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Year In Review

What Our Families Thought Of Defector In 2022

Family Dinner
Kurt Hutton/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Defector staff asked their family members what they thought of the site this year. Here are their responses.

Lauren's Dad:

Defector continues to impress me with what they have accomplished. I love the wide range of content, and am amazed by the outstanding creative talent behind it. Whether it is Luis ranking the coolness of baseball positions or Lauren calling out the NY Times for their Anti-Trans bias reporting, I always enjoy and learn something.  In 2022, Sabrina and Creaturefector was a great add, Normal Gossip knocked it out of the park, and the World Cup coverage has been second to none. And a shout-out to the commenters’ contribution to the site. I often read something and say to myself “wow, that was good! Why can't I be that clever?”

Barry's Mom:

What I read on Defector is the best, both in quality of writing and what these folks come up with.

I’m a mighty proud mama.

Samer's Dad:

2022 is a year that I care not to remember. Yet, it is another year for Defector that I am very keen to remember, so, congratulations to you for cruising and getting into your third year. I tip my hat to Tom, Barry, Diana, Samer, Billy, Justin, and all the staff members at the helm of your organization. You steered Defector through to this distance safely. Many more years of success.

I care not to remember 2022 due to the events of this year in our politics, culture, and decision making – uncharacteristically depressing and hollow of decency for us as citizens in this great country. Election deniers ran for election in the Midterm and won the vote! A candidate who “tailored” a resume to run and win a Congress seat representing his district in Long Island, NY. He won! Thirty high ranking professionals and politicians who served in the Trump administration and who have (R) after their names took the 5th when questioned by the January 6th Committee or Grand Juries. Some even ignored Congressional subpoenas all together! Politicians audaciously lie to your face, on the Senate floor, on the House floor, and on TV; we call it: “1st Amendment right”! No legal ramifications for lying in the United States! Elon Musk’s twitter accepted publishing lies and misrepresentations on twitter and set rules that metered intentional lies!

Of course, we have had numerous events during this past year that will be listed in the history books, but it is notable 2022, with the help of our traditional media and social media, will be listed as the year of normalizing lying and racism in our culture - no qualms, contrition, repentance, or even any legal ramifications. We showed the rest of the world we can use backdoors to lie, make up things, and demonstrate how it is legal and defensible.

It is commendable that Defector focuses on sports. I read and enjoy Defector’s sports stories, but also, I enjoy articles about culture and politics in Defector whenever they are there. I'd like to see more of that. Also, I'd like Defector to look at and consider another dimension that is traditionally and intentionally kept us in the dark by design – how do we measure up comparatively with the rest of the world? We Americans are victims of our own success story, because we were trained to accept our ignorance of other peoples and cultures as normal. Our media is absorbed with itself and “us”. We wrongly believe that the earth rotates around us alone! I find our ignorance about the rest of the world not justifiable. We keep believing in our superiority so long we don’t compare ourselves to any others! Just a thought.

I see Defector's accomplishments which make me so proud of Samer as a member of your organization. I am - of course- biased, but I am a strong believer in teamwork as well. Any successful enterprise accomplishment is hardly individualistic. There is always a dedicated hard-working team behind any success story. Bravoes to you and your hard-working team.

Tom's Mom:

Welp, now that I’ve retired, I find myself cruising around Defector quite a bit more these days, and even more so since there is no sense in spending time on Twitter dodging the right wing conspiracists! So THRILLED Defector is into its third year!  I marvel at how you have all grown professionally, the site's subject matter has continued to branch out, becoming more and more a site that covers interesting happenings beyond the sports world!   I honestly don't know how you collectively do it, every day, coming up with ideas that are fresh and informative and fun and irreverent.  I’m having a breakdown just putting this together!    I do have my favorite writers, but I love you all equally! (ok, so maybe a little extra love for Tom! ).

So....I had this memory the other day that randomly popped into my head -when you get to be of a certain age, these long-buried inconsequential memories tend to annoyingly pop up.  Wish I could summon them on demand, especially when posed with off the wall, ridiculous questions at trivia night at the local brewery.  Anyway....I promise I can hook this all up.....

