13 January 2010

Balls to the wall: Reflections on becoming a centenarian.

Surprise! Your Scrappy Octopi, so seemingly full of joie de vivre, are actually elderly people (crotchety octopi!), approaching the century mark, and today, we’re announcing our retirement into an actual retirement community, which means we’ll no longer continue trekking along on this blog. How will we find the time? Our days will be filled with strenuous (wheelchair) rides to the common-area TV in time to catch The Price Is Right, followed up by an afternoon of my stories (fuck you, CBS, for canceling As the World Turns and Guiding Light…sheesh, almost as bad as NBC and Conan-gate); never mind that our evenings will be boisterous affairs, what with all the bingo and pancake suppers that will soon fill our social calendars. Sigh. It’s been real, readers.

Oh, bollocks. Of course we’re not hanging it up. And of course we’re not 100. It’s just that…our humble little blog here has turned 100, as in 100 posts! Yippee! (I mean, really: Could a senior citizen have the moves and finesse that B-Dawg exhibited during his dancing extravaganza?)

To commemorate this important milestone in TSO history:

1. Thank you to the readers who have placed TSO among the Wings blogs you read on the regular. I know we’ve said thanks before for various things. (Remember those Reader Appreciation Days? I don’t. They were that amazing, duuuuuuude. High five!) But taking a five-out for serious time: I mean, we don’t even always discuss hockey on here! (Like, er, this particular post. But really, would you rather me recap last night’s shit-tastic loss to the Islanders for post #100? 6-0? You know, the one in which a win would have bumped us to #8 in the West? Here goes: It blew ass. Or would you rather me distract you with my razzle dazzle, celebratory blah-blah-blah? That’s what I thought.)

2. TSO has existed for roughly three and a half months. In that short period of time, we’ve made connections with people, literally around the world; we’ve become part of an amazing community, full of knowledgeable and creative fellow bloggers and fantastic and witty readers alike. My understanding of how awesome the Wings’ fans’ community is increased tenfold when I joined Twitter and began participating in real-time conversations with many of you for the first time. Another solemn statement: You guys rock.

3. On a personal level, starting this blog is something I am so indescribably happy I finally did. I’ve always written about various things--privately, since being out of school--and since becoming a hockey fan, I’ve wanted to share my feelings and observations with the rest of Red Wings Nation. My biggest triumph, in reflecting on these first 100 posts, is that I feel Brian and I have managed to write in the matter in which we watch the game, which is to say, completely irreverently and acerbically. Is this everyone’s cup of tea? Doubtful. For fuck’s sake, I did put “balls” in the headline today. (And don’t forget Brian’s infamous “cock punch”, “shit the bed”, plus our various other diction choices that would force my mom to disown me and encourage George Carlin to adopt me from the grave.)

4. There are just so many damn good sites out there. Seriously. The pantheon of Wings’ sites runs deep with fans who know their hockey and write superbly and entertainingly. One of the most challenging things for me has been the stress of conveying our own voice in the midst of so many other blogs we admire. For example, if I’m planning on writing a game recap, and I don’t write and post it until the next day, I refrain from reading anybody else’s recaps before I write my own ideas, lest I get what one of my high school English teachers described as “tennis ball brain” (nope, the use of “ball” is not intended perversely this time, kiddos)—that is, the inability to extract your own ideas from somebody else’s that you read first. It’s difficult enough that we’re writing about, literally, the exact same things—the games we just watched, players who make us happy, players on our shit lists, and so forth. The point I’m making here is that writing and maintaining a blog has made me a better reader of other people’s work; I appreciate even more now the effort it takes to create your own, unique perspective, especially given the narrow niche of writing about a specific hockey team.

