I was recruited by Death240 to this clan towards the end of 2005, and I left a week or two after that because I just didn't click very well with the people in DF. I initially viewed DF members as cocky, and more of a pain in the ass than anything. About a month after that Death told me to give it another shot, so I caved and ended up rejoining. In that second chance I realized pretty quickly how fortunate I was to be given that second opportunity, and how I personally underestimated the people in this clan.
I'm proud to have been a part of a group of people who were underestimated constantly, whether it was from my stupid self back in 2005 or any other person who was on the outside looking in. I enjoyed being told with you all that we weren't responsible for next-level organization in fights (we were), that we would never take down our rivals (we did), that we could never beat *insert clan name that was 5-10 ranks ahead of us* in a war (we did every time we tried), that we were only winning our wars because we were returning to the fight after we died (we didn't, we just thoroughly kicked their asses), etc.
But the thing I am most proud of, and will always remember, is how we responded after this clan's first leader retired. While we were told from both people inside and outside the clan that we couldn't overcome that change, we did. And not only did we overcome that change, but shortly after our two-month slump, we were able to get back on our feet and make our first run at being the #1 clan in the game. That was our goal from the get go, and it was like smelling roses once we finally achieved it together.
This clan has always had three very unique traits that I never saw consistently from other clans...
1. We were always aligned with the same vision, no matter how that vision changed over time.
2. We always innovated, learned, and adapted to change in order to be the best at whatever we were focused on.
3. We had a ton of fun doing it.
As I have been watching you all from the outside continue to write the biography of this clan in real time, it's easy to see that those three things have not changed in 14 years. If it weren't for those core traits, this clan would have fallen apart like the majority of clans have. It's an astonishing, and quite honestly mind-blowing, thing to see continued.
All that being said, happy 14th birthday to current, past, and future DF members. I hope you all thoroughly understand the incredible things we have accomplished throughout those years as generations have come and gone to pass the torch along. I also hope you all understand on an individual level that none of this would have been possible without your contributions. You can view this as a silly game that we all play together, but at the base of all of it there are characteristics that you each have brought to the table to contribute to the excellence that this clan has experienced over the years, and those same characteristics can be used in the real world to achieve unfathomable things.
I look forward to seeing what you guys do in the many years to come. Most of you don't know me, but I am rooting for you.