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Hall of Fame: Real Deal

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#1 GamerGuy



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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:25 PM


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The one name that is synonymous with OTR/DH...the creator himself. Real Deal, Brandon, B...he is the Michael Jordan of sports website owners. And just like MJ, now he's going to take a few minutes and rip into everyone who ever doubted him.

Kidding. Sort of. But regardless of what you call him, there's no denying that this man has done more for the people here than you can imagine. Countless hours spent coding, designing skins, creating rosters, writing articles, designing banners, creating and replying to thousands of posts. No, not just those. The fact that he has provided us with the best place to discuss basketball on the web is one thing, but to create a place where he's actually helped people with life issues as well? Simply incredible.

Anyone remember his "Love Advice" thread way back in the day? Or how about spending hours on AIM being real and honest with complete strangers who turned to him for advice? Remember him creating a charity with our "Shoot for the Stars" t-shirts? Brandon Neal's greatest accomplishment isn't the site itself, but how he has made a real impact in the lives of those who have come to call this home.

There have been many highs and lows over these past 7 years, but one thing remains true. And that is "Real Deal" Brandon Neal does not give up. He didn't give up when he lost his vision. He didn't give up when we were wiped out completely after the hack. He didn't give up when bigger, more active sites tried to buy us out. Relentless. He does not quit.

Today we honor this man. Today is your day, Brandon. Take a bow, you've earned it brother.

Congratulations, B. You are immortalized in the OTR Hall of Fame!

#2 Lkr



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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:46 PM

Poop I was hoping he'd do this for himself :lol:

#3 Sħãlïq™



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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:50 AM

I remember his "Love Advice" thread back in the day. I remember how he went outta his way on numerous occasions to help me with school projects in the Random thread.... Kairu put it best -- Congrats, B!!! Saying it's well-deserved would be an understatement. And for some reason I thought RD was going to be the first person to be re-inducted into the OTR/DH Hall of Fame.
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#4 Smitty


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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:23 AM

Can't have the HOF without the founder himself. :glasses:

Start Out Full, Finish Empty

#5 Teletopez


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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:46 AM

Be honest, for how long has he been begging you to make this post? He probably flooded your inbox with pleads and caused that PM overload a couple months ago.

#6 NomarFachix


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Posted 08 December 2012 - 05:02 AM

Undeserved. So many cheated candidates.

#7 Make It Naaaashty

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 07:35 AM

Shaliq had this one in the bag. Shits rigged.
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#8 Real Deal

Real Deal


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Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:57 PM


Thanks guys...didn't really want to be "inducted" yet, figured I'd get in another 2-3 more guys before the end of the year, then follow with the rest of those that are qualified before Kyle dove in with this, but he wasn't going to take NO for an answer, haha.

Nice write-up, by the way. Sounds like something I would write, lol.

Simply put, all I ever wanted to do with this site was to give people a place to talk basketball. I don't need money off of advertising, don't need to find a way to put out articles for others to read them, etc. I never really did want to close the site down until most recently, when I talked about ending it on our eight-year anniversary (and proceeded to consider ending it earlier)...every bit of that was true, but the reasons go far beyond what was explained, anyway. It's nothing I have to talk about...those that have been around long enough can probably come up with ideas why I may need to walk away someday.

It's just very difficult to do that, though...not because I built this from the ground up, but because other people did. Installing the board, paying for hosting, buying the domain name...it's either a one-time thing, or a once-a-month occurrence. I have always needed something to drive me down that road, to keep me from turning my head. Seeing the site alive and well, even through some of the worst downtime we've ever seen (ex. the lockout), it provides me with a legitimate excuse as to why I'm still feeding effort and money into it all.

Personally, I think it's outstanding that we've gone nearly eight years without a major staff issue. I have yet to have to boot an administrator or moderator for disruptive behavior, never had to settle a real fight between two staff members. That kind of stability means a lot to me. I know I do a LOT of things on my own, refusing help when it comes to graphics, ownership, promotion, social networking, coding, and more...but that doesn't have much to do with trust in my staff (maybe only those outside of our site, looking in), and has everything to do with me having this place on my shoulders at all times, just in case it all falls apart.

Because of that, it's why I've never considered selling. Eight years of work, by all of us, can't be purchased. If the site crumbles, it has to go down the way it went up. Otherwise, everything we've done for so long has less meaning, and more focus will be placed on the post-sale, why it all went wrong, and not how far we traveled together.

It's crazy to think that some of you, especially quite a few of you that registered in 2005 or 2006, were in junior high, or freshmen in high school...and now you're in college. I mean, I have tons of memories to share, but I won't go that route...some of you will probably have flashbacks immediately, haha.

One day, OTR will close down. I don't know when, but it will happen. Instead of worrying about it becoming an event that is closer than ever, we should focus on what's ahead of us. At this point, we don't have much room to improve. It's well-known that we thrive off of our basketball knowledge, and opening the door for new members is a bit of a risk...but one we're going to have to take. In previous years, we've taken these new members and watched them learn and contribute before our very own eyes...even some of us, today, can vouch for this, as they are a part of that group I'm discussing. We can get back to that, but we have to work as a community...and I'm the one, as owner, that has to take the biggest step in recruiting before anything else. If it doesn't work out for us, and it hasn't been as of late, we will continue to move on, but what we need will only become more important as we progress down the same path we've been traveling on since the hack.

As far as my eye problems go, I really don't like to talk about it unless it's for a good cause (telling everyone else how dumb I was for not taking care of my diabetes), but I'll say that I was, and will always be, very grateful for just how many of you stepped up and kept this place going while I was gone for so long. When I literally gave the site to Aaron (ALCS), making him the owner...well, when my brother did it for me...that was tougher than you guys can imagine, and I realize it's "just the internet" and doesn't seem as serious to probably anyone else here, but when you push yourself to create something like this, and see it grow and become a success, and you aren't being told what to do or paid for your efforts, the results of such a project are something to be proud of. It taps into your personal life, honestly changing the way you go about each day, whether I like it or not. I come here every day, and aside from the months I was completely blind, I have done it since 2005. A number of you have done this as well, surely not at that magnitude (because part of my time here, especially staying up way too late, has been a requirement mixed in with me just wanting to improve the skin, add features, or build on post content)...but, regardless, you have done something similar.

As individuals, we all bring something to the table...may not like each other from time to time, but there's always a positive to point out for each and every contributing member that logs in each day. As a whole, as a basketball community filled with those same individuals...we will always find the desire to discuss hoops, and as long as we are seeking ways to fulfill that desire on this website, nothing can ever force us to walk away from it all.

With all of that in place, again, thank you. I wouldn't want to be apart of any other team.

#9 YugoRocketsFan



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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:54 AM

never heard of this member, who is he?
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#10 alcstarheel



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Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:26 AM

Much deserved. An owner to end all owners.

For every shot you see me take, there's a thousand you don't see. - KB24

#11 Need4Sheed


    Hall of Fame

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:30 PM

Just a sliver of info on his dedication. I'm sure there is much more that we dont even know about. Congrats and keep on truckin Bro.

* Just a small suggestion. HOF's are the most prestige organization out there. You might wanna move that smack dab on the top of the Forums page instead of being positioned at the bottom.
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#12 Lkr



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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:26 PM

Much deserved. An owner to end all owners.

Ily please come back

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