I had a member last night that was disappointed that a couple of people were dishing out personal attacks, and I wrote him a PM this morning. However, I thought it was important enough of a topic to share much of what I wrote right here.
I consider myself as providing a valuable community service here, and I'm only half joking when I say that. I think the primary reason for a sports message board to even exist is for therapeutic reasons; i.e. venting / letting it all out. Before message boards, a lot of pissed off, drunk men would take it out on their families, wives, or pets - or they would simply destroy property in fits of rage. In some cases it was so bad the police had to be called. I myself used to punch holes in walls back in the 90's during football games; part of me wonders if I could have avoided that had Gatorchatter been around. Hell, the governor should give me a medal for reducing the crime rate.
Obviously, the past decade has been particularly bad. It's a helpless feeling to see something you loved destroyed by incompetence and you have no power to do anything but watch the destruction. So, when something like what happened last night happened, I try to stand out of people's way and let them vent. Most vent in a controlled manner - some lash out at others. If they get totally out of hand I will send them away for the night to cool off, otherwise I will leave it alone. In most cases, those being attacked are super pissed too and don't hold grudges because they know the other is just letting off steam. Also, keep in mind that I was extremely pissed myself and didn't have the best judgement going on either. It's not like I'm a neutral observer in all this destruction; part of me wishes I was.
At any rate, the rage has subsided and a lot of crime has now been avoided due to Gatorchatter. It's honestly nice to have a place to commiserate with people that have the same interests. I'd rather cry in my coffee with you guys than cry alone. I hope no one did any real harm to anything or anyone last night.
Best Posts in Thread: The primary role of the sports message board
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I remember feeling insanely frustrated watching my beloved Blackhawks lose a close game when I was nine years old. My parents had company over upstairs.
I walked upstairs and announced I was going to stab the ref in the heart for putting Mikita in the penalty box late in the final period.
They all looked at me like I had just announced my mother sucked c*cks in hell.
I used to have more of a championship-or-bust mentality, and would be bitterly disappointed at the point in any given sports season when my team of choice was eliminated from contention. That was before any of my teams actually won one. Then I got these, I think in the following order if I've got it right:
- Gators (football)
- Gators (basketball)
- Gators (football)
- Gators (basketball)
- Gators (football)
- Gators (baseball)
But shortly afterwards, I had sort of an epiphany: My life hadn't changed one bit! I still had to go to my same old job. Nobody was more impressed with me than they'd been before. I didn't get a ring, or a trophy, or certainly not a cash prize. Nobody carried me around on their shoulders. And the thing is, even if they did, they would've had to put me down eventually. Life goes on, no different than before.
I guess after investing all that time, emotion and money in pursuit of that elusive goal of seeing my team win it all, I was expecting...I don't know. Something more than an opportunity to buy a Nat'l Champs t-shirt, and one round of begrudging congrats from my co-workers?
I'd hate to call it disillusion, but it did feel like kind of a let down. That feeling soon passed, though, and I wanted to win another one.
Then, "I" did win another one. Or rather, one of my teams did. And then another, and another, and another. After each one, it became progressively less and less of a big deal. I came to realize something, and I know it sounds like a super-cheesy cliché, but it's true: The real joy doesn't come from reaching the mountaintop; it comes from the climb.
I am a sports fan. I like watching games. I love when my team wins...that game. That day. I'm not fixated on "winning it all," because as I've learned, that joy is fleeting and inconsequential in terms of its real impact on my life.
I'm not really sure the point of this, other than to share my personal perspective. I'm not trying to tell anyone else how to think or approach things, but I do feel like my day-to-day outlook on following sports is a healthy one. For me it is, anyway.
Let's put it this way: You may not believe me, but I was happy and relieved when LeBron James left my Miami Heat, and I'd never want him back. I don't think it would be much fun to be an Alabama fan or a New England Patriots fan, for the same reason. It's a drag to be stuck with that championship-or-bust mentality. For me, it kills the joy of just watching and enjoying each individual game.
