We don't say thank you enough. But this is all a hell of a lot of work. The clips threads require someone to read dozens of articles and pick the best ones, usually in the very early morning. (JP thinks about hockey more before breakfast...) The recaps require someone to play beat writer, a job Tarik, Corey and Vogel all get paid to do. Just think of what the recap took for last year's miserable loss in San Jose -- would you have wanted to stay up well past midnight to write a review of the Caps' ugliest game of the year?
The analysis posts are the real stars of the Rink. They bring deep thought and creative application of statistics to give us all new insight on an interesting issue that maybe we never thought about before. They combine inspiration and hard work. The fact that our hosts do all of this for love of the game doesn't make it any less work and shouldn't make us any less appreciative.
One week into the season, the Rink is certainly off to a better, more consistent start than the team is. Here's what we got in the past week:
- A clips thread with a review of the Caps opening night victory against Boston
- An analysis of the "distance from goal" stat on the scoresheet, and why it's next-to-useless
- A clips thread with a Leafs game preview
- A Leafs game thread
- A Leafs game recap
- A clips thread with a review of the Caps victory against the Leafs
- An analysis of what it would take for Ovechkin to score fifty in fifty, a subject nearly everyone has been talking about (and the Rink got there before almost any of them)
- A clips thread with a Flyers game perview
- A really deep analysis of the impact of Ovechkin's contract on DC as a hockey town
- A "daydream" analysis of what it would take for the Caps to become a dynasty so provocative, the team's owner felt he had to respond
- A Flyers game thread
- A Flyers game recap
- A clips thead with a review of the OTL to the Flyers
- An analysis of Varlamov's mental state
- A clips thread with a Rangers game preview
- An analysis of the effect of taking and drawing penalties on the Caps' odds of winning a game
- A Rangers game thread
- A Rangers game recap
- A clips thread with a review of the loss to the Rangers
- An analysis of where Eric Fehr could/should play
Add in three timely fanshots (Ovechkin earning 1st star of the week; Limits on player use of social media; and Boudreau accusing half of the Poti/Erskine pairing of denial) and a few fanposts (Caps interviewing Redskins; SBN's power rankings; Matt Bradley's fighting style; and Hershey's roster), and that's 26 content threads generated by our hosts, with 5429 (and counting) comments.
What is most impressive is that with all the "routine" hard work on clips and recaps, these all-stars still averaged one deep analysis per day. The post that garnered the most outside attention was written by a man just a couple of days before his wedding. That's dedication.
So how do we all say "thank you?" I'm sure donations wouldn't be turned away, but from where I'm sitting, the main watchword here is "respect."
Don't threadjack an analysis thread. It sucks to put hours into one topic only to have a commenter blithely turn the discussion to a completely unrelated thing. Honduran politics and other off-topic stuff belong in a clips thread.
Do think before you post. Intelligent, well-thought out responses are part of the reward for putting together a thoughtful analysis.
Don't be nasty or crude, unless you're being clever or funny enough to justify it. The intended audience is mature adults. We don't have to be careful as though small kids are around, but neither are we titillated by the purely juvenile.
Do contribute. Perhaps the best way to say "thank you" is to grab an oar and help out. Fanposts and fanshots add to the vibrancy of the discussion. We did pretty well this week, with eight fanposts and twenty-two fanshots, which earned 540 comments. But that's still less than 10% of the activity our hosts generated. Even a simple "rec" is a valued contribution, and it costs you nothing.
And there is one even more obvious way to say "thank you..."