Friday, February 8, 2013

Five years of Down Goes Brown

Dion Phaneuf owns a similar button,
except his includes the word "minus".

Today marks the five year anniversary of this site. Five years ago today, I sat down and wrote a few quick paragraphs about the previous night's Leaf game, and gave it the creative title "Leafs 4, Habs 2". The post doesn't bear much resemblance to what you usually find on the site these days, although it did include a Kyle Wellwood fat joke and a reference to terrible Leafs goaltending.

Over the next few months I wrote a variety of posts, most of them attempts at serious analysis. My audience consisted of roughly seven people. Eventually those seven people held an intervention and told me "Dude, enough complaining about the Mats Sundin up, lighten up", and so I did.

In the years since, the site has grown, I've had a chance to do some pretty neat things (have I ever mentioned the book? I have? OK, just checking), and I still haven't got over the Mats Sundin thing. To mark the anniversary, here are some five-packs from the first half decade of Down Goes Brown.

Five posts from the site's first few months that, in hindsight, weren't completely terrible.
Five posts that ended up taking on a life of their own. Five posts in which Chris Pronger randomly shows up and injures someone. Five posts where I showed off my elite Photo-Paint skillz. Five posts about Brian Burke, whose time in Toronto was pretty much the single greatest thing to ever happen to this site. Five posts in which Bloge Salming sings. Five posts where I talk about a recent Maple Leafs playoff game.
  • Um…
  • Hmm.
  • Dammit.
  • You know what, I don't even care any more. (Drinks heavily.)
  • I care so much. (Sobs into pillow until dawn.)
Seriously though, five posts that pretty much sum up what it's like to have been a Leafs fan for the past five years.

Anyway, you get the idea. I've had a ton of fun doing this stuff, and I hope you've found at least a few posts that were worth your while.

At this point I can honestly say that I really have no idea what the future holds for this site. But whether you're one of those original seven readers or somebody who just found it recently, you have my sincere thanks for reading.

Featuring 70 posts including 24 chapters of exclusive new material, The Best of Down Goes Brown is now  available


Buy it today: | | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Nook | Chapters/Indigo | Kobo | iBooks


  1. i like the yearly EA Sports NHL Game Reviews

  2. Congratulations on five years of excellent writing and keeping questionable company.

  3. Congratulations on 5 years DGB, and thank you for all the akward moments when you made me laugh out loud in the middle of my very quiet office. Well done sir!

    My personel favorite was the Ilya Kovalchuk Contract Hearing with the Judge. It had me all out crying it was so d*** funny.

    Keep up the good work here.

    And at Grantland. (You Sold Out! You Sold Out! You Sold Out!)

  4. I think you meant Corel® PHOTO-PAINT™.

  5. I completely forgot to read the photo caption, then spit up some coffee. Outstanding, and happy birthday.

  6. Congrats on 5 years DGB! Stumbled onto this site during the lockout, and it quickly became one of my favorite sites on the net. Now I'm slowly going back through the entire archives, and trying as hard as I can to keep from laughing too loudly at the office - you frequently defeat my best efforts on that point. You've even got me secretly rooting for the Leafs, as long as they're not up against my Hawks. Again, congrats, and happy birthday!

  7. Congratulations DGB. I'm a fan over seas and been reading you for about 4 years, feeling bad about the one i missed(even though i caught up in roughly a weekend).

  8. Thanks for the laughs, DGB, and thank Wysh for pointing your site years ago. Congratulations on 5 years of hilarity, of which yours is unparalleled. To many more years of the funny, I wish you continued success.

  9. Thanks DGB for laughs and let's hope for many more birthdays to your blog!

    As a birthday present a small piece of information for you.

    Did you know what one of you "favourite" d-man Aki Berg does today?

    Usually ex-players turn into tv-career or coaching. But not your Aki.
    He's filling water bottles for his hometown club TPS, in Turku Finland.
    Sorry I couldn't find any english article about that.

    Cheers from,
    Helsinki, Finland
    Ps. that "Dear son welcome to life as leaf fan" is absolutely golden one.

  10. Something you should have borrowed from Mike Royko for your all time favorite post. I cannot find a link to the original column but this story contains the key quote:

    "I always believed that being a Cubs fan built strong character. It taught a person that if you try hard enough and long enough, you'll still lose. And that's the story of life."

