If you've followed me for a while, whether it's on social media, through my podcast or through my writing, I'm not often one to pull back the curtain on my personal life. I'm more than comfortable doing so when it feels appropriate but, I also enjoy celebrating things with those actually present in my life more than through a screen.
With that said, you're probably wondering why you're here. Well, buckle up. This story is one of those moments where I want to get some things off my chest.
Tomorrow marks one year since my wonderful manager Samantha and Meta (then known as Facebook) approached me about partnering up and helping me launch Right Down Euclid. It all started with a simple pitch – I wanted to improve the quality of news and reporting about Cleveland and show that it's not really a mistake by the lake. My main wheelhouse was always basketball but I wanted to expand it and show people how much I love this city, and the community surrounding it, and also do right by everyone.
Fast forward to now, and I feel like we're getting closer to that goal through a lens that I personally want to share stories through. At the end of the day, Cleveland will always be a sports town – for better or for worse. The professional teams that represent this city are ingrained into the culture and, of course, you can get coverage on that anywhere. But, at Right Down Euclid, I wanted to attack topics from different angles that spark fresh conversations compared to the boilerplate and sometimes PR-driven coverage provided by some other major local outlets.
Being able to cover NBA All-Star 2022 has been by and far one of the highlights of my journalistic career. But, being able to do it from the city I love and call home was the best part.
That goal is what made me want to take the leap. Sure, it was scary going from being backed by a major publication like Forbes. But, going fully independent allowed me to find my voice and, again, share things through the lens I want. On my own, I was able to continue my coverage of the Cavaliers (a huge thank you to everyone on their communications team for supporting me every step of the way!) as well as the Charge, their G League affiliate (shoutout to Sean and Joanna for giving me unrivaled access!). Not only that but, I was also able to cover NBA All-Star 2022 in Cleveland and not only share locally why the Cavaliers are going to soon be a force in the Eastern Conference but also to the world why Cleveland truly is a gem and not "the mistake by the lake".
If it wasn't for my existing audience, along with the overwhelming support and resources provided by Meta, my colleagues as well my friends and loved ones, the coverage Right Down Euclid provided this Cavaliers season likely wouldn't have been possible. But, with a new opportunity comes new opportunities as well. I'm now dipping my toes into covering the Guardians as well as the Browns. I'm sure many of you have started to notice my weekly Guardians takeaways, and, thankfully, there are some cool projects coming soon with a few faces you may recognize. More things will be coming with the Browns as well so stay tuned for that as well!
All these new opportunities with Right Down Euclid have also led me to some amazing, unforeseen connections as well. Before undergoing this project, I would have never known the Cleveland rugby community, along with the Cleveland Crusaders Rugby Club, would have ever existed. The same goes for Major League Quidditch or the fact that Cleveland has a professional team called the Cleveland Riff (more coming on that this summer!).
While it may expand one day, for now, Right Down Euclid is a one-man and one-cat operation. Finnegan is the best unpaid intern I could've asked for and who I sometimes bounce my story ideas off first.
Again, uncovering hidden gems and further connecting through the greater Cleveland community has and always will be my primary focus when it comes to my coverage with Right Down Euclid. That's all well and good, but, none of it would be possible without your continued support.
When things first launched last summer, I shared that finding my self-worth from dealing with a horrible culture, a loathsome Donald Trump worshipping superior and a general distaste for engineering showed me to never put a price on my happiness. But, the audience that's grown alongside Right Down Euclid is what motivates me each and every day.
Sure, this publication is a one-man operation (it's one-cat as well if you count Finnegan) and there could be a chance that one day it expands and more people are brought on board. But, even if that day never comes I'll never consider what I produce for Right Down Euclid actual work. Because of the continued support from my subscribers, readers, colleagues, friends, family and loved ones I'm truly the happiest I've ever been in my career. You all make Right Down Euclid possible and I cannot thank you enough for that.
It'll be one year tomorrow since the idea behind Right Down Euclid started to grow legs and become what it is today. Frankly, it's hard to believe it's only been a year. In that stretch, it's been nothing short of a beautiful, surreal whirlwind that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. I've gotten to experience so much already and there's plenty more in the works. As more and more people learn that Right Down Euclid truly is going to change the way that Cleveland sports, news, entertainment, and culture are covered forever, I just wanted to reflect and, again, thank you all for being part of this journey. The best is yet to come.
Evan Dammarell is a sports journalist covering all things Cleveland right off the shores of Lake Erie. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Did you enjoy this edition of Right Down Euclid? You can get it in your inbox two to three times a week by subscribing here. All it takes is either your Facebook account or email address!