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About this blog

A blog to discuss site issues and ideas as well as some occasional rambling, reflecting and repeating old USF stories.

Entries in this blog

Brad

If you look across the top of the site (desktop mode) in the main title bar, you'll see tabs for "Browse", "Activity", "New & Info" and so through "More".  Some of these have sub-menus with other content or links.  Under "Members" is "Leaderboard" and "Member Map".   For mobile version, click on the three bars in upper right corner to see the menus.

Leaderboard lists the "top rated members" by content for the day, week month or custom period.  If you look at last week, I Bleed Awesomeness took the award for most voted up content for week ending June 18-25.

I Bleed Awesomeness thread was the much enjoyed My son already making me proud, even before he's born. featuring the ultrasound of his boy putting up the horns while resting comfortably.

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When members read content and rate with the up or down arrows:

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It becomes feedback for the content poster and feeds into the totals that outline popular threads and popular contributors.

The Leaderboard awards gold, silver and bronze awards for rated content.  It's something fun to look at.  

For the last month, NewEnglandBull has been ahead of the pack a seen below:

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Furthermore, under the "Past Leaders" tab you can see the daily winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze trophy each day, dating back some 300 pages worth!

Anyway, I encourage your involvement in the community to not only rate others contributions to the board, but look to build your own ratings.  There will be some upcoming changes to the rating system, but it will also be more tied in to a merit system that provides some perks to those that are providing highly rated content.  

Take a look around the Leaderboard and share your thoughts.

 

Brad

This screen grab of the site about 15 years ago has some memorable meaning for me.  It was around 2002 and the site was beginning to take off a little.  A fan from another site of one of the early pay sites decided to insult the old SouthFloridaBulls.com site - the original host of "TheBullsPen".  So being a smart ass, I went ahead and gave the guy his own front page story.  We were going to seek venture capital to update the site to proper 2002 standards.

The other memorable part was directly related to the desire to form "The 12th Man Club" - the precursor to the Bull Backers Club.  Not too long after advertising a 12th Man Club, I received a cease and desist order from Texas A&M that I still have lying around somewhere.  We talked about renaming to the "12th Bull Club" but ultimately settled on the Bull Backers in order to support the program.. without jail time.  :6_smile:

 

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Click to enlarge

Brad

Was it really three years ago?  Out of boredom, I decided to be politically incorrect and attempt to get the attention of our board members by displaying pictures of scantily clad bikini babes.  My devious plan was to grab their attention and then test their NCAA logo knowledge.  

The fun lasted from June 2 - August 29, featuring 14 different attention grabbing logo discussions.  The eye-straining effort concluded just two days before the season kicked off with an embarrassing 53-21 beat down by McNeese State.  McNeese State just happened to be in the series a couple weeks before:

Three years later, it's time to revisit this Summer Fun theme.  Instead of on the main board, we'll tuck the potentially offense images (babes and logos) into the blog here. 

But beware ... the Stony Brook Seawolves come to town September 2.  

Brad

Looking through the archives of pictures taken, scanned or saved from the internet, I came across at least three right away that are worth re-visiting.  First we'll start with a very long tenured coach, Ken Eriksen, flashing back to his days on the USF Baseball team:

 

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Per GoUSFBulls.com: In four seasons (1981-84) as a player on the USF baseball team, and while playing five positions, his career batting average topped .315 and he had an ERA of 2.48 on the mound. In 1982, he was named to the NCAA All-Region Tournament Team on a team that just came short of reaching the College World Series. 

In 1995, Jim Leavitt joined USF to head up its newly approved football team.  Leavitt retains the highest winning percentage of all USF coaches and sits atop the the career wins list.  Oft-maligned for his combination of Pepsi-fueled excitement and passionate competitive nature, Coach Leavitt occasionally found other outlets for his love for USF, including this game against UAB - in basketball:  

 

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GoUSFBulls.com still has some pictures of Leavitt painted up for that game in December, 2007, you can see them here .  Here's a sample:

 

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Lastly, from the Winter 2001 edition of the USF Magazine (I just happened to have it on hand because our long forgotten original site, SouthFloridaBulls.com, published ads in it) a picture of the highly successful Jose Fernandez in his "rookie" year at the helm of USF Womens' Basketball.  Jose has reached meteoric success compared to other USF Sports and did that as WBB was about to crater at USF.

 

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I know I have some great Seth Greenberg images stored somewhere (none when he had hair).  If I find them I'll add them.  I hope you enjoy these slightly rare images of Bulls coaches.  

Brad

I'm not sure Coach Jim Leavitt knew exactly what he had when Matt Grothe arrived on campus.  But one thing he got right, was Matt's confidence.  It carried him.  Take a quick listen to Jim Leavitt discuss Matt Grothe as recorded at Bulls Media Day by board member Gene Haines.

