February 16, 2007

Thanks for closing the Hardaway thread...: Maybe for the next couple weeks, as a group, can ease up on the Gays in Sports threads? I really want to discuss it, but there's a small segment of the membership that are shitting all over the threads and ruining it for everyone. I know the idea of a column was tossed around in that thread and I'd love to read one on the topic.

posted by jerseygirl to navel gazing at 08:19 AM - 44 comments

I would like to see lil_brown_bat put a column up on this topic - it might provide some perspective that was sorely missing from the thread. I'm not sorry I posted that link, I thought Hardaway's comments were relevant and probably representative of many athletes, I just didn't expect to see that level of stupidity and vitriol on SpoFi, but then again, I haven't been commenting/reading threads here very much, fwiw.

posted by insomnyuk at 08:35 AM on February 16

No one blames you insomnyuk.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:40 AM on February 16

If we get a column, it will be commented on.

posted by qbert72 at 08:44 AM on February 16

In a way, I like those threads, because it makes me feel like I can provide logical thought that might convert a hater to a more tolerant state. But then I realize that I'm an idiot.

posted by hawkguy at 09:12 AM on February 16

I think it was a very relevant post that deserved discussion. But by nature of the content you have to expect some pretty strong feelings on both sides. It's kind of like a spinning top. At first it's nice and civilized, in the middle. But then as it keeps going it starts wobbling wildly until it eventually just falls over.

posted by SummersEve at 09:26 AM on February 16

I hate the idea that we avoid controversy because it's upsetting to read asshats posting their two cents. Big deal. I can't stand it when people say something isn't sports-related enough, when it seems clear to me that it is - it's just that it's inspiring some comments that are agenda-driven. That happens. The idea that we shouldn't encourage it, just seems symptomatic of the same degeneration of discourse that I see in other places too. This is a trend that I think is absolutely wrong. If we're not going to talk about it because it's too controversial, then let's just talk trades and make predictions. Yawn. I say - let's wade into the belly of the beast - it hones and sharpens one's blade. After all - SpoFi is a forum for discussing sports; and sports have played an integral role in both advancing society and culture and reflecting its nastier parts. I like those things. I like discussing issues that are topical with a community of people that, for the most part, are among the most civil on the 'net. I'll take the hatas so I can continue to talk with the playas about the shit that's really interesting.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:41 AM on February 16

The column that I had in mind was specifically about the gays-in-the-shower heebie-jeebies. In other words, it's dealing with just a tiny aspect of The Whole Thing: I want to keep it short, sweet, to the point, and not attempt to make some kind of comprehensive statement about gays in sports. I will be writing it (probably not for a day or so, working 7 day s a week is a bitch), but there's a lot more real estate out there on the subject, and I hope other people will lay claim to some. For what it's worth, I wasn't surprised at the "Adam and Steve" stuff -- that really is very predictable whenever the issue is raised. However, I was really quite surprised -- and I hope you won't think less of me for being so -- at the strong denunciation of anti-gay bigotry in statements by SpoFi members, and particularly in how so many people refused to "draw the line" at the showers. I think it says something really good about y'all. jerseygirl, I know you found the whole experience depressing, and I know that the subject is a lightning rod for idjits. For the latter reason, particularly, I do support the idea of perhaps giving it a rest for a bit (or at least being strict in our definition about "is it news"). That won't make the idjits go away -- there will be just as many if the subject comes up a month from now -- but, I don't know, maybe we could use a collective break from it on the front page.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:45 AM on February 16

I say - let's wade into the belly of the beast - it hones and sharpens one's blade. I completely agree with Weedy on this topic. There will always be a small percentage of any group in any part of life throwing the proverbial stick in the spokes of progress. I do not condone such sophmoric behavior yet I don't think we can let their voices impede the vast majority of SpoFi members who participate in civil discourse. I haven't been a member here long but I really enjoy what I have experienced thus far. Don't let the hecklers stop the show.

posted by danjel at 10:02 AM on February 16

Can we perhaps also tighten up the criteria for a FPP in the case where a "new" story is simply the fallout from the original story? For example, the Cuban and Hardaway links were really just following the Amaechi story, and not really new or relevant in and of themselves. Perhaps a pony in which we can tag a comment within a thread to essentially say "I am contributing a new link to this story that would not stand on its own"? Maybe the front page stays a little "cleaner" that way.

