Let me first say I feel like I’m making real progress in my professional career. I’m beginning this column at 2:14 a.m. following a Football Friday, which is a whopping 18 minutes earlier than last week’s start time. I am nothing if not on the ball when it comes to this little piece of literature.

OK, scratch that. I had to take a break to put together the final Brownwood Lions’ football highlight video of the season, so disregard my first paragraph. Yup, it’s crystal clear to me now why I was asked to pen a column.

I have to admit I’m feeling a little pressured. Usually I wait about three years between columns because, let’s face it, that’s a nice, round number. Now, without the luxury of the extra 1,088 days I typically have to perfect whatever idea may be tumbling around in my noggin, it’s once again time to unveil the inner workings, or malfunctions, of my brain. Proceed with extreme caution while I touch on some Bulletin-related topics:

• Online interaction with those who follow the Bulletin reached new heights this week, thanks to a couple of controversial topics and a little website known as Facebook.

We asked for feedback from our Facebook fans after Gov. Rick Perry proposed that drug testing should be required for those applying for welfare and unemployment benefits. As I’m typing, we’ve received 805 likes — and we’d never approached 300 on any topic before — and 160 comments, also shattering a record.

We followed by asking your opinions regarding the online petition recently created that suggests Texas secede from the United States. You replied with 45 comments and some of the most spirited debate we’ve witnessed on our Facebook page. I want to personally thank all of you who took the time to interact with us.

Comments from each issue were used in stories and a video we featured both in our print edition and on our website, and we will continue to pose these types of questions and elicit your response. How you feel, what interests you, what issues matter to you — those are the articles we want to write at the Bulletin.

Social media has opened the door like never before for you to share with us how you feel, and we’re listening. We at the Bulletin are here to serve our community and provide the content you’re craving, so please continue to provide us with your thoughts and opinions at all times.

• If you’ve noticed a new byline in the paper recently, it’s with good reason. Marie Stephanie S. Green — or Stephanie, as we like to call her — joined the editorial staff this week.

Stephanie’s journey to the Bulletin is quite interesting, especially considering she graduated from college in the Philippines. She’s worked in a variety of different fields, but that’s her story to share with you. What I’m certain of is I’ve never seen someone so ecstatic to take on a new job, and her enthusiasm is contagious. I encourage you to check out Stephanie’s work when you can, and if you see her around town just say hello. She’d love to visit with you.

• I’d also like to mention Bulletin accounting super hero Karen Wade and her uncanny ability to read me and determine when I need cookies for a snack. Oh, and I seem to recall a comment to reporter Steve Nash where sweet, kind, compassionate Karen proclaimed to favor the cat juggler’s column over mine because he’d actually mentioned her by name.

Excuse me for just a moment.

Hi, Karen. Hope you’re having a great morning, Karen. Look forward to seeing you Monday, Karen.

So where was I? Oh yeah, who really cares about popularity contests anyway?

• Back on target and to my neck of the woods, I just want to extend my congratulations to the Brownwood Lions on yet another postseason appearance. While we’re disappointed the season ended earlier than we preferred, the strides the team made from its 1-3 start are to be commended, though they shouldn’t come as a surprise. Improving dramatically throughout the course of the season has become a calling card for the Lions since Bob Shipley took over the program.

Defensively, the Lions put forth one of their most impressive performances of the year in holding Glen Rose’s 46-point per game juggernaut to two touchdowns Friday night. Unfortunately, the offense was stuck in neutral all night, though the Glen Rose defense played a major role in that. After all, the Tigers were only giving up 16 points per game.

Brownwood also said good-bye to some talented, dedicated, hard-working young men in the Class of 2013, but a solid core from this year’s squad will return. Plus, the members of the two undefeated eighth grade football teams are headed for high school, so the Lions’ future looks as bright as ever.

As for my future, I see lots of turkey and football on the horizon — or is that deja vu? Regardless, on behalf of all of us at the Bulletin, I’d like to wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving. See you again next week, or in 1,088 days, give or take.

Derrick Stuckly is the sports editor of the Brownwood Bulletin. His column appears on Sundays. He may be reached by e-mail at derrick.stuckly@brownwoodbulletin.com.