The Message Board Mafia Is Out To Get Me

Note: The following rant has been pent up since April 14, 2009 ... well ... probably before that. Being called out for stealing message board content prompted me to start writing this. God bless the ability to write, save then post later.

I have a message for message boards: Slow your roll.

I've been tempted to say I hate them, but hate is a strong word. So I guess I can say I really, really, really don't like you (sometimes). In principle, I actually like message boards because at their best, they represent a group that is like any passionate fan base. But like any other fan base message board, there are a few bad apples ... amateurish posters have too much damn time on their hands. Don't get me wrong: there are intelligent, resourceful people out there on SalukiTalk ... just like any fan message board. But contrary to popular belief, this journalist is not one of them.Some are parents of the student athletes (which is a bad idea in general). Some are super fans with an inside to a player, coach, student manager, water boy, concession stand worker, ticket-handler ... and all provide an intriguing point of view that folks outside of the circle can't see. And if there is anyone who appreciates that, it's me.

Then there's the heavy mouth-breathing kind that swear they're breaking every story when they heard from a friend of a player whose momma gets her nails done at the same place their cousin's auntie gets stamps for her husband's best friend's brother in law. Those guys provide no insight. Those guys don't bring anything to the table other than an ego not even the borders of the state of Texas could reign in.

These are the same people that befriend the student-athletes to brag to their friends that they are Facebook friends with the star quarterback, point guard, third baseman, etc. I'm guilty of having student athletes as friends as I tried to cultivate sources in my young journalism career, because if it was not for a Facebook friendship with Torres Roundtree, I'm not sure if I would have ever gotten his side of the story when he left the SIU men's basketball team.

But befriending a high school prospect only to check their Facebook status more religiously than their girlfriends is borderline creepy.

And that's where journalism has apparently gone wrong, apparently. Guys like me aren't willing to stalk a high school campus over a kid. Let me repeat: A kid. I'm not going all peepin' Tom over a one-star recruit whose college choices include Harold Washington Community College or George W. Bush Prep School For Kids That Weren't Left Behind.

ST was cool when I first found out about it because it was original thought by passionate fans about their favorite team. But when a thread becomes nothing more than a shouting match between Internet tough guys, what purpose does it serve?

So thanks, Scott Clemenson for making your very insightful comments and inspiring this misguided rant. I will continue to use ST to write my blogs. Now that I'm primarily working off my PC again (because that Apple guy is kinda cocky, IMHO), is it CTRL + A to highlight the text and then CTRL + C to copy before pressing CTRL + Z to paste?

I figure I ask you, seeing I assume you know the difference between lifting message board material and opinion inspired by YouTube videos and scouting reports that are easy to find thanks to a simple Google search.

And as always: Stay Classy, SalukiTalk.