So; John F. Rizzo is leaving Magic and Magic writing. Bravo for Rizzo! Stand by your principles. Do what you feel is right. I know all too well that life is short, and you only get one. But if you do it right, one’s all you need.
I didn’t send anything in for the Tribute to Rizzo. I figured that everyone and his hot stepsister would be doing that; why should I add my voice to the din? Besides, the Big Bad Bald One knows how I feel about him, and I know how he feels about me. Two Italians writing about Magic tend to be admirers. (I need to get in touch with Anthony Alongi, don’t I?)
Then I saw The Ferrett contest. All I could think was”Every redneck, rube, and yahoo is gonna be screaming about why he – not, she, women won’t be so crass – deserves those boxes.”
Well, let me say right here and right now: You don’t deserve Rizzo’s boxes. I don’t deserve Rizzo’s boxes. Anyone who says they deserve those boxes, by definition, doesn’t.
There Must Be 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover
So why do I say that you and I don’t deserve those boxes? First and foremost, to quote The Ferrett article,”Rizzo quit writing because of you.”
Yes, you and me. We.”Them” and”They” are”Us” now.
You took and took and took from the game, and you never gave back.
You hoarded tech then got mad when someone else stumbled upon it. (So help me, God, if I hear another person tell me how they”discovered” the Opalescence/Replenish combo, I’m going to be standing in front of a jury pleading”No Contest” inside of six days.)
You trolled the net looking for a deck to play, never trying to make your own decks. And when you found it and played it, you sprouted an ego the size of Marge Simpson’s hair. Hell, it wasn’t even your deck, and, after going 3-1 with it, you strutted around like you finally got laid. You’re pathetic.
You stood around on Saturday at the local card store trying to figure out if you could intentionally draw into the Top 4. (Play the damn game, already. Gary Kasparov never offered a draw, and neither did John McEnroe. Vince Lombardi should come back and kick your pasty white ass.)
You whined about losing to manascrew, and it never crossed your mind that your opponent just played better than you.
You cheated. And by cheating, you took away someone’s chance to play a few more games, win a box of cards, and feel a little better about him or herself.
You ripped off little kids in trades. (“Hey, I’ll trade you this great big Scaled Wurm for those two little Shadowmage Infiltrators!”)
You were an @sshole to a new player. That kid never played again. Thank God you don’t teach guitar. You never know if the next Stevie Ray Vaughn is out there… And I don’t want you to be an @sshole to him, too.
Who Can It Be Now?
So, who does deserve those boxes?
The Kid deserves them.
Who is The Kid? I don’t know his name, exactly. He’s the new kid who is just learning the game. She’s the lifeblood, the one who sees things fresh. He’s the one who needs cards because he’s brand new. You don’t need them, and neither do I.
This may sound strange coming from someone who just got his fourth Absorb last month and still owns exactly zero Call of the Herd or Shadowmage Infiltrators… But I just don’t need a box of random cards as much as I need for some new kid to have them. Best-case scenario, if I get a box of Odyssey, I pull one Call of the Herd and one Shadowmage Infiltrator. At best. I don’t need anything else. Okay, so maybe I give the rest away. Maybe I don’t. But I just don’t need the randomness that comes from those packs.
That new kid… She does, though. She needs to open the packs, to see the cards and the art, and figure out why this one is good and that one’s not without you and I picking through them first.
You see, if we get to them first, we’re gonna take out all of the good cards. So she’ll have nothing but crap left, anyway. Oh, you say you’ll leave her some good stuff? But, if it’s a Torment box, you’re not just going to take the Grim Lavamancer and the Nantuko Shade. You’re also going to take the good uncommons like Arrogant Wurm, Volcanic Eruption, and Compulsion. Hell, you’ll probably even scarf the Fiery Tempers and Basking Rootwallas, leaving her, like I said, nothing but crap.
So don’t even ask The Ferrett for Rizzo’s boxes. You don’t deserve ’em.
I hadn’t planned on writing that. Rizzo’s departure really surprised and stunned me. I’m gonna miss his writing, just like I’d miss it if James Lee Burke (DIXIE CITY JAM, CADILLAC JUKEBOX) or P.J. O’Rourke (PARLIAMENT OF WHORES, GIVE WAR A CHANCE) stopped writing and just like I miss CALVIN & HOBBES and THE FAR SIDE. But, the show must go on. Even though [author name="The Ferrett"]The Ferrett[/author] mentioned me in his article, I am not going to even pretend to be the next Rizzo. There wasn’t one before him, and there won’t be one after him.
