Today I had an interesting personal opportunity that made me reflect on the fact that Mason, Abe, Matt, and Myself will be recording episode 400 of Constructed Criticism this coming Monday.
As I am writing this I just got done wiping tears from my eyes after thinking about every listener who has taken our show to heart, and improved at Magic: The Gathering and life in general.
This show has been with me through more growth in my life than the rest of my life before it. It has helped me focus on being not only a better Magic: The Gathering player but a better father, husband, friend, employee, boss, and overall human being. And in a lot of ways it was the listeners, and co-hosts who kept me going and inspired me along the way.
I don’t think I can put into words what the listeners, co-hosts, sponsors, and overall friends of this show have meant to me. I never expected to get to this point. I thought this would be something that Casey, Matt, and I did for fun for a few years and move on. But just like MTG did CCMTG became part of my life, and who I am. Listeners became friends, co-hosts, and even went on to work on other projects for the network.
We have been through so much as a podcast, and it is crazy to think how much we have left to give.
I want to take a moment to thank the people who have made 400 episodes possible and talk about the role they played.
Oasis Games: https://www.oasisgamesslc.com/
Episode 13: Surrounding Yourself with Greatness with Jon Finkel
This was the episode where we introduced Oasis Games as a Sponsor. This show would have stopped existing without Oasis Games a long time ago. I love Oasis. I love their product, I love their team, and I love the opportunity they have given us.
We will continue to partner with them on events, prizes, and so much more because they are the best place to buy and sell MTG cards on the planet. Supporting Oasis supports a diverse group who love the game we love, and allows us to keep making this show. This post isn’t sponsored so this sales pitch is just me being honest. They mean more to me than I can post, and you should know that.
Matt, and Casey:
Matt and Casey where so just down for what ever when we started. We were able to just make a show and grow and learn. We learned a lot too. From getting our first guests, to coming up with key segments like Training Grounds and Always Improving these two helped shape the identity of the show even to this day.
Both came back to the show too after they left. They were always down to help me and help improve the product, and be there when we needed them. They are two of my best friends and I will always be grateful for what they did for CCMTG.
Casey brought such a unique take to the show. He is a data driven person with a ton of wit. He was able to bring a ton of ideas to help listeners on a qualitative front while also bringing is unique whit to the show. The best man at my wedding, and the best roommate I ever had. I love you Casey.
Matt “MTJesus” Kling is literally on a call with me now as I write this. No human has ever more down for whatever Spencer wants than Matt Kling. If Abe and Mason quit Magic: The Gathering tomorrow Matt would hop on that train for me no questions asked. Matt brought such honest opinions to the show. He doesn’t really care if you agree with him. He brings you his thoughts and allows you to challenge him candidly and honestly. If that isn’t the #AlwaysImproving mentality I don’t know what is.
Also Matt got dubbed MTJESUS after his GP top 8 with Grixis, and what could be cooler?
Quentinn, and Manny:
Quentinn and Manny brough such a breath to the show in new perspectives and a challenging of ideas. They helped the show grow into something that could both educational and fun for PTQ grinders.
We got our first PT Qualifications from both QJ, and myself during this era of the show and really saw the pay off of the show of that for both us, and the listeners.
Quentinn brought a level of clear thought and processing to the show that you need when you have a co-host like me. He taught me a lot about being a host, and what my co-hosts need from me as well as what they need from their owner, and producer. QJ is like a brother to me so I don’t want to go too deep. I love you QJ and if you ever want to do another podcast hit me up.
Manny brought something very unique to the show. Something it hadn’t had. He captivated people and made them want more. He brought comedy, and personality to the show that everyone loved. Manny was and is something special in a human and we were lucky to have him.
Michael “The HinderFather” Hinderaker:
I probably can’t say enough about Michael and don’t really want to try. Michael embodies what Constructed Criticism and #AlwaysImproving mean to a lot of people including me. He pushed me to be a better host, he pushed the show to be a better podcast, and he brough a level of consistency and quality to the show that we all came to love, and count on.
I hope every day that he is bringing that elevation to his job making the game we love. And I believe that he is.
Michael is the best Magic: The Gathering player to ever grace the state of Utah and I can’t believe I caught him during his journey.
Seth, and Jon:
Seth and Jon are two of the smartest humans I have evet gotten to work with. I feel lucky to know these guys, and even luckier that we got to bring their insight into the world of Constructed Criticism. I often wonder what would have happened if the MPL had never existed and what this show would have been, but I am so happy that we could work together and the high level insight these two brought to the show.
