August 07, 2006

Political Feuds of SpoFi: Several recent FPPs (see here, here, and here) have devolved into angry and drawn-out socio-political debates. This has led some veteran members of Sportsfilter to lament the decline of the entire site. Are these political debates a serious problem, and if so, how can we head these off in the future?

posted by Venicemenace to editorial policy at 08:34 AM - 121 comments

I think it is a poster problem. Some threads naturally evolve into something political and it is okay. The problem is that some members can't control their political impulses and want to turn every post into a long political treatise.

posted by bperk at 09:02 AM on August 07

I agree that it's more of a people problem than a subject problem per se.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:19 AM on August 07

1. The capability to literally close threads to additional comments needs to be there, first and foremost. Deleting does nothing except slow down the dumb-dumbs who won't or don't know to seek out the missing thread on the front page. Otherwise, you have a backroom bitch fest that will continue. 2. Delete threads that have potential for being incendiary. The Faith Day thread comes to mind immediately - I honestly thought that one was going to get blown away immediately. We don't need to put our palms on the flame to make sure it's going to burn us. 3. No more "I have a right to respond, even though Pantheon just told me to stop" nonsense that keeps prolonging the bitching and fighting and back and forth. I don't mean it as if you are arguing stats with grum or again explaining your (sports related) opinion. I mean it in the sense of this non-sports-related bullshit. This isn't a Sunday morning network political pundit debate show. This isn't a court of law. This isn't even a HS debate team. You don't have a right to anything. Look, we've all got carried away, and some of us have asked people to stop and some of us have been asked to stop. Occasionally, you need a reminder or someone to help you put it in check. It's cool. But if everyone is asking you to stop and especially if a Pantheon member is asking you to stop or take it to emails, for the love of Cool Ranch Doritos, cut the shit and respect the fact that you are pissing off the world. 4. If this doesn't work, then it's time to look at who is heavily involved in bringing this up or prolonging it over and over and then 1) talk to them, 2) warn them officially "This is an official warning and next time we'll have to..." or finally 3) remove them. Most people are going to respond to their peers and especially the Pantheon talking to them, as they have in the past. There are a few, as recently demonstrated, who thinks SpoFi is their own personal Constitutionally backed bully pulpit. Sorry that was long.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:27 AM on August 07

The counter argument, bperk, is that subtle political comments and politically-editorializing FPPs are relatively commonplace here, but since they come from an American/Canadian liberal POV, the majority of SpoFites identify with the comments and thus have no issue with them. When conservative users start arguing the other side, they're told to get out of here and take their POV to MetaFilter. Not exactly my position, but I think it's an argument with some merit. Now, the long and drawn out treatises are a particular point of contention, but I think the consensus in this thread was that there is a place for long posts on SpoFi. So we're back to the issue of content. I posted this thread because I don't like to see people despairing about a deterioration in discourse on this great site; and I think discussion and (hopefully) consensus on these issues will lead to better guidelines and better community judgment on how to deal with them in the future. On preview: I agree with JG's observation that you can see some of these fights coming a mile away.

posted by Venicemenace at 09:32 AM on August 07

I don't think you have to be a veteran to notice things are getting out of hand. If you've been around just a couple of months you'll have noticed pissing contests, in general, seem to be increasing in frequency and lasting longer than usual. Could be it's the summer heat. Or maybe the political climate. But I tend to think it's a poster problem. Reminds me of that Simpson's episode where Bart gets an elephant. At the end, when Stampy is butting another elephant: Warden: Well, animals are not like people, Mrs. Simpson. Some of them act badly because they've had a hard life, or have been mistreated...but, like people, some of them are just jerks.

posted by forrestv at 10:06 AM on August 07

Broken link in my post above; my bad, click here if you're interested.

posted by Venicemenace at 10:10 AM on August 07

Warning: digression ahead. Musing only, no proposals. Reading what Venicemenace said, and thinking about the cross-section of sports and politics, I think it's matter of historical dominance, or if you will status quo vs. change, and that may have something to do with the "American/Canadian liberal POV". In other words, while there's always been a blending of sports and politics (national athem, anyone?), that's been the status quo, and that tends to be more where the conservative users come from, probably. When the status quo changes, it's both news and a situation more likely to arouse the interest of the "American/Canadian liberal POV" -- think the NCAA decision re: Native American mascots, or a Title IX compliance suit. Maybe...

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:15 AM on August 07

I think SpoFi is one of the few places where we have been able to have intelligent conversations about politics and sports (e.g. the Native American mascots). There was always the occasional troll, but the bulk of thread was dominated by intelligent discussion. The problem with these threads is that the discussion tends to be dominated by one or two people who would rather have a pissing contest with name-calling than a reasoned debate. That is not a liberal vs. conservative issue. It is a I-like-intelligent-debate vs. I-like-to-be-right-and-have-the-last-word issue. At some point, intelligent minds will agree to disagree rather than let the discussion devolve into a train wreck.

posted by bperk at 10:36 AM on August 07

The problem with these threads is that the discussion tends to be dominated by one or two people who would rather have a pissing contest with name-calling than a reasoned debate. And he won't fucking let it go - always with the absolute last word. Good god.

posted by jerseygirl at 10:48 AM on August 07

While it's certainly not the worst flood of idiocy we've ever had, it is pretty annoying.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:48 AM on August 07

When conservative users start arguing the other side, they're told to get out of here and take their POV to MetaFilter. Not exactly my position, but I think it's an argument with some merit. I completely agree this is an issue in the abstract and one that bothers me. However, with the exception of StlCardsFan (who we probably ran off), I can't see any specific cases that concern me. The two individuals that spring to my mind right now, mjk... and L.N. Smithee, don't seem interested in debate at all. They both seem to be interested in declaring what's what and anyone who disagrees is an idiot who buys the liberal media's biased "information". I don't know how to accomodate that. It's a problem on the internet in general: what do you do with people who treat the internet as some phony play place where you can scream "Fire" in a crowded theater and be insulting and not engage in reasonable discourse? I'm too old to be bothered hanging out on video game forums listening to fan bois debate the merits of multi-billion dollar corporations who don't care about their customers. Why do I have to listen to grown men debate the merits of multi-billion dollar political parties who don't care about their customers?

posted by yerfatma at 12:08 PM on August 07

we have been able to have intelligent conversations about politics and sports (e.g. the Native American mascots) You're kidding, right?

posted by qbert72 at 12:12 PM on August 07

I was waiting for this one to pop up, and I'm surprised it didn't appear sooner. My apologies for my role in nurturing the stupidity and enabling others to do the same. I will labor mightily in the future to make sure that the gasoline thrown on the fire doesn't come from my tank. Again, my apologies.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 12:39 PM on August 07

I would settle for no more talk of your tank.

posted by yerfatma at 01:09 PM on August 07

2. Delete threads that have potential for being incendiary. That would piss me off a whole lot more than a thread gone amok. Why don't we just talk about the weather?

posted by dusted at 02:38 PM on August 07

Point taken. How would you prevent it then?

