A year and a half ago, when Omeed Dariani turned StarCity over to my editorial pen, he held the first-ever Annual StarCityCCG.com Award Show. I, of course, meant to hold one, too a year after… But then six months passed.
“No problem,” said I -“I’ll just hold it on January first!”
Anyway, so here it is. It’s late. I don’t have time to write a clever intro. Suffice it to say that your behind-the-scenes look at StarCity starts now.
The Word That Nobody Ever Spells Right:
Let’s see, is it the old popular Flametounge? Flamtongue? Flametonge? Flambe? Flim-flam? I’ve even seen”Flan-Tongue Kavu,” which is evidently the sort of Kavu that prefers light custard drizzled in caramel.*
I mean, it’s not like this is a made-up word, folks. It’s two regular, everyday words mashed together, like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.** Lord, I’ll be so happy when Planeshift rotates out.
Honorable Mention For The Word That Nobody Ever Spells Right:
I can’t blame anyone; until Anthony Alongi clued me into the fact that it’s an anagram of Garfield, Ph. D., I never got it right, either – and at one point, I had the wrong spelling in my spellchecker. So you’re off the hook, but it’s still annoying.
Most Amusing Word That Nobody Ever Spells Right:
Even Rizzo was prey to this for awhile, indicating that you rouge players not only spurn netdecks, but walk around wearing mascara and a nice blush – no wonder the pros don’t talk to you! (It’s rogue, people.)
The ‘Word That I Will Never Add To My Spellchecker’ Award:
I will add”anyways.” I will add”manascrewed.” I may even, under certain circumstances, add”Mowshowitz.” But I will never mise.
The ‘Joke That Nobody But Me Ever Sees’ Award:
When I get submissions via email (please don’t), I have to strip all of the HTML formatting, line breaks, and so on out using a handy little shareware program called TextSOAP. The command to clean up the text is”scrub.”
By gosh, it’s usually right.
The ‘Worst Part Of The Job’ Award:
Ask The Judge
They all arrive in fifteen million different email formats, so I have to TextSOAP them individual – big pain. And Sheldon’s responses are always immaculate… But the questions themselves need translation.”cani targat a Urzes Rage with an underMINE and does I die?” So after I rewrite every frickin’ incoherent question, I then have to split the Ask The Judge articles up into four sections so there’s one for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday… I know y’all need to Ask The Judge (my little amusing side comments have gotten me burned more than once)***, but can you at least try to ask him in English? Coherently?
The ‘I’d Really Hate To See What Happened If They Took Notes’ Award:
“I’m sorry, but I don’t remember much about these matches….“
It’s ironic that the people who waste my time with stupid reports like,”Game 1: I roll him. Game 2: He rolls me. Game 3: I get mana screwed and die” never apologize for using up electricity that could be better spent, say, powering their own brain cells… But the people who do apologize can analyze their match down to the component atoms of their deck.
But here is an actual example of match reporting from the guy who apologized above:
“We’re friendly enough, the first couple of turns are not terribly exciting. I manage an early Dream Thrush, he gets an early Trapper. It’s Turn 4 and he’s sitting there with a Plains a Forest, and two Islands, all untapped. This is a clear signal that he’s holding a counter and I need to do something to break that. I consider using the Thrush to color-screw him out of white, but then I said to myself, ‘Well, he can cast Exclude whether I do it or not, so I might as well give him the damage.’ I swing for 1and cast the Urborg Shambler again. He taps… a white and two blue. Absorb? Who opens an Absorb in Sealed? The next turn an Armadillo cloak comes down on the Trapper. I rapidly begin to lose. I peel the Breath off the top of my library and cast it. It gets Prohibited. Who plays with counters in Limited? Players who win, that’s who. I sat there, staring at the Exclude in my hand. I miss my Counterspells. I then finish losing and we shuffle up for the second game.”
