11/17/2012 Update: The page is up in the library. Thanks to everyone's who contributed. Please keep making suggestions in this post or by email and I'll update the list here and on the page.
Next Thursday is a pretty big day for this very site. On November 15, it'll be five years since In Lou We Trust went live on SB Nation with this very post. That's right, this very site has been on this network for five years already. Time flies.
I can tell you that much has changed since those days of 2008. The writing has improved. Rules have been added and enforced. We've added additional voices to expand the scope of the site and to add more voices. Future writers have been added directly from the community, readers like you. It helped lead to a podcast about the Devils, Talking Red, which is still active as you know. We've had a wealth of quantity in readership, as I can confidently say that millions have read In Lou We Trust over the years. We've also had a wealth of quality in readership, too. Without revealing any names, I can tell you with full confidence that readers have come from all walks of life. I know for a fact that readers have included businessmen, lawyers, students, professors, pastors, bishops, teachers, children, parents, hockey journalists, players, agents, and (believe it or not) members of the Devils' management. Thanks in large part to SB Nation/Vox Media, In Lou We Trust isn't just a little Devils blog. It's clearly the third best Devils blog on the Internet.
As part of celebrating five years on SBN and to help out future readers of the site, I want to create a Best of In Lou We Trust list. These will contain links to posts from the last five years on SBN that truly stand out. For that, I want your help. I want to know what your favorite post is so I can point it out to others. I want to know which post on ILWT made you become a regular reader and/or commenter. I want to know which one of the thousands and thousands of posts over the last five years reached out to you. Maybe it's a recap. Maybe it's a preview. Maybe it's a long ramble of opinions that I had about whatever hot issue I or someone else had at the time. I want to know from you so I know for sure that it's not a "What I think this has been the best of ILWT" list but a true "Best of" list.
I will put the list up as a page on the library, likely on November 15 unless there are a ton of entries to make it longer. As with the links page, I will credit your comment if it is suitable. I will also recommend that you give a brief explanation as to why that post should be included in the "Best of" list. I will also update the list with a few other opinions from some other outside people who had a hand in ILWT in the past and present.
I'll update this list as it goes. Please leave your suggestions in the comments. If you need to know where the archives are, you can access them by going to the horizontal menubar and mouse over Sections. You'll see Full Archives in the drop down menu. Lastly, I will get this list started with my only one selection. Subsequent entries will appear below it.
Type: Game Recap
Suggested By: John Fischer
Explanation by Suggester: It was the most cathartic piece I wrote after a dreadful 2010 playoff run. Over two years and a bunch of playoff wins later, I think it holds up remarkably well. In addition to just getting out everything I had in my head after that miserable Game 5 loss, it got linked by the New York Times' sports section. That and led to NoMeansNo's first and only mention by that organization, which made them quite excited. At least, someone was made happy after that loss.
Type: Opinion Post
Suggested By: David Sarch of Talking Red
Explanation by Suggester: In all honesty I don't look at how far the "experts" pick the Devils to finish out of the playoffs. I do however try and at least glance at all the other articles posted about the Devils because there tend not to be that many of them. I remember reading this particular gem of an article by Scott Burnside that this post references and thinking to myself, what an idiot. The next morning I woke up and found this gem on In Lou We Trust, as John posted it at 4 AM. It really, really did make my day. - David Sarch
Type: Explanation Post, Devils History Post
Suggested By: NJGuy
Explanation by Suggester: Being a participant on a New Jersey Devils Blog, New Jersey’s association with the Neutral Zone Trap is often mentioned. As a younger fan, I don’t know the complete story of how we utilized the famous (or infamous depending on who you speak to) to win three Stanley Cups. The Neutral Zone Trap was so effective that the frustration that its victims bore toward it brought about the faster-paced age of hockey that we know today. This post analyzes the history of the Neutral Zone Trap, and how New Jersey successfully employed it.
Type: Analysis Post
Suggested By: Tyler Bleszinski, SB Nation Editorial Manager
Explanation by Suggester: First, our team sites are better about dissecting and fretting over every single minutiae and nothing demonstrates that more and views things through a different prism. Assumptions that most fans make about a player can be disproven by someone who pays attention to those details. Is there still a subjectiveness to it? Sure. But there are also clear ground rules for it and a definition of soft goals so people know where you're coming from. And it opens it up for discussion.
Type: Opinion Post
Suggested By: David Fine
Explanation by Suggester: As the Devils fell into the basement of the Eastern Conference, I felt my dedication to the the team was the highest it had ever been; as a younger fan, it’s tough to remember the specifics of all of the Cup wins. For the first time in my life, I found myself having to defend my team without the usual "we win, that’s all" excuse. That year, as the team sputtered, I found myself wanting to hear more about the team I loved; it was important to see what management was doing to turn it around. Everything about this article made me believe Jersey’s Team made the right choice by bringing in Jacques Lemaire to replace MacLean. It turned out Lou (and John Fischer) nailed it. After barely missing the playoffs in 2010-11, and making the Cup Finals last year, I always return to Lemaire’s hiring as the reason why NJ turned it around so quickly.
Type: Analysis Post
Suggested by: Cherno77
Explanation by Suggester: I've been obsessed with the Devils’ attendance numbers since my time rooting away Rangers fans at Brendan Byrne Arena. Matt Ventolo has been a vital source on this subject. His audition post for ILWT is still a classic, something I've Googled and referred to on numerous occasions. Years from now, when we want to see how the strike has affected attendance, we’ll be coming back to examine the stats and graphs he compiled in this and subsequent posts on the topic.
Type: Historical Post
Suggested by: Steve Lepore, former ILWT writer and current SBN contributor.
Explanation by Suggester: I loved working on this piece because it was an excuse to scour YouTube for videos of old Devils games. It also gave me a feeling that I had contributed something that was canonical and permanent to this great website, and done proud by all the great writers that had contributed and are still contributing now.
Type: Opinion Post
Suggested by: Kevin Sellathamby, current ILWT writer
Explanation by Suggester: Well, it was one of the few times when the entire fanbase was watching a very good team fall apart by the seams. It described perfectly how a lot of us felt about the team. From the denial to the anger to the accepting of what was happening.
Type: Historical Post
Suggested by: FrankG929
Explanation by Suggester: This post points out how easy it is to miss the obvious. John stated, "he’s not the first name that comes to most Devils’ fans minds as being so important." Probably true in most cases, but having been there since day 1, Dr. McMullen would have been an easy choice for me as well. I’d mentioned him being critical to my fandom in Devils Fan Guide: Why We Love the Devils (which, by the way, wouldn’t be a bad choice to include here as well). Yes, Lou has shaped the current Devils, but I probably still wouldn’t care about hockey without Dr. McMullen.