GET /freshly-pressed/

Get a list of Freshly Pressed posts. (Note: Freshly Pressed has been retired. Please visit https://discover.wordpress.com to get the best content published across our network.)

Resource Information

   
Method GET
URL https://public-api.wordpress.com/rest/v1.1/freshly-pressed/
Requires authentication? No

Query Parameters

Parameter Type Description
http_envelope (bool)
false:
(default)
true:
Some environments (like in-browser Javascript or Flash) block or divert responses with a non-200 HTTP status code. Setting this parameter will force the HTTP status code to always be 200. The JSON response is wrapped in an "envelope" containing the "real" HTTP status code and headers.
pretty (bool)
false:
(default)
true:
Output pretty JSON
meta (string) Optional. Loads data from the endpoints found in the 'meta' part of the response. Comma-separated list. Example: meta=site,likes
fields (string) Optional. Returns specified fields only. Comma-separated list. Example: fields=ID,title
callback (string) An optional JSONP callback function.
number (int) The number of posts to return. Default: 10. Limit: 40. Default: 10.
after (iso 8601 datetime) Return posts picked on or after the specified datetime.
before (iso 8601 datetime) Return posts picked on or before the specified datetime.
content_width (int) When in context=display, images/embeds in post content will be set to the desired maximum width. Default: 480.
thumb_width (int) Desired width of thumbnail images, in pixels. Default: 252.
thumb_height (int) Desired height of thumbnail images, in pixels. Default: 160.

Response Parameters

Parameter Type Description
ID (int) The post ID.
site_ID (int) The site ID.
author (object) The author of the post.
date (iso 8601 datetime) The post's creation time.
modified (iso 8601 datetime) The post's most recent update time.
title (html) context dependent.
URL (url) The full permalink URL to the post.
short_URL (url) The wp.me short URL.
content (html) context dependent.
excerpt (html) context dependent.
slug (string) The name (slug) for the post, used in URLs.
guid (string) The GUID for the post.
status (string)
publish:
The post is published.
draft:
The post is saved as a draft.
pending:
The post is pending editorial approval.
private:
The post is published privately
future:
The post is scheduled for future publishing.
trash:
The post is in the trash.
auto-draft:
The post is a placeholder for a new post.
sticky (bool) Is the post sticky?
password (string) The plaintext password protecting the post, or, more likely, the empty string if the post is not password protected.
parent (object|false) A reference to the post's parent, if it has one.
type (string) The post's post_type. Post types besides post, page and revision need to be whitelisted using the rest_api_allowed_post_types filter.
comments_open (bool) Is the post open for comments?
pings_open (bool) Is the post open for pingbacks, trackbacks?
likes_enabled (bool) Is the post open to likes?
sharing_enabled (bool) Should sharing buttons show on this post?
comment_count (int) The number of comments for this post.
like_count (int) The number of likes for this post.
i_like (bool) Does the current user like this post?
is_reblogged (bool) Did the current user reblog this post?
is_following (bool) Is the current user following this blog?
global_ID (string) A unique WordPress.com-wide representation of a post.
featured_image (url) The URL to the featured image for this post if it has one.
post_thumbnail (object) The attachment object for the featured image if it has one.
format (string)
standard:
Standard
aside:
Aside
chat:
Chat
gallery:
Gallery
link:
Link
image:
Image
quote:
Quote
status:
Status
video:
Video
audio:
Audio
geo (object|false)
menu_order (int) (Pages Only) The order pages should appear in.
publicize_URLs (array) Array of Twitter and Facebook URLs published by this post.
tags (object) Hash of tags (keyed by tag name) applied to the post.
categories (object) Hash of categories (keyed by category name) applied to the post.
attachments (object) Hash of post attachments (keyed by attachment ID).
metadata (array) Array of post metadata keys and values. All unprotected meta keys are available by default for read requests. Both unprotected and protected meta keys are available for authenticated requests with access. Protected meta keys can be made available with the rest_api_allowed_public_metadata filter.
meta (object) API result meta data
current_user_can (object) List of permissions. Note, deprecated in favor of `capabilities`
capabilities (object) List of post-specific permissions for the user; publish_post, edit_post, delete_post
date_range (object) date range covered by current results.
number (int) The number of posts brought back by current query.
posts (array) An array of post objects, with added Freshly Pressed info, in the editorial property for each post.

