Friday, September 19, 2008

 

"I Had the Last Waltz With You"

by Jes

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those ... moments will be lost in time, like tears...in rain.

Time to die"
- Roy Batty, Bladerunner.

Back in May of 2004, I got the notion to start this blog, and called it Hockey Rants because I love hockey and ranting. Simple concept, really.

I had often visited many baseball blogs (which there were/are plenty), and was tired of all the childishness of places like HFboards. I wanted a place where I could rant how I wanted, when I wanted, and on topics I wanted, without my voice being lost in the wilderness.

I didn't come into blogging with many expectations, other than having a home for some friends and family reading my blathering, and maybe getting a decent audience who appreciated thoughtful blog posts over playground arguments. I also found the whole process to be a lot of fun, and got to experience a little bit of the hockey writer's life.

---

4 years later, I feel the fun has disappeared for me. Perhaps the combination of writing for AOL and my own site just overloaded my positronic circuits, but blog posting now feels more of a chore and an obligation than anything else. I haven't truly enjoyed blogging very much for the past few months, and I don't see that changing in the near future.

You may have noticed I've hinted at burnout the past 1-2 months, and, like an old scented candle, I'm mostly now a mush of wax.

I look back at some of my older posts, and I realize that my content is not nearly as good as it used to be. The posts on this site used to be either funnier, contain more detailed analysis, and/or a lot of Czech/Slovak content, the latter of which I'm the most proud to have brought to the blogosphere.

Like Trevor Linden, I just don't have "it" any longer. I'm tired, worn down, and my abilities have been eroded over time. I know I'm capable of writing some good material, but it would take a lot of time and effort that I'm just not able to handle. When I think about the memorable posts I've written, most of it has not been writing over the past 6-8 months.

That is why I've decided to retire from regular hockey blogging and close the Hockey Rants chapter of my life, as well as stop writing for AOL FanHouse.

What does the future hold? Well, I like to rant and I like to write. I might change this site into an all-around Rants site (a mix of hockey, politics, pop culture, etc), or I might hook up with another blog and do some guest entries. Anyone who has any ideas is welcome to contact me. For the next while, though, I'm just taking an online vacation.

---

Hockey blogs have come a long way since I started. Back when I first posted here, there were maybe 10-12 hockey blogs TOTAL. There were many baseball blogs, but almost nothing revolving around our great sport. There was Hockey Pundits, Off Wing Opinion, Sharkspage, Hockey Update, and Confessions of a Hockey Fanatic. The blogroll was smaller than Steve Kariya.

Right after a lockout, there was a sudden explosion on the number of hockey blogs out there. People flocked back to the game, and also to the new type of technology and reach that blogging offered. No longer was I able to visit every hockey blog within my lunch hour.

Not only has the quantity increase substantially, but the quality as well. I used to pride myself on being near the top of the heap, but there are many other sites that just offer much more on the way of quality content than my little old site. Yes, I do feel like I've been left behind like John McCain's ex-wife.

I'm not jealous or spiteful, but rather thankful of how much great stuff is out there. No longer are we subjected to purely reading what bones the MSM throws at us, or are we limited to a few publications and websites. There is just so much out there for everyone, and, in the end, its all of us hockey fans that win.

Do I consider myself a pioneer? Yes, but just a small one. I have helped a few people start their sites out (those who asked), and I know a few people were like "I saw your site and felt I could do that, too!" I know I'm one of the true veterans out there, and am rather proud of some of the baby bloglings that grown up to be strong young sites.


---

As I mentioned, I didn't have a lot of expectations from starting this site. Fortunately, and most surprisingly, this site brought me a lot of opportunities and allowed me to meet many people: bloggers, fans, writers, and even an ex-girlfriend. :/

In Academy Awards fashion, minus the crappy, overrated movies *cough*No Country for Old Men*cough*, I’d like to thank and give a shout out to various people who I've met over the past 4+ years. I still intend to maintain contact with many of you, as I certainly won't stop being a hockey fan any week soon. Don't be offended if I forgot you, it just means you aren't important :) (kidding...)

In no particular order ...


  • Eric "Mac Daddy" McErlain, who scored me the gig with FanHouse and provided a lot of advice when I started out.

