Editor's Note: I have never really figured out if I know how to use the term correctly but I think that this post would be considered 'meta'. At least among the Barilkosphere.
Just two months short of two years ago, on August 12, 2007, a shining light in the life of Toronto fans emerged from the morass of the interwebs. Like The Tyger they had fearful symmetry in their love of useless Toronto defencemen, their dual escape from a provincial backwater, and their city-splitting soccer support. That they overcame such obvious handicaps speaks to their determination. In keeping the local media honest, in as much as any blog can hope to affect monolithic media conglomerates, they used the internet as their anvil and their words as their hammer.
At this point William Blake is upset that his poem is the first thing I thought about when I decided to go with the 'bright' metaphor for this post. I watched King of Kong and was going to paint the media as Billy Mitchell the bully that hides from confrontation yet fears Steve Wiebe (or Cox Bloc) and is ultimately surpassed by him. Then I found out that asshole Mitchell reclaimed his record. Sorry Willy!
In their short run (it's amazing that Fire Joe Morgan lasted as long as it did) they succeeded where George Bush failed: they liberated locals from evil tyrants despite the majority having no interest in their brand of freedom. Indeed, those of us that have had to endure friends regaling us with The Omen's 'truth-telling' or "that handsome Howard Berger's" latest thoughts (or his other personalities' thoughts) finally had a weapon with which to fight back. No longer were we dependent on bludgeoning our friends with empty beer bottles. Now we could use our words. Those effete liberals probably consider that their legacy.
Though they posted as often as Haley's Comet at the end and were snuffed out like a candle in the wind (too soon?) they have given us what every fan in this age of hyperconnectivy deserves: freedom. Freedom from a media that considers that tenure and a piece of paper means that they know our team better. Freedom from a media that cannot hope to understand what it means to follow our team because they either were never fans or have grown cynical. Freedom from a media that considers loyalty a fault. Freedom from a media that mocks our passion while they suckle at the teat of that fervour.
What I hope that their travails have helped us realize is that the local media might provide the soundbites (although, with mapleleafs.com even that's suspect) but the research, opinions, and humour is being done much better by people that have no formal training. If something happens in Leafland then someone in the Barilkosphere will have a reaction to the news or a joke or a new angle right away without ever telling me that I am stupid. Chemmy does that enough without me having to read it in national newspapers. To be honest, it's hard to work up the same bile and rage when I read a mittenstringer's rantings mostly because I hardly read them anymore. In fact, no one e-mails me anymore to ask me if I've read his latest claptrap either. Maybe the open letter worked.
Anyway, it was a fun ride while it lasted and I am looking forward to them expanding their horizons past beautifully bitchy which is much better than sadly stereotypical Martin Patriquin. There are only so many ways you can call Howard Berger or Damien Cox useless although it turned out to be a pretty large number. In addition to aiding in our awakening to the extent of good coverage of the Leafs available online I think we can all say that we know more about 80s wrestling than we did three years ago. Some might consider it a coincidence that they've shut things down a few days before I cover the draft. I assume that they just feared having met their mittenstringer match. Actually, I probably shouldn't antagonize them too much in case their decide to cast their eyes towards bloggers just to even the field.
So along with an explanation for abandoning their post as the last redoubt against mittenstringers the boys have given us their list of their top five posts but I doubt everyone's will match theirs. I think it would be a fitting tribute to head over there and let them know which one introduced you to the site and which was your favourite.
Here's my list:
- The one where they prove that the Vancouver media could be worse than Toronto's and get a good rip in on Dane Cook.
- The one where they trade their dignity for a few laughs. Actually, quite a few laughs. After daoust's post on post-1993 success I saw # 5 and # 6 repeated almost verbatim on some walls where Habs fans were flinging their feces.
- The one that launched a thousand internet feuds. Actually, just the one. And I am right. There's really no other way to look at it. Hell, on that one you can almost pick your favourite comment it's so great. I'd go with the clueless baseball fan that runs a site dedicated to following a team that hasn't won shit in a long time or contended for that matter that shits on some fans for their wrongheaded beliefs and on the local media for their shitty coverage suggesting that Working Class Howard actually makes sense. I feel like "/sarcasm" was left out but it did result in a couple of great retorts from Kim and Godd.
- The one where they dispel the myth that apples and oranges are dangerous in tandem. What I loved most about this one (besides the splitting pain that came from laughing while reading it) was that I sent them an e-mail with a link and they popped out their second best post ever. You can tell from this post that I kind of appreciated that gesture.
- The one where they got outsmarted by Chemmy. Hope that helps on your next trip to Zimbabwe. It might just be funny to me but they join an exclusive group of people that have been outsmarted by Chemmy that includes Boston University, his fiancee, the Montreal Canadiens' front office, and his current employer. Some would probably include me on that list.
And hey, whatever happened to the 1967 contest?