It's not that I have nothing nice to say about Wax Heaven (even though I will admit I stopped reading his stuff on a regular basis for a long time now and only recently decided to see what the hubbub was). It's not like I think he's a bad person who deserves his upcoming fate (after admitting why he is closing down his blog, no man should wish what is happening to him to happen to them).
But you know what? Life happens. And sadly, when life drops something this hard on you, you have to decide what's more important. And I think he's made the right choice.
I've seen enough blogs come and go over the course of maintaining the Sports Card Blogroll. Many were really good, written by outstanding writers who are passionate about the Hobby, and I had high hopes for all of them. But for whatever reason, they just stopped writing. Certainly there are many reasons why many who start a blog eventually stop. Some lose focus. Still others just give up altogether, leaving their site for dead. I've become immune to it. Nobody said it was ever easy to blog about one specific topic, especially one about a hobby that involves a lot of financial and emotional investment going into it. It happens. One day, some day, this blog will cease to be relevant as well (probably beginning with what I'm about to say below).
Unlike many of you, Mario is NOT the reason why I collect. Mario is NOT the reason why I blog. And Mario is NOT the inspiration why I got into this crazy world in the first place. And to be brutally honest, the only reason why I even contacted Mario out in the first place was because he was running a directory of Sports Card Blogs (which is now deceased). There were times where I questioned his rationale over certain things, and our viewpoints clash over his trying (that's right...TRYING) to beat the number one voice in the Hobby. Yes, I will admit that after a while of this, I became turned off by what he did. And no reasoning, no rehashing posts, no defense by some of the other bloggers will make me see differently and make me think differently. It's the reason why this country is the greatest of all nations. We are allowed our opinions without repercussion.
But at the end of the day, we're all human. Things in life do take precedence over this Hobby, which should be seen as an escape from reality, not become the reality. Even this year, I've spent a whole lot less than I've wanted, because money justifiably had to go to more important matters. And after reading what Mario has to face, all you can do is feel sorry for the man, encourage him to stay strong and not be discouraged, and tell him that he will be a better person for what he will experience and when it all is over.
So what does this mean for the rest of us as Hobby bloggers (get ready for a cliche fest...)? It means that now the ball has been handed down to us, and it is now up to us to put our hands to the keyboards and do what Mario, and others before him, strive to do...
Continue to write about your collections. Continue to put out your opinions. Continue to share the news you find relevant. Continue to comment about what you think is right or wrong with the Hobby. Continue to make us laugh. Continue to make us think. Continue to discover cards and introduce us to certain tidbits of information that we may have never known before. Continue to make us learn something new.
And most importantly...
continue to support the Sports Card Blogging Community by reading and making relevant comments after our posts.
It's now up to us folks. And whether you strive to get to a million hits, or if you're working your way past 10-30 page views a week, it is now on us to carry on.
Mario, good luck to you and in all that you have to face. Take care, and keep in touch. Your blog will be up on the blog roll for six months after your last post (you know the drill). Afterwards, we might hold a spot for you at the Hall of Fame Blogs section.
That is, of course, unless you come back.