  11. You have to address the question facing all Leaf fans - who has to die in order for the Leafs to succeed? The Detroit Red Wings have been the best run franchise in the NHL over the past 30 years. The key to their success was the sale of the team by Bruce Norris four years before his death. Norris was an alcoholic who destroyed the Wings. I think the Wings are on the downward path right now and it will be interesting to see how long it takes them to get back to the top. Right now, the best run franchise in the NHL is the Chicago Blackhawks. Another alcoholic, Bill Wirtz, ran them into the ground until his death in 2007. Contrary to popular belief, "Dollar Bill" Wirtz was not cheap. He spent money. He was just incompetent. He and his drinking buddies like Bob Pulford could not run a lemonade stand. Somehow, he had a son, Rocky Wirtz, who was competent, skilled even. It is amazing how quickly the Hawks turned around. It helps when you get Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in consecutive drafts. Separate subject - any argument that Toews is the best all around forward in hockey?

    In Chicago, the fans returned before the winning. The Blackhawks have sold out every home game since the end of the 2007-8 season - a year they did not make the playoffs. Wirtz's death on September 26, 2007, was enough to give hope.

    So it is possible to build a strong organization fairly quickly. Another question - why are other teams not constantly raiding Chicago and Detroit for front office talent? Is the problem for Toronto that fairly quickly is not fast enough? I am surprised that Brian Burke failed. I thought he knew how to build a winner. Was the pressure in Toronto too great for him and he grasped for instant results rather than building? Can anyone build a winner given the pressure in Toronto?

    1. Well, we all thought it was Harold Ballard who had to die. And it worked... for a few years.

      As for Burke, he did grasp for instant results but that wasn't because of the pressure of Toronto. Leaf fans were willing to be patient if that's what his plan called for. He just made a bad call and talked himself into a different plan.

  12. This has been a tough week in my life. Thanks for the links to the 5 songs with Bloge Salming. It felt good to smile.
    Congrats on your 5th anniversary--I look forward to many more DGB treats!

  13. Congrats on five years! Many happy returns.

    Your blog makes my day on a regular basis and the book is a great read. When I've got tears in my eyes , shaking with laughter, and other people are asking, "what the hell are you reading?", that's comedy. Thanks!

  14. Sean, I'm glad Brown went down. I enjoy your great writing, and as usual, the picture caption FTW. Hopefully you can get Mike from Philly to guest write.

  15. HBD DGB !!! Been reading for 2 years now, you're a breath of fresh air, a bottomless pit of hockey trivia, on a scene saturated with dumbasses trying to be clever because they had access to a computer and analyze hockey to death forgetting all about the show, the chuckles, the laughters and all the emotions the game give us.


  16. Congratulations for making it for five years. I'm looking forward to read more wonderful posts from you in the years to come.

  17. So I just wanted to say thank you and congratulations on reaching five years. I've been reading your blog for years, and I honestly think I've read almost everything (I used to go through the back archives when I was on a long bus trip). I really want to thank you wholeheartedly for helping to shape my identity as a hockey fan. I started watching hockey in 2007 and have turned from someone who had no idea how the game even worked to a die-hard fan (Flyers, yeah, I know, I know, but I'm from Philly, and no, I don't know Mike). I routinely quote "Qu'est que c'est the hell was that, tabernac?" at my friends, and my wallet is made partly with a Wendel Clark hockey card.
    Also, the All Heart video is the best thing on YouTube.

  18. I am not sure if it is plagiarism or just the influence of genius but Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune seems to be finding his toned down for the newspaper DGB:,0,7262946.column

    Where do you think he got this (at least he changed Edmonton to Winnipeg):
    If one of those scenarios played out, you can bet your mouthpiece that somebody or everybody threatened to trade Kane to some godforsaken city, or worse, Winnipeg. If you don’t think that was hanging over Kane’s hungover head, then you don’t know the NHL.

  19. Adding to my previous comment, I don't think even Jonathan Toews would like to be traded to his hometown. For a rich 24 year old hockey star, Chicago is a great town. The United Center will be crazy on Tuesday night. For Hawks fans, the lockout does not seem like it has really ended. The Hawks have played only two of their 12 games at home, the last over two weeks ago. And they have 22 points out of 24 possible. I think the atmosphere will be similar to the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals. The fans are ready to explode.

  20. The most interesting thing about reading Steve Rosenbloom is actually feeling your soul die little by little.

  21. I am a recent convert to the Faith, having grown up in Northern California before the Ducks or Sharks existed. Even though I am not a Leafs fan, I have respect and admire the team's traditions ever since witnessing (on TV) the final game played at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1999, and the postgame ceremonies. That respect was further cemented when I read your posts about the 17 Greatest Wendel Clark Moments. As it turns out, the quintessential "No-Quit" exemplified by Clark is what draws me to hockey in the first place.

    Your site is great, and the humour (note Canadian spelling) if terrific--I especially enjoyed the posts with Chis Pronger references--BOO-yah!


    Das Rhino

  22. You had me at the caption. Outstanding!