I can’t tell you what a good time it was being a supporting character in the tale of John Friggin’ Rizzo. We were like yin and yang ? two parts of a greater whole. I could go on an on about our philosophical differences, but why? It’s all laid bare in his articles, and rereading his archive will be far more entertaining than reading anything I can write here. (Our relationship is nicely Cliff-Noted in Purge Mode: On, one of my favorite Rizzo works.) But I think we learned a lot from each other. I believe the perfect Magic player is some cross between us… And I wonder if such a person exists.
No one wanted Rizzo to succeed more than I did. Maybe I put undue pressure on him. Maybe he wasn’t supposed to spend his Tuesdays at the”O” playing Magic. I’d tell him,”Just play this deck, for crying out loud,” but he wouldn’t listen.”Just draft the good card!” I’d yell.”Show me that you can do this!”
Maybe it’s better that he never showed me. Maybe he wasn’t supposed to follow the Wakefield model of”stay the course – qualify – die happy, thinking I made my point.” Maybe he wasn’t supposed to end up on Team CMU… But I’m glad he was. His presence enriched us all, and he certainly immortalized us through his words. I’d write more, but I’m stumbling. The dude was deep, and I can’t put what I’m thinking about in words just now.
It’s been two years since I met Rizzo, and now I’m the Content Manager for MagicTheGathering.com. I work for the company that makes the game. And my other half? He’s gone away. Packed it in. Hung up the wand. And it sucks. I understand it ?real life has a way of making you do things you don’t want to do ? but it still sucks.
“When Riz dies, he’ll be like L. Ron Hubbard – six feet under, but nobody’ll know he’s dead for another six years… – The Ferrett” Might not be true. The community can help ease the pain, though… Please write articles. Tournament reports. Anything. Enrich the game. Enrich yourself. Hell, enrich my Tuesday mornings the way Rizzo used to. If an ornery bald thirtysomething can change shape Internet Magic, so can you.
Hang in there, Mintbox.