posted by jerseygirl at 02:43 PM on August 07

How would you prevent it then? Hey nonny nonny. Maybe I'm missing the point, but most of the threads that go that route (Rick Monday & Flag Burning, Native American mascots, Faith Day, Lowell Hates Castro) had warning signs all over the FPP and went in a reasonably predictable direction. In my opinion, they all addressed the issue of the culture of sport in a broader world context, and they were handled passionately. Passion on this site should not be stomped on, so long as it doesn't go the "Give me your address so I can come over and smack you with my rolled up National Review" route.If the broader culture thing isn't your bag, or you're not in the mood, it should be easy to see which threads should be avoided. I'll admit I didn't see the Lowell thread going anywhere good or even remotely sports related, but it did sorta broach the subject of the public responsibility of athletes with regards to what they say. The bigger problem, in my opinion, is the personal attacks that escalate any dialogue. These are appearing more frequently in the "political" threads, but they can happen anywhere and do. Those have to stop. Keep the attacks on the issue and get away from the "you're a dirty hypocrit" angle. Also, blatant disregard for the Pantheon should be crushed immediately -- if their authority is undermined, then I think the site has a real problem going forward. The biggest problem this site has right now is the Commander Cody lovefest that is going on in the Football HOF thread. What the hell?

posted by BullpenPro at 03:04 PM on August 07

we have been able to have intelligent conversations about politics and sports (e.g. the Native American mascots) You're kidding, right? qbert, if you don't like how we talk about these things around here, go back to France. Kidding of course -- I know that for all practical purposes you already live in France. Kidding aside (for real this time), I think that the cleanest (if not best) way to handle it is to say that religion and politics are no fly zones on SpoFi and just delete any thread that deals with either one. Downside of that is that it cuts off some possibly interesting and meaningful discussion and there are some definitional issues with respect to what constitutes a religious or political FPP (e.g., is the Native American mascot issue "political"?). Another alternative that just makes good sense is for users to simply self-police and make sure they post things in a non-incendiary manner. I appreciate fraze's posts as much as the next guy, but he had to have known what would happen by invoking the name of Jefferson Davis (which, incidentally, was not mentioned in the linked article and which I could find no menition of in other reports of the Hurricane jersey brouhaha) on an FPP -- there's no way that could have gone in any direction other than a Civil War shoutfest. Perhaps a more neutral FPP link description (like Dusty's Faith Day lead) would have made for more reasoned discussion.

posted by holden at 03:11 PM on August 07

the name of Jefferson Davis (which, incidentally, was not mentioned in the linked article and which I could find no menition of in other reports of the Hurricane jersey brouhaha) You people getting hung about about fucking facts are what's ruining the discussions that are ruining the site.

posted by yerfatma at 03:18 PM on August 07

...and thus, allowing the terrorists to win.

posted by jerseygirl at 03:20 PM on August 07

I have come to realize in life that it is better to ignore people who constantly think they are right. There is no winning them over - EVER! I think if we just ignore certain people and do not feed their fire than they will become unhappy here and leave. If someone calls you a poopy head just be a man and ignore it. In the end the good guys will prevail and this will continue to be a good site for all.

posted by skydivemom at 03:36 PM on August 07

Yeah, but Jefferson Davis was the truthiest reference possible in that situation. It comes back to making sure these discussions stay above the belt and on topic. If that happened, 80% of the problems would disappear. (If that happened, I'd leave my pampered life to walk the earth doing good deeds.) And every dog has its day. I've had mine, and commander cody's having his.

posted by chicobangs at 03:40 PM on August 07

Point taken. How would you prevent it then? I guess I don't see the burning need to prevent it. When a thread devolves to the point of silliness, it's usually just a few people going crazy and the rest of us on the sidelines. When the Faith Day thread turned into a convoluted discussion of the biology of homosexuality, it's obviously done. Can't we just ignore it? Banning entire topics seems like overkill. That said, an option for admins to close a topic that's gone off the rails seems like a great idea.

posted by dusted at 03:53 PM on August 07

I wonder if it would be helpful to make a guidelines link available at all times; perhaps some newer members breeze right by the existing document on their merry way from registration to flame wars. Obviously, one would hope that new members would also linger around for long enough that expressions like "the Pantheon" and "FPP" have meaning to them before they jump into discussions with ten fingers blazing, but I don't think that's necessarily the case. Personally, I take perverse enjoyment in watching people get *really* angry at each other (even when it's not political, like the guy who freaked out on the Shea Hillenbrand FPP). However, if the cost of these feuds is veterans of SpoFi getting frustrated and leaving the site, It's. Not. Worth. It. It seems from the tenor of this discussion so far that we haven't reached that horizon yet. And did you notice how that Football HOF thread narrowly avoided falling into the abyss?? Progress.

posted by Venicemenace at 03:57 PM on August 07

BullpenPro: Maybe I'm missing the point, but most of the threads that go that route (Rick Monday & Flag Burning, Native American mascots, Faith Day, Lowell Hates Castro) had warning signs all over the FPP and went in a reasonably predictable direction. In my opinion, they all addressed the issue of the culture of sport in a broader world context, I'm gonna disagree here; I think these four FPPs (actually, at least one had several iterations) fall into two different categories. The NA mascots and the Faith Day thing are legitimately concerned with sports culture, if only by virtue of history. Both have been going on for a while in various ways, and part of what makes them both volatile topics is that now people are questioning whether the way it's always been (that status quo thing again) is the way it should be in the future. But the flag-burning and the Castro comment are coincidences: this happened to take place on a ballfield, that person making the comment happens to be a ballplayer. Neither the situation of Cuba nor the status of flag-burning really have a sports connection. I guess what I'm getting at is that, if we are to discuss sports culture, it's gonna get political, but we can still make the distinction between sports-culture topics that are political and political topics that happened (once) to take place in a sports venue.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:07 PM on August 07

if we are to discuss sports culture, it's gonna get political, but we can still make the distinction between sports-culture topics that are political and political topics that happened (once) to take place in a sports venue. This is a very important distinction. As long as the discussions stay on one side of that line, I can put up with a lot of heated back-and-forth.

posted by chicobangs at 04:31 PM on August 07

Can't we just ignore it? I think if we just ignore certain people and do not feed their fire than they will become unhappy here and leave. You honestly think that will work? I don't. Not in this case. It sounds nice on paper. Its the "high road" right? We're more mature and don't need to stoop to your level. I know. It does sound good. But... with everything, there's a rub. It's one thing to ignore the random or first-comment new guy who comments with "OMG Red Sox SUXX0RZ!!!" in a Cardinals thread or something, because he's likely a one-trick pony. He's not going to come back and defend his Suxx0rz position anyway - he hasn't invested much into the site. We are all familiar with this sort of member - there are literally at least a hundred of them. When it becomes an issue of someone (especially a member who has been here long enough to establish a bit of an account) writing out a 3 paragraph scribe based on their religious beliefs and political leanings, all of their chips all in and they watching the thread. I appreciate the idea of it. I do. I just don't think it applies here in all cases. Ignore works on the the kid who pulls your ponytails or the construction workers who make suggestive comments as you walk by. It doesn't work on a message board and especially one of this size.

