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