This post is going to be all over the place. I don't have a real point or a direction I want to take it beyond the overall theme of what I want to say. But we'll get there.
I first started my personal Twitter page on April 27th of last year. I chose the user name EtchedInCold because it was something I've been using for years now on Facebook and MySpace, and other social networking sites. Those words, etched in cold, come from the lyrics of my favorite song, 198d by At the Drive-In. The chorus goes: "Walk away, born in hearts, etched in cold." That was it. My favorite song, from a somewhat obscure band, and nothing terribly cliche. So I latched on to it and made it synonymous with me. But it would lead to more than that, but that comes later in the story.
Anyways, back to Twitter. I tweeted occasionally throughout the playoffs, but mostly put my thoughts and rants onto Facebook. When the playoffs ended, it laid dormant for about 5 months because I had no one to really talk to, and therefore no reason to be on it.
But what happens in October? The new season started. And I was looking for people I could actually discuss hockey with besides the people that I was stationed with in Beaufort whose hockey expertice extended as far as their hometown loyalties allowed. I knew someone from Tampa saying that the Lightning were going to win the Cup this year. There were people from New York saying it was the Sabre's turn this year (a little more realistic, but clearly biased).
There were only 2 people I knew that not only liked, but followed the Wings. Mind you, they did not follow nearly as religiously as I did, they watched the games on NBC and Versus when they were showing a Red Wings game, but that was it. I was the only person watching every game online and following ESPN to see what the 'experts' were saying.
But as long as I've been reading the game recaps and the analysis of the team on ESPN, I've always felt it was lacking a certain something. Something I could relate to, something I could buy in to.
It always seemed that the writers on ESPN, while no doubt knowledgable, were just too bland and too politically correct. They never said anything about "bullshit calls" or openly criticized the refs, coaches or players. They never struck me as real fans. Just people who got paid to write about the game without offending any one side, any demographic.
So I started looking into a more unmonitored conduit to get my news, analysis, and recaps from. The first site I stumbled upon was Snipe Snipe, Dangle Dangle. I loved the structured aspect to the site with the cookies and cupcakes and golden facepalm sections, along with the humor and personality that came through in the writing. It was definitely what I had been looking for, and pretty much needing. So after I read through a post on there, I looked at the other blogs listed on the page. I still have them all bookmarked in my favorites folder for Red Wings. I went from SS,DD to Babcock's Death Stare to Fight Night at the Joe to Hockeytown Static to Motown Wings to Nightmare on Helm Street to On The Wings to The Production Line to The Scrappy Octopus to The Triple Deke. In that order. And each one had it's own distinct voice and personality.
I had died and gone to a Red Wings blog heaven.
Eventually, I stopped bookmarking them because I realized that they all linked to each other, so I really only needed one to find my way to the others. But a lot of them also had links to their Twitter accounts. So there I was, thinking "Oh, hey, I have one of those Twitter things. Why not follow them?"
So I added. And I read. And I laughed. And I waited. I was admittedly afraid to jump into the conversations I saw happening on Twitter, because you all were just so good, so funny, and so close-knit that I thought I never stood a chance, that I'd never be taken seriously. (Little did I know at the time that nearly nothing is serious among you guys...)
I forget the circumstances behind it, but one day, I decided to say something, half expecting a "Yeah, okay, but who the fuck are you" type response. But it never came. I was immediately given a warm welcome into the little online community that was cropping up on Twitter. I was elated. I finally had people who shared my sense of humor, my taste in writing, and my love for the Red Wings. All in one place.
I used to have to deal with those cookie cutter game recaps they'd offer up on ESPN... Now, I've got jailsexing and movie posters and limericks and photoblogs and ladders to titties and beer and golden facepalms and (now) me singing Huey Lewis and the News in my bathroom.
I was ecstatic when I actually got credited on someone's blog for 'breaking' a story about someone being scratched from a game. To feel like these elite writers, these people I looked up to as bloggers, listened to me, was something big for me at the time.
Now, a little personal bit about me. I've always liked writing, and I've always been told that people like to read what I wrote.
So one day, I decided to give a little bit of Wings blogging a try. I couldnt think of a smart title that I felt would be both reflective of me as a person, but also my rookie attempt at blogging. But what was that line that I mentioned earlier? Etched in cold? Kind of like... skate blades and ice? Like... hockey? And At the Drive-In? DIBS.
So I had a title. Now all I needed was posts. I still feel that the best piece I've written was the first Wings and Sharks game back on my brutal little Tumblr site. (I should probably transfer those over here...) I don't know how many people actually read it there, or how many people even read what I say here. But for me, it's more of a release from the day I've had working as a Marine, to just emerge myself completely into my love for the Wings. I know my blog right now is a little halfassed and, well, lacking. Did you know that the Wings played the Blues this past week? It's not on my blog...
Things will change. Once I get somewhere that I can get a hardline internet connection to see the games and post my blogs, expect a complete overhaul of my site.
As I've always said, I've never expected to be considered at the same level as all those blogs I first stumbled upon so long ago. And I'll never expect to be mentioned during a Wings game and spur a record breaking scorgy. So I'm honored that you consider me a friend and an equal.
Afternoon Line- Pat Caputo
10 hours ago