I have created a large number of imaginary worlds, beginning from the first days of my fascination with maps. I made a quick transition, at nine, from copying maps of the real world to creating ones from my own imagination. Along the way my maps and new worlds gained inspiration from the Prydain Chronicles of Lloyd Alexander, the Narnia series of C.S. Lewis, and the Earthsea trilogy of Ursula LeGuin.
As I was and am still a big sports fan, sometimes I created worlds and then populated them with sports teams, and sometimes I made sports teams and created worlds around them. The amount of time you can spend managing an imaginary sports league is bounded only by the ability to stay awake and free from other responsibilities on any given day. Some of these leagues were big obsessions. I spent so much time in my room documenting that my gregarious brothers often accused me of not wanting to "be with the family."
When I became a working professional, most of this stuff went into boxes in the attic, and I took a long break from creation of most kinds, long story why, and for another time.
But now one of those worlds has come back, not by my own efforts, but from the prompting of my son. He loves imaginary sports teams, too, though not as obsessively as I did, and when he got wind-- somehow-- about my Borschland Hockey League, and I told him it might be fun to create a blog around it, he latched on to the idea and has made it happen.
Official notice: Te staff sporttelegraaf is born, the only blog in the entire world dedicated solely to following the Borschland Hockey League. Now, the league has a proud history of almost one hundred years-- these Borschers love their hockey-- so the fact that the blog is new should not give the false impression that the Borschic league is some upstart. By no means.
Borschland is located on a phase-shifting continent in the southern hemisphere, between Australia and the southern tip of Africa. It is only intermittently visitable by the outside world, and during one of those periods the territory that would become Borschland was colonized by the Dutch, the Germans, and a few Belgians.
Being closer to Antarctica than any of the other parts of the continent, Borschland's climate is conducive to hockey, and its midsection, the rolling country between the sea and the mighty Borschland River, is conducive to apple orchards. Thus, it is sometimes called the land of brandy and pucks.
My favorite team is Te Staff (pronounced Tuh Shtahff), the traditional powerhouse of the capitol city, Staff Borsch. It is the New York Yankees of the BHL, which goes against my preference for underdogs. But often you root for the team where you saw your first game, and I saw first in my imagination the greatest team in the league, so I'm hooked.
I have agreed to play the role of elder statesman columnist, and I will be contributing posts under the rubric Brandy and Pucks, brandy being an important part of BHL games, because all of them are played outdoors in temperatures low enough to freeze shallow water for ice rinks.
In my early twenties I wrote a short story with Borschland as the setting, and harbored visions of a novel coming out of it-- it has a back story plenty big enough for such a work-- but if the thing brings pleasure to my son, I will be very happy.
The schedule is already set, and I believe starts this evening (if you're reading on Thursday), so lose no time clicking over to find out the earliest results from the games. Choose yourself a favorite team and root them on. Maybe someday another reliable phase shift will come, and you'll be able to visit Borschland yourself.
I guarantee an unforgettable stay.