posted on May 09, 2019 14:27
Written by Dr. Seuss~
When I first joined the HRL in 2006, the message board was considered the heart beat of the league. Trash was talked, games were summarized, and nicknames were given on that message board. During the off season, league chatter naturally died down, but during the HRL season, the message board was frequently ablaze with several topics, wiffle and non wiffle alike, being heavily discussed at once.
The HRL Message Board was created in conjunction with the birth of the league in 2004, i.e. before the age of social media, group text chains, or even text messages in general. Twitter wouldn’t be born for another 2 years. Facebook was created mere weeks before the beginning of our own HRL Twin Cities. YouTube was a year away from existing. When the HRL started, there was one place and one place only to talk wiffle when you weren’t at the rinks: the message board.
As we move forward into the early weeks of Season 16, I’ve found myself yearning for the days of getting home from Sky Hill, logging onto the message board, and seeing eight other league members online, writing up the details from their games. Nowadays, game recaps on the message board still happen, but it’s more a small percentage of teams highlighting the night’s hi-jinx in written form, rather than a race to provide the best game summaries as quickly as possible.
And yet, it would be foolish of me to look only at what has been lost, and to ignore the positive changes of HRL communication in 2019. One of the most significant misconceptions about the HRL is that because message board chatter isn’t what it used to be, that enthusiasm for the greatest wiffle league on earth has decreased. It hasn’t. Rather, the way that enthusiasm is communicated has evolved.
In place of 10pm game night summaries on the message board, we now have real time game score updates on twitter, often accompanied by pictures, or if you’re the Biscuits, real time homer montage videos. We also have periscope, where we can actually live stream wiffle action directly from the rinks to the rest of the wiffle world. We have GoPros, where wifflers can record entire games, then create highlight videos to be published at a later date.
This is incredible! And it ought to be celebrated. HRL chatter hasn’t declined. It’s evolved. There are going to be growing pains, but the core elements of the HRL are as intact as they’ve ever been, even if the “heart beat” of the league, has slowly morphed into a network of limbs and organs.
So my suggestion is this: if you have don’t have a message board account, get one. Copy and paste your twitter recaps, and post links to your videos. It’s easy to do, and it helps those of us who love using the message board to stay looped in to what’s going on in the social networks. If you or your team don’t have a twitter account, make one, and follow as many HRL teams as you can. You’ll be privy to first hand, real time content, and you’ll have the option to live stream your games through your twitter handle (why don’t we do this more than we do?)
Long live the HRL!