  • Michael "The Hockey Fanatic" Fedor, my fellow Team Slovakia member and one of the longest-serving hockey bloggers.

  • My Czech loving co-bloggers Dan (Czechmate) and Greg, who helped add another point-of-view and some extra content to Hockey Rants.

  • My girlfriend, Aurian, for obvious reasons ;)

  • PJ from Sharkspage for driving me around San Francisco for an afternoon.

  • Snoopyjode, who took over The Sidney Crosby Show, which I started as a social experiment, and made it into a real success.

  • Pavol Demitra, Jiri Slegr, Trevor Linden, Jan Bulis v2.1, and Tomas Plekanec for their continued awesomeness.

  • My FanHouse comrades: Wyshynski, Luongo, Lady Killer Mirtle, Ciskie, Schultzy, JD Press, Saler, Earl Sleek, Lackey, Starkey.

  • Stormbringer10, whom I haven't seen in years, for designing my site's banner.

  • The Acid Queen, who has helped me with female POV stuff and made me laugh with stories about her evil cats.

  • Alanah from Canucks and Beyond, who once took me out for dinner and helped me with some personal stuff ;), but hasn't spoken to me for ages :(

  • My sources from Czechia, Slovakia, and other parts of Europe, who wish to remain anonymous.

  • My part-time contributors ... guys who sent me in links to articles, news items, and other gossip: Southern Correspondent Wayne, Faux, 2 Man Advantage, the d00ds from Edinburgh, Big Dan, and so forth.

  • The fellows from esports.cz, Misha/Schlegel, who gave me lots of good stuff before and during the lockout.

  • BBC Radio Five, for granting me my first ever radio interview. Man, was I ever nervous :/

  • Of course, those who read and comment on my side on a (semi)regular basis. A blog is nothing without eyeballs. Bloggers love comments more than anything else.

  • The MSM (Mainstream Mediots) for providing lots of fodder.

  • Tom Benjamin, another grumpy old-school blogger and the guy who actually made me look like a nice guy by sheer comparison.

  • Anyone else I've forgotten. I've met so many people and fell out of touch with so many people over the years.

    So, good-bye (for now) to all of you. I shall not disappear totally into the night, but I will step back and just allow myself to be a fan and observer, and probably comment on a few blogs which I've been neglecting to read lately due to my busy schedule.

    It's been an Al MacInnis blast!

    Regards, Jes Gőlbez
  • Labels:


    Comments:
    Crap. You were one of the first I read, and the first one I commented and posted anything to (armenian hockey ass kicking).

    I'm going to miss your writing
     
    Say it ain't so Jes, say it ain't so. I have really enjoyed your stuff over the past 3 years or so. I have this site bookmarked and you are part of my daily routine. Thanks for all your good blogging!

    Mark
     
    sláinte mhaith, jes!!!

    thanks for the many wasted hours at work. ;) thanks for taking a chance on me. thanks for cheering me on as i found my voice in this crazy blogosphere. but most of all, thanks for being a friend.

    selfishly i hope that this is just a leave of absence, but just in case, good luck and best wishes in all you do in the future.
     
    I am really sorry you won't be posting anymore. I always enjoyed your blog.
    Tara in Columbus
     
    I appreciate the sentiments :)

    Tapeleg (love the peeps shows, btw), there will always be an Armenian men's team or Bulgarian woman's team willing to get slaughtered for our amusement.
     
    Good luck, Jes. You'll be missed.
     
    Your blog has been awesome Jes, thanks for the contribution. I always enjoyed stopping by, and you're really the only blogger that made me laugh out loud on a regular basis. Good luck to you in the future!
     
    Man, there needs to be a number retirement ceremony or something.

    Best of luck, dude, and thanks a TON for paving the way for the rest of us.
     
    Earl,

    I'm not Mark Messier. I don't need a huge ceremony nor am I going to start crying.

    Feel free to send me money, though ;)
     
    Sorry to see you go, Jes, your blog was a daily stop for me. Best of luck in the future and hopefully you'll return to the hockey blogosphere again one day. All the best.
     
    Gonna miss stopping by here during work hours ;-)

    Of course, you can always rant to me!
     