Resource Errors

These are the possible errors returned by this endpoint.

HTTP Code Error Identifier Error Message
403 unauthorized User cannot view taxonomy
403 unauthorized User cannot view post
403 unauthorized User cannot edit taxonomy
400 invalid_post Invalid post
400 invalid_context Invalid API CONTEXT
403 unauthorized User cannot edit post
404 unknown_post Unknown post

Example

curl 'https://public-api.wordpress.com/rest/v1/freshly-pressed/?number=2'
<?php
$options  = array (
  'http' => 
  array (
    'ignore_errors' => true,
  ),
);

$context  = stream_context_create( $options );
$response = file_get_contents(
	'https://public-api.wordpress.com/rest/v1/freshly-pressed/?number=2',
	false,
	$context
);
$response = json_decode( $response );
?>

Response

{
    "date_range": {
        "newest": "2015-11-22T21:02:02+00:00",
        "oldest": "2015-11-22T16:02:02+00:00"
    },
    "number": 2,
    "posts": [
        {
            "ID": 449,
            "site_ID": 22603338,
            "author": {
                "ID": 22980442,
                "login": "arnabchanda",
                "email": false,
                "name": "Arnab Chanda",
                "first_name": "Arnab",
                "last_name": "Chanda",
                "nice_name": "arnabchanda",
                "URL": "http:\/\/arnabchanda.wordpress.com",
                "avatar_URL": "https:\/\/0.gravatar.com\/avatar\/cf0709f744ec0f1c35c8638dc181dc47?s=96&d=https%3A%2F%2F0.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D96&r=G",
                "profile_URL": "http:\/\/en.gravatar.com\/arnabchanda",
                "site_ID": 22603338
            },
            "date": "2015-11-11T14:33:55+00:00",
            "modified": "2015-11-20T07:03:56+00:00",
            "title": "Why Aziz Ansari Has Destroyed My Chances, And Why He Is So So Important:",
            "URL": "https:\/\/arnabchanda.wordpress.com\/2015\/11\/11\/why-aziz-ansari-has-destroyed-my-chances-and-why-he-is-so-so-important\/",
            "short_URL": "http:\/\/wp.me\/p1wQ9Y-7f",
            "content": "<p>Throughout my life, even though we\u2019ve never met, Aziz Ansari has consistently beaten me to the punch. It\u2019s becoming a theme. A sometimes very annoying theme. Although, for various reasons I\u2019ll discuss below, I do believe he has been the most important Indian Comedy Actor in the past 10 years.<\/p>\n<p>In his new series on Netflix, <em>Master of None<\/em>, Aziz Ansari says \u201cThere can only be two,\u201d referring to the idea that there can only ever be 2 Indians in one show at any point, max. Studio Executives and Networks are afraid to put any more than that, and they\u2019re afraid most of the time, to even put one on.<\/p>\n<p>I remember when I started doing stand-up in New York City in 2003, and after watching me, a fellow comic asked me \u201cOh, do you know Aziz Ansari? He\u2019s an young Indian stand up as well.\u201d Aziz was another comedian starting out in NYC at the same time as me. But even then, in 2003\u2026 in one of the biggest cities in the world, I got the feeling, \u201cWow, it\u2019s like there\u2019s only two of us.\u201d<\/p>\n<p>———————-<\/p>\n<p>I love acting. Since I was a kid, it was the only thing I ever wanted to do in my life. I was good at it too. I won theatre awards in Middle School, High School, and University. It was my dream and I was determined to make it happen.<\/p>\n<p>But, as an Indian guy with a British passport and an American accent due to growing up abroad, it\u2019s been somewhat of an impossible dream living here in London. Not just because of my lack of talent with accents, but with the inherent racism that seems to quietly exist within the entertainment industry here.<\/p>\n<p>The great myth I had, when I started stand-up, was that doing stand-up would lead to comedy acting. It was the only reason I was determined to compete in U.K. stand-up competitions like the Amused Moose or Jongleurs, and try and win them, which I did. And it was the only reason I continued to grind away on the circuit for 8 years, day in and day out, and do stand-up spots on TV, with the tiny hope that I would get the opportunity to act in something, which would then lead to something else. But I never enjoyed stand-up, and I did it for no other reason than I thought it would potentially guide me back to acting.<\/p>\n<p>But the reality is, stand-up is not the TV or Film industry. Stand-up is a meritocracy. If you work your ass off, the best comics will, for the most part, rise. You can command audiences to come see you. And these audiences will pay regardless of your race or gender or ethnicity. They just want funny.