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Why do message board fans flip out over sports writers?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by WaylonJennings, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. As a relatively new columnist, I've been paying more attention to the message boards of some of the major colleges we cover and I've discovered something which I already kind of knew, but not to this degree - absolutely stark, raving, batshit lunatics. And that's putting it mildly.

    Every couple of hours there's a new nuclear explosion over some perceived slight. The world journalist is always in quotation marks. Sports writers are the "bottom feeders" of society. Somebody has a dumb haircut. Somebody else got beat up in high school. Someone else probably has never been laid. Etc., etc., etc. It gets really vicious and personal, both at individual writers (myself included) and the profession in general.

    I don't lose a minute of sleep about it as much as I am just stunned at the level of vitriol. And it's not just people fucking around - we're talking people's days, weeks and months clearly being ruined by articles about good ol' State U.

  2. JackyJackBN

    JackyJackBN Guest

    It works both ways, doesn't it? Add the athletes, and you have the disrespecter trifecta. It's the old "us against them" at work.

    Just write your stuff straight and don't embellish the facts. Then any criticism will just help you sharpen the skills side; or not.
  3. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    We can take solace in the fact that message board discourse about other subjects remains civil.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    At good ol' State U, there are two enemies -- Crosstown Rival Tech and the media. You only play Crosstown Rival Tech once a year, so the media gets it the other 364 days.
  5. Again. I don't worry about it. The horrible, mean-spirited vitriol I've seen hasn't even been directed at me. But it does happen - particularly at national guys who "disrespect" their team, for example.

    I'm wondering about the psychology of it. I can understand a little bit of, "They never believe in us!" I get that. But some of the shit goes way, way, way over that line. What I'm trying to understand is why people get that nuts.
  6. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    Most of them do not understand that although we report on old State U, we are not fans of old State U, and thus are not emotionally invested in old State U as they are.

    It's that easy, I think.
  7. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    I've always equated College football and basketball fans with European and South American soccer fans as to the levels of passion those particular fans have for their schools/teams.

    Having observed both firsthand, I think those groups care more about their teams than people who follow professional sports. I think it has to do with the greater traditions and rivalries that have developed over the years at each school and within each conference.
  8. I think a lot of modern-day coaches fuel it, as well, with their adversarial tone with the press. And a lot more of that gets aired than it used to. People see how the sausage is made, and obviously the process is a lot less polished than the final product. So they think we're all buffoons and then King Coach confirms it for them.
  9. JackyJackBN

    JackyJackBN Guest

    On the Seattle blogs, John McClaren is taking a beating you wouldn't believe. It's just people with axes to grind, taking it out on someone in a medium where they're unlikely to be identified. They could be shamed if they were known, but they have no sense of guilt about blasting away in an anonymous medium. Nasty hyperbole ensues.

    It has little to do with sportswriters and a lot to do with latent anger.
  10. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    That doesn't help. People will remember "bad" things your write forever. You could have a glowing front-page story with a photo about State U six days a week and people will call on the seventh and bitch about how you never write about State U.
  11. JackyJackBN

    JackyJackBN Guest

    Oh, no doubt. There's a pro golfer who would probably gladly strangle me to this very day because I wrote a straight, compassionate (I thought) piece about his alcohol problem, which was bad enough to hospitalize him several times. His fans would help with the strangling, no doubt.

    But it's not personal.
  12. Eagleboy

    Eagleboy Guest

    I work in an area that has a lot of coverage of the local university's football team, but if you went by the fans on the message boards, you'd never know it. Without going into plenty of details, of course, I'd say about 11 papers cover this team in some remote aspect, which is probably way too unnecessary given the fact that the team has never, ever been successful. Still, the posters will chastize the writers day in and day out and revert to the name-calling and childish insults you mention just because "there isn't enough coverage" by Paper X.

    The people will never be satisfied and they will never understand it's not an easy job. Thus, it will likely always be this way.
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