Saturday, January 13, 2007

Ending an Era the Right Way

The other day, an era ended in A1E history. Roger Albrecht, handler of Housefly, Haven, Damon Blackburn and others, stepped down from the A1E Booking Committee. For the last six-plus years, he's been the head booker and the overall guiding force of the fed. This is about as big a deal anything in the hobby. You can view the actual thread by clicking below.

Roger Albrecht's farewell thread

I've already said a lot of things in the thread, so I'll just say this here. Roger left the right way. In his resignation, he sets an example for several other fedheads to do when they're faced with the same decisions he had to make.

You could make the case that Roger had no other choice seeing as A1E's run by committee, but I make the argument that while Roger had no other choice, he was in that position by design. From the very beginning, Roger delegated power to a committee (that's had several members over the years, myself included) and made A1E more of a fed for the handlers by the handlers. He made it such so that when there was a time he had to step down, he didn't have to close the fed with him. This is how a fed should be.

There are examples, most recently AWC, o fpopular, active feds closing because the fedhead stepped down. To me, that is among the most tragic things that could ever happen. An active fed is probably the greatest asset there is in the hobby. Handlers come and go, but it's so hard to start up a fed and keep it going. Many feds that open can't get past their growing pain stages (look at places like MCW, LVW, the old-school fed Al was going to open at PTC, KINGPro, all places ended before they could even really begin), and when you do make it and become active and bustling, you've bucked a trend. When you have to close, you make handlers disillusioned. I point to another example of this. When I first got to FW, there was a fed run by Andrew Medina called the NWL. For whatever reason, he couldn't remain the fedhead, and he closed it. Most of the guys in the fed were disappointed, but they latched onto another FW fed eventually. There was one guy who handled Ronnie Valentine who made this post lamenting the fact that he lost his push and had to start over again in another fed... a whole sob story. Now, it was his own fault for not seeing that starting over in another fed wasn't necessarily a bad thing and that losing your push in an e-fed isn't nearly as bad as losing it in the WWE. But still, premature closures harbor those kinds of feelings in people.

So for this reason and many others, let's give Roger some applause on his way out. He wasn't perfect; no one is. However, he was as much a part of A1E as anyone else.

His replacement will be Jarret Aubry, who many of you know now as the handler of Beast. He's been with A1E almost as long as Roger has and has been involved in the administration of the fed for just as long. I'm not sure there's a better choice than Jarret to succeed Roger. In fact, his tenure got off to a very rousing start with the latest edition of Warfare (which you can access through the A1E site). A lot of my critiques of A1E's card flow have been followed up upon, most noticeably teh segues between segments and the continuity.

Plus, I'm told that you can expect a huge in-character announcement from Nathan Houston on the first Warfare after Bloody New Year. I don't know what it is (and even if I did, do you think I'm the type who gives spoilers? :p), but I'm promised it's going to be huge.

1 comment:

BigDaddy said...

Roger is amazing. Without being behind the scenes at some point along the way at A1E, you don't even realize how much he does. He often picks up multiple matches when others can't make it. He writes multiple vignettes that keep stories moving along for everyone's characters. In short, he IS A1E.

I only hope we can do it justice while he's gone.