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My farewell from At The Hive and Rufus on Fire

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Ben says goodbye as he will be leaving the site to begin a new career pursuit.

In February of 2011, our site's founder David Arnott passed Rufus on Fire into my hands. I was something of a confused loner in college with few friends and an unbending obsession with watching basketball into the wee hours of the night. Having recently discovered an interest in journalism and writing outside of school assignments, I started contributing to Bobcats Baseline and the Bobcats' team blog in the fall before catching David's eye as a prospective editor for Rufus on Fire.

Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity he presented. And now it has come time for me to take another new and exciting adventure.

After over three years of running Rufus on Fire and At The Hive, the time has come for me to take the next step in my career. As of this week, I will start a new job as the associate editor for the Denver Broncos' website, a position I'm extremely excited to begin.

In my time here I hope I brought Bobcats/Hornets fans a diverse array of entertaining articles ranging from serious analysis to the more playful pieces of humor. I had grown up an obsessed fan who then studied journalism, and I wanted to bring the two together here with timely news, regular game coverage, analysis and a hint of humor to bring it on home. I wanted to engage those who were already fans and try to endear the Bobcats to others vaguely interested in the team or the NBA in general.

When I started, I quickly realized I couldn't manage the workload by myself in school, though it didn't stop me from trying, which resulted in occasionally falling asleep during class and sometimes writing during lectures. I decided to ask Connor Huchton and Joshua Priemski if they wanted to help as I knew they were avid hoops fans and though I knew they weren't Bobcats fans, I thought outside opinions could be an important addition. In the years that followed, I reached out to other up-and-coming writers, some of whom were Bobcats fans and some who weren't. Connor, now at college, has added to his impressive writing resume with articles for Vice and The Classical. Seerat Sohi has gone on to write for ESPN's TrueHoop site. I'm proud of the work they've done and I couldn't be happier that they were a part of our site.

Managing Rufus on Fire, now At The Hive, for over three years was a huge source of satisfaction for me and covering one of my passions was a source of comfort in tough times, especially when my father (a Bobcats/Hornets fan, himself) nearly passed away after necessary yet devastating open-heart surgery in 2012.

And so it's with a soaring and heavy heart that I leave At The Hive this week, hitting the road Monday in my 1988 Volvo station wagon to cross the country to begin the next and largest step in my life working with the Denver Broncos.

I loved Rufus on Fire long before I managed it, and, like David before me, I want to leave our site in good hands. For the time being, Joshua will be the interim managing editor, taking a test trial at the position before a decision is made. He has an absolutely terrific knowledge of the game and is a great writer. I'm fully confident in him and I think he'd be terrific leading At The Hive.

The future of the Hornets is much brighter now as I depart than where it was for the Bobcats when I began here. I'll of course still be watching games when I can and keeping up with the team's performance here.

Thanks

This goodbye would not be complete without thanking the people that were so important to me on this path.

On the Bobcats side, this goes out to David Arnott, the Bobcats Baseline crew and Matt Rochinski at the Hornets for all helping me reach these heights, and Gerald Wallace for all the inspiration. And thanks out to all the other Bobcats/Hornets blogs out there. There aren't many of us and it's always good to read other viewpoints.

On the general NBA side, thanks go out to Mike Prada, Seth Pollack, Ricky O'Donnell, Tom Ziller (all of SB Nation), Dan Devine of Yahoo! Sports, Sean Highkin formerly of USA Today and Sports on Earth, Jacob Greenberg of The Diss, and tons more folks. There's too many to name.

Shouts out to all the friends who helped me write about the Bobcats in three of their worst seasons -- David, Josh, Connor, Seerat, Chris, Jameson, Derek, Tucker, Brandon, Evan, Dakota, Clay, and I can't forget my rap cohort Dac.

I'd like to express a great deal of gratitude for UNC's journalism school and the great professors: Tim Crothers, Andy Bechtel, Winston Cavin, Bill Cloud, Paul Cuadros, Paul O'Connor and Dean Smith (not the coach).

And thanks to my family and friends in real life who put up with hastily canceled plans and nights cut short all for this pursuit.

And last but certainly not lease, a deep and heartfelt thank you to, well, you for reading my words. The Bobcats community was a tiny insular one and has since grown significantly with the return of the Hornets. A few of the long-time souls are still here (looking at you Newsinz) and your devotion has not gone unappreciated. I hope the Hornets future holds a lot of success, because we've been through a lot of crappy years, though that's given us a good sense of humor for which we should be thankful.

Thanks again, and go Hornets.