I’m not here to beat the dead horse of how massively Wizards of the Coast dropped the ball on the Silver Showcase because Brian Braun-Duin of TCGPlayer and Katie Bates of this humble site both did an excellent job of doing so last week from the pro and non-pro perspective.

I think we can all accept the fact that at least half of the invitations should be reconsidered. So without further ado, here are eight potential replacements to win a minimum of $12,500 at the Silver Showcase at Pro Tour 25th Anniversary!

1. Chris Pikula

Better known in some circles as the Meddling Mage (I’m not gonna let the plugin decide which art to show you), Chris built his reputation on the idea of fair play and rules enforcement. In more recent years, Chris has been celebrated as a builder of the Pro Tour but his performance marks no longer maintain his eligibility for the Pro Tour Hall of Fame, bringing into question the entire purpose of said Hall of Fame. (I’m noticing a trend from WotC.)

2. Chris Kluwe

If Wizards wants to bring in more marketable personalities to showcase their game and also find an avenue to push their SJW-loving agenda, then Chris, better known as @warcraftchris on Twitter, and best known as a somewhat controversial player for the Minnesota Vikings due to his social justice activism, would be a great selection.

3. Mike Long

Old School Magic and Mike Long are synonymous. Mike Long won Pro Tour Paris in 1997. Jon Finkel won his first Pro Tour in New York, a year later. Mark Rosewater even once argued that Mike belonged in the Pro Tour Hall of Fame. Sure there’s the whole cheating thing but I think we’ve established that no one cares since Alex Bertoncini is still playing.

4. Zak Dolan

If we can’t trot out the most well-known player from Magic’s early days perhaps we can trot out the winner of the very first world championship, Zak Dolan. Dolan took the title in 1994 just after all of the sets being used in this event were released (plus The Dark). Sure its been 24 years, but when Magic was this young, Dolan was the king.

5. Worth Wollpert

If Wizards really wants to highlight people who gave everything they had to make their name with Wizards of the Coast and Magic: the Gathering but still had to leave the community for Blizzard because <insert reasons here> then, well I’m just saying that Kibler and Cifka aren’t the only options.

6. Richard Garfield, PhD

I assume someone asked the game’s creator to be a part of this event. If no one even bothered to ask Richard Garfield to participate, then someone needs to lose their job yesterday. This event would have been the perfect opportunity to get Richard to reminisce about the early days of creating Magic by opening packs of the earliest expansions, probably for the first time since they were fresh from the printer.

7. A Clone of Jon Finkel

With the caveat that the clone is only allowed to compete by playing basketball, a joke that you didn’t laugh at because I didn’t write it for you. I wrote it for Matt Jones, who loved it, because he loves all my jokes. Also I think a Finkel vs. Garfield rematch on the courts instead of at the kitchen table is long overdue.

8. One Lucky Fan

Last but certainly not least, Wizards should have held some kind of sweepstakes for the final spot at the table. Very few people will remember it first-hand, but almost everyone has heard anecdotally that the first Pro Tour invitations were by phone call. The system could have been upgraded to the internet or some other contest form and one lucky Magic fan could have been chosen for an all-expenses-paid trip out to Minnesota to meet and play Magic with some real legends.

Rich Stein is a retired Magic player, an amateur content creator, and a Level 2 Social Justice Sorcerer. He hopes to eventually become a professional content creator and a Level 20 dual class Social Justice Sorcerer/Bard but he’s more than content to remain a retired Magic player. You can follow his musings on Twitter @RichStein13

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