One of the knocks on Diplomacy is that it's a game that ruins friendships. Nonsense. For me, Diplomacy has forged friendships.
This week, though, I did lose two of my Diplomacy friends, not to the game, but to cancer. On Monday, Mark "Faz" Fassio, one of the inspirations for this club, finally lost his four-year fight.
Now, we've just learned that earlier today, our friend and former Prime Weasel Nate Cockerill lost his battle. Here's a photo of Nate (right) with Matt Sundstrom during happier times at a Weasel Pyle a few years ago.
Our 11th season culminates tomorrow at this year's Pyle. We'll play two or three games, and the competition for the final spots in the Weasel Royale club championship game will be fierce. Through it all, do not lose sight of what the Pyle is.
It's a celebration. Of the game. Of our club. Of the end of a hard-fought year. And above all, of the bonds we've forged and the friendships we've made.
I just wish Nate could be with us.