<\/p>\n<p>The same is not true in TV or Film. Stand-up\u00a0was always a means to an end for me. The problem, I discovered, is that the \u201cend\u201d, does not exist.<\/p>\n<p>In Britain, the below is the essence of every conversation I\u2019ve ever had with a Producer or Agent or Director:<\/p>\n<p><strong>Them:<\/strong> We can\u2019t cast you because of your accent.<\/p>\n<p><strong>Me:<\/strong> Why?<\/p>\n<p><strong>Them:<\/strong> Well, we\u2019re looking for someone from London.<\/p>\n<p><strong>Me:<\/strong> But I live in London. I\u2019ve lived here for over 10 years.<\/p>\n<p><strong>Them:<\/strong> I know. But we\u2019re looking for someone English.<\/p>\n<p><strong>Me:<\/strong> I am English. I\u2019ve lived here for 16 years of my life. I was born here.<\/p>\n<p><strong>Them:<\/strong> I know, but English English.<\/p>\n<p><strong>Me:<\/strong> What\u2019s that mean?<\/p>\n<p><strong>Them:<\/strong> Someone with an English accent.<\/p>\n<p><strong>Me:<\/strong> Why?<\/p>\n<p><strong>Them:<\/strong> Because\u2026 uhhh.<\/p>\n<p><strong>END SCENE.<\/strong><\/p>\n<p>This has been my life as an British-Asian-American Accent actor in London for the past 11 years. There-just-aren\u2019t-any-roles.<\/p>\n<div class=\"embed-vimeo\"><\/iframe><\/div>\n<p>Of the roles on my acting showreel (Found here: <a href=\"https:\/\/vimeo.com\/135233056\">https:\/\/vimeo.com\/135233056<\/a>), about 85% of them have come from friends and performers essentially writing parts for me: Dan Clark, Julia Davis, Noel Fielding, etc., all wrote parts specifically with me in mind. Only two roles I\u2019ve ever gotten in 11 years have come from auditioning. One was an ITV2 series called <em>Trinity<\/em>, in which I played a University student, and the other was a BBC3 pilot called <em>UP!<\/em>, in which I played, yes, a University student. It is as though the only possible scenarios in Britain to have an American or Asian in a show is if it\u2019s set at university or school. It\u2019s frankly, insane.<\/p>\n<p>I\u2019m not even talking about Asians either. I\u2019m talking about how parochially BRITISH shows are in Britain. If you were to watch English comedies, you would get the sense that there are absolutely no American or foreign people here at all.<\/p>\n<p><em>Catastrophe<\/em>, starring Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, is one of the first comedies I\u2019ve seen in the U.K. that stars an American. <em>The Mighty Boosh<\/em>, with Rich Fulcher, is the only other one in the past 11 years I\u2019ve seen since living here. 11 years. 2 Americans in comedies. It\u2019s shocking.<\/p>\n<p>I remember being in a meeting at the BBC about an Australian female comic. They said it was hard to have her be a lead, however, because she was Australian, and British audiences wouldn\u2019t understand how she ended up in London. My heart sank. What in God\u2019s name were they talking about?!? We live in LONDON. A capital of the world. People from all over the world move here and live here. Why would an audience find it odd to have an Australian lead? It\u2019s mind boggling.<\/p>\n<p>As Aziz states in his brilliant article (<a href=\"http:\/\/www.nytimes.com\/2015\/11\/15\/arts\/television\/aziz-ansari-on-acting-race-and-hollywood.html?emc=eta1&amp;_r=0\">http:\/\/www.nytimes.com\/2015\/11\/15\/arts\/television\/aziz-ansari-on-acting-race-and-hollywood.html?emc=eta1&amp;_r=0<\/a>), what we see on TV isn\u2019t representative of the diversity we see in life. We don\u2019t live in a closed world anymore. People move around. People have weird accents. People have weird names and looks. And here\u2019s the thing: it\u2019s not that important. In fact, it\u2019s the least interesting thing about that person.<\/p>\n<p>Kal Penn (from <em>Harold and Kumar<\/em> fame) has talked extensively about how he had to change and aglicize his name because he wasn\u2019t getting any auditions with his real name, Kalpen Suresh Modi. After he changed it, his job offers escalated by 50% because Casting Directors couldn\u2019t tell he was Indian from his name anymore.<\/p>\n<p>Arj Barker (from <em>Flight of the Conchords<\/em>), another one of my favourite comedians of all time, also changed his name from Arjun Singh.<\/p>\n<p>Why is this necessary? Why does this keep happening?<\/p>\n<p>It is why I admire Aziz Ansari so much. In 2003, in New York City, you did not want a name like \u201cAziz Ansari.