Wish You Were Here, Buddy.

Today marks the First Anniversary of the passing of Dan Appelt, better known online as Badgerdano. For those not familiar with either name, Badgerdano was a regular at the old Second City Hockey site, in fact, had been there almost from the start, and was a witty and popular commentator and the origin of a meme that persists to this day. You know when you’ve been Badgerdano’d

SCH was the place that myself, Nakis and JesusMarianHossa first crossed paths (and occasionally butted heads). Badger was an integral part of the community there, a welcoming voice to newcomers, an incisive analyst of whatever the Hawks were up to at the time and always ready to get in on (or, frequently, instigate)  the inevitable mickey-taking that was part of the fun.  I should probably add that he was known to be, on occasion, “Quite Supportive” of all things UW. Just a little bit.

He was an early supporter of my lame efforts at Hawks comedy, and (as you will see) a considerable factor in the current makeup of Cheer The Anthem. Therefore, it was with shock and then sorrow that I returned from vacation last year to find a message from Pat, his partner, waiting in my inbox, relating the sad news that Dan had passed.

He had been absent from SCH for a while, but there was nothing unusual in this. Like several members (including myself) he took the occasional sabbatical. There had been some discussion of his absence between myself and the learned laaarmer on SCH, and Pat  reached out to me so that the word could be passed to his friends.

I passed the word on and Sam, McClure and Killion at SCH quickly made it the front page.. and there followed an absolutely stunning outpouring of love, sorrow and memory from the community (and outside) that I don’t believe I’ve seen replicated anywhere, before or since.

It’s all here. http://www.secondcityhockey.com/2012/8/17/3249064/badgerdano

There are wonderful memories and stories, from those who only knew Dan online, and also from those who were lucky enough to meet him in person at the 2010 Parade.

I never felt prouder to be a part of an online community of (mostly) strangers that day. And if ever I meet any of them in the flesh, I know that I just have to say “Here’s to Badger” as I raise my glass (glasses are assumed) and we won’t be strangers anymore.

I asked the redoubtable Ahnfire (mod at SCH and The Committed Indian) for a comment for this article and this is what she said:

 

I don’t know what to say, really. When I was asked if I wanted to contribute something for this tribute to Badger, I went back to re-read the emails we had sent back and forth. Re-reading those snarky emails reminded me how lucky I feel to have met him and so many other wonderful Hawks fans online. I think about the spontaneous internet wake that occurred when we all found out and the outpouring of support from the greater SBN hockey community. As sad as I was when I found out, I was also amazed by how we all came together, regardless of team affiliation, for someone most had never physically met. 
 
The fact that I consider Badger a friend is the (online) legacy that he leaves behind: we may all just be usernames in an internet comment section or twitter, but we’re also a community. So cheers to Badger, and cheers to us. We were lucky to have known him and we’re lucky to know each other. 
 
This feels way too sappy now, so I’m going to end this with Badger’s cheer: “BAH!”

 

And, as for the Cheer The Anthem part: here’s Bartl:

 

I reached out to Badger and Nakis to write for CtA, and he respectfully declined due to a busy schedule. The times I dealt with him personally were nothing short of a pleasant experience. I wish I would have met him in person, but talking Blackhawks – and hockey in general – with him on message boards and through emails were something I’m proud to say I did. He’s definitely missed in this community.

 

Our very own Nakis has his own take on that:

 

I wouldn’t be a contributor here if it wasn’t for Badgerdano. A few years ago, Bartl asked Badger and I to write for CtA in the same e-mail as we were both fairly regular participants in the SCH threads for quite some time.  Badger declined and I told Bartl I was going to take a pass as well. Badger wrote me back a long e-mail urging me to go for it. I thought it was a wonderful gesture as he and I had sparred a few times over at SCH (we all apparently had a little too much time on our hands) fairly ferociously. From there, we began trading e-mails and became friends.
 

One year on and he’s still missed. You know he’d be eating up this Hawks team. I hope they carry NBCSPORTS wherever he’s at on his journey.

 

And I think that’s where I’ll leave this. I know that Dan/Badger is getting a huge kick out of this Hawks team and what they are achieving. I also know that he would tell me to “Get off his Lawn” for being so “Sappy” about it.  I just have one request.
Wherever you are in the world, whoever you’re with; take a moment, when the puck drops on Saturday, to raise a glass, of whatever it is you’re drinking, to Badger.  It’s what he would have wanted. And spare a thought for Pat and the rest of his family in this difficult time.

Dan “Badgerdano” Appelt 12/15/59-06/07/12

 

 

About the author

The Irish contingent, live from Co. Cork. 90% of what I write will be done through a haze of sleep deprivation & alcohol. @brightblack76 on the Twitaarghs

9 comments
Stacie7
Stacie7

Well said. Can't believe it has been a year. Badger would have been proud, or maybe would have told you to man up, but either way you would have made him smile.

Katherine215
Katherine215

It's hard to believe it's been a year since Badgerdano passed away.  August feels more like the anniversary for me, since that's when we found out.  I've been thinking about him lately as the Hawks have gotten further in the playoffs - and also throughout the last year as I've let loose a muttered "bah!" when some situation or person has annoyed me.  Reading through the SCH thread MMD linked to has made me remember a lot of the fun times we had on SCH - laaarmer's coupon issues and Badgerdano's responses remains one of my favorite moments ever.  You were a great friend, Badgerdano, and I still miss you.

GozerTheTraveler
GozerTheTraveler

Someone just started cutting up onions in my house...stupid onions.

Commit2TheIndian
Commit2TheIndian

First time I've been able to make and actual "handle"- (Timothy Fisher on SCH btw). Here's to Badgerdano- Cheers my friend!

shinkicker
shinkicker

I've been making friends on the Internet since I was about 3 or 14, but before I got into hockey, they all tended to women around my own age. SCH was a strange experience as I realized half the crowd were dudes my parents age, but it really wasn't that different, especially with Badger. He played up the crusty old man for the jokes, but was never someone to call someone a band wagon fan even though he talked about the pain of losing to the Habs in the 70s. Dan was a great person to know, and I was one of the lucky people who got to meet him in person on June 11, 2010 and it took me about five minutes to realize he was offering to buy me a post parade shot so we could all celebrate, because I didn't understand a supposed stranger doing something that great. But Danno was great, and the comments section is a worse place without him. I'm actual headed to the Bottom Lounge as I type this to see a show, and I'll be ordering a shot in his honor.

Justforkicks
Justforkicks

What a great tribute.  His fanpost on Kane is still one of my favorites, and he is most definitely missed.  Cheers to you Badger!!