Not everyone who reads In Lou We Trust will be celebrating Thanksgiving, but today is a good day as any to at least count your blessings. There's plenty to be thankful for, if you sit down and think about it - which isn't the easiest thing to do, admittedly. To get the ball rolling, I've come up with 5 based around this very site and it's subject after the jump:
- Being able take the time and the resources to follow the great sport of hockey at all. I don't know about you, but I'm one of those people who can talk and watch hockey for hours on end, and I don't get really tired of it. It truly is a passion for me; but even just having a passing interest is laudable as it is such a fantastic game to watch - especially live.
- Following the New Jersey Devils. Regardless of how bad this season has gone. There's some thing to be said for staying true to your team, and that support only grows stronger through struggle than when everything's going well. This season aside, I've witnessed so much success, so many good moments, so much amazement from legends like Martin Brodeur, Scott Stevens, and Patrik Elias to eventual legends like Zach Parise to cult heroes like Sergei Brylin and so much more. It extends beyond the guys on the ice to the guys behind the bench, like the late Pat Burns, and those in management like, of course, Lou. The organization, even when losing, maintains a high level of professionalism; and they are now truly trying to reach out more to grow the fanbase. In the big picture, I really can't complain about the last 16 or so years.
- The increasing availability of hockey. 15+ years ago, your only way of following a team was either on TV or radio, by the newspaper, and maybe a newsgroup on the Internet. About 8-10 years ago, the Internet really took off and there were message board communities and websites formed about following the team. Now, there's so much at your fingertips. Those communities continue to thrive there are blogs like this one for any aspect of the game and most teams in the world of hockey. TV now comes in HD, there are services like NHL Center Ice or NHL Gamecenter for those outside of the market, and radio feeds can be accessed nearly everywhere. There are podcasts like Talking Red, where hockey can be discussed by whoever wants to discuss them - and of course, big thanks to David Sarch for starting it up. There is microblogging on platforms like Twitter and Tumblr, for those shorter thoughts, links, pictures, or what-have-you. There are video sites like Youtube where people can share something they saw; and NHL.com provides high-def video of goals, hits, and other highlights themselves. Beat reporters like Tom Gulitti and Rich Chere not only post news as it happens, but they try to interact with their readers. There are statistical resources like Behind the Net, Time On Ice, and Puck Prospectus to extend analysis of the game. None of this was happening way back in 1994 and I don't think anyone saw it coming.
- How far this blog has come. On a dreary October 2006 day while at my desk as a GA, I finally decided to listen to that inner voice I had for years and started a blog on Blogspot. It took me about an hour to come up with the name, and since then, this very blog has went to levels I never thought possible. I was invited to join SBNation and their amazing platform, thanks to the James Mirtle; I've been supported by the rest of the hockey network; and it's now truly well renowned among the hockey community. I've received praise from reporters, communication from Devils management and player agents, and I was even asked to help contribute to a book. On top of this, it isn't just me anymore. Other people have agreed to write here site just out of the same passion that I have: Thibaut "Tibbs" Deshayes, Steve Lepore (now with SBN-NY), Tom Stivali, Matt Ventolo, and Kevin Sellathamby. All to contribute and take the site further to the next level. This blog is a testament to the thesis that if you write about something you enjoy seriously and keep at it regularly, it will get people's attention and respect far beyond you could expect.
- The readership of this very site. Most of all, I want to thank you, the reader. Thousands read ILWT every day, and it's such a wide range of people. Readers range from teenagers in school to college students to those in business to those who own businesses and everyone in between. The site has attracted readers from all over the world, making it truly a world-class site. I thank you, the member of the site who has take time out of their day to add a comment, write a FanPost, and post a FanShot. I thank you, the people at games who's ever heard me yammer on about the team or whatever else either at the Rock or on the train platform. One final anecdote: Last night, I was struck up a conversation with two young men, Seth and Adam, about the 2-1 win over Calgary. As my train arrived, I remembered to introduce myself and mentioned my site. I believe it was Adam who exclaimed, "Oh, you're that guy? You got me through work all last summer!" I still reel a bit from those compliments and therefore I cherish them. It, along with knowing that thousands make a point of it to read ILWT everyday, justifies spending so much time writing. Thank you most of all.
Now that I'm done rambling (for now), I want to know what you're thankful for with respect to the Devils and/or this site. Please leave your responses in the comments. All the same, from everyone at In Lou We Trust, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.