\u201d It was still post 9\/11, and the comedy climate was not good. People were still on edge, and walking on stage with a name like Aziz could not have been easy. I know that walking on stage with a name like Arnab wasn\u2019t easy. People judged. Quick.<\/p>\n<p>But he never changed his name, and he hustled. He started doing his own shows at UCB, made one of the best sketch shows I\u2019ve ever seen in my life for MTV (Human Giant), and played Tom Haverford in <em>Parks and Recreation<\/em>. Tom Haverford. He beat a whole bunch of white dudes to land that role. He\u2019s the man.<\/p>\n<p>———————————-<\/p>\n<p>As much as I support and appreciate the female fight for wage parity in Hollywood, a really awful and selfish part of me always thinks \u201cAt least you have a wage battle you can wage! We can\u2019t even audition for any roles!\u201d<\/p>\n<p>I\u2019m not asking anyone for anything. I\u2019ve learned in this life that you have to hustle and bust your ass to get anything. You have to write your own scripts and make your own things. I\u2019ve also worked in Advertising, TV writing, and as a Producer just to make a living, because I couldn\u2019t make a living doing what I wanted to do. Not everyone in life can do what they want. Life is not fair, and I\u2019m not going to cry about it. And there are obviously much worse off people than me in the world. But, one of the main problems for me, and for other Asian actors, is that we can\u2019t get breaks in our careers, because there are none to be had.<\/p>\n<p>There\u2019s a problem with the industry, and it has to change. It starts with Commissioners, and it works it\u2019s way down to Producers and Directors and Writers. It\u2019s a group effort, but when you see shows like <em>Master of None<\/em> or BBC3\u2019s <em>Romesh Ranganathan: Asian Provocateur<\/em>, you genuinely realize we\u2019re neglecting a lot of interesting voices out there.<\/p>\n<p>I recently wrote a comedy pilot called “International Boy” which was exactly about all the above themes that I’ve had to deal with in my life. It was a personal script about the complicated times in which we live, and how one can’t seem to be accepted because they’re just too many things.\u00a0Aziz Ansari might have beaten me to the punch again about this, but that’s ok. Someone needs to get the message out there that things need to change, and he has the smarts and hustle to do it.<\/p>\n<p><strong>Arnab Chanda is a BBC Radio Comedy Producer, Writer, &amp; Actor.<\/strong><br \/>\n<strong>Follow Arnab on Twitter!<\/strong> <a href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/arnabacus\" target=\"_blank\">@arnabacus<\/a><br \/>\n<strong>Check out his Website:<\/strong> <a href=\"http:\/\/www.arnabchanda.com\/\" target=\"_blank\">http:\/\/www.arnabchanda.com\u00a0<\/a><\/p>\n",
            "excerpt": "<p>Throughout my life, even though we\u2019ve never met, Aziz Ansari has consistently beaten me to the punch. It\u2019s becoming a theme. A sometimes very annoying theme. Although, for various reasons I\u2019ll discuss below, I do believe he has been the most important Indian Comedy Actor in the past 10 years. In his new series on [&hellip;]<\/p>\n",
            "slug": "why-aziz-ansari-has-destroyed-my-chances-and-why-he-is-so-so-important",
            "guid": "https:\/\/arnabchanda.wordpress.com\/?p=449",
            "status": "publish",
            "sticky": false,
            "password": "",
            "parent": false,
            "type": "post",
            "comments_open": true,
            "pings_open": true,
            "likes_enabled": true,
            "sharing_enabled": true,
            "comment_count": 76,
            "like_count": 985,
            "i_like": false,
            "is_reblogged": false,
            "is_following": false,
            "global_ID": "189f815b675c69d710ed7db212fa4c09",
            "featured_image": "https:\/\/arnabchanda.files.wordpress.com\/2015\/11\/15aziz1-blog427-v4.jpg",
            "post_thumbnail": {
                "ID": 461,
                "URL": "https:\/\/arnabchanda.files.wordpress.com\/2015\/11\/15aziz1-blog427-v4.jpg",
                "guid": "http:\/\/arnabchanda.files.wordpress.com\/2015\/11\/15aziz1-blog427-v4.jpg",
                "mime_type": "image\/jpeg",
                "width": 427,
                "height": 717
            },
            "format": "standard",
            "geo": false,
            "menu_order": 0,
            "publicize_URLs": [],
            "tags": {
                "arnab chanda": {
                    "ID": 62560610,
