Take, for example, a little spat on Twitter tonight between @My_Lo, @dianaallen, @TheJerrbear1 and myself. What started as an ad hominem attack on Mychel and Diana's character vis-a-vis their "fanship" by Jerry turned out to be premised on an incorrect assumption, and was subsequently apologized for. It was too late, however, as tempers immediately boiled over. Well, they did for My_Lo. He lashed out at Jerrbear, saying, and I quote (seriously, this is verbatim what he said):
I have league pass, own more memoribilia than you can dream of, work for the Utah Jazz and you want to police me?
I'd embed a link but I was blocked by this gentleman a few minutes later (more on that shortly). This pissed me off for two reasons. The first was incredulity about how nobody should be able to "police" this talented and selfless writer, when only a few minutes before he wrote:
So who still wants to sit still at the trade deadline, keep the team as constituted, and make a playoff run?
This was a not-at-all disguised jab at the Utah Jazz front office and the coaching staff, not to mention the players, since the implication is that with the roster we currently have, the Jazz are incapable of doing anything memorable even if they make it into the postseason. And I also perceived it to be an attack at those of us, including myself, who have argued with him all season that we are still in the rebuilding process, it's going to take a while, and some of the right pieces are already in place. Continuing, this alternate perspective is that certainly improvements remain to be made, but we can't just keep exploding the team every two years when the Jazz get blown out. In short, if this isn't an effort to "police" opinion on what's happening with the team, I don't know what is.
What the hell is "policing," anyway, besides sharing your opinion? You get to do it, but we don't?
I don't think it's a secret that some Twitter users feel like some of the "elite" or "notorious" Jazz bloggers have a bit of a bully pulpit. There is really only one popular "alternative" source for most of Twitter's core Jazz fans, and it's SLC Dunk. The other fun and insightful bloggers have a good relationship with one or more of the editors/writers on SLCD, and their opinions have begun tracking what's being laid out by the most stat-heavy SLCDunkers because (1) they're well-informed, well-drafted pieces, and (2) it's hard to argue with math, particularly in this everybody-on-Hollingers-nuts atmosphere currently dominating the NBA.
Look, I watched Moneyball, and I grew up a big Oakland Athletics fan. Stats win games, but players win championships. And I'm not saying I don't like SLC Dunk. I read the Downbeat every day. I hang out with a couple of the contributors in person when I get the chance. I think it's an amazing blog. But I also think the success of the website is starting to get into the heads of at least one of their writers.
That's all, I think. Wait.
Oh yes. The first part of the attack on Jerry. After that little eruption, I re-read the original Tweet quoted above and was astonished to see that Mr. Lowman was attempting to bolster his credibility by stating (1) that he subscribes to League Pass; (2) that he owns Utah Jazz merchandise, and (3) that he works for the Jazz.
My face turned purple.
One, asshole, I had LP when I lived out of market, too. I had to, otherwise I couldn't watch the Jazz. You live in
Two, nice work on owning stuff. God knows that nobody can be a fan of something unless they can prove it with signed shoes in acrylic display cases. "Look at all this stuff! I love you! I mean it!" What's that saying about guys who drive huge, lifted pickup trucks?
Three, you work for FANZZ. That is not the Jazz. Pepsi owns the naming rights to the stadium the Nuggets play in, right? Pepsi also owns Taco Bell. Effectively, you're saying that working at Taco Bell means you work for the Nuggets. You do not work for the Jazz. You sell Lakers and Yankees hats to kids cutting high school. Being a meter maid does not mean you have a position in government. Eat a dick of shame.
Anyway, I shortly found myself blocked by this young man, and one of his fellow bloggers came to his rescue, telling me that none of what I was quoting was actually anything Mychal said. Well, he did. He said all of it.
Generally, when I get into a fight with somebody on Twitter, I'm super pissed for ten minutes and then instantly start cracking jokes and admitting where I'd been wrong. I don't like actually being mad at people, particularly regarding something as ultimately trivial as basketball. But I don't think I'm wrong this time. Undoubtedly, some people would be just as happy without my baseless ranting popping up on their Twitter feed. But I like the community, and I like getting into arguments with people because I feel like I'm constantly learning so much about a team I love. Frankly, however, I'm starting to feel like those with good opinions are just staying out of the fray, because they fear people like Mychal making bullshit statements and having his followers back him up, even if it's when he says something as FUCKING RETARDED as "how dare you question me, I own all the logos!"
I know I shouldn't post this because I'm contributing to a "rival" blog. And if this post, which I'm only posting here, results in USN asking me to fuck off, I'll do it. Because I don't think you should be able to utilize your position as an authority on sweatbands at a Fanzz store, plus the good luck of having landed a great job with an awesome blog, to sweat people after they've apologized for making a mistake.
Look, dude. You know you're trying to bully people who don't agree with you. Stop it.
*Apparently Mr. Lowman lives in Indiana, not Idaho, as suggested by his Twitter profile.