A listener named Evan sent us this. It is an open letter, and he asked us to share it if we could. We are happy to oblige, and couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
(Note: These are all Evan’s words. I have only edited the paragraph breaks, as Gmail decided it was for the best to just eliminate them.)
Let me tell you a story. It’s not a big story, or long and involved, but it’s mine and I ask your indulgence.
I had a long break from Magic: the Gathering, like most players have. I never played consistently, but I definitely put it all on pause around 2000. The last packs I bought were on my honeymoon, teaching my wife how to play.
After that, life got in the way, as it is wont to do. Years passed. We had two kids. We moved to a town with a game store. And the game sucked me back in, forever altering the way I mark the passage of time. I picked it back up somewhere during Rise of the Eldrazi, and I played my first Friday Night Magic with someone else’s deck. I was terrible, but the deck was good enough to win a couple games. Now, for the first time, I wanted to try to get good at playing Magic. I did this by playing more. Simple.
Around that time, I started listening to podcasts because my job was long and boring and didn’t require access to my brain. It finally dawned on me one day to look for a podcast about Magic: the Gathering. I ran a search for “Magic Gathering podcast” and looked over the results. The first one on the list was The Mana Pool, so I gave it a try. What I heard was familiarity. The guys on the show reminded me of me and three of my longtime friends. It’s not like there’s a one-to-one comparison that works here; it’s more like the amalgamation of the guys on The Mana Pool approximates the amalgamation of me and my friends, and my group includes a guy that has never played Magic.
The show itself is very casual, both in nature and format. I know the show has made a difference in how I approach Magic, even though I can’t point to specifics about why that is. The guys – Chewie, Mike, Brian and Dirk – know their stuff and they don’t take it as seriously as I’ve discovered some Magic players do.
Oh, and the first episode I listened to introduced me to I Fight Dragons. Chewie had played a very brief bit of their song “Save World, Get Girl” and I was hooked. Seriously, they’re great; you should take a listen to them.
Anyway, after listening to several episodes, I felt encouraged to look for other shows, particularly on the MTGcast network. I was quickly disappointed with many of them. It’s not that they didn’t have good information about the game. It’s more in the way the information was presented. I felt that I was perhaps spoiled by The Mana Pool. Ultimately, I did follow – and still follow – a few Magic podcasts. But my go-to is definitely The Mana Pool.
And now, the man who started the show is trying to turn this passion of his into a viable career. His name is Jason, but everyone calls him Chewie. And he has already done a great deal for the Magic podcasting community. He runs two long-running podcasts (after taking the helm of Monday Night Magic a few years ago), and has contributed to many others. He volunteered much time and effort into the MTGcast network itself, helping many other podcast hopefuls find a voice in the community. Add to that the fact that he’s the content editor for the articles at CardShark.com and you’ve got a guy who has put his heart deeply into the Magic community.
His Kickstarter campaign is nearing the end of its cycle. I personally have pledged as much as I feasibly can, though it isn’t much. I urge anyone who has any interest in Magic content to look over the campaign and consider donating to it.
Do something for Chewie. Do something for yourself. Do something for the Magic community.
The Man Pool Kickstarter