The 4th Line Hockey Podcast is about to broadcast its final episode and it’s time to reflect on the impact the show had on me.
In 2015 the show was part of a website that shall not be named, and I was writing for Fansided alongside Alex, whom I met a little earlier when he was late for a wedding or something. The podcast had been out for some years already, hosted by Carl and some other guys whose names I forget but still deserve credit. Anyway, the legend that is Gwen (LGRW!) was my editor, and invited Carl, myself and some others to do a roundtable piece where we could talk about Carl’s favourite subject, the Detroit Red Wings. That’s when I discovered not just the podcast, but podcasts in general. Before that, I’d been listening exclusively to the radio like a chump.
Who knew that such honest and genuinely funny hockey content was available on demand like this? Everyone except me it seems. But the pod was cast (casted?) and each week, Carl and Joel kept us updated with what was going on in the world of the NHL and the world of Auston Matthews respectively. Even through the summer months, when there was no hockey, the team were there every Tuesday morning.
It was clear that these people were my kind of people, when I tweeted the show asking for a mini stick to protect myself from giant moths and was sent one. That stick is now well travelled, and so far, I’ve not been killed by giant moths. In that sense, I owe Carl and Joel my life.
Then came the great schism. The website that shall not be named had a sense of humour bypass, took offence at the team captain Royal Rumble episode and suddenly The 4th Line Podcast was no longer in association with the website that shall not be named.
With new websites come new opportunities. In September 2016, it was announced that not only the4thlinepodcast.com be a home for the pod, but also a place where writers, experienced or new, could contribute. Several listeners became writers, some of whom have gone on to host their own shows.
But you already know the history of the show, and if you don’t check out Carl on Our Liner Notes, so what’s the point of this missive? It’s to say thank you! Not just for the weekly content, but for the opportunities to get involved, through #HiSticking, the bracket challenges, fantasy leagues and everything else.
It’s not just that listeners have become friends, many of whom have gone to meet up face to face and share a beer (looking at you, Joe) but that when the show launched its own website, Carl reached out to writers and not only gave us a platform, but the trust to write the content that we wanted to without pressure or deadlines. We don’t write this stuff to tick a box, it’s because we write for each-other.
These friendships have also gone on to extend beyond the show. If it wasn’t for the 4th Line Podcast, I wouldn’t have discovered Matt and Neil’s Reasons Are Several/Debatable/Deceased and by extension Neil and Annaleis‘ Dark Angels & Pretty Freaks (or is it Halos & Heathens?).
To wrap it up, a huge thanks to Carl and Nick, Joel and everyone who’s contributed to the show in some way. The show will be missed. Carl, like the legend that is #71 Dylan Larkin, you’re the best Captain in the league.