What was once PhillyFrontOffice is now ThePaintedLines. In this past year, we’ve built something special, and our contributors wanted to share some thoughts on where we’ve been and where we’re headed. Enjoy!

Eric Marturano

This past year writing and podcasting for PhillyFrontOffice has been incredible for me. It’s allowed me to continue to find my writing voice, mostly while chronicling the nonsense activities happening in the stands at Sixers home games. It’s also given me and my friends Bryan & Mike a wonderful platform for our podcast, Two Paisani & a Pizza. What’s meant the most though has been the people – what started as Twitter pals who were also obsessed with whatever the hell was going on with Bryan Colangelo last summer has turned into a real community of passionate, independent contributors. It’s crazy to think there are other maniacs like me out there, but here we are, firing off fun and insightful takes on Twitter and contributing to a growing website. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What’s Next:
Besides a 2019-2020 Sixers title, I’m excited for The Painted Lines rebrand. As contributors have joined PhillyFrontOffice, so many voices, interests, and styles took us wayyyy beyond just Philly sports pretty fast. While our shared Philly fandom is what unites many of us, what’s been fascinating for me has been our differences. The Painted Lines allows for the addition of broader conversations that I’m looking forward to having, both with my fellow contributors and with our readers/listeners (for me specifically, this will likely be about the concept of fandom itself…stay tuned).

Chris Deibler

Joining and contributing to PhillyFrontOffice has given me an outlet for my own personal and admittedly irrational love for sports and culture. It’s given me a way to connect with some old and new friends via podcasting on our Suit Up (Superheroes, Film), A Pod Has No Name (Game of Thrones), Blue Route (Blue Coats, NBA Draft, Summer League) and Burner Live (Sixers) podcasts. Most importantly, there is nothing better than sharing those special experiences with our favorite teams (through the good and the bad, but yeah mostly the bad).

What’s Next:
What I’m looking forward to the most in the next year is continuing to expand The Painted Lines brand as far as possible. It is absolutely crazy to think that my first post for Philly Front Office on the Sixers Summer League was not even one year ago. It’s mind-numbing how far this has come, and just like the Great Sam Hinkie said, it’s important that we keep our eyes big and our minds on the big picture. Our passion will dictate just how far The Painted Lines can climb. You don’t get to the moon by climbing a tree. Let’s continue to build that orchard, baby.

Jack Connell

Not many of you know me because I am relatively new. I have only been a part of the family for a bit over a week but it has been one of the best weeks in recent memory. I’ve felt so welcome by the team, and I’ve helped give some input on pieces. I can’t wait to put out some stuff of my own and really fully become a member of The Painted Lines family. The future looks really bright, and hopefully I will be here for a while.

What’s Next:
I’m really excited to help with what I feel is my passion, and that is the 76ers offseason. I am excited to help share information about draft prospects and upcoming free agents and what will work for us. Hopefully I can start to join some of the team’s podcasts and help produce some media on those platforms. Overall, I want to help make a name for myself that you all will come to know, and I feel the staff here is the best there is to help me succeed with that.

Dave Pfendt

I’m not one of the #SixersTwitter contributors, but PFO never made me feel I had to be. I am allowed to “Nerd-Out” over things I’m passionate about, just like the other contributors; I think that’s why the content we deliver is more engaging than similar Philly websites. For instance, collaborating with Tom S. on Surviving an MCU Marathon brought together humor and data analysis. PFO didn’t force us into a box; this allowed us to prioritize the content in our story. This freedom has been great!

What’s Next:
I’m really excited for three big events that Culture at The Painted Lines will cover: Wizard World Comic Convention in Philadelphia, Hamilton in Philadelphia, and Star Wars IX. I’m also excited to continue hosting pods, writing the Commuter Watch Party, and complaining about the Game of Thrones finale!

Wayne Terry

It’s hard to articulate what contributing has meant to me here. Perhaps it’s because I don’t do much writing because I’m the photographer for our team, but it also could be because it has meant so much to me. I’m trying to not get emotional while writing this. Editor Bryant Baker, my friend from high school, approached me about an opportunity to do what I’ve always wanted to do, photograph professional sports. Since then, I’ve shot over 20 Blue Coats games, 3 NBA games, multiple MLB games, and other Philly based sports events. It has literally been a dream come true. I remember my first time sitting on the floor on the baseline in the Wells Fargo Center, with a credential around my neck with my name on it, and just pinching myself. Awesome feeling, and it’s been a whirlwind since then! I love PFO/TPL, and I am continually thankful everyday to be a part of such a great group of people building this awesome platform. There is no limit to where we can go.

What’s Next:
I am excited to keep growing as a photographer, and to write a little more. Maybe even start a podcast or ongoing column. I cannot wait to see what we will have achieved at this point next year. We are a true team, and together we will be a new shining light in all the entertainment world. I can’t wait to be a part of it!

