IF you've been paying attention, there's been somewhat of an infusion of talent into the A1 family of feds. We've seen the returns of Cross and Beast and addition of Rocko Daymon to A1E in the last few months, but the former are A1E vets, and with the success of Cross and Dan Ryan in the Home Fed, it's not surprising that Strawsma made the jump headfirst. Same with MBE, where Justin Evitable and Jogi Fresh were drawn out of retirement, Doc Silver was drawn from his A1 exile and Ryan Poole, former handler of Liquid Snake, brought in a new character called Jock McCrunk. A lot of old faces. Now I'm not saying that these additions are bad at all. Personally, I think the proceedings between Cross and Beast are Feud of the Year material. Daymon has made a strong statement since coming into A1E, and I think it's a matter of time before he's holding gold. Doc's the MBE Champion while beating Evitable for it; both men are deserving of that honor. Jogi Fresh and Jock McCrunk have been entertaining while they've been around.
However, it's not new blood into the community. Among these guys, the only one who might be considered to be a fresh look is Daymon, because Strawsma is new to the A1 feds. However, I feel that the line between A1 and FW has been so blurred and intertwined that we're almost one, big, mixed up community.
But when I see names like these:
Cool Frank Cutta
The Canadian Luchador
...it makes me smile. It seems to me like these are all new handlers to the community on the whole, and as someone who's been bemoaning the slow death of e-fedding as we know it in the combined A1/FW world, guys like these coming in embolden me in thinking my fatalistic attitude is wrong.
CFC has been making a splash in MBE for about a month now, and he's the longest running character of the five. The other four have just signed to their respective feds in the last week or so. But getting back to CFC, he seems to be getting into the groove nicely, settling into a feud with Jock, who, if he's around, is always a great feud partner to have.
Now, it's entirely possible that all of these guys are familiar with the A1 world and are just hiding their identities really well. Over at A1, the custom is to have a separate board name for all your characters. It's a lot easier to keep people off guard that way. In fact, I think no one knew that Bill was handling Mr. Amazing! as well as Freakfish until the grand unveiling of Amazing, Inc. at High Stakes '01, a feat that is the greatest testament to the separation of character screen names. So there is a chance that my giddiness is for naught.
But still, it looks like these guys are all new, and that's a good thing. Hopefully, this is the start of a reversal in trend and the next resurgence in eW is about to begin...
...especially when guys like Al Larcher leave the hobby. For those who don't know, Al, who handles Duke and Hoyt Williams, suddenly retired from the hobby this week. Because his announcement hastily followed Sean Williams' departure, I initially thought that it was a joke and he was going to turn around and reveal he was working us. However, it appears to be the real thing.
Of all the guys who could leave the hobby, in particular, the PTC community, Al was the worst case scenario. His light-hearted attitude made people smile all the time. He had a heart firmly entrenched in the old-school, something that made him stand out amongst the community.
I don't know what made him leave the hobby. Something tells me this runs deeper than schoolwork/full-time job kicking his ass or general malaise for eW. I hope all is well in the Larcher household.
I also hope that Al makes his way back to eW someday. Until then, here's to Mr. Larcher, the President of E-Fedding. You will be sorely missed while you are gone.