                    "name": "arnab chanda",
                    "slug": "arnab-chanda",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 16,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338\/tags\/slug:arnab-chanda",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338\/tags\/slug:arnab-chanda\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Aziz Ansari": {
                    "ID": 421469,
                    "name": "Aziz Ansari",
                    "slug": "aziz-ansari",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338\/tags\/slug:aziz-ansari",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338\/tags\/slug:aziz-ansari\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "comedy": {
                    "ID": 17540954,
                    "name": "comedy",
                    "slug": "comedy-2",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338\/tags\/slug:comedy-2",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338\/tags\/slug:comedy-2\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Master of None": {
                    "ID": 3109255,
                    "name": "Master of None",
                    "slug": "master-of-none",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338\/tags\/slug:master-of-none",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338\/tags\/slug:master-of-none\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Netflix": {
                    "ID": 1182,
                    "name": "Netflix",
                    "slug": "netflix",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338\/tags\/slug:netflix",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338\/tags\/slug:netflix\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "categories": {
                "Comedy": {
                    "ID": 6234,
                    "name": "Comedy",
                    "slug": "comedy",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338\/categories\/slug:comedy",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338\/categories\/slug:comedy\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "attachments": {
                "461": {
                    "ID": 461,
                    "URL": "https:\/\/arnabchanda.files.wordpress.com\/2015\/11\/15aziz1-blog427-v4.jpg",
                    "guid": "http:\/\/arnabchanda.files.wordpress.com\/2015\/11\/15aziz1-blog427-v4.jpg",
                    "mime_type": "image\/jpeg",
                    "width": 427,
                    "height": 717
                }
            },
            "metadata": [
                {
                    "id": "944",
                    "key": "_thumbnail_id",
                    "value": "461"
                }
            ],
            "meta": {
                "links": {
                    "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338\/posts\/449",
                    "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338\/posts\/449\/help",
                    "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338",
                    "replies": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338\/posts\/449\/replies\/",
                    "likes": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/22603338\/posts\/449\/likes\/"
                }
            },
            "current_user_can": {
                "publish_post": false,
                "delete_post": false,
                "edit_post": false
            },
            "capabilities": {
                "publish_post": false,
                "delete_post": false,
                "edit_post": false
            },
            "pseudo_ID": "189f815b675c69d710ed7db212fa4c09",
            "is_external": false,
            "site_name": "Arnab Chanda",
            "site_URL": "https:\/\/arnabchanda.wordpress.com",
            "site_is_private": false,
            "featured_media": {},
            "editorial": {
                "blog_id": "22603338",
                "post_id": "449",
                "image": "https:\/\/s1.wp.com\/imgpress?w=252&url=http%3A%2F%2Farnabchanda.files.wordpress.com%2F2015%2F11%2F15aziz1-blog427-v4.jpg&unsharpmask=80,0.5,3",
                "custom_headline": "Why Aziz Ansari Has Destroyed My Chances (and Why He\\'s So, So Important)",
                "custom_blog_title": "",
                "displayed_on": "2015-11-22T21:02:02+00:00",
                "picked_on": "1970-01-01T00:33:35+00:00",
                "highlight_topic": "acting",
                "highlight_topic_title": "Acting",