 

Brad

Thought some would enjoy this, especially in theses times of wishing the local reporters cared a little more.  This is quite a committment by the now defunct Tampa Tribune, but could you imagine the excitement to see this today with the Tampa Bay Times?

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At least two on that billboard were active on TBP back then.  Either way, it was a nice billboard and an embrace of the program by the local paper.

Any chance will ever see the Bulls embraced like this from the remaining paper?

Brad

It's been a long time since the word Heisman and Bull was mentioned in the same conversation.  In 2017, Quinton Flowers has been referred to as a candidate for the honor, even if just a "dark horse".  The first ever chatter around a USF Bulls player breaking into that club was with RB Andre Hall.  Hall was an offensive MVP and 9th in the nation in yards per game as a junior.  He was hyped as a potential All-American and yes an outside shot at the H trophy.  USF never took that leap, but many South Florida fans did.  Below is a limited edition, unofficial and unlicensed, bumper sticker that was distributed to help hype Andre Hall in his senior year:

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ESPN felt a little of the Hall excitement as the Bulls made a historic move to the Big East:

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Hall did not get Heisman consideration, but he went down in history as one of 10 Essential Bulls as compiled by Jim Louk in 2014.  What's more, I had a chance to select him in my fantasy football league when he was with the Denver Broncos!

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16,026 ADDS

Brad

A while back when the site was spending some dollars to help rally the USF Bulls community, we put out a radio ad to attract additional members.  Initially, I used the Google radio advertising service that allowed access to dozens of stations across Florida.  I remember UCFers posting on the board they heard an ad for TBP in Orlando and it grinded on them a bit.  Ultimately Google closed down that part of the business.  I later worked with a local Tampa station to run the ads - I think it may have been 1010.  The site, TheBullsPen.com, was well known and spent time on the radio with Mike Pepper and Jim Lighthall.  

Anyway, I paid for a "professional voice" to do the ad.  It turned out okay I guess.  But here it is...I'm guessing it was from around the mid 2000s.

 

 

Brad

I have been working on restoring the latest version of BullsGallery.com.  Not yet finished, but you are welcome to take a look.

BullsGallery.com

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Right now, there are nearly 12,000 images ranging from 1997 to 2014.  There are still many to enter including Bulls @ Penn State and sets from 2015 and 2016.  There are sets taken back in the 1999-2002 era.  Granted the image capabilities are much better now, but it gives you a look at some of the older, early games of the Bulls.

 

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So, not only are is there or there will be coverage over 21 years of Bulls Football, but you'll also find WBB, Soccer and some great moments in MBB.

 

 

 

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Now, even though there are nearly 12,000 loaded, there is still work to do in culling out some pictures and uploading remaining full sets.  I also hope to get the 2015 and 2016 sets here soon.  For 2017, our site photographer will be able to upload an unlimited amount of photos per game.  The navigation also needs a little work, but we'll get there.

If you like a picture or two, please use the built in twitter, Facebook, etc social buttons to share and invite more Bulls fans.  Again, the BullsGallery.com is documenting the history of the Bulls dating back to the 1997 football album vs. Kentucky Wesleyan.  

Brad

Occasionally I look through some of the hard drives and find some old memories.  When you think about this site being around for almost 18 years there has to be good stuff, right?  The board, when it was young, had a lot of great posts lost in the great crashes of 2005- 2007 (I think).  We lost some great stories by @TheSheriff and probably more.  I had a couple hard drives die.  One resuscitated briefly and I retrieved some board images as well as some tax returns.  

I came across remnants of the firs South Florida athletics themed Hall of Fame.  It was run on SouthFloridaBulls.com, the original home of TheBullsPen.com.  Of course, since SFB was a Fans' site, it had to include fans.  Below is the inaugural Hall of Fame class, appropriately inscribed and your typical 1970's plaque:

 

SouthFloridaBullsHallofFame.jpg

 

I think we had one more class follow the 2002 class, but I haven't found the sweet engraved plaque.  Candidates were voted on by members.  Attached below, you'll find a word document that led to the page members could vote for the Hall of Fame inductees.  I'm not even sure if this was final, but have a read and you can see who the community voted in 15 years ago.

Here are the official nominees:  SouthFloridaBulls.doc

 

Brad

New Members To-Do List

I've noticed quite a few members that have joined recently (and some members that have been so for longer periods) have not personalized their profile picture.  Using the default profile image is okay:

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Those are some nice horns, but take a little time and you can break from the herd with your own image. 

If you look in the upper right corner you'll see your screen name.  Click on the arrow next to it and select Profile, under Content.