    I know I've only been a visible presence here for a couple of months, but I've been a long time reader of both HR and your Fanhouse stuff. Always enjoyed both, which was why I wanted to start contributing to HR when the opportunity presented itself.

    I promise I will always carry on at sportsfiend.ca with the vigour of your standard here, which is something I've learned in my short stint here.

    I'll really miss being a part of something as widely appreciated as this site...

    I invite you to post up anything you ever feel like posting on my site (www.sportsfiend.ca) because I think you'll eventually get the urges, and also the creative muse.

    Much luck in all your endeavours.
    Dan Rakusan - AKA - Czechmate
     
    Why do I have a feeling we'll be seeing news tomorrow about Pavol Demitra's new Vancouver assistant?

    Seriously though, this is one of the oldest and best hockey blogs. As Tom Cruise would say to his legion of adoring cultists...much love.
     
    Thanks for the years of unchecked snark you provided to the world of hockey, and for the contributions to FanHouse's success. Take a breather, drink a bit, and then get back to the keyboard sooner rather than later.
     
    You had me at "time to die".

    Seriously, like everyone else said, this was a daily stop and you helped get a lot of us into this "thing". So thanks a ton man.

    ...Besides, you'll be back the second Demitra nets his first hat trick. On opening night. Twice. :)
     
    Best of luck, Jes. Sorry you're leaving hockey blogging - I hope you find something else which sparks your creative interests. :)
     
    Awww, Jes. I'm going to miss you a lot. It's been said by many others, but you were truly one of the first blogs I've ever started reading on a regular basis and I will miss your voice in the blog-o-sphere for sure. Congrats on everything you've accomplished and we hope to see you around still! Definitely keep in touch if you can :D
     
    You will surely be missed Jes! I have always enjoyed reading your blog even with you hating on the Wings and Swedes. ;)

    I hope you enjoy your online vacation and maybe we'll see you around the blogosphere when you get back!
     
    Jes - With you shutting down, where do I go for my daily dose of snark and sarcasm regarding Bettman's NHL? I can feel myself already suffering from withdrawal...

    mr perfect
     
    dude??

    No, really??
     
    You are going to be sorely missed Jes but I understand completely. This blog was another one of those that got be back into the game.
     
    I object! My cats are NOT evil!

    It's been surreal, d00d.
     
    Hey,

    Been subscribed since before the lockout - other hockeyblogs have come and gone from my subscriptions, but rants has stayed. You'll be missed.
     
    Pavol comes here and you leave??

    In all seriousness... thanks for everything Jes and best of luck in whatever you do.
     
    I rarely left a comment, but stopped by every day. Best of luck and thanks for making me laugh so often.
     
    You were the literally the very first blog I ever read, and your blog roll on the left introduced me to at least 10 others that i still frequent. Sorry to see you go. Thanks for your part in improving the overall level of hockey journalism in the world.
     
    Thank you, four years is a long time and you deserve a long break. My money would be on your returning (may take a while). I have quit 3 times and still think of hanging it up (again) regularly.
     
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
     
    Sorry to hear this, this is my fave hockey blog :(
     
    You're just feeling the same thing most of us feel at one time or another, usually in our "real jobs." It's called "burnout," and the only cure for a severe case is a break, change of scenery, or a whole new assignment.
    As your self-appointed doctor, I prescribe a 6-month sabbatical from writing about hockey. At the end of six months, try writing about some issue/player/topic that's arisen during that time-frame, and if you get excited about it, you'll know you're healed. If not, take another 6 months. The nice thing is, your family isn't relying on you to come through and churn out the words, so there's no real pressure. The "bad thing" is, there's no real incentive, either, aside from the pleasure you get from writing these rants, so you may find the pleasure you receive just isn't worth the pain and self-imposed pressure of steady composition.
    Just remember, and I mean this from the heart, that the Red Wings have always and will always own the Canucks, and that even if you're ahead in a game or series, you're only one mid-ice slapper from Lidstrom away from disaster.
    Also, the USA drinks Canada's milkshake, in everything except men's hockey...and that day is coming, too. :)
     
    Sorry to see that you are giving up the ship. Now who do I go to for Slovak hockey tips? You know I can't read their blogs yet.