posted by jerseygirl at 04:53 PM on August 07

LBB: I totally agree with you in principle, but I think the view of the degree of sports culture inherent in the story can be guided by the person posting the FPP. Yes, the Monday and Lowell stories are more political on the surface, but they can open the doors to discussions on broader sports topics (rights and responsibilities of famous athletes, the ballfield as a public forum/private property, etc.). Obviously, it's necessary for some steering to happen, both from the original and subsequent posters. We have discussed previously in this forum the responsibility of the FPP posters to serve as something of a host or moderator of the threads, and it was decided that that was not a role they should be expected to, or try to, undertake. I respectfully disagree to a point -- while I don't want to see the poster commandeer the thread, pounding their point home in every other comment, I do think that if you post a subject there should be an implied responsibility to see that the thread goes in a reasonable direction -- not as a police officer (that's the Pantheon's gig), but as a genial host. I don't see this as an enforceable "rule" for posting -- more as an established and understood bit of etiquette, such as you might find in an Emily Post or P.J. O'Rourke guide.

posted by BullpenPro at 05:06 PM on August 07

Here's why, in my mind, ignoring trolls is not a workable policy: If someone takes a shit in a thread, everyone can step over it and carry on. But if even one person who doesn't know troll etiquette (or who can't help themselves) steps in that turd, they track it through the entire site.

posted by chicobangs at 05:27 PM on August 07

1) All boards, cultures, etc will eventually hear cries of "This ____ is in decline." 2) If the comment is on topic...and if the post was politically charged to begin with...then let them at it. After a few days most FPPs are forgotten by most users. There may be two or four still posting it a week later, but their comments will not slow down or affect any other thread. We are a divergent culture who will stay on the straight-and-narrow only through active policing. I'd rather we had the occasional "political" thread than see members afraid to express their viewpoint because of a threat of censure or ridicule. 3) Quoting from another thread...

Come on people, it's not like Sportsfilter is a bucket filled by those Internet Tubes. We can handle many posts. You aren't forced to read or comment in the posts you don't like. Skip them. Show your displeasure in the subject by letting it die on the vine. And if 10 or 20 people actually do like the post and want to comment you can be proud you didn't try to derail the thread.

posted by ?! at 05:29 PM on August 07

Poking around the site, I've only been able to locate these guidelines for posting new FPPs. Are there any similar guidelines for writing individual posts that I've missed? Would it be helpful to have some and refer to them if someone's going off the reservation? I would suggest one item for inclusion, jumping off of the quotation cited by ?!: If you aren't interested in a given FPP, don't complain about its existence, just move on...

posted by Venicemenace at 05:59 PM on August 07

You aren't forced to read or comment in the posts you don't like. Skip them. Show your displeasure in the subject by letting it die on the vine. But are you then forced to ignore or abstain from commenting in a thread where you do want to comment, but not get into a shitfight? This is what came to my mind when I read jerseygirl's take on why simply ignoring wouldn't work: you may want to discuss whatever the thread was about in the first place, before it got hijacked by the Epistolator...but you say your say, and the Epistolator replies with "a 3 paragraph scribe based on their religious beliefs and political leanings", and someone tries to reply to you, and there's another three paragraphs. It's an annoyance; it's like trying to hold a conversation in a room with a three-year-old who keeps screaming, "MOMMY, WANT ICE CREAM! MOMMY, WANT ICE CREAM!" Technically it can be done, but the "just" in "just ignore it" seems out of place.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:16 PM on August 07

Venicemenace and ?!, that's the kind of attitude that drives people away to spend more time on sites like Deadspin or wherever. If there are more and more shit threads that are just left for the idiots to flex and fuck around in, then it starts being more trouble to ignore the threads (often, as LBB says, involving topics you might have wanted to actually discuss, which is a real problem) than to even bother trying to participate at all. Leaving the turds on the sidewalk makes for an unpleasant stroll. The fact that this fabled upgrade, with rewritten guidelines and better moderation tools, has been so slow in coming is literally killing this site.

posted by chicobangs at 06:31 PM on August 07

I was once killed by my own hyperbole. Well, "killed" might be a little strong. Pantheon, we're indivisible. If you can't work more, then I can't fool around more. And if I can't fool around more, I CAN'T FOOL AROUND MORE.* *And then I can't work late to compensate for the time I lost. Overtime. You're actually costing me money.

posted by BullpenPro at 06:56 PM on August 07

lil brown bat: You are not forced to ignore or abstain from threads where you really want to comment. You choose not to. Sometimes you don't. chicobangs: Yes, you can carry on as though the turds are not there. You do it every day in real life. Those political turds are no different then every other derail. We do not come to the Locker Room when someone makes a "humorous" derail comment or when they have to flex their "I hate this sport" comments. The political comments are not more powerful simply because they're three paragraphs long. You can skip over them just as easily. Attitudes don't drive people away. People leave a community when it ceases to hold their interest or they choose to spend their time differently. Keep the FPPs interesting and people will stay. Look at some of the early FPPs here. Many didn't even have comments. Some people stayed. Some joined. And Sportsfilter still lives on.

posted by ?! at 07:20 PM on August 07

I know I'm new here, but could it be that it's just a slow time of year sportswise and everything will work itself out once football, hockey and basketball get rolling?

posted by SummersEve at 07:50 PM on August 07

The fact that this has been around for over 12 hours and nobody from the trio leftover from the Pantheon has publicly acknowledged this post speaks volumes. Personally, I find the political/cultural battles (few and far between as they are, most of the time) ignorable (I mean, really, what are you going to type that is going to change anyone's mind?), but sweet Jay-Zeus if the college football threads don't continue to suck like an ever more forceful vacuum. And I'm talking hyper-space black hole shit, not the kind that clean the crumbs off of your floor.

posted by Ufez Jones at 08:19 PM on August 07

Yes, you can carry on as though the turds are not there. You do it every day in real life. No, I don't. No, I fuckin' don't. Not when I know it can be better. If one street is covered in shit and no one seems to care enough to stop people from taking shits on the sidewalk, I'll go by some other street, where people don't accept that sidewalks have to be covered in shit because, hey, that's how the dogs (and the unhousetrained people) like it. You know? I don't like it. It bugs the fucking hell out of me. I want to have a decent conversation about a lot of these topics, and these are often the kinds of topics for which SpoFi would be a perfect place to talk this stuff out, but no, we have to cater to the un-pottytrained 4-year-olds who have no idea that it's inappropriate to take a shit in a public place? (Show me how this metaphor doesn't apply, and I'll stop using it.) I've spent way too much fucking time and energy on SportsFilter to just let it be overgrown with fuckups who have no idea how to have a decent conversation. But really, if it's not going to get better and I'm the only one who sees this as a problem and has any interest in actually fixing it, I'll leave. ?!, you don't seem to see this as a problem. Well, great. Everything's hunky dory. Super. Step lightly, kemosabe.

posted by chicobangs at 08:27 PM on August 07

I respect all of you longtime members, even if I don't always agree with you. But so far, it doesn't seem you've come to a clear consensus. Some of you act like it's the end of days, some of you say it will pass. To me, the political and religious stuff is annoying, but not over the top. What chaps my ass is a joker like phillygator and something like his "Coference controversy?" FPP in which he basically told a well-meaning chicobangs to piss off. That bothered me because most of the people who played on that thread were new and didn't see anything wrong with his attitude and just kept going on. Bad mojo, man. Bad mojo. I can live with the self-policing-Guardian Angel stuff, but deleting threads or closing threads or throwing down the ban hammer smacks too much of censorship. If you can't see that, well, I don't know what to tell you. And if you can live with that, I don't think anything I can ever say will reach you. Justgary and rcade mentioned the idea of SpoFi hall monitors. I'd like that idea to come to fruition now (if it's not a part of 2.0.) But until the Pantheon does that (or speaks up and tells us what's going on), it would be best for all of us, both old and new, to not get into pissing contests here in the locker room. We're all in here because we care. Let's not lose sight of that.