So.... this random memory concerned an event that occurred more than 12 years ago. I was attending a parent 'lunch' the day before Tom's college graduation for the purpose of recognizing and celebrating this select group of students who achieved higher academic honors.  It was a fairly large group, nice lunch, and a series of speeches given by a few of the mega achiever students.  They all testified to pretty much the same thing...I've worked really hard these last four years (blah blah blah), I have lofty goals (blah blah blah), I want to thank my parents (zzzzzzz).  Until the final speaker.  In her closing remarks she implored her fellow graduates - "Not for us the dead-end careers our parents have spent doing the last 30 years.  Not for us just tolerating a profession just to ensure a paltry pension at the end.  We aspire to more, we will be better, we will change the world".  The collective eye roll of everyone over 40 in the audience was impressive!  There were some small smiles and you knew this older group was collectively thinking, how naive, how idealistic....just wait for the reality of rent or a mortgage, kids, car payments, college tuition, etc...  Tut Tut.  We will let these idealistic almost-graduates have their moment in the sun before they too land a job that is anything but fulfilling and they too will fall into financial dependency, snuffing out their idealism and lofty goals.  Sad, but mostly reality...

Who knew, a dozen years later, right before my eyes, I'd see this young woman's idealistic proclamation actually take form as Defector was birthed, totally defying the norms of our crappy capitalistic society!  Well done, Defectorites!!  I wonder if the wise youngster above is a subscriber.  :) I hope others are inspired by your success and will be unafraid to take a risk like you all have done!

I have a final thought to offer - I want to salute the Commentariat, the third leg of this crazy stool!  You guys are hilarious.  You help make and keep this place special.  Well Done!

Kelsey's Dad:

I read some compilation of speeches and articles by Kurt Vonnegut where he advised that, when things are going well, to pause and say out loud, “If this isn’t nice, what is?”

Seemed helpful, so I started doing that very thing…at seemingly small times. Might be a cool (for Texas, anyway) night at the ballpark with Kelsey, watching her keep her scorebook as the Rangers played. Or hearing her genuinely laugh out loud anytime. Or when she sent me a photo from C.S. Lewis’ pub table knowing how much I’d appreciate it.

I kept doing it during the big things, too. Graduations. Wedding day. Novel release reception. I’ll spare all of you the further Proud Dad Alert.

And, from where I sit, Defector had a pretty good 2022. Where else could I learn about things like every USMNT guys’ deal, why the NHL needs to get rid of digital board ads, weird Zillow listings to the importance of Steph Curry getting technical fouls, winter birding, and not needing to hear everybody’s opinion on everything to snake clitorisis? The blogs, the trivia nights, the video gaming on Twitch, the live stuff on Amp…and oh, yes. The podcasts. And the live streaming of the live podcasts where you can watch your progeny do what they love and are good at even from 1667.5 miles away (high five, Normal Gossip for two sold out shows!).

So, to me, Defector 2022—and all the fun(ny) stuff they wrote/did--was a reminder that behind all of those things is that there are other families who have people they love doing what they love and are proud of the individuals creating the art. The individuals doing what they’re good at. The individuals making other people happy by being who they’re supposed to be doing what they’re supposed to be doing. And doing it with integrity and talent and creativity and intelligence and all the best things in life…all the while poking the establishment’s balloon. Doing it the way they want to.

And, manalive, if that isn’t nice, what is? Godspeed for 2023, Defector!

Dan's Dad:

Defector gets stronger each year. I do not get anything special for saying this even though I’m a parent of one of the unbelievably skilled writers there. I love the variety of Defector and the extra stuff like podcasts and Remembering some Serial Killers or whatever deck of cards they unwrap. There is often humor amid the salient points and strong editorials. Personal essays that are honest or seem true. In any event, they are compelling or funny. There appears to be little fear in writing what you believe while sticking to journalistic principles. I like how you can read about cool cats—both humans, and those that walk on all fours. And, as usual, there is no site with better commenters. Thanks for giving me something to read in between naps.

Drew's Mom:

Another year of Defector! Wow, and congratulations! I enjoy the site immensely, especially the columns by my boy. And this is a good week to talk Drew, with his 2022 “Hater’s Guide to Williams Sonoma” just out. So funny, honestly. He makes me proud (except for that potty mouth). During the year, I also tuned into Lauren’s articles about view worthy Tik Toks, and her cooking stuff. I even tried the Diablo Tofu (good but way too much work for a veg dish). Some of the baking challenges were fun to read about, real Lucy and Ethel moments. I liked the baseball writeups too (Aaron Judge). I really look forward to Defector editions which feature end drawings by Chris Thompson. His simple representations of birds, flowers, etc. are just wonderful. Bring it on!

I continue to think some of the articles are tooooo long. But that’s just me. Thanks for a great year and keep up the good work!    

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