posted by smithers at 10:27 AM on February 16

I think we just all need to take a short breather. Arguing with known idiots is not what Sportsfilter is about. We don't need to sit here and defend what we know is correct. Likewise, we don't need to continue creating opportunities on a repeated basis for such arguments when recent attempts to discuss the topic have gone awry. When a thread gets overrun with comments that constantly need moderating and users that need banning, we're getting too deep into useless territory. I don't think we need these threads as a mode of "outing" the morons on a repeated basis. Regarding homosexuality and sports specifically: I don't want it to be a forbidden topic at all. It shouldn't be. That's not at all what I am proposing and I think that's known. But at the same time, if the discourse isn't civil, if people are at each other's throats and we're overrun with morons, it's probably something we need some cooling off time on. Perhaps, at the time, it's just a thread that just needs to be closed. This goes for any topic.

posted by jerseygirl at 10:38 AM on February 16

I am also with weedy. For all the crap that may come up in these threads, there have also been some fantastic comments which aren't worth scrapping just to rid ourselves of the idiot comments.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 10:39 AM on February 16

jerseygirl, I agree in part with what you've written here, and disagree in part.

  • "When a thread gets overrun with comments that constantly need moderating and users that need banning, we're getting too deep into useless territory." -- agreed. In other words, when a thread becomes a series of new idjits spouting the same old stupidities, and it becomes a job to moderate, it's arguably a trainwreck.
  • "But at the same time, if the discourse isn't civil, if people are at each other's throats and we're overrun with morons, it's probably something we need some cooling off time on." Partly agree, partly disagree. I think, frankly, that it depends on who's at whose throat. If some FNG wanders in and spews a bunch of "u must be a FAG hyuk snurk" crap, I don't think that really hurts the community, because said FNG isn't part of the community by any reasonable definition.
  • "We don't need to sit here and defend what we know is correct. Likewise, we don't need to continue creating opportunities on a repeated basis for such arguments when recent attempts to discuss the topic have gone awry." Disagree that the recent attempts to discuss this topic went awry. I have a strong sense that the comments made in these discussion provoked some thought, maybe changed some minds, or helped people to clarify in their own minds the reasons why a particular flavor of bigotry is wrong. There were a lot of really well-stated "this is a stupid prejudice because" statements in these threads; I doubt that any hard-core bigots were convinced, but waverers may have been, and (more importantly) people who were already convinced now have more and better arguments as they have to deal with this bigotry in their lives.
So, sorta what Yang said.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:53 AM on February 16

I want to apologize for my comments on the gay "lifestyle." I can't even really tell you why I wrote it, but I was wrong. I thought I was trying to argue against another member's obvious bigotry towards gays and screwed it up completely. I know my comments made lbb angry and after I talked to my wife, stood back and looked at the big picture, I don't blame lbb for her response. I was wrong. Flat wrong. I certainly don't want to come across as narrow-minded and I'll ask my previous comments on social issues be considered. I believe this was a one-off mistake and it will never happen again.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 11:03 AM on February 16

FWIW (not much) I'd much rather ban the idjits than the topic; the topic is something that is real, important, and frankly much more interesting than, say, what team is on a big winning streak this week. (I keep meaning to write on why I'm perfectly happy clamping down on idjits on the web when in real life I'm all for their rights to say whatever they want, but it is way, way down on my priority list, sadly :/ (Also, for anyone who thinks that arguing with the idjits 'sharpens blades', I strongly recommend this (slightly offensive, but on point) piece of internet advice.)

posted by tieguy at 11:15 AM on February 16

Texan, actually, your comment didn't anger me at all -- quite the opposite, it was pretty obvious what side you were on. I wish I'd gotten my comment in ahead of yours -- mine was really in response to the perennial, "I don't hate anybody but I don't support the lifestyle" (or its more hateful variants) which we'd seen pop up several times in the thread. It's one of the most reliable crutches of bigotry to promote the idea that it's about behavior, not identity, and that Those People We Don't Like are doing something that no reasonable person would ever condone (and so of course it's okay to hate 'em). FWIW, I read what you wrote as more saying, "This talk about lifestyle is crap," not, "Oh them gays and their lifestyle!"