                "screen_offset": "-3",
                "blog_name": "Arnab Chanda",
                "site_id": "1"
            }
        },
        {
            "ID": 85,
            "site_ID": 101057758,
            "author": {
                "ID": 96089745,
                "login": "jeremiahrufini",
                "email": false,
                "name": "jeremiahrufini",
                "first_name": "Jeremiah",
                "last_name": "Rufini",
                "nice_name": "jeremiahrufini",
                "URL": "http:\/\/cthockeyviolence.wordpress.com",
                "avatar_URL": "https:\/\/2.gravatar.com\/avatar\/8fb68ec17a1d4549143de360ed0faa39?s=96&d=identicon&r=G",
                "profile_URL": "http:\/\/en.gravatar.com\/jeremiahrufini",
                "site_ID": 101057758
            },
            "date": "2015-10-18T18:33:21+00:00",
            "modified": "2015-10-18T18:33:22+00:00",
            "title": "GORDIE, HOMEY, AND THE TIME I PISSED MY PANTS IN PUBLIC.",
            "URL": "https:\/\/cthockeyviolence.wordpress.com\/2015\/10\/18\/gordie-homey-and-the-time-i-pissed-my-pants-in-public\/",
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            "content": "<p><a href=\"https:\/\/cthockeyviolence.files.wordpress.com\/2015\/10\/gordieandhomie.png\"><img class=\" wp-image-86 alignleft\" src=\"https:\/\/cthockeyviolence.files.wordpress.com\/2015\/10\/gordieandhomie.png?w=463&h=196\" alt=\"gordieandhomie\" width=\"463\" height=\"196\" \/><\/a>The single most prominent memory I have of the Hartford Whalers from my childhood is not any of the historical milestones that are typical of nostalgic anecdotes; no Ron Francis trade, no Adams Division titles, no Whalermania parades. I didn’t even go to the last game. I was a deeply troubled sixteen year-old runaway and drop-out by the time the Whalers said goodbye to Hartford. The Civic Center and the 15,000 or so mourners who packed it to the rafters that day seemed a million miles away to my teenage self. It was a dark time to live in Connecticut and a dark time in my life, and quite frankly I was far too concerned with cultivating my image as a miserably cool punk rock kid to be caught dead wearing kelly green and crying in public.<\/p>\n<p>In a way it is perfectly fitting that the one thing I remember most vividly is a meaningless old-timer’s game in the early nineties, a cold day in Hartford on which I had both the chance to meet Gordie Howe, and I pissed my pants in public. I remember that day with equal measures of shame, pride and awe, and it has come to encapsulate everything it means to me to be a Whalers fan.<\/p>\n<p>I don’t remember becoming a Whalers fan. My grandmother had been an active member of the Booster Club since before I was born, and it was just something I accepted as a fact of life. The sky was blue, the Earth was round, and the Rufini family rooted for the Whalers. I very much took it for granted. The unlikely set of circumstances which led to the Civic Center being built, the Whalers coming to town, surviving the Civic Center roof collapse, and somehow joining the NHL to become our first and only major league franchise were recent history in my childhood, but still history. I had no memories before the Whalers and even as I grew older and uncertainty about their future began to grow, I never really believed they would go. Kevin Dineen was this guy my grandma knew. They practiced at the same dumpy rec rink where my Uncle Jimmy coached the ECHO Stars and Mike Veisor was his buddy. They were completely and thoroughly integrated into our unexceptional suburban Connecticut world.<\/p>\n<p>I don’t have a lot of memories of going to games, so it was notable when our entire family – grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and all – packed into several cars that day and departed for the Mall to see my cousin Jimmy’s youth hockey team play against the Whaler’s old-timer squad. My folks were blue-collar through and through, and tickets weren’t cheap or easy to come by. Corporations bought up all the good seats in blocks and our fans were derided as “nerds and actuaries” by our neighbors to the north in Boston. If we went at all, it was one of us at a time with Grandma Rufini.<\/p>\n<p>On the ride over, somebody, it could have been my dad or my mom but I’m really not sure, suggested off-handedly that “Maybe you’ll get to meet Gordie Howe today”. I don’t remember who said it, but I remember with perfect clarity the revelation that followed:<\/p>\n<p><em>This is a big deal.