It's not "my" win when my team wins; I don't play on the team. By the same token, a loss is not "my" loss, so I don't take it to heart too much. I just like watching games, not taking anything for granted, and not knowing what I'm gonna get.
That's it. Thanks for reading my ramblings if you made it this far.
It's amazing to me how much over reaction one can expect after a loss or a series of losses. My god, Mullen inherited a frickin' dog of a program. It's like everyone has mental whiteout from the last two coaches who turned out to be unbelievably shyt hires. Hell, Mullen may turn out to be three in a row, who knows. But the guy inherited a program that has been stripped of everything that made it competitive. Mullen has more than a mountain to climb, he has an Everest times two. I'm not a pumper because I can throw him under the bus just as fast as everyone else that have build in pessimistic view points. But for the love of god I'm going to five the guy a shot and it may take a year or two.
As for this board it's a god send and I can't thank Ox enough for the work he's done and is doing. I like talking and sharing Gatordom with like minded fans. I may go spells without contributing but I am constantly reading and checking in when I don't have much to say. I'm not as articulate or insight as most on here but I like to jump in and prove I'm an idiot once in a while by opening my mouth. As for being attacked big deal. I've been reamed by experts over my lifetime and the stuff I see and hear on this board is amateur at best. Keyboard courage is the cheapest commodity there is which means it's not anything to lose sleep over. But I'm at the point that I can't imagine NOT having this board to come to. The others pall in comparison which says all you need to know about Aaron [Ox]. Anyway, I'll continue to be optimistic that somewhere down the road we will come out of this and that's part of the fun. If that wasn't true than the Cubs and Red Sox franchises would have folded decades ago.....
My first real awareness of sports was the ‘71 Dolphins. I was 10. They lost the Super Bowl TJ the Cowboys but went undefeated the next year and won another after that. All downhill from there!
I got deeply hooked into the Gators soon after. My first season as a student was 1980 - when the climb began. I started season tickets in 1990 and loved the radical change to excellence.
I differ from you a bit in that my life did change after 1996. I howled for joy in the street in the middle of the night and I could hear others doing the same. As SOS said at the championship rally, it was for all Gators. My grandfather graduated in 1931 and lived to see that. Our team, our school, had won. It mattered, as many things do or don’t, because we made it matter.
I’m well aware a huge chunk of this world doesn’t care about college football. But I do, so reaching the pinnacle that first time was huge. And all 3 matter, even though they don’t affect my job etc. They bring me joy. (Some friends and colleagues smile patronizingly or shake their heads in disbelief at my fandom. So what?)
But I’ve nestled in with this being my team. I learn about the players’ stories and take delight in their success. I do get frustrated at their failures but try to think about what a young man needs - challenges, encouragement & consequences for willful mistakes. Championships are “mine”, but I realize that is at a derivative level. I do want the shirts and the hats, though.
I limit my investment of heart to Gator athletics. I like pro sports and like certain teams and athletes, but not like I love my Gators.
And I agree it’s the climb. Savor the climb. And I’ve had as my sig line from the start here and at GSMB “Enjoy the ride”.
This board helps. We care about this stuff. I learn a lot & get my too-rosy outlook challenged. Sometimes I challenge other’s too-dour outlook. And...NO TROLLS!!!! That’s why I’m here.
So thanks, Ox.
After many years of living and dying over my favorite sports teams triumphs and failures including a broken remote control that sailed across the room when Warrick Dunn went down the sideline in ‘93 I’ve finally realized that I cared more about winning and losing the games than most of the players did. The last 8 years have taught me not take the losses so hard, if the players don’t care whether they win or lose why should I.
Our program is dying and I think we all now that is what is happening. This isn't some transitional state we are seeing......it's dying and that's what's tough for me, that and watching ass clowns from opposing teams smack talking and mocking on our field when there was a time they could hardly walk off after a massive azz kicking.
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