In about 24 hours from now, our first Game Thread of the 2010 season will go up, ready for comments about the Dodgers' opening day at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. We've been doing Game Threads into our fourth year now, and I thought I'd take a moment to explain our rationale and general rules of engagement, both of which have evolved.
There are other Dodger blogs that also provide great Game Threads. True Blue LA does a solid job at giving you the complete skinny on the players and teams prior to gametime. And of course, the godfather of Dodger bloggers Jon Weisman, who started most of us anyway when he was back at the Baseball Toaster, will have an avid following no matter where he hangs his Game Thread hat.
We started our Game Threads back in 2007 with the primary purpose of finding a repository for the seven Sons' insipid, sarcastic comments made during Dodger games. In years prior, from the first pitch onward we would be shooting group emails all over the place riffing about the game, but also spiralling into random tangents about music, culture, entertainment, and humor.
So there we are, in April 2007, basically talking to ourselves. Which was fine, since the blog provided an alternative to the 3K+ emails we'd sent around the year before. At least all the comments were finally in one place, besides our email boxes.
Not all of us live(d) in the same city, or even time zone--so it was nice to have a place where we could come in, hang up our coats, and "watch" the game together irrespective of where we were or how long we wanted to stick around. No commitments, just a bunch of Sons throwing quip after quip around with reckless abandon. We started affectionately referring to SoSG GTs as "our local bar," where we would open up shop, pour a few drinks, and watch the trainwreck which was the 2007 season ensue.
But by the 2008 season, something strange had happened. Much to our surprise, other people started stopping by our neighborhood bar, too. We realized that we had to make sure we were opening the bar two hours before each gametime, as other people were counting on us as well. And we met a heck of a lot of great friends in 2008, both in the Game Threads and in person.
In 2009, the party blew up even more. Fueled by both a great community of witty, timely, and extremely funny commenters, we ended up piercing new heights in comment counts with complete regularity. It was common to have our faithful readers put up the starting lineups in the comments, even before we had goten to it. And when we even surpassed 1000 comments during a key game, the comment thread was hoppin'; there were more than a few of us knocking back a couple, enjoying the game...until the end that is. It was an awful, gut-wrenching playoff loss that evening, and more liquor was required to anesthetize the sorrow. But having the likes of SoSG regulars Dusty Baker, Mr. Customer, Mr. LA Sports Fan, Josh S., Neeebs, rbnlaw, Quadsevens, fanerman, Fred's Brim, Hong Like A Chih Kuo, Erin, karina, Paul, Nic j, Booger, Dusto_Magnifico, and others (**email me if I've inadvertently missed you; I'm drunk right now and it's awful tough to scan these comments with this sort of buzz going on**) helped diffuse the pain a bit.
(Well, maybe not all that much; I spent most of this off-season in a funk that the "off-season splash" signing of Russ Ortiz did little to remedy. But enough about me.)
SoSG became a home-away-from-home not only for a small group of crazy Sons, but also for a larger group of passionate, prolific, and excited Dodger fans (thanks Erin for articulating so well what the meat of SoSG GTs is). Which is an awesome metamorphosis, if you ask me, to something even better than we had imagined four years ago. And this place ended up being exactly the type of bar in which I'd like to hang out as a regular.
We know we've got a precious community here, of a great group of people who take the time to contribute their comments and insight and perspectives. And we want you to know that we sincerely appreciate your patronage--which is part of the reason why we're always giving random things away for insane contests and their ilk. We take "tending" this bar quite seriously, and love the group of friends we've developed. [And we'll be publishing more news soon about taking this community to the next level--stay tuned!]
For those who are new to SoSG, welcome to the bar, come on in, pull up a chair and open up a tab. You'll find Game Threads going up around two hours before each first pitch of each game, unless superstitions this season cause us to change tack. You'll find a solid community of regulars who are both interested and knowledgeable about the Dodgers, as well as well-versed in any number of other fields (just watch!). And you'll find plenty of ice-cold brews flowing from the SoSG tap.
The great thing about this bar is, there's plenty of room for new barstools, and we're open for every game. Jump on in, make a comment. Join the mayhem.
If you're passionate about the Dodgers and ready to comment with your passion, come on in and enjoy! We'll see you here in 24 hours (Dusty, please don't camp out again on the sidewalk in front; your seat is safe, no need to worry).