posted by forrestv at 08:43 PM on August 07

To clarify, I meant that people should not go onto FPPs they (personally) don't care about and post "Who cares, NASCAR sucks", etc. Admittedly, a slightly unrelated issue...

posted by Venicemenace at 08:44 PM on August 07

deleting threads or closing threads or throwing down the ban hammer smacks too much of censorship. I understand what you're saying and you're making some fine points, forrest. There does seem to be a couple schools of thought on how to go about it. And I guess to reiterate we don't have a right to free speech here. It's a privately held website, ungoverned by any Constitution. Although, on the down low between you and I, I hear Gary does enjoy writing with a plume and india ink. Traditionalist. Just won't pick up a Papermate. Tsk. You can just imagine what a mess his backpack was in school with all the feathers and spilled ink. Looked like a squid pissed on a chicken. Shame. There are some things that are unacceptable (and have been treated as such by the Pantheon) and deleted. There are threads that are pointless (pick a your favorite bout of stupidity) and deleted. Closing threads because it was categorized as a fire-engulfed Yugo speeding towards the gasoline refinery isn't censorship. If anything it's site maintenance and disaster prevention. To clarify, I meant that people should not go onto FPPs they (personally) don't care about and post "Who cares, NASCAR sucks", etc. Admittedly, a slightly unrelated issue... No, that's stupid and unacceptable and has been for a while, you're definitely right there.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:03 PM on August 07

chico I'm totally with you on this and apologize for my earlier apathy. I hadn't summoned the courage to try and make a difference here. I had given in to the Dull-Headed opinions that had hijacked these threads, especially the Cyprinos Carpios amongst us that can only see the yummy worm and not the hook. In these particular threads, like the feeding frenzy of Amazon Piranha with the broiling ripples seen only on the surface, the prey had already been masticated and as rescue seemed improbable at best I shrugged and went about my business. Shame on me for putting up with this savagery. It's completely unacceptable to stand by and watch something as precious to civilized minds as SportsFilter be shat upon. I have been misguided in my indifference and by choosing to minimize the extent of the infection I've only allowed it to become more virulent.

posted by skydivedad at 09:05 PM on August 07

Haven't we had this discussion ten times already? Also, rcade and justgary have repeatedly argued against calling out a single member in the Locker Room. Why do you keep doing it? The Locker Room is as much a public place as the rest of the site. I'm sure this dude who's getting on your nerves so much would be mighty pleased to find you all pontificating here about his case. You can bet he'll stop writing those 3 paragraph scribe based on their religious beliefs and political leanings once he finds out he's a real martyr.

posted by qbert72 at 09:12 PM on August 07

Then we can already presume he's already seen lbb's thread from a few days ago and knows. Or he's read the opposition he's faced in the threads we're discussing and already knows. Or he saw the sky writer that TBH hired and knows. I'm going to bet he has an idea already... or knows.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:18 PM on August 07

?!: chicobangs: Yes, you can carry on as though the turds are not there. You do it every day in real life. I don't know a single soul who would actually walk down a sidewalk covered with turds as if they weren't there. Everyone I know doesn't like shit-covered shoes, and if you ignore the reality of the turds lying around on the sidewalk, that's exactly what you'll have.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:20 PM on August 07

The fact that this has been around for over 12 hours and nobody from the trio leftover from the Pantheon has publicly acknowledged this post speaks volumes. Not really. There's nothing I could say to add to what has already been said here. I agree with most of it, disagree with some of it. I don't want to see the site void of political discussion when warranted, but we're definitely crossing the bridge from 'sports affected by politics' to 'politics what the hell does this have to do with sports' more often. And when it involves the same issues with the same members it's a problem. But it's just one symptom of a bigger problem, and this is a discussion we've had a thousand times before in different clothing. So I'm trying to be proactive instead of just giving lipservice, get the guidelines done, and have a discussion about them. I should be finished by wednesday, will run them by a trusted member, and then get 'em up.

posted by justgary at 09:40 PM on August 07

/me stands quietly in the back, applauding chico

posted by tieguy at 09:43 PM on August 07

I don't think there is anything wrong with a conversation verging off-topic, but certain subjects are always going to incite passion. On a forum I visit every board has a moderator who will usually issue one warning and then a limited ban (a week or a month depending), repeat offenders are banned for good. But of course you still have the problem of figuring out what exactly deserves a ban. The Slugger O'Toole blog uses the "play the ball not the man" tactic, almost anything is okay provided you address the issue, not another poster, and slam the individual being discussed. And they seem to have quite a civil debate most of the time, despite their subject matter which is Northern Ireland.

posted by Fence at 03:57 AM on August 08

With all due respect to Bernadette Devlin and Bobby Sands, I hardly think Northern Ireland is as contentious a subject as the designated hitter.

posted by yerfatma at 06:15 AM on August 08

how me how this metaphor doesn't apply, and I'll stop using it. OK, I'll take a stab at it, because I'm tired of it. Here goes: Taking a shit on the sidewalk is far from an expected behaviour. Writing your opinion on an Internet blog/forum and feeling like you're the king of the world is just how it works. Having a civil discussion on the Internet is the exception, not the rule.

posted by qbert72 at 06:50 AM on August 08

?!, I understand the "just ignore it" position, but it can't be a binary thing. "Just ignore it" is fine for a member who brags on his or her team too much. It's not a good solution for people who come in spoiling for a fight. There's a continuum there and I feel you have to stop somewhere short of "Anything goes" if you want to have a useful discussion forum.

posted by yerfatma at 07:09 AM on August 08

Given certain sports "discussions" I've heard, you may just be right yerfatma :)

posted by Fence at 08:03 AM on August 08

Somehow "turds on the street" became a "turd covered street." Try again. Sportsfilter is not now and has never been completely "turd covered." If you look at the threads and rank each comment as "on topic" you'll find a minority of threads have a few "turds." Note they're not always political. Some people like to throw in a one-liner. Some like to call attention to their hate of the sport in question. Some like to waste a comment telling everyone they need to stay on topic. There is always a signal-to-noise ratio. And noise never reaches zero. Ever. It's true in the world. If you walk or bike anywhere you are passing many more turds than you notice. Most are in the grass and you never even have a clue they're slowly decomposing. Some are just candy wrappers or cigarette butts and you don't even see them any more...because you ignore them. I know you do, because my daughter and I are the only ones carrying trash bags. You ignore them like those topics on rugby, cricket, or baseball or whatever doesn't float your boat. You ignore them like the in-jokes or the constant Yankees Suck, No, the Red Sox Suck! one-liners spread over the baseball threads. I've been a member of one discussion board or another since the early 80s. They. All. Had. Turds. And each and every board stayed active and happy as long as the majority of the conversations stayed friendly. I never said "anything goes." I know some comments are over the line. For me less troublesome than the political comments are the comments where one member lashes out against another. I have been guilty of that myself. It's the only time I later wished I could delete my own comment. But, instead of trying to censor an entire topic, why not let it have a forum? We have topics on the major sports. Why not a topic on "Political and Social Aspects of Sport." And if you don't want to see those threads...you simply ignore them. We have the bandwidth and the adult membership to allow a free-flow exchange of ideas and opinions.

