Monday, April 13, 2015

The Long Goodbye

I know this will come as a surprise to most, but I am shutting down the B³ blog.  There will be no more blog updates, effective today.  6 years, 2 months and 1,363 blog articles later, I'm closing up shop.

Shutting down the blog is something I've been thinking about for awhile now.  Before anyone asks, it has absolutely nothing to do with this past season.  My close friends can attest to that because I told them before the season even started that this was likely the blogs last season.

I think it's time to move on.  I've noticed in the last year or so that the blog just hasn't been that much fun for me.  My heart is just not in it.  I wish it wasn't that way, but that's just how it is.  I always told myself that when it's not fun anymore it's time to shut it all down.  It's been a great ride but I'm ready to concentrate on other things.

When I started this blog back in February 2009, never in my wildest dreams did I think it would grow into what it is today.  My intentions at the time were to create a place online to post my thoughts after each Stars game.  I certainly didn't think at the time there would be a lot of people interested in reading my inane ramblings.

But it grew and grew....thanks to all of you.  When the local paper's coverage of the Stars continued to disappear, we grew even larger.  I'm really proud of what WE built here.  Stars fans are ravenous.  They want to know more than just the final score.  Over the years, I tried to give them what they deserve, which is more than just a few sentences from the paper from someone who wasn't even there, or a link to a boxscore.

When writing blog articles, I tried to put myself in the shoes of the common Stars fan.  What would they want to know about a game, a trade, draft, tryout camp, etc?  What information, not provided to them by the team or the local paper, would be something they'd be interested in?  At the same time, I tried to write from the perspective of a fan.  I never portrayed myself as part of the organization.  I didn't want to be influenced by other entities.  If the Stars didn't play well, I said just that.  I didn't want to just blog about puppy dogs and rainbows.  Although I was quick to offer constructive criticism, I was also quick to praise when I saw the Stars play well.

So I hope I was able to give the fans something they found useful.  I'm certainly no expert, but I'd like to think I've watched and played enough hockey over the years to successfully impart my thoughts and feelings about the sport on this blog.

Without a doubt, the absolute best part of the growth of this blog has been the opportunity to meet and befriend so many great people over the years.  I am truly, truly blessed in that regard.  Stars staff, players, parents, family members, fans, fans of other USHL teams, etc.  This blog has allowed me to build friendships that I'm sure will last the rest of my life.  I am eternally grateful for that.

I thought about asking around to see if any Stars fan(s) out there wants to take over the blog, but I think the best decision is to shut it down.  I'd hate to have someone take it over and then flake out on the responsibility.  I'll probably keep the site up for the next couple of years, but I suppose eventually I will not pay the fee to renew the domain.  A lot of time and effort went into the 1,363 articles posted here and I'd hate to have to delete it all tomorrow.

I'll shut down the blog's Facebook account, but I will keep the Twitter account open.  I love Twitter too much to walk away from that.  However, I will change the blog's Twitter account to my personal one.

I have a ton of people to thank, so let's get right to that.

Big thanks go out to the original Stars' front office staff:  Jim Pflug, Steve Zoucha, Jen Morand, and Micki Buhrman.  When this blog was in its infancy, they could have easily ignored me.  When I had questions, each one of them were always responsive, kind, considerate, and informative.  Jim Pflug especially was great to "work" with and was always accommodating considering my role as an unofficial blogger.  Jim and his staff never made me feel like an idiot with a blog, when that's really what I was (and still am).  Micki, especially, continues to be the heart and soul of the Lincoln Stars.  You aren't going to find a more beloved front office member than Micki.  Always friendly, always courteous, and always willing to help.  Micki is, quite simply, the best.

I really didn't get a chance to "work" with much of the new Stars staff, but Jon Hull was someone that was very friendly to me from the beginning and open to questions when I had them.  I wish him nothing but success in building something special here in Lincoln.

Thanks to Brandon Anderson (BA Photos) and Barb V. (Shooting Stars Photos) for allowing me to share their incredible photography on this blog.  Words are ok, but being able to share game photos on this blog really helped me convey my message to all of you out there in Stars Nation.  Both are extremely skilled at what they do and I am proud to have shared their work here.