The ‘Luckiest Bastard’ Award:
He wrote one article for us – and on the basis of that singleton, Mark Rosewater hired him to write Magical history columns for triple digits a pop at Magicthegathering.com. Isn’t that nice? He doesn’t even have to make up decks like Anthony and Jay.
But truly, Ben should be kissing the feet of….
The ‘StarCity Issue Boy’ Award:
Forget Rizzo. Well, don’t forget him, but keep in mind that he writes approximately five zillion words per week at a rate that makes Stephen King weep with envy. But every word that Tony Sculimbrene writes, he gets three emails of protest – even for words like”Tony” and”the.”
His article on crap rares created an entire day at StarCity – which, incidentally, launched Ben’s career. His article on Extended caused two weeks’ worth of damage here. If anyone deserves the title, it’s Sculimbrene.
The ‘Marathon Mouth’ Award:
John Friggin’ Rizzo
This award could go to Iain Telfer, who submitted a seventy-page article on Odyssey draft… But at least I could split that up by color. However, Rizzo’s amazing report, The Guy Who Invented Regionals Needs To Be Beaten Up, actually broke our database by being too large. We had to split it into three separate articles, simply because it overflowed. Jesus. Riz, I love ya, but oh you kid.
The ‘Worst Thing I Could Say About Him’ Award:
Anthony Alongi; Overuses; Semicolons.
He responds to every email. His writing is the easiest edit I have. When I was at Pro Tour: Los Angeles, he spent an hour talking to Pete, comparing the prices of cards, worried that he might be ripping off some kid in a trade. He’s more moral than Jerry Falwell, but there’s one flaw…
Every Casual Fridays has fifteen billion semicolons in them.
I change them all into dashes, em-spaces, commas, and so on, but Anthony still rests on that semicolon like it was some sort of crutch. There. I’ve said it.
Now let’s see what he says about me.****
The ‘Most Inappropriate Joke’ Award:
My Fires, Part Five Zillion
The ‘Most Perfectionist’ Award:******
He insists on every article he’s ever written hyperlinked within his own articles. He wants a separate style of formatting for card texts. He wants me to email him both when I get them, and when they’re up. Does he not realize that this is only a part-time job for me? Man, if the guy wasn’t one of the best we had….
The ‘Terror Of My Editing’ Award:
He has a last name that I cannot instinctively spell. For his first four articles, I misspelled his name on the front page, then misspelled it in the URL (back when we used ’em)… And every time he emailed me, he got angrier and angrier.
Now, I can’t blame him… But Rui never actually puts his name anywhere in the article. Just to torment me, he doesn’t sign his emails either. In fact, Rui apparently has troubles spelling his own name correctly, since he never actually types it into anything that he ever sends to me. And so, every time I get an article from Rui, in order to avoid his wrath, I have to go to StarCity’s Writer Archives and look his name up.
He might shoot me if I spell it wrong again.
The ‘Clockwork Automaton’ Award:
Many of you hated him, but he got his articles in on time – a week in advance, fully written. Would that all writers could be like that. Well, not quite as obsessed with trading, anyway.
He emails every time there’s anything sketchy at StarCity – contests where the winner’s not announced, strange advertising practices, the occasional Satanic ceremonies Pete holds in the basement…. And he also has been reminding me to do this column for six months now. He’s the walking site history! If there’s anyone who loves StarCity more than Daniel, well, all I can say is that you don’t email enough.
The ‘How Much Effort Could It Take, Anyway?’ Award:
Every week, he’d thrash the worst of the net. I loved that. Then he disappeared, claiming writer’s block. Not to disparage you, dude, but insulting comes so easily to me that I find it inconceivable…. Is Team Academy’s”huh huh, yer gay” the best the Magic community can do for self-critique?
The ‘Come Back To Us!’ Award:
She comes out of nowhere, writes one of the best Magic articles ever, then disappears into oblivion. I want more. She could write about her laundry and I’d listen.