<a href=\"https:\/\/cthockeyviolence.files.wordpress.com\/2015\/10\/hccexterior2.jpg\"><img class=\" wp-image-96 alignright\" src=\"https:\/\/cthockeyviolence.files.wordpress.com\/2015\/10\/hccexterior2.jpg?w=288&h=322\" alt=\"hccexterior2\" width=\"288\" height=\"322\" \/><\/a><\/em><\/p>\n<p>There was a good crowd outside the Civic Center that day, even hours before the game. The atmosphere was akin to a street festival, as strange as that may seem now. I’ve asked various family members to pin down a month or even a year, but the answers I’ve received range from “had to be the eighties” to ” I have no clue”. The sole identifying detail I recall from that day is a surreal vision of a man on stilts impersonating Homey D. Clown, the character from <em>In Living Color,<\/em> which places this game firmly somewhere between 1990-1993. Gordie was over sixty years old at that point, and been retired for about a decade. I imagine that it really was a big deal to see him play a game at that point, even a meaningless one against my cousin’s stupid youth team.<\/p>\n<p>We got there early and killed time in the mall, as was standard procedure at the time. My folks let me go off by myself for a bit and I eventually found myself in some now-extinct chain book store, either a Bretanos or Waldenbooks, pacing nervous circles in the magazine section. I was an anxious kid and the offhand mention of possibly meeting Gordie Howe had grown from a flutter in my stomach to full-blown nausea. This was the greatest to ever play the game, the Babe Ruth of Hockey. I paced a circle in the corner of that book store tighter and tighter and faster and faster until I thought to myself “Oh Shit” and was certain that whatever it was I’d eaten for lunch, presumably Wendy’s, was going to come up. But it didn’t.<\/p>\n<p>I felt a warm wet spot grow in my pants, looked down and saw I was standing in a puddle of piss in the middle of Bretanos\/Waldenbooks\/whatever it was. I was so nervous about meeting Gordie Howe that I had literally pissed my pants.<\/p>\n<p><a href=\"https:\/\/cthockeyviolence.files.wordpress.com\/2015\/10\/whalestore.jpg\"><img class=\" wp-image-101 alignleft\" src=\"https:\/\/cthockeyviolence.files.wordpress.com\/2015\/10\/whalestore.jpg?w=359&h=208\" alt=\"whalestore\" width=\"359\" height=\"208\" \/><\/a>The details of what followed are understandably vague. As busy as the mall was that day, that corner of the book store was mercifully empty. I somehow covered myself up and found my father, who bought me a pair of grey sweatpants emblazoned with Pucky the Whale, took me to the bathroom and threw my pissed jeans in the trash. We sat close to the ice, far closer than I’d ever been, and I watched a sixty-something year-old Gordie Howe absolutely demolish my cousin on the ice of the Hartford Civic Center.<\/p>\n<p>I’m pretty sure that I had a chance to meet Gordie Howe at some point that day, just as I’m equally sure I was too scared to go through with it. I’d be lying if I said I remembered either way. I wore those Pucky sweatpants to school the following week and one of my friends, a Bruins fan, asked me incredulously, “Dude, you like the Hartford Failers?”<\/p>\n<p>Twenty years later, I was living in Hartford working 70 hour weeks in my first head chef job, when a friend invited me and the kids back to the Civic Center for a Sunday matinee. “The Whale is back,” they said. “Sort of.” The monster-truck rally vibe I got from the marketing of previous minor league team, the Hartford Wolf Pack, had failed to catch my interest in the same way that the Bruins and the Rangers failed to do so. They’d made so little impact that I wasn’t even aware that they’d gone. I liked hockey well enough, but above all, I loved Hartford. The was no replacing that weird underdog team that brought Gordie Howe to my backyard and made me piss my pants. I didn’t know much about minor-league hockey but I said sure.<\/p>\n<p>So I watched a hockey game for the first time in many years, now a father with two kids of my own. It was familiar in as many ways as it was different. On that winter day in early 2011, in the span of just a few hours, the Whale had gone from a painful old wound from my childhood to my kids first hockey game. They lost, true to form.<\/p>\n<p>We exited the arena at the corner of Ann and Church, where my toddler son abruptly pulled down his pants and took a piss right on to the stairs of the coliseum.<\/p>\n<p>“Sorry,” he said sheepishly. “I just got really excited and had to go.”<\/p>\n",
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