Don’t go to TV Tropes unless you want it to suddenly be tomorrow morning and you’re late for work. Stay away from Wikipedia’s music genres if you only have a few minutes to surf (and don’t want to scream at the screen in fury). These are just a few examples of websites out there that suck the life out of you; I’m positive they use the time energy to run their servers.
But here’s a site you may not have expected to be such a glorious internet rabbit hole: The suspended player list for DCI memberships, the program that essentially registers Magic: the Gathering players and tracks their accomplishments.
At first glance, it’s a very basic list: First and last name, city, region, country, DCI number, ban start and end date. However, at the top of each column is my favorite button on the Internet: the sort button. There’s only one thing to do: sort by end dates!
Immediately a pattern appeared. Alvaro Castillo, Xavier Castillo, Michael Esposito and Nicholas McKeand were all banned in Phoenix, Arizona on the same date (March 7, 2009) and are banned until the year 9999. What the hell happened in Phoenix? After a little digging, I found that it appears a thieving ring was thwarted!
My appetite for intrigue was whetted. I needed to find more. Next I moved to another column to sort by, this time by last name. Another pattern immediately surfaced. Kevin Brumley is listed as being banned until the year 2099 four times, under four different DCI numbers. Again, I had to know the story behind it, and because everything is available immediately on the Internet, I found this forum topic where Kevin Brumley (allegedly) talks about the incident! Turns out he is a bit of a scumbag who admits to “slightly” scamming some people. The justice is almost too sweet.
There are so many other stories I want to know. What did “Clearly Excellent” do on October 3, 2012 to get him or herself banned for life? Were there three Piotr Molski’s in Poland who all resorted to violence on September 1, 2015? And why did four players all get banned on the same day in Las Vegas? These are all questions I can’t wait to dig up answers for, and I encourage you to do the same.
Dig around, fellow Internet burrowers, but be warned: You may find that it’s already tomorrow and you forgot to sleep. If that’s the case, call in sick to work and keep on digging.