When I sit down at my computer to write something, no matter how trivial, I expect that the people who read it will like it. Somewhere in the back of my mind I think, “you have the gift of gab, and the ability to put that gift to use.” Of course, that’s in the back of my mind. The rest of my mind usually says, “Hey jackass, quit thinkin’ your friggin’ the second coming of Shakespeare and just get to it.” Ultimately, I start typing, and the result is usually pretty decent. At least I think so.
Nearly 48 hours ago, I wrote something that I felt was pretty decent. I didn’t feel that it was any better or worse than anything I had written before. I did, however, feel different as I wrote it, because at its core, it wasn’t really a sports story. The fact that it had a connection to sports didn’t even factor into my decision to write it. I just had an experience that I wanted to share, and being that I want to have the occasional break from sports talk, I decided to expand my subject matter this time. This decision would change me as a person, forever.
I went to bed that night, slightly humbled because I noticed that I had over 100 views. I had about 14 subscribers, almost all friends of mine, and I typically would get about 35 views. In addition, I had received about 10 alerts on my phone that indicated comments or new subscribers. I remember saying to my wife, as we were getting into bed, that I was going to turn the volume on my phone down so it doesn’t keep waking me up with more alerts. Off to bed I went.
I woke up and checked my phone. 76 alerts. Wow, people are really reading this post. I quickly log into WordPress to read some of the comments, but before I do, I notice something unbelievable. I have 25,000 views. HOLY CRAP! My wife, without hesitation, tells me to turn off the notifications, or my phone will be going off all day. She’s so smart. I would have never thought to do that. We talk briefly about it, but I have to get ready for work. 20 minutes later I’m out the door.
I spend all day with my phone in my hand. Every chance I get, I’m checking WordPress to see if people are still reading it. As this is happening at every red light, or stop sign, I haven’t actually had a chance to start checking the comments. After I drop at the airport, I have over an hour before my next pickup. Finally, I get a chance to start reading the comments.
I am blown away. I cannot believe that not only people in the United States, but people a continent away are reading this post. Comments from all over Europe and Asia are in the thread. I just posted this thing 15 hours ago, and now I have over 70,000 views. Links to my blog are everywhere. Yahoo sports, NBC Sports, Twitter, etc. Hell, even the Dallas Morning News called. I can’t believe this is really happening. What does it all mean?
I took in these things all day, but I could not stop pondering that one question. What does it all mean? Why all the attention? Initially, I thought it was due to the tragedy. Then I thought it was really about the victim, and the love that his fans had for him. Finally, I thought it was possibly about one man’s emotional experience and how it impacted the way he looked at his own life. Ultimately, I think it was all three things, combined with the fact that I might actually be a good writer. All of the times my wife said I was very good at expressing my thoughts in writing, I thought she was just being a supportive spouse. Turns out, she may have been right. Did I say that out loud? In the end, I believe I need to continue writing about things that mean a lot to me or touch me emotionally. I thank every person who read that blog and especially those who took the time to say something positive about it, and me. I hope I can continue to keep you coming back, even though the subject matter will likely be much lighter.
25 thoughts on “Reality, Chick.”
Jeff you have always had the gift of gab. However I can honestly say that I am impressed at how eloquently you put it to paper. Thankyou
I thought the post was a shameful intrusion of the private grief of the family, by a trusted service provider.
I detailed my thoughts in that posts comments section, but I suspect that Jeff Chick will not publish it.
It is sad you could not see Jeff was sharing his own personal experience… he was not sharing the experience of others, he was sharing his OWN emotion from a very intense experience – AND, his sharing helped MANY people. There was no self-absorption, mal-intent or personal gain anywhere in his writing. And the writing itself, was deeply heartfelt, potent – and clearly moving for the hearts of MANY people.
It is sad you have such disdain for a man who had the transparency to reveal his own raw emotion from a very moving moment.
I’m sorry for you that life has brought such jading that you aren’t able to even recognize true, sincere, humble and human expression. It seems you’ve been wronged too much in the past, I’m sorry for you, for that.
I did not get to read Reality Check before it was taken down. Can you send it to me? Thanks!
Keem em’ coming, they have all been great!
That is perfect. Wow… what a ride, eh? And you have me in tears now, as I see how much you got the message. If there was nothing more (which there WAS, and a LOT of it) … YOU got the message that YOU are a gift that is to be shared. God Bless You, for THAT! Good job Jeff… You ARE a brilliant writer. I would be honored to watch you unfold… Thank you for sharing ~
Thank you very much. I’m not really sure where I will go from here, as I had planned on writing about sports. However, I may have to rethink that. 🙂
ha! that’s perfect too… the part I left off my comment above was to say, ‘yeah, and you might wanna consider allowing the deeper content to come, it’s apparently what moves!’ … so yes, you might want to rethink it 🙂 probably most of all, just let it come out, and see what unfolds… it will show you the way!
I know you took it down but is there any way I could read this? I never got the chance and all I’ve heard was how emotionally moving this story was.
I was fortunate enough to read the post before you removed it, and as much as it hurt, perhaps it’s the hockey player within, that wants me to share this with all the various hockey teammates I have. Your knack of writing put us all right there in your shoes and connected us even closer to the latest tragedy to hit our hockey Brethren. Please, unless there has been tremedous pressure from those more directly impacted and out of respect to those, it could be hurtful, please email it to. I think there are good messages that just may nudge peoples’ memories, there are many important aspects in life we often take for granted.
Hey, I am a guy from far-far-away.. the country Karlis and his family is from.. The post was published in our major news portals and everybody agreed that it was brilliant.. Ok, even if the names were removed, we would know the name of the guy who just left the NHL and was on that plane..
I think this is what the blogging is all about.. telling stories like you did.. in a manner that touches the heart and soul… if you are in the middle of a story, you must tell it if you are a blogger.. to make people think and feel..
Well, even if you removed the post, it is somewhere else.. living its own life. You changed the world when you published it online and you cannot change it back if you remove the post.. The post was good. It was more than good.. You made us cry and smile.. you touched our hearts. Thank you for that. I would really appreciate if you put it back (with or without names – up to you)…. too many sources are directed to that page 🙂
Jeff, you wrote something that went straight to the hearts of me and my coworkers. We are limo drivers and we are all one phone call away from the experience you so eloquently described. My daughter ran across your link on Twitter and called me to tell me to look for it. You described a tragic moment but a small good thing to come out of that event was your discovery about your skills and everyone else’s discovery of you. Keep doing what you do.
yes i LOVE your post….it was about the tragedy, the emotions & how you wrote!!! GOD BLESS YA!! 🙂
I want to say only few words: Thanks. Huge thanks for your posts.
I am one the people from country far far away, from Latvia. ( I guess, most of the people do not recognize where in Europe this is but it does not matter this time ). I just wanted to say thank you for your post. And, please, as the link to your blog is still published and going around Latvia ( and many other countries ), could you put the post back on? Take the names out and so however, this trues story was SO well written that it is practically a crime that you took it away.
P.S. I enjoy your way of writing. And am gonna follow your blog hopefully to read something happy some day 🙂
Keep on the good posts! You have a great gift only few writers have. I will definitely subscribe and read all your future peaces…
Best of luck,
P.S. I join the people asking you to re-post the great peace you removed.
Thanks for the great post! I had sent the link to my wife for her to read and she was a day late. We too have a young daughter and the story really touched me differently now that I am a dad. If you could please email it so I could share it with my wife it would be much appreciated.
I would really like to read your Reality Check post as well.
Would you mind sending it to me?
I did not get to read that article before it was removed, would you PLEASE, send it to me?