Big thanks to Brian Werger, Director of Communications for the USHL.  Just like the majority of the original Stars' staff, Brian never treated me like an outsider.  Whenever I had a question about anything, he was quick to respond.  The USHL is lucky to have Brian on their team.

Thanks to Stars radio announcer and historian Mike Melbye for his support of the blog.  Like everyone else with the Stars, Mike could have ignored the blog but he has always a big supporter and has asked for my input on certain things, which is appreciated.

College hockey/NHL journalists such as Chris Dilks, Brad Schlossman, and Chris Peters are guys whom I respect a ton, and I really appreciate all of their support over the years.  Each of them were always open to questions when I had them.  Scouts such as Andrew Weiss and Dan Schrader are two guys I respect a lot as well and have valued their opinions.

Behind the scenes, there are a number of people whom I can't thank publicly but they know who they are. These are people I exchanged emails/notes with almost daily.  A lot of these people would keep me informed of Stars related news to make sure I hadn't missed anything.  Keeping Stars Nation informed of the latest news can be a lot of work, but these friends helped me out tremendously.

My good friend, Scott C., from Omaha is someone I met because of the blog and he has helped me with a lot of graphics stuff behind the scenes.  Scott and his wife commute from Omaha for every Stars home game. You won't find two more committed Stars fans than them.  Much thanks to Scott for his help and more importantly, his friendship.

Although I only met Jason O. recently, he has helped me with a lot of Stars related stuff behind the scenes on the blog.  He has been a great resource and someone with whom I could bounce ideas around.

Thanks to my valued friend, Ryan W., who is someone I met through hockey about 10 years ago or so.  Ryan's "Unofficial USHL Blog" had a huge influence on me, and was a big reason why I decided to create this blog back in February, 2009.

Huge thanks goes to my friend, Nate (aka BellTolls), who has helped me with the blog since almost the beginning.  A lot of what he helped with was the behind the scenes stuff, but his assistance and friendship over the years has been invaluable.

Without the love, support, and patience from my incredible wife, Trishia, I would have quit a long time ago. She frequently joked that I was married to the blog during hockey season.  She has been my rock and I want to make up to her all the time I lost during my "marriage' to the blog.

Lastly, I'd like to thank the best junior hockey fans in the entire world; the die-hard, true-blue fans of Stars Nation.  You folks are the best.  I've said it a million times, but without the fans, I'd just be talking to myself on the blog.  You were the fuel that kept me going all these years.

Thanks again to everyone who made this blog a daily stop on your internet rounds.  I truly appreciate all of your support over the years.  It was a blast, and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

Go Stars.

-Tim Sattler (Yeti)
lincolnstarshockey@gmail.com

21 comments:

M Suter said...

Wow, Tim...the end of an era. Your blog was the best and will be missed! I still enjoyed reading it even after Will had left the Stars.
You were always a big supporter of Will's and for that we will always be grateful.
Hope to see you around, Tim. All the best to you and Trish.

Frank C. said...

Yeti, please tell me this is some kind of twisted, late, April Fools joke.

What a crappy day, but I want you to know your work has been appreciated by a LOT of folks. The Stars should hire you. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

My 1st post but a faithful reader since the Journal Star "backed off" in 2009. THANKS for keeping us informed for 6 years. You have earned your extra "family time".

Yeti said...

M. Suter...thanks for the kind words. Give my best to the extended Suter family.

Frank: Sorry, but this is for real. I appreciate what you said about the blog.

Anonymous: It's always great to hear from the lurkers. Thank you so much for being a part of the growth of this blog.

Melbye said...

Tim I truly appreciate everything you've done for the organization and in helping me out. The one thing that stood out more than anything, and I respect the most about what you did here, is the fact that is wasn't ever about you. In today's world of ME, ME, ME being the focal point of social media and blogs, you always focused on the team, players, league or the game itself. You gave your opinion, and when that opinion was unpopular with some you stood your ground, and if you ever made a mistake you owned it. You showed class and integrity with each article.

Not only a thanks to you for all the effort over the six plus years, but thanks to Trishia for letting you!

