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My time at BGN is coming to an end

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Six years ago, an 18-year-old boy saw an article posted on Facebook that he just couldn't believe was real.

It was a blog post about how former Eagles general manager Tom Heckert said he would have traded two first round picks for Kevin Kolb. The boy found that quote quite laughable, but his focus shifted beyond the article itself. He became very interested in the new site he had just stumbled upon. He discovered a platform that, unknown to him at the time, would go on to change his life ...

Bleeding Green Nation.

Dearest BGN community, please believe me when I say this is one of the most difficult posts I've ever had to write. And I've published a LOT of posts since first joining this site in 2010, so that's really saying something.

I'm sad to say that my time with you here is coming to an end. It wasn't an easy decision to leave. BGN has been such a huge part of my life over the past six years. I contributed frequently in the comments, FanShots, and FanPosts sections until I was granted an opportunity to write for the front page starting in February of 2013. Then I took over as Manager and Editor-in-chief later that year in September. After three years of running the show, however, I'm moving on to a new opportunity.

The good news is I'm not going too far! I'm excited to announce I'll be covering the Eagles for Birds 24/7 of Philadelphia magazine, which was founded by two legendary Philadelphia writers who now work for ESPN: Sheil Kapadia and Tim McManus. At Birds 24/7, I'll be teaming up with Josh Paunil (@JoshPaunil), who is a great guy and an excellent writer. We hope to provide you with the best Eagles coverage around.

Do note that this won't be my last post. I'll still be running BGN until I officially start with Birds 24/7 on Tuesday, Sept. 6. This is just a heads up.

As for who's taking over in my place ... I'm not sure yet. But you can CLICK HERE to apply for the opening.

I have so many people to thank for where I am today. Probably too many to list, so please don't hold it against me if I accidentally forgot to mention you.

First and foremost, I wouldn't be anywhere without the loving support of my family. Thanks for everything, Mom and Dad.

Thank you to the management here at SB Nation who took a chance on me. Special shoutout to the Thorman brothers: Joel and Chris.

Thank you to the former BGN managers who have been great mentors. JasonB and Jimmy Kempski paved the way for what I was able to accomplish here. Also a big shoutout to former Liberty Ballers manager Michael Levin, who first gave me a chance at LB before I started with BGN.

Thank you to my wonderful staff writers, past and present: Dan Klausner, Dave Mangels, Patrick Wall, James Keane, Mike Kaye, Matt Harkenreader, Ben Natan, Josh Collacchi, Mark Saltveit, Brent Cohen, Adam Hermann, Alexis Chassen, Jonny Page, and Bob Quaintance. Let's not forget our special contributors: Tommy Lawlor, Dr. Pizza (Joe), Liz Roscher, Allen Rodriguez, and ChipWagon.

Thank you to the awesome BGN Radio podcast crew, which includes some writers from above along with main host John Barchard, James Seltzer, and Matt Dering. I'm happy to tell you that I'll still be appearing on BGN Radio as the program is featured on SportsRadio WIP this fall.

Last, but not least, thank YOU. Yes, you, the reader. I'm going to miss you. Your support has been incredible. I've said it a lot over the years, but BGN has grown beyond my wildest imagination. In my first full year on the job, we had 27 million page views. Now we just did 80 million in the past year. The BGN Facebook page grew from 4,000 likes to over 91,000 now. We didn't even have a podcast when I started and now we're on the radio. You've done such an awesome job of making this site what it is ... a great community for Philadelphia Eagles fans. I wish BGN nothing but sustained success in my absence. I'm confident the next manager will do a great job. Once again, if you're interested in taking over BGN (or you know someone who is), please click the link to this application.

Please feel free to visit me over at my new venture. Birds 24/7 has a very active comment section just like BGN does. You can also follow Birds 24/7 on Twitter (@Birds247) and Facebook (Click here). You can follow my personal Twitter account: @BrandonGowton.

Until it's time for me to leave, let's make the most of what time we have left together. Thanks again for everything, BGN.