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:17 AM on February 16

If some FNG wanders in and spews a bunch of "u must be a FAG hyuk snurk" crap, I don't think that really hurts the community, because said FNG isn't part of the community by any reasonable definition. It hurts, insomuch as most of us have limited hours in the day, and I'd guess most of us have to deal with idjits at work, school, etc. When I'm doing something for fun (and spofi is definitely one of those things) I don't want to have to deal with more idjits in my precious, limited time. It also scares away new blood who may be confused and think that the idjits are part of the community. Had that thread been my first exposure to spofi, I'm not sure I would have come back.

posted by tieguy at 11:20 AM on February 16

(Tangent the last: I'm terribly amused that there is an Amaechi-flavored google ad on this thread. The almighty dollar may yet save us from bigotry.)

posted by tieguy at 11:21 AM on February 16

I'm kind of sorry I kept completely out of that thread (and the others), but I knew I didn't have the time to stay with it this week. I'm glad you guys were on the case. I agree that this is one of the more important topics we'll discuss over the course of the rest of this year, but Gary & Rogers are going to be kept busy over it, and there's probably not a shortcut to make their job easier. The almighty dollar may yet save us from bigotry. Just like with racial & gender integration before this, that's the only agent of change that's ever mattered in American-style popular culture. Which is why I'm optimistic it'll all work out.

posted by chicobangs at 11:37 AM on February 16

Had that thread been my first exposure to spofi, I'm not sure I would have come back. Really, Tieguy? You're not afraid to post jokes at the expense of developmentally disabled kids, why would gay-bashing from a handful of idiots (quickly refuted by a legion of intelligent SpoFites) drive you away?

posted by Venicemenace at 11:52 AM on February 16

The biggest reason that Sportfilter is one of only two website communities that I actively participate in is because of the mainly intelligent discourse of its members. The occasional crapper in the works unfortunately reflects society and would find a way to crap in almost any subject and have so before. Handle it the same way as we have in the past. Delete the thread, bam 'em, or whatever it takes. In other words, use the rules the community has already. That's my two cents worth.

posted by yzelda4045 at 12:22 PM on February 16

I came thisclose to posting something in that thread last night, but I'm glad I closed out the browser instead of clicking on the Post button. It pretty much just said some crap about the American Taliban showing its face at SpoFi, but it would've contributed zero to the discussion. But I do want to warn everybody that Ying Yang Mafia will henceforth be known as Wing Wang Mafia from here on. It's just too damn stupidly funny to ignore. Sorry guy.

posted by NoMich at 12:41 PM on February 16

Also, for anyone who thinks that arguing with the idjits 'sharpens blades', I strongly recommend this (slightly offensive, but on point) piece of internet advice.) See, I don't buy that. It's the easy way out. I don't know about you, but for the most part, the arenas for thoughtful discourse in this universe are getting fewer and fewer. Don't talk politics, religion, sex, art anywhere. If you don't engage in it then you can't write about it. If you're writing isn't challenged then it doesn't get better. I think we've worked hard around here to creat one that has some merit. Sports is also a great platform for discussing some of the broader social trends in a context that is more agreeable than soapboxing on news sites or "fanboy screamatoriums". I like what we've made and I'm not going to let the jerkasses fuck it up. I'd rather go down trying to discuss relevant topics than not for the sake of annoyance of some disinterested third party who may or may not be reading it. Short version: I don't care what people who don't invest their time into this place think about it. Not one bit.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:45 PM on February 16

I vote Weedy for Class President. That was beautiful. Fuck the jerkasses, dammit!

posted by SummersEve at 12:55 PM on February 16

However, I was really quite surprised -- and I hope you won't think less of me for being so -- at the strong denunciation of anti-gay bigotry in statements by SpoFi members, and particularly in how so many people refused to "draw the line" at the showers. I think it says something really good about y'all. Agreed. Maybe it's because I expect the worst, but normally in those threads someone pops up midway and says something along the lines of "this whole thread makes me sad and makes sportsfilter look bad", and I always feel like I'm reading a different thread, because I don't see the horror. As I said in the thread, the two members at the end spouting hate included one that was here a long time but made only a few comments, and another that signed up just to comment in that thread. And I'm talking about more than just "it would make me uncomfortable to shower with an openly gay person". There's no way to completely solve that without never discussing those topics, and I think pushing those topics under the rug, when they have to do with sports, would be the bigger problem. I agree with jersey girl that there is a limit to what we can handle, but I don't think it'll become a problem. Can we perhaps also tighten up the criteria for a FPP in the case where a "new" story is simply the fallout from the original story? We try to keep related topics together if it's a day or so apart. But putting those two topics together would make a huge mega thread. Short version: I don't care what people who don't invest their time into this place think about it. Not one bit. Agreed. If someone comes to sportsfilter, only checks out that thread, and decides to move on based on it only, there's not much we can do about it. I also don't think we should be concerned either.