Wishing you all the best my friend.

Melbye

Anonymous said...

Noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!

Mike Humitz said...

Tim, I am so disappointed to read this news, but want to thank you for all the great work you did with the blog over the years. You know I am an avid follower and your blog was one of my "go-to" stops everyday.

I was hoping your announcement would be that you were expanding your role, but I understand your decision.

You made it much more enjoyable to be a fan.

Congratulations on a great run and good luck.

Mike Humitz

lincolnfan said...

Very disappointing news. This is a huge loss for Stars Nation. Having said that, I understand your decision Yeti. I can't imagine the amount of time you have put into this blog, given the detail and amount of information in each article. I know it was probably a hobby for you at one time since you enjoy Stars hockey, but if your heart is no longer in it, it makes sense to give it up. I know this blog was my main place to get all my Stars news, and was a great place to comment/visit with other fans.

Thank you for your hard work these past few years; I know it has meant a lot to me as a fan, and I know there are quite a few lurkers who don't comment who have patronized this blog regularly.

Take care.

Carla H said...

I started watching hockey three years ago. I was and still am new to the sport but after two games at the Stars I was hooked. The fact that I could go to the blog to get all the latest stats and news made watching and learning that much more enjoyable. Basically, I learned a lot about hockey from reading the blog. So, THANK YOU! I am sad to see you close shop but I wish you much success. Your blog will be missed.

starstruck said...

Tim - thank you for sharing your thoughts on Stars hockey with us over these past 6 years - it has been a great gift to all of us who love the Stars! The blog has always been the best (and often the only) source for Stars news, game highlights and keeping informed about past, present & future players. Your efforts will be truly missed!
Enjoy your opportunity to pursue new interests - very well-deserved!
Thanks again!
Barb

Marcus said...

Wow. Was really hoping you had some UNL hockey, or other great hockey news to share. This blog has really been hand in hand with this hocky team for the past 6+ years. It's what we looked forward to mid week during the season (even more in the summer) this is the guy that burns vacation time & $ to attend the camps in June, to provided us with the views, and thoughts of the future players. I don't know of any other USHL team (and fan base) that were as lucky to have such a person as dedicated as yourself. Even as the team rolled with the ups and downs, you always called it honest, which I appreciated. You will be missed, and part of what is my hockey routine, will no longer be. I can only thank you, as many fans, parents, players would, for all the time you have put into your passion that we share.. We have Truly appreciated all the hours, stupid questions you answerd from myself, and always helping to bring the excitement to the puck drop!! Enjoy the summer, and look forward to seeing you in the fall.

Brad Hanson said...

Tim,

Very bad news for all Lincoln Star fans. As a parent of a former player I came to rely on the blog for your researched information and insight.

I am glad that Mr. Suter was your first post about the value you have meant to all the parents. As you always say, we send our sons away at a very young age and a long way from home. You provided my wife and I with the comfort that lincoln loved and took special care of the kids that go there. You always spoke highly of the kids and their efforts.

I always wanted to thank you for your efforts, and also the Lincoln Stars organization, the late Chad Johnson, Randy and Nancy Nelson and especially Jimmy McGroarty, for contributing to his develpment and giving him the opportunity to pursue hockey and an education.

You will be missed.

Sincerely,

Brad & Carolyn Hanson
parents of Jared

Bill Belgum said...

Like Carla H., I'm fairly new to hockey. Your blog provided information and insight I couldn't get anywhere else. Thank you for all the work you put into the blog, it was much appreciated!! Best of luck in wherever life takes you, Yeti.

Wade said...

It's a day later and I'm still in shock. I still can't believe the Blog is gone, but I suppose it will eventually sink in.
I only became a Stars fan 3 short years ago but one of the first things I learned was that if there was anything Stars related that I wanted to know, The Blog was the place to go.
During that time, I don't think a week went by that I didn't visit the site at least 10 to 20 times. I visited the site just as much during the summer as I did during the season and always found a wealth of information on everything from draft picks to tryout camp to....well, just about everything. I asked alot of stupid questions during that time and Tim was always gracious enough to answer each and every one of them.
As far as I know, they don't give out awards to fans, but if they did, you sir would be the MVP. I would just like to offer a sincere THANK YOU for all that you've done. Your articles and posts will be sorely missed, and in my humble opinion, your Blog was the best friend Stars Nation ever had.
Best of luck to you Tim, and thanks again.

