That, my child, goes back to an old story, long before your time.
Much that once was is lost. For none now live who remember it.
It began with the forging of the great hats. Three were given to the world builders, immortal, wisest and fairest of all beings. Seven to the science fiction aficionados, great imaginers and craftsmen of the most brilliant books and movies. And nine, nine hats were gifted to the writers — who above all else, desire a good story.
For within these hats was bound the strength and will to govern each site. But they were all of them deceived, for another hat was made. In the land of Stack Overflow, in the fires of the first Winter Bash, the Dark Lord Shog9 forged in secret a master hat, to control all others. And into this Hat, he poured his brilliance, his sarcasm, and his will to dominate all sites. One Hat to rule them all.
One by one, the free sites of Stack Exchange fell to the power of the Hat. But there were some who resisted. A last alliance of Writers and Worldbuilders marched against the armies of Stack Overflow, and on the slopes of Mount Winter Bash they fought for the freedom of Stack Exchange.
Victory was near. But the power of the Hat could not be undone.
It was in this moment, when all hope had faded, that Monica Cellio, moderator of both sites, took up her father's pen.
Shog9, the enemy of the free-peoples of Stack Exchange, was defeated. The Hat passed to Monica, who had this one chance to destroy evil forever. But the hearts of Writers are easily corrupted. And the Hat of Power has a will of its own. It betrayed Monica . . . to her election1.
And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend, legend became myth, and for three years, the Hat passed out of all knowledge. Until, when chance came, it ensnared a new bearer.
The Hat came to the world builder Tim B2, who took it deep into the hard drives of his computer. And there, it consumed him.
The Hat brought to Tim B unnatural popular questions and answers. For one year it poisoned his posts. And in the gloom of Tim B's computer, it waited. Darkness crept back into the chat rooms of the world. Rumor grew of a shadow in Meta Stack Exchange, whispers of a nameless fear, and the Hat of Power perceived its time had now come. It abandoned Tim B.
But something happened then the Hat did not intend. It was picked up by the most unlikely creature imaginable.
A teenager: HDE 226868 of Physics Stack Exchange.
For the time will soon come when teenagers will shape the fortunes of all.
Therefore, Stack Overflow (and Shog9) is clearly our arch-rival, and I see that they're only ahead of us by . . . over 118,328 hats.
1 Okay, she won, but I have to include that in. Otherwise the story isn't as good.
2 Apologies also to Tim B. I don't really think that you're Gollum.