posted by ?! at 08:40 AM on August 08

I'll never buy the "It's always been this way so we should just deal with it" argument. It's probably the Jansenist in me, but I can't help it. And I'd be happy to move on from the "turd" metaphor if at all possible.

posted by yerfatma at 08:51 AM on August 08

But, instead of trying to censor an entire topic, why not let it have a forum? We have topics on the major sports. Why not a topic on "Political and Social Aspects of Sport." And if you don't want to see those threads...you simply ignore them. I have a hard time buying that "Political and Social Aspects of Sport" will stay sports-centric and not turn into a right-wing, left-wing "OMG WMD!!" series of fights and bickering. I've seen it happen on other sports sites/boards and to me, it detracts from the overall quality of the site, in general. We have the bandwidth and the adult membership to allow a free-flow exchange of ideas and opinions. Here's the thing. It doesn't say you have to be an adult to join or participate in Sportsfilter. We presume we're all adults or at least somewhat adult, but who knows. The other thing is, where does free flowing of ideas stop? Where's the line drawn? There's been some pretty nasty "ideas and opinions" spewed (think of some of the fights had involving racism or misogyny) and nothing good has come of them. It's not a Yankee swap of pleasantries and respect or kind words exchanged dotted heavily with appreciative gestures for ideologies shared. All it takes is one asshole to call a woman a 'gash' or drop the n-word and the nukes have effectively been dropped, shit hits fan. In an ideal world, you could have your forum, everyone could get along, rcade and gary wouldn't have to monitor this place, my car would run on orange generic Kool Aid instead of unleaded, I'd be married to Matthew McConaughey. None of that happens or ever will. But I still love you Matthew McConaughey. The site is growing and maturing. We need to adapt to survive if we want to go through with a quality site. Status quo, and this "laissez faire in their own forum" attitude, isn't going to cut it.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:01 AM on August 08

I don't think our beloved SpoFi exists in a vacuum, and unfortuneately, the partisan polarizing is the reality these days. We can try to shut it off, or turn it down, or what have you, but it inevitably will be there. My personal response to the increase in signal-to-noise is to not take any of this too seriously. We discuss sports, no one here is curing cancer. Most people itching for a fight leave when they don't find one. I just won't take the bait - even when it is visciously misinformed homophobia.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:48 AM on August 08

I arrived late, so I just wanted to point something out. I don't mean it as if you are arguing stats with grum Is that what I've become? That "argumentative stats guy?"

posted by grum@work at 10:24 AM on August 08

We discuss sports, no one here is curing cancer. That's true, but curing cancer isn't the only form of making your little corner of the world a better place, and an effort at preserving something good doesn't have to be on the level of curing cancer in order to be judged worthwhile. Likewise, while I do understand the "ye have your asshats always with ye" argument, I don't buy the argument that since no attempt to improve things can ever be a complete and permanent fix, therefore no attempt is worth the bother. Most people itching for a fight leave when they don't find one. I just won't take the bait - even when it is visciously misinformed homophobia. That is your choice, and I agree with you that most do leave. Some don't. If by "taking the bait" you mean any response of any kind by anybody, this doesn't make sense to me. If someone points to the posting guidelines, that's "taking the bait"? Hate has a target. Tactically, the target's best response, most of the time, is to behave as if the hit was a miss. However, that is not the best response for the community.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:26 AM on August 08

Is that what I've become? That "argumentative stats guy?" I wouldn't say you're the instigator, more like the defender of all that is true and good. You're like Wolverine, but instead of using claws as a weapon, you use knowledge. Oh yeah.

posted by jerseygirl at 10:31 AM on August 08

yep, It has been determined that your unnecessarily precise and meaningless stat quotient is up to .738. Pretty good work grum

posted by elovrich at 10:58 AM on August 08

I don't think these locker room threads are hear to really solve the problems that this site is faced with. I think these bi-weekly threads are more of a catharsis for those who are genuinely upset by the pointless political debates that has been going down in some of these threads. There seems to be a vicious cycle of douchebagery followed by a new locker room thread complaing about the douchebagery. The assholes come, the assholes go but the good contributors are here to stay (provided they don't get scared off)

posted by HATER 187 at 10:58 AM on August 08

Whoa, weird. Since Grum has been identified as the statistical Wolverine, I figured I must be the villain. So, I went to this place to figure out which villain I was... and... I'm Arcade. Wicked bit of SpoFi irony. He will try to deny it, but can you believe him? I'm with HATER and SummersEve. Like both of them, I'm relatively new here (although I recently discovered I've been here longer than 75% of the membership). And as a member of the 3k club, who undoubtedly did some of the ruining here, perhaps the descent does not seem so steep as it does to the 3-or-fewer-digits folk. But it seems to me that SpoFi behavior is a bit cyclical -- it wasn't that long ago that TBH was declaring "Best SpoFi Day Ever." It seems SpoFi is not unlike A-Rod -- it comes with ridiculously high expectations, and when it goes into a predictable slump and makes a few errors, people rush to the locker room suggesting we trade it for Deadspin and some prospect blogs. But SpoFi is going to go on another tear, maybe fashion another 3 dinger, 12 RBI day, and all will seem much better. (I don't know if this analogy holds up, but it's better than poop.)

posted by BullpenPro at 11:47 AM on August 08

A-Rod is not much better than poop.

posted by dusted at 12:07 PM on August 08

Here's my SpoFi sports analogy. SpoFi when I joined (I am not a triple-digit member, but I am before the 3K explosion) was a team before it has won the championship. Take the Bucs for example. Before 2003 if I ran into a Bucs fan, they knew about the Bucs. They were knowledgeable and informed (albeit traumatized fans). After the Bucs won the Super Bowl, the knowledgeable Bucs fan was suddenly a minority in a sea of band-wagon fans. The average fan no longer remembered a time when the Bucs wore orange and had a colorblind QB. This is the same as SpoFi when I started, the members were the three-digit stars - grum, fatty, chico, weedy, rcade, jj, etc. Then SpoFi won the championship and had a fan/member explosion. The average SpoFi member now has no idea of when nearly every comment was well-thought out, grammatically correct, and informative. The three-digit stars are a minority in the sea of trolls and junior high school dropouts.

posted by bperk at 12:48 PM on August 08

I don't think these locker room threads are hear to really solve the problems that this site is faced with. While it is clear that the only things that can *really* fix these problems are more substantial guidelines and tactical moderation, these locker room threads are only useless if we all throw up our hands and conclude that "The assholes come, the assholes go" and there's nothing we can do about it as a community. I disagree with the idea that we should stoically endure regular sieges on our discourse as an inevitable side effect of the site's evolution. In my opinion, the strongest response to an incendiary, off-topic posting (we know them when we see them) is for veteran members to actively engage the troublemaker, either referring them to the soon-to-be-unveiled guidelines or with some kind of clever stock response. Replying to these sorts with anger or snark only exascerbates the problem, and the argument against "just ignoring them" has been well-stated by others already. The three-digit stars are a minority in the sea of trolls and junior high school dropouts. This implies that an intelligent sports fan finding the site today, with the potential to become an active member, isn't just as valuable to the site as someone who joined a few years ago. Personally, I disagree with the implication. Old-school members, even disaffected ones, are already loyal to SpoFi. For the site to continue to thrive, it's important to work to maintain the atmosphere that made it so great in the pre-troll era. This will continue to attract quality new members and increase the collective potential of the community.