On your profile page, you'll see an icon to change your profile avatar.  I have included a look at mine below:

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The highlighted picture icon is how I added that BRAHMANS logo patch as my avatar.  There are multiple choices to add your own avatar, including the two most popular, adding via a URL (image already hosted on the internet) or uploading from your computer.  Both work just fine.

Try updating your profile picture and give yourself an image others will come to recognize you by.  If you have any questions or need any help whatsoever, please reply to this blog entry.

Brad

Around the site...

I know a lot of people bookmark the Main Page and reach it directly, often on mobile, but there is more that the site has to offer to our USF Bulls online community. 

Of course the message boards are heating up with talk of the new season, but there are other pages and links I think you'd enjoy, including:
 
Gallery set up for season
Media Guides, wallpapers and other digital downloads
Consolidated video collection of past games
Twitter feeds from top beat reporters
New RSS board gathering USF Bulls news across the net

Not to mention the chat room, holding up to 250, will be ready to roll at kickoff.
 
We have a small group including JimUSFSig and JoshuaG that will be providing content updates as the season starts.
 
We also have the Prediction Contest thread posted for the Bulls vs. Towson.  For the winner?  A $40 dollar decorated USF Bulls artisan pilsner glass.
 
Off site, we have fantasy football leagues firing up and our first annual TBP office pool for NFL weekly picks.

Much of this can be reached on your mobile, including photo galleries (uploads too) and the chat room, but everything is available on desktop. 

I ask that you look around at the various pages linked in the main menu bar at top of the site.  If you see something you like, let me know.  If you think of something that should be added, please let me know.  We have just under three weeks to go before kickoff and I hope to improve the site as its members suggest.

There is more to come, including a new updated theme.  I appreciate the members of TheBullsPen.com and I look forward to hearing your feedback on this thread.

 

Brad

TBP NFL Office Pool

Open for registration now is our first annual site "office pool" where members compete against each other picking the NFL winners against the spread.  It is hosted by CBS Sports.  It's free to sign up and play.

The link is in this thread:

I hope you'll join and take part in this with other Bulls fans and board members.

Brad

Invite system

I am very pleased to announce that I have purchased a member invite system that is now integrated into the board.  You will see the changes if you look in the upper right section of the screen.  You'll see something that looks like a ticket.  If you click that, you can enter into the app and invite people you know to TheBullsPen.com. 

You simply enter email addresses and the system sends out an invite (pictured below, looks better live) that allows the receiver to click to go to TBP and automatically includes the invitation code. 

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As your invitees join, they will appear in your invite system.  We will tally the total members "recruited" and it will post in the right hand column on the main page. 

I will build some type of reward system for those recruiting members.  I'll post that within a few days, but anyone you invite that joins will count in your total.  So don't delay.  You can start inviting today. 

In fact, the first member to have THREE registrations credited to their account will win a $25 Amazon gift card.  That should get us started.

I think this can be very helpful in getting other folks involved with the Bulls and the board.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

Brad

 

Brad

In the past, I've struggled to get the gallery function working as I would like it to.  I think I have it figured out, and I'd like Bulls fans to help out.  We had permissions issues before, but I think it's ready to work.

I have already set up the primary events for the 2016-17 season.

As a member, if you'll look in the top menu bar, select Browse, you'll see a submenu for the Gallery.  Click on that and you will see the first box is titled 2016-17 USF Football.  Click on that and you'll see albums beginning with Bullsrally and ending with the game vs UCF.  Not going to be presumptuous and but a bowl game on there yet. 

Once you click on the album you wish to add pictures too, you'll see a familiar looking "Add Images" button to the right.  When you click on that you'll now be in the album. 

You're probably wondering, "why is Brad talking to us like we've never been on the inter webs?".  Well this is the part where one could get lost.  At this page, there is an option to create an album.  I have not tested that part yet, but if you were so inclined to add your album for that particular event you can.  I just added a test album with my test user ID, it was easy and accepted.  You should go look at it, you'll like the test pictures used.

Back on track, if you don't want your own album and instead wish to contribute pictures to the community album, you'll need to click on "Continue without using an album":

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After you click there, you'll have a chance to upload multiple images and have the option to provide credit to yourself, apply a copyright or add caption and description.

This is also fully functional from your phone.  Snap a few pictures on the phone of the tailgate and load em up for all to see.  We've done a lot of uploading pregame pictures from road game tailgates so that those at home can get an idea of the atmosphere and facility.

I'd like to see us build a gallery for each event/game this season.  Feel free over the next couple days to test it out.  I can go in and delete test images before the season starts.

As always, if you have a suggestion, or another way to do it, please let me know. 

Do you think you might be able to contribute some images this season?  Let me know.

 

Thanks,

Brad

 

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