Advertisements

The End Is Nigh

No, this post has nothing to do with Mayans, 12/21/12, or the end of the world as we know it.  It does have to do with that disappointing feeling you have when something that has become part of your regular routine is suddenly gone.  There’s nothing worse than having your favorite TV show cancelled during the summer while still in mid-storyline.  Sadness is driving up to your usual restaurants to surprisingly find it dark and empty.  And of course it’s always depressing to click on one of your bookmarks to find the website it leads to is no more.  So with that, consider yourself warned.  Fear The Triangle will be going on permanent hiatus at the end of this season.

Before I discuss what is behind the end of FTT, it’s probably important to understand the beginnings of FTT.  Before I started the blog I shared most of my thoughts about the UMass hockey program, which I’ve followed since it was restarted in 1993, on the hockey forum over on UMasshoops.com.  In addition to conversing with fellow fans there, I started to follow the team more closely and would pass along whatever obscure news and recruiting information I would come across.  I was already doing the work for my own interest, so I figured I might as well pass it along to other fans.

My posting on UMasshoops went on for some time, passing along whatever links I found, my thoughts on games I attended, and tidbits about upcoming opponents.  Around this same time along came the UMass Football Blog, which was doing similar news consolidation for the football team and I found it very useful and ultimately inspiring.  But the last factor that spurred on the creation of FTT was my job.  I hated it.  No, wait.  I abhorred it with every ounce of my soul.  But it was the Great Recession and finding a new job was incredibly difficult.  So I needed an outlet, a distraction to pour myself into since my career was a source of unhappiness.  So it was that in the summer of 2009 I decided I was going to start writing about something that was a source of happiness for me, the Massachusetts Minuteman hockey team.

I started this blog for myself, not for others.  I started it because I had always enjoyed writing, but rarely get to do much in my finance job.  And I started it to give me something to concentrate on instead of being miserable at work.  And FTT accomplished both of those goals.  I’m not always sure of the quality but I’ve really enjoyed writing FTT, be it recaps or opinion pieces, something I really hadn’t had a chance to do since I was an undergrad studying history and political science.  And I kept my sanity at work and looked forward to when my day was over and I could head home to read and write about hockey.

And I still enjoy doing that today.  So what has changed?  Well, that terrible job is a thing of the past.  I’m proud to say the career is back on track with a demanding, yet rewarding, position working for two of the most recognizable brands in the world; Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin’ Donuts.  I work hard but I enjoy what I do and love working for my company.  But, all that hard work has reduced the time and energy I can devote to FTT.  This was very evident during the coaching search when I did my best to keep readers as up to date as possible on what was going on as circumstances were changing by the hour, but being a sports reporter is a full time job and I already had one of those.  The result was a physical and mental exhaustion that carried over into the fall.  And that same lack of energy and time has resulted in not providing quite the same coverage here as I had in the past, seen in the lack of my View From Section U columns which I was doing weekly last year.

As crazy as work has made things lately, life is going to get a whole lot crazier.  This coming summer my wife and I will be welcoming a a future Minuteman or Minutewoman into the world, University of Massachusetts Class of 2035 or so.  Needless to say that’s going to be a huge lifestyle change, one I am completely enthused to take on, and my four hour round trip jaunts from the South Shore to the Mullins will soon be a thing of the past.  And therefore, so is FTT.  I only wanted to keep this blog going as long as I feel I’m doing it right and dedicating the proper time to it.  That’s just not an option in the near term.  So that is how I came to my decision.

I think I’ll probably save my reflections on FTT and all it has meant me for a later time as there is still a lot of hockey to write about in the next few months.  But I did want to get the word out that this will be the fourth and last(?) season I’ll be writing about the team.  I did that so people won’t be surprised when it goes dark in March/April and perhaps to get other diehard fans thinking about starting a UMass hockey blog to pick up the slack in my absence.  I think I’ve shown that the demand is there for a blog dedicated to Minuteman hockey.  When I first started in August of 2009 the blog was getting about 80 page views a day.  Today in the middle of the season I regularly get between 500 and 600.  In the midst of the coaching search I was getting 1,100.  If someone else wants to take the time to cover UMass hockey and do it well, I can promise you they won’t lack readers.  Though they’ll have to come up with their own nonsensical blog name as I’m not giving up the Triangle.

So that’s that.  I’ll do my best to keep up coverage through the end of the season as long as work allows and my growing family stays healthy.  There is a lot on the horizon though, including buying a house in the coming months, so please bear with me if coverage isn’t quite up to the standards of the past.  But I’ll do what I can and believe me I would love nothing more than to take some time away from packing this spring to watch the maroon and white make their return to the Garden ice.

It hasn’t been a good semester for players originally committed to UMass who ended up elsewhere in Hockey East.  First Joseph Manno left Northeastern because he didn’t like his role with the Huskies.  Now John Parker has been kicked off the Maine hockey team for alcohol infractions.

I’m always proud of UMass student-athletes who enjoy success in the pros after they leave Amherst, but the admiration and respect I feel for Victor Cruz for taking the time to visit and console one of the families of Newtown, CT is off the charts.  What a classy individual and great representative of the alma mater.

