First, allow me to express my sincere appreciation to PB and the other site editors for their effort spent ensuring 'The Nation' receives timely, thought-provoking news and insights pertaining to our dearly beloved Longhorns.
I have a few concerns that I wanted to bring to the attention of the masses. Most of my observations were already addressed in PB's eloquent and aptly timed Morning Coffee post from yesterday; however, I do think that they accrue to one major point that, based on my albeit short time as a member, I am fully confident that many already understand and share.
BON is remarkable in many respects. I'm a sports fan in every sense of the word and regularly visit sports blogs and communities of various forms and sizes that collectively inform my opinions and help me understand what's happening with the teams about which I am passionate. While each of these sites offers me something different, none can hold a candle to the emotive impact BON has on its readers. Many bloggers and journalists do an exceptional job of pulling back the veil and exposing the inter-workings of teams to their audiences; however, BON is unique in its ability to communicate the emotional roller-coaster one feels through the course of a game, week, month, season or lifetime as a fan.
That's really the appeal of BON (and more broadly, SB Nation) in a way - it is purely and exclusively a community for fans, by fans. Of course, not all SB Nation communities are created equally, and BON rises above the rest primarily due to the obvious - the University of Texas fan base has not, is not and will never be matched (and it isn't even close).
Forgive the long-winded explanation, but I wanted to first provide some context before I make a critique. In recent weeks, I've noticed a troublesome trend (which is sadly very apparent in this thread) that involves long-time posters and regulars making unnecessarily harsh criticisms on FanPosts and other comments that lack a certain level of, how should I say, 'intellectual stimulation.' I'll be honest, I am a communicator by profession (public relations), and thus have a particular fondness of words and well-crafted arguments (part of the reason I frequent BON). However, I fully understand that many either lack the time or energy required to create a post that would come close to equaling the level produced by PB or his cohorts. So I ask, why should an ill-reasoned Fan Shot or comment elicit such vehement responses?
Naturally some members will feel the need to opine based on their knowledge, experience and/or research, but do we really need to get into a verbal pissing match geared more towards belittling another member than towards sharing facts and educating the constituency? Simply put, making someone feel stupid on a message board doesn't prove a thing, building consensus takes talent..
I'd hate to leave you only with a problem and no recommended solutions, so a few parting thoughts.
1.) Before dismissing someone else's comment or commentary, we should all think about motives. Is it such a malicious or off-base statement that you feel you must set the record straight, or do you simply want this person to know that your logic is superior to their own. If it's the latter, try to figure out a different tactic. Remember, Gandhi taught us a valuable lesson when he demonstrated that the decision not to react is often the most powerful action of all.
2.) Learn to let it go. The need to have the 'last word' is often a character flaw. If a single blue county in a red state proves anything, it is that we can both acknowledge our differences and embrace one another by focusing on our similarities.