Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Eye of the Beholder

I'm a fan of Pat Summitt - coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols. I'm a fan because she's the winningest coach in NCAA Div 1 history, women or men, her athletes graduate, and she has a lot of class. I think she'd win a few more games if she'd change her offense to a motion offense, but that's just me.

Anyway, I frequent a few WCBB message boards during the college season - most often the Summitt which is the Lady Vols board and the Boneyard which is the UConn board. The Lady Vols and the UConn Huskies have a rivalry going back since 1995, when Geno Auriemma brought the program into national prominence. He's also beaten the Lady Vols more often than not in the last ten years.

So if you go to the Lady Vols boards, Auriemma is a jerk, UConn fans are jerks and Pat is the greatest coach ever, and if you go to the Boneyard boards it's the Lady Vols fans who are the jerks and Auriemma who is the greatest coach ever. (I've yet to seen anything bad written about Coach Summitt as a person - certainly no one has called her a jerk.)

And, occasionally, UConn fans go over to the Summitt to post, and vice versa.

I spend most of my time on the Summitt board, so I see the reaction of the Vols fans to these posters, and I have to admit its getting on my nerves.

Let me preface the following comments by saying that this occurs everywhere. If you go to usenet and check on the boards for any and all sports teams, there are posters there who are as vicious and savage and childish as anything you'll get at the Summitt. (Well, the Summitteers don't get *quite* as vicious because there is a moderator who goes about locking threads - I've yet to figure out what the trigger is to getting a thread locked...but there ya go.)

Anyway, the point of this is whenever a UConn fan comes over to the Summitt defending their program against comments made by the Summitteers, a great many - not all, but a great many - of the Summitteers react in a rude and childish fashion. And yet a thread today is accusing the UConn people of always being the rude ones and initiating the conflict.

And I just had to laugh. Pot - kettle - black.

I've attempted to point out this childishness and unfairness in specific threads on a couple of occasions, and was privately chastised by one of the 'BWOC' for "preaching". Well, I didn't think I was preaching - I'm not religious and even if I was I wouldn't try to force my god down someone's throat on a sports message board - but I was pointing out rudeness and idiocy and making a plea for common sense and common courtesy. Well...perhaps it is true to say that good manners are my God and in that sense I was preaching...but why should good manners be allowed to entirely disappear from this earth?

My concern though is not about the lack of good manners but that these people who are so rude apparently don't realize that it is they who are being rude. They say something demeaning about the UConn program, a UConn fan comes in and denies it, and the UConn fan is accused of being rude.

It's this kind of "blinders" situation which makes you realize that there's never going to be peace on earth between countries, between religions, between sports fan, because even when people speak the same language they don't comprehend what the other is saying.


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