The Armchair Squid is one year old today. I started this blog with what I will admit was a rather amorphous vision. The idea first hatched as I was watching last year's Confederations Cup soccer tournament. During the last World Cup (2006), I served as commissioner for My Wife's work pool and wrote humble missives to help guide the uninitiated. It was good fun and I thought I might give it another shot in 2010.
However, as you may have already figured out, my primary sports enthusiasm is for tennis. Not long after my soccer thoughts, I was watching Wimbledon and thinking about how frustrating it is that the press follows such a small sample of the hundreds of players who participate in a Slam tournament. 128 players in a singles draw means 128 stories. I thought I might find a way to showcase some of the lesser-knowns and my Curtain Call idea was born. It was with these two ideas that I launched the Armchair Squid last August.
Years ago, my mother asked me why I like sports so much. It is an interest which I developed entirely apart from my family. She wondered if it was my love for numbers. While I am certainly a numbers geek and the sports page definitely fed me plenty of them, I didn't think that was it. I believe that what I really love about sports is its wealth of stories. Every game is a story and if you watch (or play) live you get to watch the story unfold as it happens. But really, a game is a great confluence of stories. Every player has a story, as does every team, every coach, every season, every franchise, every city and on and on. Naturally, every fan also has a story, too. After the US Open finished, I didn't want to just twiddle my thumbs until the Aussie Open came around. I wanted to keep writing. And so, I decided that my story as a fan would be my starting point as I explored other topics.
This jumping around and dabbling here and there has been good fun but I'm now at a point where I'd like for the blog to have a better defined direction. It is my intention, therefore, to narrow my focus to a few specific areas rather than the entire sports world. At least for the moment, those areas shall be:
2. Fantasy Sports
6. Family Adventures
I'll definitely see my bold proposal project through to the end of the season. I have some ideas as to how the postseason would play out in my ideal universe. Whether I bring it back next season will depend on how things work out this season.
But what I'd really like to do is reconnect with the team I grew up with, the Baltimore Orioles. I've written a lot about the Cubs this season. I like the Cubs and I certainly like the fact that they're on TV a lot but I can't deny that I feel a touch disloyal. I'm not prepared to shell out for a broader TV package so my relationship with the O's will continue to be one of the long-distance variety. But I think of all those baseball fans in the pre-television era who never got to see their team in action. If they could do it, so can I.
I'm still not sure what took me so long to get into fantasy football or fantasy baseball. Perhaps in my subconscious I knew the risk of addiction. I don't know if I would have enjoyed it as much before it was all Web-based but I'm sure glad it's a part of my life now.
I need to find some more specific directions with fantasy sports but it is certainly a hobby ideally suited for blogging. I will continue to showcase the players who do well by me. I also want to explore ways to be a good commissioner - the fantasy sports equivalent to a dungeon master - and to develop the perfect league. Stay tuned. This will take some flushing out.
I definitely want to continue with the Curtain Calls, partly because it's a fun way to follow a Slam but also because it's really the essence of what I want my blog to be. I also feel that the Slams are the best point of contact for the casual fan. I'm still hoping to convert average sports fans to my sport of choice.
I was puzzled over what to do about this one as television coverage in the US is essentially nil. So, anyone with an interest would have access to all of the same Web resources as I do. How could I offer something different? Wouldn't you know, the Canadian Broadcast Company would come to my rescue. A TV series version of Men with Brooms is premiering this fall. While we don't get CBC in our satellite package, the network has an outstanding website on which one can watch programming. So, it is my plan to blog reviews of the show. Beyond that, I'll certainly check in with the world championships when they come around.
Apart from actually watching sports, books have been my fuel this year. I have been delighted to find so much quality sports writing and fully intend to continue my exploration. I'll certainly share my thoughts on the books I find.
We're sure to have plenty of them and I'll write about them when appropriate. In many ways, these posts are the most fun for me to write. My Favorite Athlete is also my favorite subject.
It is entirely possible that other subjects will creep in from time to time. I may, at some point, get off of the sports track but it's working for now so I'll stick with it.
I am tickled pink that anyone would read and enjoy my blog. To paraphrase Jon Wertheim, if anyone enjoys reading The Armchair Squid half as much as I enjoy writing it, we're all doing pretty well. I'm looking forward to Year 2. I hope you'll join me.