So…here we are. We’ve gone over the best moments and with no possibility of a future for Pucknuts returning, how long can a guy keep beating his head against the wall before he accepts the inevitable. Well, at least one more post.
Its been said those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it. So lets apply that concept into dissecting the downfall of Pucknuts. As often as I’ve listen and relisten to these episodes, it is hard to pin point one particular aspect or problem over the others. So, submitted for your approval, your criticism, or your mockery, the theories on the death of Pucknuts.
Theory 1: Fan-teraction
To me, this is the strongest argument of why Pucknuts failed. Take any successful pod in the Smodcast Newtork. Nearly any of those players keep a heavy dialogue or interaction with the listenership of their show. Now, I’m not one to point fingers, (oh, who am i kidding… I LOVE to point fingers.) but as Pucknut #1, I feel that Ming deserves the majority of the blame in this regard. Comparing it to TESD, None of the Pucknuts seemed to interacting with the listeners the way TESD does. With Bry, it makes sense. As Sunday Jeff had no twitter account till the end, he can also be excused. Only Walt seemed willing to interact in hockey talk with the Pucknuts gallery. Ming seemed to not respond to tweets or email, and the blog seemed to falter by the wayside unless prodded by Walt to maintain it. As a personal example, I sent an email talking about how Canadian authorities were pressed to place criminal charges oon Zdeno Chara for his hit on Max Pacioretty last season. I thought that would engage some good conversation. No mention, and perhaps it deserved none, but unless something was sent to them, or the need for contestants heralded it, the interaction between the Pucknuts and the listening loyal was non existent. Remember the Pucknuts Twitter account?
Theory 2: Devil Play
The conception of the podcast, to chronicle the success of the New Jersey Devils, a playoff team for 13 consecutive years, was an ambitious and interesting one. In theory, it should have been a great success. It was just bad fortune that the 2010-2011 NHL season for the Devils would turn into one of the worst in its franchise history. For the diehard fans, it was difficult to see a team fall from grace the way they did, eventually missing the playoffs for the first time in 13 years. Granted, one should keep spirits high, as its easy to be a fan in good times. But lets be realistic, when your down, you are down. Its understandable that its not easy to talk about a team that is failing to live up to expectations. This is evidence early on when Walt is reluctant to engage in the conversations at times.
Theory 3: Walt the Destroyer
He who creates often destroys. It seems fitting that the man who’s idea to begin a podcast about the New Jersey Devils would also orchestrate its demise. Walt was the captain that helmed the ship of the U.S.S. Pucknut, but eventually relieved himself of command, turning the reigns over to Ming Chen. Arguably, Ming did his best to see Pucknuts endure, but peppered in various episodes, Walt spoke that Pucknuts was done, Pucknuts had run its course. Every episode after these charges was a small victory, but it was unable to stave off the inevtiable, as a wager issued by Mr. Flanagan sealed the fate of Pucknuts.
Theory 4: Bry’s Ball Buster
One of the strengths of Pucknuts was the inclusion of Bryan Johnson, who with the least knowledge of hockey and the New Jersey Devils, was the conduit for listeners equally ignorant about the world of ice hockey to learn and follow along with the Devil’s diehard of Walt, Ming, and Sunday Jeff. Despite his lack of interest, Bry always tried to stay engaged and contribute where he could in the conversation. He was even the creator of the signoff “Rangers Eat Nuts!” I submit into evidence Episode 18, in which Ming forces the close of the show by stealing Bry’s signature close. Granted, not a huge slight, but there is a noticeable change in Bry’s demeanor after that episode. Not only does he not engage and try to be part of the conversation, he is vociferous about how boring the talk is.
Theory 5: All Bark, No Bite!
Do I really need to go more into why Ming Chen is at fault? Can I really say anything more than I haven’t already said? How a guy who “would do anything to keep Pucknuts going” couldn’t do a simple task as return a shirt to a posh store simply because he might get embarrassed by some pretty chickies….. I’m sorry, what was my point again?
Theory 6: Fan complacency
If we are going to lay blame as to the reason that Pucknuts does not continue, can we look elsewhere but ourselves? This theory somewhat goes hand in hand with Theory 1. The question is, which is the precipitating event. Did lack of fan response produce less motivation for blog upkeep and twitter conversation, or was the lack of Pucknut interaction the catalyst for listener complacency? Certainly either argument is valid, but one does have to wonder if Pucknuts would have gone the way of the dodo had Pucknuts received TESD proportions of adoration.
Vote for what you think the best two choices are. Will this posting continue? Join me here next week and find out. Seriously, even I’m not sure if the Pucknuts Initiative will continue. Soooooooo, until next week