"I Had the Last Waltz With You"
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those ... moments will be lost in time, like tears...in rain.
Time to die" - Roy Batty, Bladerunner.
Back in May of 2004, I got the notion to start this blog, and called it Hockey Rants because I love hockey and ranting. Simple concept, really.
I had often visited many baseball blogs (which there were/are plenty), and was tired of all the childishness of places like HFboards. I wanted a place where I could rant how I wanted, when I wanted, and on topics I wanted, without my voice being lost in the wilderness.
I didn't come into blogging with many expectations, other than having a home for some friends and family reading my blathering, and maybe getting a decent audience who appreciated thoughtful blog posts over playground arguments. I also found the whole process to be a lot of fun, and got to experience a little bit of the hockey writer's life.
4 years later, I feel the fun has disappeared for me. Perhaps the combination of writing for AOL and my own site just overloaded my positronic circuits, but blog posting now feels more of a chore and an obligation than anything else. I haven't truly enjoyed blogging very much for the past few months, and I don't see that changing in the near future.
You may have noticed I've hinted at burnout the past 1-2 months, and, like an old scented candle, I'm mostly now a mush of wax.
I look back at some of my older posts, and I realize that my content is not nearly as good as it used to be. The posts on this site used to be either funnier, contain more detailed analysis, and/or a lot of Czech/Slovak content, the latter of which I'm the most proud to have brought to the blogosphere.
Like Trevor Linden, I just don't have "it" any longer. I'm tired, worn down, and my abilities have been eroded over time. I know I'm capable of writing some good material, but it would take a lot of time and effort that I'm just not able to handle. When I think about the memorable posts I've written, most of it has not been writing over the past 6-8 months.
That is why I've decided to retire from regular hockey blogging and close the Hockey Rants chapter of my life, as well as stop writing for AOL FanHouse.
What does the future hold? Well, I like to rant and I like to write. I might change this site into an all-around Rants site (a mix of hockey, politics, pop culture, etc), or I might hook up with another blog and do some guest entries. Anyone who has any ideas is welcome to contact me. For the next while, though, I'm just taking an online vacation.
Hockey blogs have come a long way since I started. Back when I first posted here, there were maybe 10-12 hockey blogs TOTAL. There were many baseball blogs, but almost nothing revolving around our great sport. There was Hockey Pundits, Off Wing Opinion, Sharkspage, Hockey Update, and Confessions of a Hockey Fanatic. The blogroll was smaller than Steve Kariya.
Right after a lockout, there was a sudden explosion on the number of hockey blogs out there. People flocked back to the game, and also to the new type of technology and reach that blogging offered. No longer was I able to visit every hockey blog within my lunch hour.
Not only has the quantity increase substantially, but the quality as well. I used to pride myself on being near the top of the heap, but there are many other sites that just offer much more on the way of quality content than my little old site. Yes, I do feel like I've been left behind like John McCain's ex-wife.
I'm not jealous or spiteful, but rather thankful of how much great stuff is out there. No longer are we subjected to purely reading what bones the MSM throws at us, or are we limited to a few publications and websites. There is just so much out there for everyone, and, in the end, its all of us hockey fans that win.
Do I consider myself a pioneer? Yes, but just a small one. I have helped a few people start their sites out (those who asked), and I know a few people were like "I saw your site and felt I could do that, too!" I know I'm one of the true veterans out there, and am rather proud of some of the baby bloglings that grown up to be strong young sites.
As I mentioned, I didn't have a lot of expectations from starting this site. Fortunately, and most surprisingly, this site brought me a lot of opportunities and allowed me to meet many people: bloggers, fans, writers, and even an ex-girlfriend. :/
In Academy Awards fashion, minus the crappy, overrated movies *cough*No Country for Old Men*cough*, I’d like to thank and give a shout out to various people who I've met over the past 4+ years. I still intend to maintain contact with many of you, as I certainly won't stop being a hockey fan any week soon. Don't be offended if I forgot you, it just means you aren't important :) (kidding...)
In no particular order ...
So, good-bye (for now) to all of you. I shall not disappear totally into the night, but I will step back and just allow myself to be a fan and observer, and probably comment on a few blogs which I've been neglecting to read lately due to my busy schedule.
It's been an Al MacInnis blast!
Regards, Jes Gőlbez
Labels: The Final Goodbye