    Think of this,... who will chronicle to us all about Pavol "the hockey god" Demitra's life in a Canuck jersey.

    Anyway... you gave it a real great run. Thanks for reading/writing/commenting and just being a cool friend. Oh, and thanks for the shout out.
     
    WTF, my only way to follow NHL is closed? Well, in this case they couldn't even bother to start a new season...

    Thanks for all the rants, Jes, and especially for Balastik-watch feature :)
     
    Even though I didn't agree with what you said all the time, I still took time to look up your blog. I never bothered to post comments. It's a love/hate thing that I will be sorry to see go. Best of luck with whatever else it is you do :)
     
    Why couldn't it be Eklund?!

    For the love of God... WHY???!!?!?!?!
     
    Good luck, Jes.
     
    Will miss your writing. I have enjoyed your stuff for a long time now. And damnit, your name/url was so easy to remember I always used it as my starting point when needing to rebuild my sitelist on a new computer.

    Thank you!
     
    1) Geez, we go away for a few days and you drop this bomb! LOL.
    2) Understand your 'burnout', but once the season starts and real hockey news is generated perhaps you'll change your perspective. If not, its been a pleasure reading/commenting on your blog the past few years. God Speed!
     
    The very best of luck to you in the future, Jes. I've enjoyed reading your stuff for a couple of years now, and it certainly contributed to my enthusiasm for blogging and starting up The Litter Box. Take care, bro.
     
    In other news, Pavol Demitra has announced his retirement.

    Thanks for paving the road for us, Jes.
     
    Thanks for the years of entertainment - just make sure you update us as to what you'll be doing next.
     
    Thanks for some awesome reads. Possibly the best blog around too. Glad you had the notion to start an online rant. Our lifes are better for it. Good luck in all you do!

    Ross ( Dood from Edinburgh)
     
    ooooh, i will missed your rants, especially now, when demo became a canucks... thanks for all your works/words, which killed my work time...
     
    Hate to see you go, Jes. You're always welcome over at MHH. Drop me, Joe, or Drafty a line anytime. You've got a forum there if you ever need it.

    Good luck with whatever this creative outlet turns into. I'll miss my daily stops here as I procrastinate my career away...
     
    Trying to think of a good hockey analogy to compare your blogging retirement to....you are kind of like Mario with his bad back...we all knew he still had mad skill, but he couldn't play to his own expectations. Or perhaps we could call you the 'Yashin' of hockey blogging just to light a fire and keep you blogging for another few months ;-)
     
    Jes,

    I exactly know that feeling that's all around you like a patch of fog. Been there, done that.

    Some time off does wonders. Perhaps, almost sure, it will start itching again after some time because you can't do without ranting..and you know it:)

    Take care and I'm sure we'll stay in touch.

    _J-
     
    Thanks for your interest and support of Slovak hockey over the past several years.
    K. Dvorak, frequent anonymous contributor of all things slovak. :)
     
    Is that Pavol Demitra in picture the guy with the afro? :D
    Anyway it looks really funny! :D
     
    Somewhere Jiri Slegr sheds a tear.

    Here's hoping you come back from the break sooner than later and saltier than ever.

    Thanks for the support.

    -Nemmy
     
    Great blog, really enjoyed it. Cheers!
     
    ARGGH! So I'm trying to get ready for the hockey season and I decide to check in on my favorite hockey blog and discover this. I completely understand and I'm sad too. Thank you for all the times you made me laugh out loud that all my co-workers think I'm crazy. Because of your site, I've come to read a lot of other blogs that I would never have known about. Thank you for your great writing, your sense of humor and all the laughs. Best wishes to you.
     
    as a long time lurker, this decision blows massive chunks. maybe it was the paid gig part that sucked the fun? whatever it was, enjoy your time away.
     
    Hey, you can't quit. I was anticipating goading you into keyboard brawls by bashing Demitra all year!
    Whatever you end up doing, best of luck to you and thanks for the inspiration.
     
    Great blog, really enjoyed it. Cheers and good luck !
     
    As the Czech brat ventures into UFA territory, I'm missin' you Jes. Hope all is well.
     
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