October 09 2012 07:37PM
We are now at that stage in the lockout process where everyone starts to make up alternate realities for what might be, or might have been. Well, almost everyone one. Others have been living in an alternate reality for a long time now.
This is the little-known back-up stage in the grieving process, which can be subbed in if you want to skip one of the traditional stages. Since clearly nobody is interested in the bargaining stage, we've replaced it with using your imagination so we can keep things moving along.
I like to call it Blogs With Crystal Balls...
The first step in creating a realistic alternate reality, or a credible vision of the future, is to use just the right amount of imagination to make it all seem plausible:
oxygen imagination and you're just going to wind up with a hand-drawn facsimile of the present, like say having the KHL expand to North America. I mean, I'm sure the NHLPA would have a much easier time negotiating with a these guys.
At the other end of the spectrum, too much imagination and you might as well be in a permanent state of delusion, similar to what might happen after too much time in the wilderness. But that's nothing that taking a course in remedial math couldn't cure.
The secret to successful hockey blog prognostication falls somewhere between the two. You need just enough reality to make it credible, and just enough imagination to make it alluring. In short, you need to take your readers to the place where dreams come true, but you can't because the gates are locked so you have to make alternate arrangements:
I'm sure you're asking yourself what this has to with the NHL. Well, we can start with the Ducks. If that's not a great example of mixing reality with imagination, I don't know what is. But that's not the only connection.
Last week, as I was drawing up the NHL's organizational structure, it struck me that only this kind of operation would pull it's product off the shelves during times of record revenues:
(Please don't sue me, Mr. Mouse.)
Anyway, back to the topic at hand, Blogs With Crystal Balls: How to create a credible alternate reality.
Now that we've seen how not to do it, here are three recent examples of ways to successfully provide a window into a what might have been:
- You can simulate it. That's the approach taken by @TheStanchion over at the Legion of Blog. The fake season has worked so well that he's even got Eddie Lack and Roberto Luongo playing along.
- You can take an analytical approach, like @CamCharron in his post at The Backhand Shelf that looked at how things might have been different under a 40-game season last year.
- Or you can just imagine what might have been, like Elliotte Friedman in a blog post from the future.
Ok, maybe that last one had a little too much imagination. And really, did he have to be so cruel about it? I mean, the Canucks have to lose in the Final even in imaginary seasons? In terms of heaping abuse on long-suffering Canucks' fans, that surely that crosses the line into cruel and unusual punishment:
So, to sum up, if you wan't to be a Blog With Crystal Balls, start with a good helping of reality and add a side of imagination. Do it well and you'll have your readers coming back for seconds.
Which reminds me. Happy Thanksgiving everybody. Hopefully you all excercised a little restraint and didn't go back for thirds at dinner, which is more than we can say for the NHL. I just hope this lockout doesn't have any leftovers: