Effective January 1, 2013, Travis Hair is no longer the managing editor of Five for Howling.
While you still might see me around from time to time, when I actually have something I want to say, I'm stepping away from this site to let Carl Putnam take over. My new title is Editor Emeritus or something similarly grandiose. The other voices you've seen will still be here, maybe in different or expanding roles, but I have to go now.
It's not easy walking away from a site I helped launch 4 years ago. When they pulled me out of nowhere to cover the team we only had 7 hockey sites on SBNation. Frank D, formerly of Pensburgh was in charge and we got things up and running with the great staff at the home office. Since then we've grown into a huge media network covering so many different sports, teams, angles regions. It's pretty crazy to look back on. SBNation will continue to do great things and get even bigger, but I'm just not comfortable here anymore or really on much of the hockeysphere.
It's all lost the sense of fun that used to be there. In a lot of respects we're a part of the 24 hour news cycle that never ever ends thanks to social media, and a need for pageviews. Maybe it's just magnified with the lockout, but it's like we have to make things up to talk about and fight over that are manufactured rather than anything remotely interesting or real. The speed with which we consume information and then distill that into "sides" that then bicker over pure nonsense is disheartening. When I got into hockey and into blogging what I liked, and maybe was naïve to think, was that hockey fans generally seemed different than those of other sports. With its "niche" fanbase the community seemed different than those of football and baseball. Sure, your loyalty was still to a team, but the sport was bigger than that if your team wasn't doing well. Now everyone just looks for another reason day after day to cut on one another or find another way to call people stupid, bad fans, or just gang up on them when they dare to have another opinion. I'm not okay being any part of that and frankly, it gives me some pretty massive anxiety.
I'm not saying that all of blogging and the internet hockey community are all bad. Far from it. I've met great people, had great discussions and been able to do a lot of things most bloggers and fans have never been able to. Unfortunately the bad seriously outweighs the good at this point. I just need to unplug from all of this before I start hating the sound of the ice crunching under skates, pucks hitting the boards, or a pretty across the slot one timer.
I'd like to thank a multitude of people for being great to me and to the site. Carl Putnam has basically run the site for the last while. Jordan Ellel for helping me edit this thing and get things moving early on. All of the great writers for the site that just want people to read and, engage and generally have fun. Travis Hughes for helping me at times when I didn't know what I was doing as well as Tyler Bleszinski who manages this whole mess of hundreds of sites but always takes time to help all the editors and staff. Lots of bloggers on other sites around the network and not as well for being a generally good group of people. The babbles for helping me stay sane.
I'd also like to tell a few people to screw off. Namely, some citizens of Winnipeg, Quebec City, Seattle and a few from Kansas City (Okay, like one). Additionally anyone who has to make their lives seem less meaningless by piling on anyone who has a different opinion by calling them stupid, having their equally "tough" internet friends then gang up on them and then claiming "victory" on the internet whatever that is. That one guy and that other woman. You know who I mean. Also anyone saying "Yay! That guy sucked and was a homer and didn't use stats how I like anyhow and hated my team and was like the ONLY Coyotes fan anyways!". Bite me. I wasn't writing for you jerkface. Also, use a comma.
Anyhow, let's not get bogged down in that junk. I'll miss all the great people and some friends, but I won't miss this very much I don't think. Hopefully someday we just have games to watch and I can just go back to being a fan. Take care everyone and in the words of Bill S. Preston: "Be Excellent to Each Other".
If you'd like to keep tabs on me outside of hockey you can follow my personal twitter @NewTravisHair, my rarely updated tumblr http://posthocergosomethinghoc.tumblr.com/ or shoot me an email at odinmercer (at) gmail (dot) com. I'm probably on facebook or whatever too.