posted by Venicemenace at 01:02 PM on August 08

I'm a five-figure-brother so if I'm sticking my nose where it doesn't belong, please tell me and I'll stop posting. First, Do people really leave here for deadspin because they don't like the signal to noise ratio here? How many times can you read "You're with me, [insert thread theme here]" before it becomes noise? Second, following my theory of it's a slow time of year, I went back to this week last year: A discussion on super-jews; a religion-themed post about God-thankers; a discussion of the NCAA and Native American mascots; and Mike Tyson's pron (sic) career. Two years ago there was talk of US Olympians and the flag; Dubya playing Rugby; and gay football. After reading the threads from two years back, I see why people are complaining. There was no shying away from the politcal threads, but there weren't the vitriolic debates. More comic relief back then, huh? Now it seems much more serious.

posted by SummersEve at 01:11 PM on August 08

an intelligent sports fan finding the site today, with the potential to become an active member, isn't just as valuable to the site as someone who joined a few years ago If it does imply that, it's unfair. My concern is the intelligent fan finding the site today won't see anything different or attractive about it vs. some Yahoo! board and will move on. I'm a five-figure-brother so if I'm sticking my nose where it doesn't belong, please tell me and I'll stop posting. Always remember what Thoreau said, "Grey hair does not confer wisdom." User numbers are meaningless. I will disagree with you about deadspin though: some of the commenters are really funny and amazingly consistent.

posted by yerfatma at 01:29 PM on August 08

I certainly didn't mean to imply that only three-figure members were valuable contributors. I meant that the intelligent members, such as those three-figure members, are minorities these days, while that wasn't always the case.

posted by bperk at 01:47 PM on August 08

I guess it was the comparison of new members to bandwagon fans that gave me that impression. In my mind, there's nothing worse in all of sports fandom than a bandwagoneer...

posted by Venicemenace at 01:59 PM on August 08

What about Steven A. Smith?

posted by yerfatma at 02:21 PM on August 08

Frankly, I hate that fuckin' guy!

posted by willthrill72 at 03:15 PM on August 08

Whoa, weird. Since Grum has been identified as the statistical Wolverine, I figured I must be the villain. I've never really thought of you as a nemesis. It's more of a Punisher-Daredevil dynamic. We have the same goals, but different methods and we often clash. I'm Arcade. Wicked bit of SpoFi irony. He will try to deny it, but can you believe him? Oh, I liked him. When I was a kid and read a lot of X-Men comics (my time was between Uncanny X-Men 175-215), an Arcade appearance was always a fun issue. He was like a Marvel-knock-off of the Joker, but with a touch less sociopath and bit more technofetish. /comic book geekness deactivated

posted by grum@work at 03:15 PM on August 08

I'm a fair-weather fan of many teams, and in most cases, it makes sense. If all my sporting allegiances were as strong and deep as the one I have for the Leafs, I'd be typing this wearing a straitjacket. But quite frankly, yippy little chihuahuas like Stephen A. are infinitely more annoying, of that there can be no doubt, and there are more and more people every day who see the world the way he does, you can be absolutely sure of that, and speak in the same three cliches in an attempt to end the discussion before their ignorance is revealed, of that you can be sure, and you know there is no argument to that, and the louder they talk they figure the better their point gets across, and Quite Frankly, that's how people are learning to argue about sports now, of that there can be no doubt. Still, he's better than that coked-out lizard Jim Rome.

posted by chicobangs at 03:21 PM on August 08

We see how easily we can drift off topic with jokes, etc. So, being off topic is not the issue. It's a particular type of off topic comment we rally against. Let's face it. There are slightly less than 10 members here who can turn a thread on its ear or stop it in its tracks. They do it with jokes, well reasoned arguments or stats, or sheer volume of content. This is their board and the rest of us just occasionally pop up like prairie dogs in an arcade game. But, yet, I'll press on with my vocal minority opinion. SummersEve (god, that name makes me smile each time) hit the nail on the head. Sportsfilter, as all long time boards, is cyclical. What has changed is the amount of vitriol. It's true for all "sides." It's the vitriol we rally against...and we use vitriol to rally our friends.

Most of you can stop reading there, but I'd like to address a couple of jerseygirls's points: "All it takes is one asshole...": Simple solution that works for Metafilter - Ban 'Em. "It doesn't say you have to be an adult to join...." - But all the political problems mentioned have been from one or two adult members, no? "We need to adapt to survive...." - And censoring disenting voices has never been a successful adaptation. "my car would run on orange generic Kool Aid instead of unleaded, I'd be married to Matthew McConaughey" -- Mine does, though I favor iced tea and from what I've read there is a better chance of MM and I getting together.
And for Venicemenace: I am not sure who is arguing that "anything goes." I certainly wasn't. I am arguing that we can't let the one or two posters decide what is or isn't acceptable content for Sportsfilter. Even if they do it as negative examples. You wrote: "more substantial guidelines and tactical moderation" is the cure. I agree. I am just afraid this unnecessary thread is an overreaction to a problem that isn't worth our time.
We're complaining here because we can't help with the upgrade. We feel a need to "do something" to save Sportsfilter. Our passion is misdirected. You are more likely to have a thread derailed by a joke, or "I hate this sport and can't see why anyone does", or "I am ____ and I have spoken" comments then you have by proselytizing. But we like those off topic comments. I await the promised guidelines and increased moderation. Until that time I'll enjoy this laissez faire* board. "Noninterference in the affairs of others"

posted by ?! at 03:30 PM on August 08

There are slightly less than 10 members here who can turn a thread on its ear or stop it in its tracks. They do it with jokes, well reasoned arguments or stats, or sheer volume of content. Just for the record, my count is much higher than that.

posted by BullpenPro at 03:38 PM on August 08

"Noninterference in the affairs of others" Live long and prosper, ?!