Advertisements

27 Comments

  1. New Blog: Fear the 3 a.m. Feedings.

    Like

    • Just when I finally figured out how to get a decent night’s sleep for the first time since middle school…

      Like

  2. Wow. Incredible post. This site has kept me well informed about the Minutemen as my own life began to change and pull me away from the Mullins on a consistent basis. You’ve done a wonderful job here and have impressed many people with your writing, your thoughts, your honesty and your commitment to UMass hockey and the entire sports program and the university.

    While I will miss this place and the news and information about our team, I congratulate you on the great things going on in your life. New job. Baby on the way. New house. Moving. Wow. You’ve got a lot going on!

    I wish you all the best of luck with your family and your job. It’s been a pleasure to read your thoughts over the past few years. I know i’ve said it a few times in the past, Thank You.

    Like

    • Thanks Jason. Like I said, I started this for me mostly but I’m really glad that I’ve been able to help so many fans follow the team at the same time. Hopefully I can finish it out by writing about a winning UMass hockey team. Thanks for your well wishes for me and my family.

      Like

  3. Say it ain’t so 😦 😦 😦

    Actually, truth be told, I’m not surprised – you gotta do what you gotta do. I’ve marveled at how you’ve kept it up as long as you have – Matt and I have found it hard enough to keep writing anything (other than lengthy Twitter diatribes) since we joined you in real-world-job land. I can’t imagine throwing all that other excitement into the equation.

    Thanks Mark for everything you’ve done for this program, for inspiring Fight Mass and I’m sure a host of other upstart young writers out there. Best wishes to you and Lori and Baby Triangle. Now, someone needs to show up and take the reigns as the “serious” UMass hockey blog, because we sure as hell can’t fill those shoes..

    Like

    • Thanks Max. Definitely enjoyed befriending you and the other Fight Mass guys. I’ll still be around in some form, be it on Twitter or in person at the occasional game. I really hope there’s someone else out there who wants to turn their passion for the team into a blogging hobby. It’s work to do it right but I found it rewarding and worth the effort.

      Like

  4. Boooo, but I too understand. Life throws open a door and you take it. Thanks for the coverage you have provided the last couple of years, it has been great for me so far away from home. So thanks.

    Like

    • Glad to help one of the most diehard UMass hockey fans like yourself follow the team Winger and thanks for your contributions to the blog over the years!

      Like

  5. Definitely will be missed by me and Thomas, who also is a regular reader. We are going to be lost without your Twitter updates of game scores when we are not able to attend, listen to or watch the Minutemen of ice. Your posts on UMasshoops.com got me back into UMass hockey, and this blog has been my go to font of information on the program. Thanks for all the effort and time, You really should have gotten paid. And, as I said over on Facebook, I just plan on calling you on a regular basis, especially during the hockey season, to get your take on all things UMass hockey, That’s okay with you, right?

    Like

  6. I consider myself lucky to have been an undergraduate for the four years that Fear the Triangle has been in existence. Thanks for all of the great coverage.

    Like

    • Thanks Will. Hopefully the team gives you a winning season for your your last season. And thanks for all your interaction on the blog.

      Like

  7. I have been a regular reader since I knew I was going to enroll at UMass and it has been great reading all you have had to say over my past 4 years as an undergrad. Thanks a lot for your great coverage and wish the best for you and your family. go minutemen!

    Like

  8. This coming summer my wife and I will be welcoming a a future Minuteman or Minutewoman into the world, University of Massachusetts Class of 2035 or so.

    don’t you mean future riverhawk? 😉

    Like

  9. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog quite a bit, partially because I’m curious as to what our sister-school out in Amherst up to, but secondly … I really enjoy reading what you write. You do a pretty good job of dissecting games, and being honest in what you saw on a given night. I hope we can still enjoy a beer or two down the road at the Tsongas (or Beerworks). Best of luck, Mark!

    Like

    • Thanks Monty! One of the best things about this blog has been getting to know other fans within the Hockey East community like yourself.

      Like

  10. Fear the Triangle has increased our knowledge and love for UMass Hockey. I’m excited about your growing family. Janice and Buddy, the oldies in Section U.

    Like

  11. First and most importantly, I wish your wife an uneventful and successful pregnancy, with a healthy and happy baby at its conclusion!

    Now, thanks for all the great coverage of UMass hockey, Mark! FTT will be missed, as it’s an extraordinarily well-researched and well-written source of everything pertaining to UMass hockey. I do hope that every once in a while you’ll be able to share your thoughts on the hockey program (i.e. “A View from Section U”), but of course we will all understand that you’ll have many other concerns of much higher precedence very soon. Good luck to you with everything and, again, thank you for this blog! I hope to see you at the occasional football and hockey game.

    Like

  12. Time is a terrible thing. I’m going to miss this. Good luck in the future with your new family. Maybe we will run into each other at another Wisconsin game!

    Like

  13. I’m going to miss your blog. You’ve done a great job of covering UMass hockey. Congrats to both you and your wife.

    Like

  1. Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot, Massachusetts Yours And Mine | Fear The Triangle - UMass Hockey Blog
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: