With the off-season slowing down, it's probably a good time to go over some things here at Matchsticks and Gasoline. We have new readers and commenters every day, and some of you may not be familiar with the site, the community, or myself...
So, without further ado:
- Before coming on board here at SBnation, I usually hated places that made me sign up to comment. The functionality at this netowrk has changed my mind, however. The sign-up process is simple and the benefits to making an account are multiple - not only can you comment, but you can post your own "fanshots" (quick links, quotes or pictures) or "fanposts" (longer articles for discussion). What's more, the site tells you when new comments have been added to posts or threads. It also allows you to "recommend" posts or comments you like.
We've only been up a relatively short time, but have had some outstanding commenter contributions, ranging from photoshops to wallpapers to interesting discussion topics (like Bullard22's contribution a few posts below, for example). I expect that area to expand as we move forward, and contributions are always welcome (as long as they are honest and not, you know, spam).
Readers will notice a certain familiarity between myself and some of the frequent commenters - the truth is, a small minority of us have been discussing and arguing the Flames for years. We've added some voices to the mix since M&G went live and I would like to say that new people and perspectives are always welcome, even if they deviate from what might be perceived as a "norm" amongst the regulars around here. All I ask is honest debate and respect between parties - feel free to disagree, even vehemently, but lay off personal attacks and ad hominem arguments. Not only will that get you nowhere in terms of advancing your viewpoint, it will also get you a one-way ticket to Bansville.
You don't have to agree with me - heck, you don't even have to like me all that much - but if we can all stay away from mindlessly spitting vitriol, the community and the discussions are better for it. The goal here is not to necessarily have an echo chamber - but a place where dissention can lead to new insights rather than flame wars.
My name is Kent Wilson. I've been a Flames fan and Calgary resident most of my life and I've been blogging and freelancing about hockey since 2005. It all began at my personl site, Fiveholefanatics, Which is now part of the Score network of blogs. Feel free to shuffle through the archives and laugh at my earlier work. The best of my stuff can also be found here.
Over the last year or two, I've also been writing for Flames Nation, Rototimes.com/Fanball and, now, SB Nation. I don't know where this crazy train will lead, or when I'll get off, but it's been a lot of fun so far. when I started ranting anonymously to myself and 3 friends back in '05, I had no idea it would lead to anything like this.
I've been doing this for awhile and have established some tropes in my writing which may be difficult to follow for people who are new to me or this space. I use a lot of abbreviations and some stats/metrics which probably seem foreign and potentially off-putting. If something seems confusing, please feel free to drop a comment for clarification: I tend to take for granted that everyone reading is familiar with how I talk about things, which may not be true. If not, let me know, I'll try my best to clear things up. And if I can't do it, I'm sure one of the smart commenters we have around here can.
That's it for now. Thanks to everyone who comes by and contributes for making writing and arguing here so much fun. Here's hoping we can keep things going...