The Hawks said...

Thank you for the years of dedicated research, valuable info and lots of fun facts. We have continued to follow the blog since our Lincoln years and have directed parents of opposing teams, Lincoln draftees and USHL hopefuls to the blog for information they couldn't get anywhere else. The friendships forged with the Stars staff, fans, players, and families will go on, but the Stars blog will be greatly missed.
Go Stars!
The Hawkinson's

Yeti said...

Wow. I'm completely overwhelmed by all of the comments left so far. I can't thank you folks enough. It really has been an honor keeping #StarsNation up to date with the latest news.

So nice to hear from some of the "lurkers" out there. Many times when someone would tell me they read the blog, I'd jokingly say, "Oh, so you're the one." :)

Happy to know there were more lurkers out there than I thought.

I'm still feeling kind of guilty for shutting this all down, but I think the time was right. Hopefully the Stars and the local paper will kick it up a notch and give you folks what you truly deserve.

My appreciation is beyond expression. Thanks again.

Jason Orth said...

Tim, it was a pleasure getting to know you and be able to help what little I could.

Your knowledge and professionalism made this a terrific fan blog, better than some I've seen on SB Nation, etc.

As a former blogger I can relate as to when it's simply time to go. As they say about "all good things..."

It will be a long time before anyone can put anything like this together again. It has its place in Lincoln Stars history.

Jason O

starsfan said...

I hope Tim has a change of heart. I can tell the Stars are in his blood. Whenever I wanted some true insight,...or non-biased reporting, Yeti was the guy.
stars hockey just won't be the same.

Brandon Anderson said...

Tim,

First of all I want to say thank you for all your hard work making the blog what it is these past 6 years. You have become the #1 source for all things Lincoln Stars Hockey in that time frame, if there is anything us fans wanted to know about the Stars the blog was the first place to check. We are truly losing a valuable resource, lets hope the Stars step up their game next season and make their site as valuable as the blog.

Secondly thank you for sharing my images on the blog over the years you have really helped me out in getting my work out there from when I was just a fan with a camera to actually working for the Stars, with out your help my images wouldn't have the reach that they have so Thank You again for that.

Now even though I knew this was going to be shut down early on in the year it still sucks that it happened but I totally understand your reasoning for it ( I think you and I are in the same boat) So from here on out I hope nothing but the best for you and Trish and who knows maybe Ill see you at a Husker hockey game in the not so near future.

-BA

Anonymous said...

Still miss you, Yeti. Wish you'd decide to come back, but as another lurker I wish you nothing but the best. You did a great job and will be greatly missed by this Stars fan.

Patrick Sands said...

I've been holding off commenting on this because I didn't want to sound negative about your decision. As a family man myself, I get it - and more importantly, it's the right thing to do. But I feel like the gap left here is not fully being realized: You were the ONLY source of informed perspective that was available to fans outside the stars culture. I started going to games consistently in 2010. I can say with all certainty that I would not have made it past my 3rd game without B3 showing up in my google search. Because, no matter how much I loved hockey, if there is no context you aren't going to engage with what's going on on the ice. That's what you provided - the ability to view a narrative. It's not just the information you provided to me, either. I dragged countless people to games (some of whom bought season tickets the next year). They did not become season ticket holders because of the amazing presentation of hockey at the ice box to a first timer. I think it had more to do with their ability to engage which was facilitated by me being able to say "Things are getting heated. Watch 23 this shift!" or "Keep your eyes on Roy, he's on a ridiculous scoring streak" None of these things are things I would have known to say - I'm not part of the internal culture of the stars family - if it weren't for this blog. I still enjoy the games. I'll keep going. But I won't feel as connected and I won't enjoy it as much. And neither will the people I drag along with me. We've lost more than a blog here. Which is an amazing thing to say that you should feel extremely proud of as you move forward in your life. Thanks for everything.