Seth came to the show with a willingness to share, listen, learn, and teach. Not something you would expect from a player on my personal top 5 players of all time. But he is fun, caring, and always willing to listen.
Seth is one of the best Magic Players to have ever been on Constructed Criticism. He is a great deck builder, a great limited player, and a absolute slayer at the GP level.
One of my very favorite memories of Magic: The Gathering is actually before I met Seth. In fact it is this moment: https://youtu.be/qQcz1IBJ9KQ?t=6051. I don’t know if I have ever shared this with you Seth, but if you are reading this I am sharing it now. This moment validated who I am as a person and competitor. The emotion you showed at the highest level of our game is the level of emotion I have every time I win something I have cared about. From winning Utah States to a PTQ you validated me as a person who wears their emotions on their sleeve, and it meant more to me than I can express right now.
Jon is one of my favorite humans. I legit love his brain, and the way he works in Magic. He is so open, candid, and smart. I believe if the MPL never started that Jon, would have accomplished so much more in Magic, and hopefully would have shared it with our listeners.
I also should thank Jon for helping me just a short time ago looking at my own time in MTG as it relates to my time spent in the game. I don’t know if I told you this Jon, but you made my decade with your comments and gave me the confidence I needed at the time to keep going. I really appreciate you as a human and hope we get more of those moments.
Trey and Mason already had created my favorite podcast on the network that I did not come up with when they joined the show. RIP Even Odds
And they even brought so much of that production value to the show that we would never have had without Trey. From the best ads in the game to the Pick 2 Set Review the innovation and ideas brought to the show during this era was everything for me. I really needed Trey and will love him for everything he did forever.
I never got to work with Skyler, but I must say that I don’t know that we would have gotten to episode 400 without Skyler. I was in a life changing part of my life, and will forever be grateful the show got to continue without me. Thank you Skyler
“BIG A” Abe:
There are not a lot of humans who could possibly stand on being on a show with Mason Clark and Spencer Howland at the same time, and I am pretty sure Abe was made in a lab to do it.
Jokes aside Abe has been more than I could ask for for where I am at in my time with Constructed Criticism. He is honest, insightful, and an absolute joy. I am lucky to have you in my life Abe. I hope that when we look back on episode 500 that you think fondly of your time on the show and the 100+ episodes you have done. Because I think you are a perfect fit for #AlwaysImproving.
Mason Esports Clark:
I did the Math on this once, but I think Mason has now passed Michael for the 2nd most episodes of CCMTG only behind myself, and honestly if you include his behind the scene work and total time spent he might have lapped the Hinderfather.
Mason has seen me at my best, and my worst. He has seen the show through its Hinder Heights and its Covid Lows. I say this with ever fiber of my being. I love you Mason Clark and I will cherish our friendship for my entire life. You cannot and will not get rid of me now buddy.
As I am typing this I can’t put into words what I feel about you my friend. We would absolutely would not, could not, and never would be here without you. You have been a pillar for this show that I never expected. I appreciate you so much. You are legitimately like that little brother who is way taller, smarter, funnier, better looking , and just more fun to be around. And just like a big brother I am proud and hate you for it.
From the bottom of my soul Mason Esports Clark. Thank you.
Not even sure if I can write this. I cannot believe the hours you’ve sacrificed. The time spent listening, helping, planning with me. The money you allowed me to spend.
The support you have shown me on the adventure was not something we know was being asked when I started this adventure, but you are another pillar of this show that does not get enough credit.
From the listeners, the sponsors, the co-hosts. Thank you Devionare. This show would definitely not exist without you.
From me. I love you, and I can’t believe I am so lucky to have someone like you in my corner. You are the partner I needed on this adventure.
To each of you. Each and every one of you. Thank you. I legitimately am so grateful that anything we did, said, or helped with resonated with you. Each and every single one of you have a special place in my heart. And I hope that where ever you are and what ever you are doing that you are finding success and focusing on that next thing you can do to improve yourself and your surroundings.
Once again thank you to each of you.
Oliver Gibson Seibert
Ryan Keith Albritton
Allan G Parker
Paul J Detkowski
Jaywmtg aka Drip Guy
Christian y Laci
Mikki Klokkedal SÃ¸rensen
Margot, A fox
Open Seat Media
The Supreme Verdict
Jonathan Schneider Sanchez Montenegro
Magic With Zuby