Welcome to NFCN Barroom

Welcome to NFCN Barroom

A little over five years ago, I found myself at a career crossroad. The previous 15 years were devoted to using my creative skills in leading other creative men and women in a corporate environment. The people I worked with and the projects we collaborated on made me a very content person. But, it was time to move on. It was a mutual decision, but still, one that wasn’t easy on my family, the people who meant the most to me at that job and me.

I struggled to find what I wanted to do in the final stage of my career. My skills as a writer, producer, director, business leader made all sorts of opportunities available to me. But, at the age of 52, I was wasted. The so-called rat race was too draining. So, for 18 months, I did nothing, except indulge in my love of movies, books and helping to raise a daughter and step-daughter.

Then, I found that I was spending a lot of time expressing my thoughts about football on social media and it became clear that it was time to open up a blog and in 2013 I did. NFCNorthBaroom was born in August of 2014. A few nonprofessional writers joined me over the course of the next several weeks and it was a blast.

In 2015, it became a job. I started to work on how to monetize the site and grow the blog into a full-fledged business.

I did it with the blessing and support of my wife, Donna, who assumed the primary bread-winner role. She didn’t do it because I had made sacrifices for her in the past. She did it because she and I love each other and together we’ve built something very special.

As the 2015 season got underway, the work we produced started to gain attention for NFC North football fans and people with a desire to write about the game. One person, Robert “BJ” Reidell, contacted me to ask if I was expanding my operation. BJ was sportswriting for the Bismarck Tribune and writing features for Bleacher Report. We spoke on the telephone and when I hung up, I got a gut feeling that I had just finished talking to my future business partner.

BJ’s enthusiasm for sportswriting, his zeal for football and his energy was like a double-shot of espresso.

BJ got right to work and helped immeasurably to grow the business by recruiting writers, editing and collaborating on all the things creative people hate to deal with – the administrative junk.

I started to think that maybe, we were really on to something here. The idea of hosting a virtual neighborhood tavern that hosts fans of the Bears, Lions, Packers and Vikings just seemed so right given the passion those fans possess for their teams.

Near the end of the 2015 season I told BJ that it’s time to grow. We needed to take the next step in producing material for fans that would not only earn their devotion, but create a difference from all of the other websites covering the NFC North or any one of the four teams.

So, here we are today. Our new website under a slightly new name, NFCNBarroom.com

Our goal here is to create that neighborhood bar experience. The place where you can have a virtual drink with fellow fans and exchange information on your favorite team. The place where you can get into a passionate debate with fans from your rival teams. The place where you can pick up a recommendation on a cool movie, TV show or cocktail.

We have a long way to go before we get it completely right. But, I am proud of where we are right now. And, so I want to thank BJ, our executive editor: Harry Gandia, who helped design the website and maintains it; Austin Belisle, our editor and lead Vikings writer; Lorin Cox, now with BearsWire, for all of the hard work he spent working on the previous site and our Bears Barroom podcasts.

I’d also like to thank the almost two dozen writers and graphic artist who volunteer their efforts to bring you their unique voices and talent. Their hard work and dedication is inspires me every day. You can see their names in the stories we post, the videos and podcasts you will see and hear.

Finally, I want to thank you. If you’ve read this far, it’s because you have an interest in what we’re doing. I want to ask you to become involved, send us your thoughts, your views on your favorite team and … become a regular. We’ll do our best to serve you like loyal patrons.

NFCNBarroom Now Open from Aldo Gandia on Vimeo.

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Aldo Gandia

Aldo Gandia

Among my career highlights I have produced two films while in high school that received nationwide attention; leaned out of a helicopter over the Gulf of Suez at the age of 20 to shoot movies of oil rigs; won an Emmy award for a sports special and another for a kid's fitness show; and led a team of very talented creative professionals to produce break-through corporate communications.

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