*Record scratch

So, you’re probably wondering, how did we get here? Let’s start back almost 8 years ago, when a certain coach was once again my greatest foil and we just couldn’t take it anymore. My section mate and friend, Derek Roessler, said “let’s start up a twitter account for Section 328.” Just moments later, we fired off our first tweet, and we still live by that tweet today.

Mo Must Go Again!

With that tweet was the start of an 8 plus year journey that has lead me to places I never dream of. And each of you, has been instrumental in what this little community has become.

When we started out, we just wanted a reason to yell and vent and have some fun. A while later, Jeff Marek encouraged all of those who loyally listened to the MvsW podcast to follow your passion, and if you’re inclined, start a blog or a podcast. With that spark lit a fire that culminates today in over 6 years of podcasts, 100s of blog posts, and more friends that this guy probably deserves.

Derek did an amazing job of thanking so many of the people who have been associated and I echo his statements of thanks for so many. Check out his final post here and please accept our heartfelt thanks to you and so many who have been on this journey with us. Check out this weeks final episode of Cheaters Never Win for a full breakdown of how we came to this decisions and for a boat load of great guests.

Let me take a second to say thank you to my friend and podcast partner Derek Roessler. While Derek and I agree on virtually nothing and I hate him to the core, he will forever be one of my best friends who I will stand beside no what. Sometimes life throws you the perfect person, friend, and foil at just the right time. For the last 6 years, I’ve been privileged to share a microphone and a platform with that lanky sumbitch. In retrospect, I don’t think there was another person on this planet who I would have rather had this journey with and for that I am quite thankful. Thank you to Derek, his family, and (probably) his therapist for making this work the last 8 years.

As I look back on this journey, I have so many memories. What started out as a little hobby ended up being so much more. What started as an open invite to tailgates a few years back ended up being 400 plus rabid hockey fans tailgating and celebrating the Canes thru the playoffs this past season. Our little corner of the internet became a gathering place for many. Our goal was always to provide a space for hockey fans to come together, have some fun, and enjoy the company of each other.

But maybe the memories that stick out the most are the opportunities where this little community came together to help the greater good. I remember the time someone reached out to us and shared that a fellow Caniac was in a massive cancer battle and his home and livelihood were at risk. With the help of so many Caniacs, friends old and new, this little community was able to in a matter of days organize a charity tailgate and auction that resulted in a donation that kept this amazing family afloat during the hardest time of their lives. I’m happy to share that this great man is not only alive and kicking today , but he’s one of the leading children’s cancer charity supporters in the Carolinas.

The one enduring quality that has always continued to astound me through all of this has been the power of the community. So many people who love this team, and because of its draw, love each other. Sure, we’re like any family who argues and squabbles a bit. But in the end, we support each other and do our best to take of each other, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful.

I’m grateful for a team’s front office who has put up with us for so long. Thanks to: Mike Sundheim and his access to info and players, Mike Maniscalco and John Forslund who gave us a chance when we deserved none, and Don Waddell and Jim Rutherford who were always consummate professionals and treated us with a dignity well above what we had earned. We may not have been the easiest folks to put up with at times, but we had a great symbiotic relationship and to a person, that entire crew thru the years has been nothing but class.

And finally, to you, my friends and my hockey family. Thank you for allowing me to share just a little slice of my life with you. This past year hasn’t been without its rough times, but I have seen the power and passion of this extended family. Each of you, in your own little way, has helped make me a better person, a better father, a better husband, and a better fan. I don’t know what I expected when I first started this whole thing, but I sure as hell didn’t expect this. I’m blessed beyond belief and for those who know me well, I don’t say that lightly.

So, friends, this is it. I’m not sure where we go from here, but I’m sure it’s gonna be a blast. I’ll still be at the arena, I’ll still be in 328, and I’ll still be yelling my lungs out from row C. I’ll be there with my wife who I met in the parking lot of the PNC Arena. I’ll be there with my son who knows nothing more than Canes hockey is life. I’ll be there with each and every one of you in my heart as we cheer on this team we love so much… now lets go get ’em y’all. Winnipeg is in town tonight, and Maurice needs to know just how we feel about him. Let’s go Canes.