5. Blogging is harder than it looks from the outside. One of my friends has blogged for a couple of years now, and while I had a general idea of the time she invested in maintaining her site, creating content, and interacting with her readers, I never realized just how time-consuming it could become. Obviously, you can determine the posts on here that aren’t as well prepared (see one labeled “PashaPashaPasha” from back in the day, for example, or not, if you think the aforesaid title fully conveys the inanity). But really, the blog has become an extension of our experience as fans; it hasn’t taken over any particular part of my life, but rather, it’s enhanced the experience of watching a game. Now, instead of having only each other with whom to discuss the Wings, we can turn to the blog, put our thoughts out there, and talk it out with anyone who wants to participate. Face it: We’re all addicted to hockey. I wouldn’t spend hours writing on here, and you wouldn’t spend the time reading this and other sites, never mind talking about it on live blogs and Twitter and comment sections, if you weren’t a junkie, too. Blogging is the democratization of the experience of being a fan; we all have an outlet to express ourselves, no matter whose site we’re on, and for me, the ability to communicate with so many fellow addicts enriches the entire experience.

All of this is to express our thanks to the readers who support our site with their readership and commentary, and our fellow bloggers who have been supportive and helpful from day one with their shoutouts and feedback. If it weren’t for all of you, I’d have hung this up after 20 posts and gone back to talking to my dog about hockey. Don’t believe me? A snapshot of my life sans TSO:
Me: Why does Ville Leino suck at life, Lucy?

Lucy: [Quizzical expression.]

Me: I mean, why won’t he live up to his potential?

Lucy: [Sniffs my hair.]

Me: You know, I really didn’t mean that I hate-hate him; I guess I’m just disappointed.

Lucy: [Waltzes over to coffee table and puts her nose against her goody box. Conversation over. End scene.]
It’s just not the same.


  1. Grats on the 100 posts and let's hope for many more.

    And good headline today :D Not that you need one, you could go with my generic "X X recap"-headlines (normally made before the games so that I can get a headstart on my insomnia-cycle after the game) and still get people to read this.

    I've read blogs with more and better analysis, but I don't think any other Wings blog has the entertainment value this one has.

    Good job, keep it up!

  2. Thanks for your kind words, Andy!

    But hold up a second. If you're saying that discussing my bonercrush on Ville, my affinity for drowning my sorrows in Jack, and my unadulterated, shameless love for Homer doesn't count for hard-hitting, award-worthy analysis, then we just might need to step outside.

  3. And many more, you Scrappy little darling! I love this blog. It validates my innately sarcastic approach to life. And the way that I go all soft at the thought of Homer. Or fuzzy puppies.

  4. Congratulations, I hope you write until you are actually 100. Or not, that might get weird.

  5. Congratulations on #100! Here's to 100 more 100s! (Don't worry, we can take it one 100 at a time.)

    And yes, since I have gone on Twitter and started commenting on blogs, my dogs and my hubby don't have to put up with nearly as much hockey talk/griping. Which is good, because they don't care. I love the Internet!

  6. Here here. Count me among the readers that will read every word of the next 100, as well. And the 100 after that. But only 96 of the following 100, because I'll be on my honeymoon then. But definitely the next 100.

    Congratulations. And thank you. For the lulz.

  7. Congratulations on 100 posts! I look forward to reading at least the next 1,000! Keep up the spectacular work.

  8. Thank you so much for the love, everybody! We're playing for keeps, so don't you worry about us. We're not going anywhere. We've even worked it out to write this from beyond. Don't ask me too many questions, though. Part of the deal is that I can't divulge too much.

  9. My Dearest Scrappy Octopus,
    All 100 have made me laugh out loud. If a day goes by and I don't hear from you, I am sad. It is great to know that other girls have such an obsession with the Precious. While I like Homer, the defensive pairing of Stewie and Kronner makes me swoon. My, as well as Stewies, heart will ache until our Nick is healthy and is dishing out neutral ice death punches with his unique awesomeness.

  10. Congrats on reaching your centenary, may there be many more.

  11. Thanks, Dena and Beanie!

    Dena, when Kronner returns, I am going to dedicate a post to you and your undying love for him. And I'll do a celebratory Kronwalling of someone I don't like...just for you.

  12. Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident.

  13. Natalie: Ok then hard hitting analysis it is..

    I actually Kronwall my brother every time he takes a shot at the Wings (bah! and he's an Oilers fan)

  14. Whoa...Brick, you need to find a safe place and lie low for a little while. (Dude, we have Brick Tamblen reading our site!)