posted by justgary at 01:11 PM on February 16

I know this isn't a link dump, but this seems to fit quite nicely. Youtube video with music.

posted by hawkguy at 03:36 PM on February 16

Whoa, whoa; I just took out his appendix. Hawkguy that was brilliant. I think that it was a good idea to have the two threads separate for a few reasons. One, like gary said, if they were one thread it would be a huge mega thread. Secondly, the threads obviously foster discussion and I think just posting a link into a FPP that is a ways down the front page woudn't foster the same discussion.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:15 PM on February 16

Way off topic: please, please, please don't eject the dude who is numbering his posts to 15 before he gets there. It is giving me that same eager anticipation I get at seeing the ball drop on New Years.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 04:31 PM on February 16

...please don't eject the dude who is numbering his posts to 15 before he gets there. Best part so far, I think all but 3 of the comments have been deleted (from checking his profile).

posted by Folkways at 04:41 PM on February 16

That or he's counting across banned profiles. I cannot wait.

posted by yerfatma at 04:50 PM on February 16

He's only got 15 more to go.

posted by justgary at 09:17 PM on February 16

He's only got 15 more to go. Hahahahahahaha!!! No, by all means, don't eject him...hee hee...

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:48 PM on February 16

clue me in, even if it's in emails. I want to watch the car wreck too.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:03 AM on February 17

I can't remember the member name and all his comments have apparently been deleted, in direct counter to BullpenBro's request. It was some guy who signed all of his posts like 11 of 15 Which made me think of "6 of 9" or whatever it was, even though I only liked the original Star Trek.

posted by yerfatma at 09:10 AM on February 17

Well, to be fair, "6 of 9" was pretty easy to like.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:56 PM on February 17

Seven of Nine

posted by apoch at 01:46 PM on February 17

Yes, Weedy, Jimi's If 6 Was 9 is a great song.

posted by NoMich at 03:34 PM on February 17

What if 6 turns out to be 9?

posted by Folkways at 03:54 PM on February 17

I'm kind of sorry I kept completely out of that thread... I have to echo what chico said above. Simply for Weedy's well-stated reason: I'd rather go down trying to discuss relevant topics than not for the sake of annoyance of some disinterested third party who may or may not be reading it. I usually try to be a somewhat moderate voice in these things, but there are too many times when I have let myself get caught up in the emotions of a post. That's why I stayed out of that one. Somehow the guidelines have to be a bit more strictly kept when some of these topics come up. I just don't know of an easy way of doing it without doing a disservice to some of the posters. Yes, the obvious haters have no place among us, but is it not equally biased of the regulars to try to determine who should post and who not? I guess the only valid way of doing it is to audit the body of work of anyone who makes an objectionable post, and if it is lacking in any serious or thoughtful content, then at least ban the poster from further comment on the subject. Ritual beheading (banishment from the site) is still the last resort.

posted by Howard_T at 04:48 PM on February 17

7 ate 9 btw, if you haven't seen the whole Scrubs musical episode Hawkguy linked...you should. hilarious.

posted by YukonGold at 04:57 PM on February 17

What about Three, Four and Five?

posted by wfrazerjr at 05:03 PM on February 17

btw, if you haven't seen the whole Scrubs musical episode Hawkguy linked...you should. hilarious. Absolutely. The "Everything Comes down to Poo" (YouTube) song had me in stitches.

posted by SummersEve at 05:36 AM on February 19

He's baaaaack.

posted by yerfatma at 02:24 PM on February 20

what a dink.

posted by jerseygirl at 02:44 PM on February 20

I don't think he speaks English as his first language. Maybe he thinks he's getting a prize or something. Hey - can I have a prize?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:12 PM on February 20

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