Adam Schorr

I’ve been writing for years on various websites, but I’ve never stuck at one other than my own for longer than about six months. When I started writing here, I expected the same – start writing, flame out, disappear, pop back up somewhere else. But something strange happened – when I inevitably burnt out, they waited patiently for me to get my groove back. This site has given me the freedom to write what I want, when I want, but also to not write if I have nothing interesting to say. It’s a good place to call home, RIGHT HERE BETWEEN THE PAINTED LINES!

What’s Next:
The NBA Draft is my writing Super Bowl. I’m in the process of pumping out 3+ articles a week and will continue through the draft. After that, who knows where my writing whims will take me. I’m excited to see how the site will grow and change more than anything else. It’s been a fun ride so far, let’s see where the next turn takes us, eh?

Matt Schorr

Contributing here has been secondary to the community that has developed. Admittedly, my day job has afforded me less time to write than I would have liked. However, I still enjoy getting in articles when I can, and I am incredibly appreciative for the patience and the platform I’ve been provided for the last year. There has been no extra pressure placed on me, and there has been no limit placed on my creativity. I may only write 10-15 stories per year, but I have a great time when I do.

What’s Next:
I am excited to continue writing about what I love most, Philadelphia sports. I am excited to see the transformation to The Painted Lines and am excited to see just how big it can grow. The leadership team is fantastic, and the sky’s the limit with their passion and attention to detail. Gaining media credentials with less than a year under their belt was incredibly impressive, and I am excited to see the growth in the coming months and years. Personally, I will be focusing on the mind of Philadelphia sports fans, wrestling, and some statistical pieces for every major team in Philadelphia.

Dan Morgan

I still remember the fear. Sitting at a new job, having spent the summer deprived of motivation, and wondering what was I truly doing besides waking up, going to work, and going home. I had previously written for a Sixers blog that didn’t even make it through an entire season. I stumbled into that opportunity and never really knew if my work there made it anywhere or got much feedback on how I was doing. With no real resume to my name, when I saw PFO was looking for contributors, my first reaction was no different than usual: fear. Fear that I wasn’t qualified, that I wasn’t skilled enough, and the looming fear of rejection that I’ve faced time and time again throughout life.

I plead my case to Brian and Jason and was fortunately brought on. They could not have been more motivating and empowering, giving me full reign to “write what I love,” which has mostly been about the Sixers, beer, and music. I have since recorded, hosted, and produced 24 episodes of a podcast called Process Potables (cheap plug) and written many of the best articles of my writing career. PFO has not just been a platform, nor has it just been a community where I’ve made some friends, it has been proof to myself (and hopefully maybe can be for others) that you need to overcome fear, take chances, and work to do the things that make you happy and that you truly love. That is what I’ve been doing here, and I look forward to continuing to do so.

What’s Next:
I truly hope that I can not only continue to grow my podcast, but would love to get more involved in producing and editing other podcasts, as well as being featured or making guest appearances on them. Process Potables has started doing on location episodes at breweries, and I’m learning more and more about actually interviewing people and hope to do much more of that and improve at it. I hope that my expertise in recording, editing, and my growth in producing can be applied to many more endeavors. I also look forward to more opportunities on the beat if presented with them. Covering the Blue Coats this past season and getting the opportunity to speak with the players and coaches was incredible, and I think has provided me with a new level of insight into the game of basketball as a whole.

Austin Krell

Once I realized that I wanted to get back into sports media after dabbling in high school, Philly Front Office was the first opportunity I came across. Apprehensive, I stepped up to pursue the opportunity, and it was a great decision. I’ve met wonderful people, had wonderful sports media experiences, and I’ve grown as a writer, podcaster, and professional. PFO has helped me grow to become a better man and content-provider and is part of the foundation for what I envision my future as a professional being.

What’s Next:
The growth of this network is very exciting to think about. As a writer and podcaster, I’m excited about what these next seasons in baseball, football, and basketball bring to this city and to this group. I’m excited to celebrate the wins and get through the losses.

Shane Sullivan

A year ago I DM’ed the PFO twitter account with some articles I wrote here and there in college. I let them know that I was interested in writing for the site. Surprising to me at the time, they said yes. Since then I’ve had my ups and downs with writing. I noticed that I want to write, but I haven’t always felt that I was good at it. The people here at The Painted Lines and the culture they’ve created, though, is an environment that encourages “writing what you love.” With that in mind, I branched out of Philly sports and have written about video games, Game of Thrones, and some of my other nerdy interest. I’ve done podcasting, learned how to edit podcasts, shadowed Jason Blevins on the beat at a Blue Coats game, and learned countless other things that I wouldn’t have been able to without the opportunity the Painted Lines has offered me. Contributing here has definitely meant a lot to me, and I look forward to the next year of growing as a writer, podcaster, and whatever else it is I might get myself into.

What’s Next:
I’m excited to see the website continue to grow, and to personally grow along with it. With some article, YouTube, and podcast ideas brewing from myself and my other fellow contributors, this next year should be even bigger than the last!

