the 0-11 season I've purged from my memories, and the glorious second and third Holtz years.
I am a Christian, but I'm not going to beat you upside the head with a Bible here -- this is, after all, a sports blog. Denominations don't, for the most part, matter too much to me, and I disagree with mine often enough so that revealing it would give you all sorts of misconceptions about who I am.
In the summer of 2006, I decided that I liked EDSBS, SMQ, and a few other blogs so much that I should try my own hand at it. I'm not nearly as good as either of those guys, but I like to think I'll get their some day. I found few viable, continually operating Gamecock-centric blogs -- never saw Left Over Hot Dog until after I started blogging -- so why not?
Last summer, Peter at BON asked me to join SB Nation. After a few question, I accepted, and I've been here ever since. Great network, great blogs, great people.
As far as sports go, there are two greats -- MLB (my first love) and college football. The NFL and college baseball are okay [Editor's Note from 2013: The latter part of that has obviously changed some], and non-tourney college basketball will do in a pinch. (I do like the tournament.) So when I'm not banging my head on the table because of the Gamecocks' ability to self-destruct, I'm usually banging my head on the table because of the Cubs' ability to self-destruct.
Thanks, and I hope you'll continue listening. regardless of the name attached.