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:45 PM on August 08

Hell, I can't even count that high...maybe if I take of my shoes...

posted by willthrill72 at 03:48 PM on August 08

And for Venicemenace: I am not sure who is arguing that "anything goes." I certainly wasn't. That doesn't sound like an accurate characterization of my argument, nor did I use those words you place in quotation marks. I think you used a strawman to accuse me of using a strawman. I simply believe SpoFites (not admins, just everyday users) can help stop off-topic flame wars by addressing them before they explode, instead of subscribing to the assholes-will-be-assholes line of reasoning or trying to cut troublesome posters down with snarky remarks. Guidelines are useless if we don't actively help implement them. I am just afraid this unnecessary thread is an overreaction to a problem that isn't worth our time. To cite the quotation you cited earlier: "Show your displeasure in the subject by letting it die on the vine. And if 10 or 20 people actually do like the post and want to comment you can be proud you didn't try to derail the thread."

posted by Venicemenace at 05:17 PM on August 08

You know LBB I have spent many a day in my life listening to a child scream I WANT ICECREAM and still carried on a conversation. I am not saying it is pleasant and I am also not saying the child did not deserve a spanking for their behavior but giving them attention (or icecream for that matter) does not solve the problem. Ignoring the behavior and dealing with it later does. Giving in to shut them up just gives reason for them to do it the next time. So yes I think that ignoring it, sending a notice of intent to ban (spank) at a later time via email, and carrying on the conversation (even with the screaming) is the best course of action. Maybe this is just the mom in me coming out, I don't know but that is my opinion. These people have the behavior of children and need to be treated as such. I personally do not get in a public arguement with my children for one reason I do not argue with children. I completely ignore the behavior and repremand in private. Instead of telling them how it is in a public forum take it to email. This does not allow the fires to be flamed in front of everyone else and hopefully the fire will cease and an adult conversation will continue.

posted by skydivemom at 05:48 PM on August 08

Most of you can stop reading there, Oh cool, thanks. Why? Just as important as everything else you've said, right? We see how easily we can drift off topic with jokes, etc. So, being off topic is not the issue. Apples and oranges. A lockerroom thread is not an FPP, ?! and I am sure you are well aware of the difference. Simple solution that works for Metafilter - Ban 'Em. And censoring disenting voices has never been a successful adaptation. It's not the voice of disenting (sic) parties that's chafing everyone's ass. How is banning people just like ol' MeFi a good simple solution, but closing bad threads, deleting arguments and off-topic commentary somehow worse and definitely not adapting to the membership growth? Let's face it. There are slightly less than 10 members here who can turn a thread on its ear or stop it in its tracks. They do it with jokes, well reasoned arguments or stats, or sheer volume of content. This is their board and the rest of us just occasionally pop up like prairie dogs in an arcade game. But, yet, I'll press on with my vocal minority opinion. AHHH not well reasoned arguments and stats! That whole paragraph insults just about the entire member base in one way or another.

posted by jerseygirl at 05:56 PM on August 08

skydivemom, I do get what you are saying (and I agree with the approach at least in the real life aspect), but the dynamics of an actual child having a tantrum right in front of you and moderating a website are different, at least to me. Although... I think you might pull some people on-board with the promise of spankings.

posted by jerseygirl at 05:59 PM on August 08

I guess that is where we are going to have to agree to disagree because I see them as the same. These children who come into this site to argue are doing nothing more than seeking attention. Maybe they are lonely in life (who really cares the reason) but what they seem to thrive on is the attention just like a child. Any attention will do so basically (and yes sometimes life can be that simple) ignore it or address it via email.

posted by skydivemom at 06:16 PM on August 08

Somebody say 'spankings?'

posted by The_Black_Hand at 06:56 PM on August 08

Yay, I love spankings! Am I the spankee or spankor? Seriously though, I think skydivemom has a great point. For one, if it is problem to have to try to skip over the comments in question, wouldn't more comments by other members about what is so wrong about their comments add to amount of space to be skipped over? Plus, no matter if it is rcade, justgary, chicobangs, jerseygirl, or any other well intentioned member that tries to steer the offender in the right direction, to a new member it is just a faceless screenname telling the to 'behave'. Of course, with over 14,000 members, it will be impossble to get everybody to "ignore the behavior". Speaking for myself, some days it is real easy for me, while other days I wish I could reach through the monitor and slap the snot out of someone (don't worry, I don't have any children). Honestly, I don't really think there is a perfect solution. It does seem that we have taken baby steps in the right direction. The questionaire to join seems to have slowed the "your team suxor!!1!!1!!" and "who cares about tiddlywinks!?!" comments. New guidelines will be great, but you still can't force people to read them. Do you actually read the whole end user license agreement before clicking [yes] ?. I still think the best idea was a valid email address. Give some trusted members access to the addys (for those who prefer their email not be public), that way, the "kids" can get the attention they want without cluttering the discussion.

posted by MrFrisby at 07:36 PM on August 08

New guidelines will be great, but you still can't force people to read them. Do you actually read the whole end user license agreement before clicking [yes] ?. You're right, of course. But right now if someone, for example, does heavy editorializing on a front page post, we can tell them it's frowned upon, but like you said, to a new user we're just names on a screen. But if that name on a screen can point to official guidelines that says "no heavy editorializing allowed" it carries more weight. And of course, that user might not give a damn about guidelines, but continued breaking of the guidelines would result in being banned, and the user would have no claims/excuses of "it's not in the guidelines". I agree with you. There is no perfect solution. But we can get closer to a perfect solution, and I think detailed guidelines would be closer, a step in the right direction.

posted by justgary at 08:01 PM on August 08

Venicemenace: You're right. In an edit I replaced a duplicated response to yerfatma with your nick. My apologies. The next paragraph was an agreement to something you wrote and that was where your nick belonged. Jerseygirl: As important, but not as interesting to the general population. It's not apples and oranges. It happens on the main site also. I'm sure you've noticed that. They chaffed my ass too. Remember? And they were dissenting (typed it correctly that time didn't I?) The majority of the commenters were of a different viewpoint than his. Hence "To differ in opinion or feeling; disagree." I don't have a problem with the admins closing bad threads. I expect that. What I fear is the deletion of certain arguments and certain "off-topic" comments. I know boards are usually dictatorships. I just want the admins to realize not everyone on the board thinks deleting those certain comments is a good idea. They can certainly ignore my comments. Maybe I am the dissenting voice in this case, but I am still a member of this community with an opinion on the topic at hand. As far as "insulting the entire member base" by claiming a minority of members can consistently alter the dynamic of a thread... Whatever the number -- 10, 20, 30, 42 --- we are all not equal members in terms of "verbosity," "skill at crafting humor," "experience," "popularity," "knowledge," or even level of administration. That's simply a fact. We all join as equals, but some become more equal than others. For an example compare us: You've been here almost exactly a year more then me. You've posted 100 times what I have and commented almost 6 times as much. You've proved your knowledge -- at least in the threads I frequent. You're better known. Your opinion obviously counts to a great many people. You've developed a reputation. Not too long ago someone even suggested you as a new style admin. You can't seriously believe we are equals in the impact we have on this community or even in some threads. There is a reason communities such as Sportsfilter develop leaders. Those leaders move and shake this board far more than any "troll" or dissenter. In this case I truly believe we gave the trolls credit for more havoc than they wrecked.

posted by ?! at 08:27 PM on August 08

Somebody say 'spankings?' The problem with introducing spankings is that it would attract precisely the wrong sort of contributor. After all, no-one fantasises about being tied up and spanked by a liberal*. * Unless it's Matthew McConnaughey, of course.

posted by owlhouse at 10:05 PM on August 08

Personally, I have a thing for Jo Frost (aka Supernanny.) I'd rather not look inside myself and discover why, but there it is.

posted by forrestv at 10:56 PM on August 08

I think detailed guidelines would be closer, a step in the right direction. I hope I didn't sound like I thought they would be a waste of time. More clarity as to what to say (or not say) in a post/comment will help. Another site I am a member of has administrators and moderators. They are clearly identified because it says so right next to their name. So when they tell you something it carries a little more weight. Maybe that is something to think about, as it shows the person saying, "that is frowned upon here" is not just any ol' johnny-behind-keyboard. And you are not alone forestv.

posted by MrFrisby at 11:33 PM on August 08

"Your behavior is very naughty!" Hey, maybe we can just say that when a knuckledragger shows up?

posted by dusted at 11:41 PM on August 08

But I need to *know* she's liberal. In fact, I'll need photographic evidence that she has busts of Phil Ochs and Jello Biafra tattoed on her butt cheeks.