The ‘Breaking The Seventh Commandment’ Award:
She writes at CCGPrime about multiplayer, she’s married to Peter Jahn…. And dammit, she should be writing for us. I lust after her daily. But strangely enough, I’m too cheap to offer her a fully-compensated Featured Writer position. What kind of jerk am I, anyway?*****
The ‘Writer I Hate The Most’ Award:
He doesn’t write for us…. Well, actually, neither of the writers I hate the most do. But I’ve had private feuds with both of them, they’re both in the Writer’s War, and I will be cheerfully voting against them. Guess.
The ‘Writer I Hate The Most At StarCity’ Award:
Nobody, really, but I bet every one of them who reads this (and they will) will skip a beat as, for a moment, they believe it’s them. But if I had to choose, the writer I hate the mo
The ‘Best Title’ Award:
William Shatner Buys Porno
I have no idea why John Bennett called it that, but it won last year’s award and it’s winning this one, too. Nobody comes up with titles like that anymore. Come to think of it, I probably wouldn’t let anyone except for Bennett get away with it.
The ‘Best Flavor Text’ Award:
Ask The Judge, 4-04
The ‘Goofiest Article’ Award:
Why, Oh Why?
Cwp (who is but a Scrabble tile away from ‘wickiup’) is cranky, but funny when he sets his mind to it. There are funnier articles out there, but this is hands-down the weirdest concept.
The ‘Was It Something I Said?’ Award
Sky Winslow Roy
One of the things I looked forward to when I got the job was editing Mister Left Hand… But although he wrote one article a month before I took the job, he never wrote again. Does Omeed inspire that sort of loyalty that Sky refuses inferior editing?
The ‘From Left Field, Not The Left Hand’ Award:
Sol Malka’s Surprise Plea
During last year’s Writer War, I thought I had it all in the bag… At least until the quarterfinals. Little did I know that in a cunning ploy, Malka would use some of the strategy that he’d famed for and start up a publicity campaign on other websites to beat me.
Could I have abused my power as an editor to win? Certainly. Should I have?
Well, probably, but he deserved the win. And just like I predicted, Flores trounced him. Obi-Wan, I was your only hope.
The ‘Most Cards’ Award:
Good God, I’ve had six fake Magic cards created to represent me. I did my own in one of my first articles as editor, [author name="Daniel Crane"]Daniel Crane[/author] wrote me up, CCGPrime actually created a graphic… And David Phifer did one better by actually printing a card of me, a five-color legend, which I keep in my trade binder to amuse those who are flipping through casually. Two others, whose links I cannot find, have translated my chunky ass into a 3/3 or a 1/whatever… Which is way too amusing.
The ‘You Never Knew How Famous You Were, Oscar’
The 7-22 StarCity
Every morning when I update the site for tomorrow, I have to look at tomorrow’s date by adjusting the date in the URL. The day that I actually bookmarked, which I then adjust to see tomorrow’s, is 7/22. Every day for the past six months, I’ve opened it up to”You CAN Play Type 1″ and”Tapped Out: Of Angels And Dragons” before quickly switching to, say, http://www.starcitygames.com/previous.php?todaydate=2002-01-25.
The ‘Worst Moment’ Award:
Moving To Cleveland
Sure, you might think that it was when StarCity went down for three weeks in February… But that was kind of like a vacation for me. No, trying to schedule two weeks of updates ahead of time to plan a U-Haul cross country, then work out of a cheesy laptop on a friend’s line for the next three weeks until our phone could be connected… Man, that sucked.
* – Flan-Tongue Kavu adds 4 pounds to target creature when it comes into play.
** – Mmmm, Reeses.
**** – Of course, he is a nice guy. He can’t insult me. Nyah.
***** – A cheap one.
****** – This should be ‘Most Retentive,’ but Oscar’s tetchy.*******
******* – Well, if he gets upset about this footnote, he is. (g)