Of course, there’s never been anyone like me, either. Or like you. Everyone is different. But this is my column, so I’m going to talk about me.
A lot of folks wrote to me when this was announced, hoping that I would follow in Rizzo’s footsteps. I can’t do it. It’s not my style. I rant once in a while. I can be funny. I fling out the weirdest tech there is sometimes… Okay, often. But, I’m not Rizzo.
Other people could not care less if Rizzo isn’t writing anymore. They don’t want entertaining Magic writing. They want the latest decklist. Period. They want to see a list of sixty cards that will raise their rating and win them money. Heaven forbid they should do any sort of work themselves.”Mommy, spoon feed me!”
Well, go somewhere else. This column is for the schlubs like me who play the game for – GASP – fun. You wanna know what’s fun in Magic for me? Magic fun is:
- Swinging for the win with a Cognivore… Once, for all twenty points of damage
- Playing Bind on a Pernicious Deed.
- Going 0 and 3 and playing that last round because the other 0 and 3 is a kid in his first tourney who, like me, just wants to play
- Winning with a deck that has a lot of”Huh?” cards in it; cards that make your opponent go”Did they reprint that in 7th Edition?” or”Um, can I see that? Samite Ministration, huh? Yeah, that stops my kickered Urza’s Rage.”
- Reminding people that they made black cards before Torment by playing Lord or the Undead, Grave Defiler, Nightscape Familiar, and Strength of Night.
- Playing Teferi’s Response against an Opposition deck and watching my opponent’s face when he realizes that I just blew up the Opposition and drew two cards
- Attacking with Lightning Elemental
- Attacking with Rith
- Attacking with Darigaaz
- Attacking with Rith and Darigaaz
- Playing Shelter when someone tries to Terminate Rith
- Playing Confound when someone tries to Repulse Treva
- Helping a kid build a deck from the commons box that wins him his first match
- Meeting great people like Stacey and Karl Allen, Bill Ericson, Steve Hall, Jeff and Amy Wiles, David Dyer, Bill Bryant, and the woman on Shelter (Come on; someone has to know who that is!)
- Countering Circle of Protection: Red with Mage’s Contest
- Getting an e-mail that says,”I played your deck this week and made the finals. How come you never make the finals with your decks?”
- Playing Inspiration over Fact or Fiction because they have the same casting cost and because I can
- Meeting my friend Karl Allen in the finals and playing anyway. (Concessions are where you buy beer and peanuts at baseball games – not what happens in the finals.)
- Getting beat by elves that have +1/+1 and Forestwalk
- Tapping down Spiritmonger with Benalish Trapper
- Playing the Ice half of Fire/Ice
- Playing Radiate on the Ice
- Playing Radiate on anything
- Having David Dyer give me a thousand cards for my buddy, Richard, whom I’m teaching to play Magic and whose wife won’t let him buy any Magic cards
- Losing to Richard for the first time
- Watching Jason break a stalemate in IBC by casting Tranquil Path, knocking out three (THREE!) Collective Restraints, and swinging for twenty… With elves
- Having John give me my first Goblin Grenade
- Putting an Armadillo Cloak on, well, anything
- Putting an Armadillo Cloak on a Plague Spitter
- Bringing Urborg Shambler in from the sideboard
- Casting Llanowar Elite with kicker
- Casting Thicket Elemental with kicker and turning over Flametongue Kavu
- Being with Karl and Stacey Allen at dinner after playing Magic for six hours and hearing Stacey say,”Um, I think my water broke.”
- Knowing that Stacey played in a Magic tournament while she was in labor
- Playing a first-turn Extract against Jeff Wiles’ Millstone deck
- Trying to help David Dyer break Guided Passage (HINT: Use four Questing Hippos and four Mystic Snake)
- Dropping Juntu Stakes against a blue/black deck running Psychatog and Shadowmage Infiltrator
- Dropping Meekstone against almost anyone
- Killing a Grim Lavamancer with a Rod of Ruin
- Playing Destructive Flow on turn 2
- Playing well and winning honestly
If anything on that list tickles your fancy… Then you’re in the right place. If you were looking for”Hoarding ultra-secret tech,” you’re in the wrong place.
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