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:59 PM on August 08

I have just found my new screensaver. Thank you dusted.

posted by forrestv at 12:21 AM on August 09

Oh, that's bad. I think Ufez needs a timeout on the naughty step.

posted by MrFrisby at 12:26 AM on August 09

If I had busts on my butt cheeks, I'd never leave the house. (Or sit much, I imagine.)

posted by BullpenPro at 12:41 AM on August 09

mmmmmmmmmm...spankings...

posted by wingnut4life at 12:50 AM on August 09

When I first found this site, I was immediately enamored with it. I ran a half-assed thing called "Intermittent NHL Beat Report", which was fun. It was basically a few of my real-life friends talking shit about the NHL. Eventually, some other NHL fans like mkn and Grum joined up, and I realized that this wasn't my own blog. So Sportsfilter went through its first transformation. It would have to survive without Samsonov14. Good luck, SpoFi. Oddly enough, Spofi came through without a scratch (probably, I don't look at anything that isn't hockey related, but the hockey stuff smelled okay). In Conclusion: We've been through this a hundred times. New members are mostly terrible but there are a few people that we would be sad to be without and Black Betty by Spiderbait is the Best Hockey Song Ever.

posted by Samsonov14 at 02:08 AM on August 09

Okay, Samsonov, now you're just trolling. Spiderbait's Black Betty is fine, but it's not in the same league as the Zambonis' "Johnny Got Suspended," or "My Girlfriend's A Robot" by the mighty Hanson Brothers.

posted by chicobangs at 03:00 AM on August 09

Just because every other sport has since co-opted Kernkraft 400's "Zombie Nation" doesn't mean you can start talking about other songs as the Best Hockey Song Ever. Besides, would we have ever heard "Black Betty" if it weren't for Lyndon Byers? Re: the tattoos of Phil Ochs, Samuel Gompers, Jello Biafra, et al, would they need to be life-size? I'm not saying it's out of the question, just asking for your threshold.

posted by yerfatma at 06:11 AM on August 09

Two of you fellas are enamoured with Super Nanny? Really? So what does it for you? The bookish librarian look or the stern disciplinarian attitude or the British accent? Or D. All of the above?

posted by jerseygirl at 08:46 AM on August 09

RE: best hockey song ever Hockey Junkie by 2 Man Advantage

posted by HATER 187 at 08:48 AM on August 09

Hockey song: "Time To Go" by Dropkick Murphys. Super Nanny: D. All of the above* *the out-stretched finger makes me a bit uncomfortable

posted by SummersEve at 09:07 AM on August 09

the British accent It can't be her ability to speak her own language. She commits more grammatical crimes that the mythical SpoFi user UreTeamSuxORS45 and her vocabulary is as bad as, like, whatever.

posted by JJ at 09:12 AM on August 09

So what does it for you? I'm a sucker for glasses, but I'll have to say the stern disciplinarian attitude. I'm naughty on a daily basis, but sometimes a fella just likes hearing it once in a while.

posted by forrestv at 09:38 AM on August 09

RE: best hockey song ever Well, it doesn't make for a great arena song, but I think Tom Cochrane's "Big League" is the best of the bunch. Any time I hear it on the radio, I crank it. Sometimes at night I can hear the ice crack It sounds like thunder and it rips through my back Sometimes in the morning I still hear the sound Ice meets metal... "Can't you drive me down to the Big League?"

posted by grum@work at 10:40 AM on August 09

"Hit Somebody" by Warren Zevon. Skreech.

posted by ?! at 03:00 PM on August 09

Re: the tattoos of Phil Ochs, Samuel Gompers, Jello Biafra, et al, would they need to be life-size? No mere mortal could have an ass large enough to contain a life-sized rendering of Jello's head. As for hockey songs, I'll go with Hockey Monkey. It's got hockey, a monkey, and counting.

posted by Ufez Jones at 03:24 PM on August 09

If anyone reading this has the power to do so, please delete my comment from the "Pretty Boys" thread. I thought I'd be smarmy and get my point across with the "non-insult", but in the end it just throws gasoline into a slow burning fire. Delete it, and I'll promise to just ignore all of those political threads if/when I ever come across them.

posted by grum@work at 07:27 PM on August 10

I am disagreeing with you again, grum. Must be one of those days. Someone had to say it, and you said it well.

posted by owlhouse at 07:35 PM on August 10

I don't think it qualifies as gasoline, grum...primarily because I think the comment to which you were replying was a hit-and-run.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:49 PM on August 10

I don't know grum. I was biting my tongue, but to be honest, I was relieved someone else was just as irked by what he was saying. I think he's a kid (the 88 in his nick could be his birth year). His past commentary seems a bit juvenile as does his writing, although that could very well mean bupkis. Maybe if Pantheon talks to him (no email listed in public profile) and just enlightens him a little, he could be a great contributing spanbot.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:25 PM on August 10

I think he's a kid (the 88 in his nick could be his birth year). So... yerfatma's whole profile could be predicated on the statements of an eight-year-old kid? Oh, that is so delicious, it just has to be fattening.

posted by BullpenPro at 11:08 PM on August 10

Whoops. What year is it again? See, this is why I'm not a numbers guy. I blame it on the Busch that my softball teammates provided tonight. Blech.

posted by BullpenPro at 11:24 PM on August 10

i know you're not really a stat guy bullpen, but someone born in '88 would be 18 now. edit: nevermind.

posted by goddam at 11:25 PM on August 10

Ok, so we've cast BPP as Marty McFly. I think grum would be a good Doc.

posted by jerseygirl at 06:17 AM on August 11

There are a lot of possibilities besides a date reference. My first thought was the Hitler ref, but I think some of the others are more probable. Now...Kentucky or oral sex?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:10 AM on August 11

no email listed in public profile Maybe when the fabled Spofi Episode II comes out new members should be forced to put in a valid e-mail address. Just a thought.

posted by HATER 187 at 08:30 AM on August 11

I read that list lbb - and I have a sneaky suspiscion that he's a big fan of radium. The bastard.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:57 PM on August 11

lbb: Remember the abbr. for Kentucky is KY. And that takes us full circle.

posted by ?! at 09:07 PM on August 11

Maybe when the fabled Spofi Episode II comes out new members should be forced to put in a valid e-mail address. Just a thought. I think that you do have to provide a valid email address, you just don't have to show everyone else what it is. I tried to confirm that you had to put in a valid address, but I failed the questionnaire thirteen times. Apparently Brazil haven't won the most world cups in International football, Wimbledon isn't the Grand Slam tennis tournament played on grass and Beijing isn't hosting the 2008 summer olympics, (has anyone told them that?). How stupid do I feel.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 04:56 AM on August 12

Especially stupid now, because after shutting and reopening the window, it works. And the sign-up form says that the email is required. Without signing up for a second account, I can't see if it's required to be a validated address.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 05:05 AM on August 12

And you think we have grammer problems... [via]

posted by MrFrisby at 12:29 PM on August 12

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