See, this is why I try not to speak my mind in public.
Just for the record, I never intended for my last letter about Rizzo to go up. I meant for it to be just for The Ferrett, and I even told him I’d prefer if he didn’t put it up. Regardless, that doesn’t matter much now. My only problem with that is that I wrote it at 2 a.m., and essentially let my emotions write instead of my common sense. There are a few things I’d like to address in a more mature manner.
(For the record, Toby and I spoke online and he said something like,”Eh, if you can’t leave out the profanities, then forget it.” If I had known that he didn’t want it published altogether, I would have never published it; as it was, I thought he wanted it only printed unexpurgated – hence, the great number of swears. I am totally embarrassed. Also, the title was entirely mine, and I was just stirrin’ up controversy with my usual flair for PR… Which backfired. Whoops. My apologies to The Reverend… But for what it’s worth, a couple of people have agreed with what Toby said, and aside from his not actually wanting it to be published, I stand by the article as an important counterpoint – The Ferrett)
For starters, this whole idea of Kai and Finkel being more important than Wakefield and Rizzo was just an afterthought. I did not title my letter to The Ferrett – and if I had, that certainly wouldn’t have been the title. To be fair, I understand that Wakefield and Rizzo have a place within Magic. I personally never cared much for their work, but I met both of them in person and can say they are genuinely good guys. They put a lot of effort and dedication into their work, and I think that has to be respected whether I enjoyed their articles or not.
So what triggered my, umm…Emotional outburst? As I mentioned, I hate the idea of making someone into a martyr. I suppose that if it can be used to motivate people to do something positive like write better articles, it’s for the best. Still, I’d rather have people writing those articles because they want to, not because they feel obligated to hold up the standards put forth by their accepted personal Jesus of Magic writing. I believe in individuality, not group mentality. I’d much rather see people doing their own thing and writing within their own style than trying to copy another writer. To my knowledge, Wakefield hasn’t written a Magic article in well over three years. And I bet lots of players who have never read any of his work still think he was the greatest… Because other people tell them so. Yet another example of blindly following the martyr.
And hey, Wakefield didn’t die for your sins or anything. He just got addicted to Asheron’s Call.
Now, after reading over my letter a few times, it became apparent to me that I may come off as being bitter because Wakefield and Rizzo have achieved a certain amount of”celebrity” that I haven’t. The thing is, I shouldn’t be a Magic”name.” My job working for Sideboard is to make other players into icons and help them become well known. To put it into wrestling terms, I shouldn’t be spending time”putting myself over.” For a good example of how this should be done, look at Josh Bennett. He does a great job doing coverage for Sideboard, and many people don’t know who he is. That’s a testament to how well he does his job. I’m extremely happy with the opportunities and responsibilities I have within the community, and I realize that there is a place for icons like Rizzo and Wakefield – just as there is a place for Finkel and Kai.
The major difference, however, is that following Kai’s lead will do nothing but help you become a better Magic player. Following an internet celebrity writer’s lead will just make you unoriginal and lame. That was my main point, although I think it got drowned out in my swearing and yelling.
The other issue that concerns me is this whole”Pro vs. Casual” thing that my letter seems to instigate. Been there, done that, and I’d prefer to not go through it again. I will say this, though: Rizzo and Wakefield are often considered to be the champions of casual players, yet Wakefield had been on the Pro Tour multiple times, and Rizzo aspired to get there by playing in PTQs. Even though they used rogue deck ideas, they were still playing competitive Magic. Make no mistakes about it: Wakefield wanted to win. He just wanted to win on his own terms. Don’t think these guys were all about fun and games and goofy Coalition Victory decks; they were tournament competitors.
I apologize to anyone who was offended by my first letter – but by the same token, I stick to a lot of the things I said. I just wish I had said them in a more mature manner. On the other hand, I’ve received a lot more praise than insults so far for that letter, so obviously a lot of people feel the same way I do. I’ve always tried to keep a relatively low public profile within the community, because openly expressing my opinions on topics like this makes me look bad by hurting my journalistic integrity. It’s in my best interest to stay neutral, but in this case I really felt compelled to provide my two cents.
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