Nathan Leed

Contributing for Philly Front Office, and now The Painted Lines, has been amazing for me. I am a huge Philly sports fan and never knew I would have the opportunity to write for my favorite sports team (Flyers) and to be able to learn and read all of the amazing articles for the other teams. I never liked to write and was never involved in anything sports writing related, but I am glad I have been able to join this team of great individuals to begin to improve my sports writing.

What’s Next:
In the coming days, months, and year, I am excited just to get back to writing more Flyers related content and see what everyone else is writing for all other Philly sports. So much has changed and improved in the few months I have been with PFO/TPL, and I know that things will only continue to grow and we will all achieve new goals in the near future!

Harrison Grimm

It feels like forever ago that I DM’ed Brian Jacobs about possibly joining Philly Front Office. Before I knew it, I was contributing for PFO and bonding with a great group of people. PFO provided me a platform to truly write what I love (the motto we all go by). I joined here making it a goal to strictly provide Sixers content, but I quickly found myself gaining a interest in the G-League and the Delaware Blue Coats (thanks to our own Jason Blevins). PFO has provided me with amazing experiences and a great platform to showcase my work. My favorite thing about PFO/TPL is the environment that our writers work in. It’s a great group of people, and everyone can provide something different to the table; they truly encourage self development which leads to success. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, and I’m incredibly thankful for that.

What’s Next:
I’m very excited for this rebrand; I think it’s an excellent direction for us to go in. I look forward to not just growing as a writer — but as a person. It’s been great growing alongside our brand, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for The Painted Lines. The network as a whole has gathered such a great following, and I know that there is an incredibly bright future with all of our talented and hardworking writers in their respected areas.

Bryant Baker

Oh wow. So here’s the thing. I’ve loved sports since I was just a little guy. But I’ve also had a bit of a nerd side. No, not a nerd like Deibler (@mrcrockpot) is; I’m not really into superheroes or video games that much. Rather, I have a love/hate relationship with the English language. I hate that it’s just basically a dumb language with more exceptions than rules. But I love when those rules are actually followed. So about a year ago, just a couple weeks after Sixers Front Office (as we were known then) launched, I messaged Brian Jacobs about some spelling/grammar mistakes I noticed in his first edition of his Sixers Trade Value Rankings article. I was quickly invited on as the editor, and it has been a dream come true. Far better than getting to express my nerdiness and love for sports through editing, however, has been the relationships I’ve built. My fellow partners and each and every one of the contributors here are truly a blessing to me.

What’s Next:
Moving ahead, I think our direction is fantastic. It should allow for far more voices to be heard, for far more passions to be shared, and hopefully even for far more lives to be changed. The Painted Lines can guide us, but as Dave Jackson and Jason Blevins have both said, I’m even more excited to see people “color outside those lines.” There’s something truly special here, and I’m blessed to be a part of it.

Ben Dunst

In a word, PFO has meant exploration to me. That’s exploration of the self, exploration of the other, and exploration of what’s beyond. Joining, contributing, and growing with PFO taught me a lot about myself. Things like finding a voice, filling different roles, figuring out what things I enjoy, and even finding what I don’t enjoy. What PFO has given me is a situation that allows me to figure out what I am, what people expect and like to see, and how to fulfill the needs of the public. The growth as a writer, as a teammate, and as a person has been immeasurable, so thank you, PFO.

What’s Next:
I’m really excited to step into some new behind-the-scenes roles with TPL. I’m excited to do my sports reading on a sleek, sexy new website. Watching our contributors grow continues to be a highlight, and I’m excited to see what new, up-and-coming talent joins us on our journey. I’m excited for the future.

Tom Stinson

I am very appreciative of the opportunity that PFO has provided for me to write what I love and find my voice. I’ve been involved since late last year and really believe in the platform and the community that we have built here. PFO has provided me a space to grow with my writing and be a part of something really special, and for that I am eternally grateful.

What’s Next:
With the launch of the new site, I’m excited to continue to broaden my horizons and write about new teams and topics. It’s been really fun exploring different and unique angles for the site, and I’m excited to expand on that. I have a ton of trust in those in control of the ship and believe that the site will only continue to grow.  

David Jackson

Even though I’m not a Philly fanatic, I am here because my friends are, and I believe 100% in them and their vision. I count helping create this platform as one of my accomplishments that I am most proud of.

What’s Next:
The transition to The Painted Lines opens things up so much more for us now. Philly is an amazing city, and an amazing fan base. But this is more than Philly. There are amazing people with things to say in every city, every town, every borough, every street, everywhere. We want everyone to have their chance to write what they love. I look forward to welcoming them.

Chris Antkowiak

While the size of my impact for the website has not been as large as others, it has been a smorgasbord of topics including video games, Game of Thrones, and Temple Football. The fact that we have not only have the platform but are encouraged to take a stab at the things we are passionate about is truly something special.

What’s Next:
The talent here is unique and going from Philly-specific to a more broad approach is only going to highlight that. The knowledge and passion everyone has here on just about any topic you can think of (NFL Prospects, Superhero Movies, Cooking) makes me feel like I fell backwards into the ground-floor of the next big thing.