Thursday, March 3, 2011 and Godwin's Law

Recently Coppernblue posted an article that was supposedly the emotional heartbeat of the Oilers nation. It's here if you are interested. For the most part it is an expression of anger, mostly at the management spiderweb that, for some at least, is sucking the life out of the Edmonton Oilers franchise. It's an opinion piece, and there isn't really much to say about an opinion you don't share yourself. Certainly I understand the thrust of his discontent, and in fact I'm not much of a Tambellini lover. From the moment he made the Khabibulin trade I had a sneaking suspicion his ham-fisted, pasty-skinned persona was going to manifest in his god-like GM's hand. The Teubert trade was similarly not my favorite move, but I didn't advocate burning things down either.

It's a gamble any time a GM trades proven players for picks and prospects, especially when the prospects have some warts and the player is a proven puck-potter. I have to say I do have a bit of gamble in me, so even though I don't really like the trade (couldn't we wait till next deadline, and try to sign him in the meantime?), I can appreciate that it's not the end of the world.

This is all beside the point, except to state that in many ways I agree with the basic editorial line taken by the website: Tambellini has not been efficient, and the right move was not to move Penner for magic beans. So anyways, I read the article, decide against posting something along the lines of 'I agree but less fervently' - I've made similar comments before and because I'm not nasty enough, rarely do they elicit any response. Then I come across a comment I don't particularly care for:

The universal winky smiley shows that clearly it's a good natured ribbing. I mean he's a TO fan (my least favorite team), and he's dog-piling on Tambo on an Oilers site. I'm pretty sure that's a picture perfect example of trolling if I've ever seen it. But we'll get into that. I'm thinking to myself ha-ha I made a funny and what if my boogers were flavored (you know typical thoughts of incandescent genius) when I come across his second troll in the thread:
So not only is he trolling again, he's also trolling an Oiler fan who clearly has an alternate opinion to Benjamin's rant. So I figure, let's give him a gentle ribbing again; think of it as a reminder that he's in enemy territory - or so I thought anyways. Now you would see my second reply to PPP in the image above if it hadn't been deleted by a Coppernblue mod. It went something like:
You could say the same thing about Burke ;)
Notice the strategically placed winky-smiley that once again indicated the playful nature of my jest. Some background to this first: PPP runs the TO blog, the father affiliation of Coppernblue. Whether that affects his status on an Oilers blog, I have no idea, although clearly it shouldn't. In other words PPP is as likely of being a child-murdering rape-engine as I am.

Then... Shit started getting a little Nazi up in the Coppernblue.

So, like any decent web poster, I check back a small time later, to see if PPP has responded to my feather tickles. I'm surprised to see that the second comment I posted has been removed. I think to myself, well maybe I didn't actually post two? Then I'm like no, you had your magic pills and the voices went away so I'm pretty sure I posted twice. So I think to myself, that's weird, why would they remove a pixie-puff post like mine in reply to an obvious trolling comment? So I reply again to the same comment, painting the punch with a more subtle load-out:
Quoth the Pot ;)
 Which is of course in reference to the pot calling the kettle black - or in farmer-speak, ya dun be a hypocrite. Once again I figure the winky-face softens the 'blow' (and we are playing with the fucking kid-gloves on), and I feel well justified to stop the snarky poster from disparaging the Oilers any further. We have plenty of snarky Oilers fans who are willing to do that without the Maple Laffs help.

Kudos to the editors at Coppernblue, the slight subtly introduced in the partial statement is well illuminated in their (his/her) mind, but this time apparently I've pissed someone off. So I get the magic, real-time pop-up warning from the site indicating I have been warned for trolling.

Trolling is, of course, the practice of angling by drawing a baited line through water. It has evolved in the digital age to encompass behavior on web forums where someone makes comments that are 'baited' to bring rise to the majority of a forum (and perhaps even a minority). Now you can argue semantics all you want, but when I see a Toronto Maple Leaf poster jumping onto a thread where there is a lot of grief being tossed around, and decides to stick his own knife in as well, I'd say that's the worst form of trolling. Not only trolling, but trolling when the fish are weak and tired of the current.

Let's flip this around. Why don't I go onto the Pension Plan Puppets website and go into a post that expresses a heartfelt emotional outburst, and then start disparaging Burke. What do you think would happen if I was hunting for comments under the post to hang beauties like:

Brian Burke sucks more than a steadyvac
 Guess what, my brilliant analysis above would almost assuredly be considered trolling, especially if I came in waving the Oilers flag.

Anyways, back to the original Coppernblue thread, I've now had my second comment removed, and I've been issued a warning. So this time, I decide to write a real post, and explain that while on the surface my response was quite flippant, there actually was a body of valid opinion behind it. So I wrote this post (I actually copied and pasted it out of notepad, since I spent some effort writing it):
Apparently this post is proof from any rebuff. I find it hilarious that moderators here find my gentle gibes aimed at a Toronto Maple Leaf poster dog-piling on Tambellini 'annoying' and 'trolling' comments, when if the moderators had any sense they'd realize this is exactly what constitutes trolling: when someone from another fanbase with ZERO love for your home team disparages said home team. Where is the love for an Oilers fan? I don't even care he's posting his opinion here, but it states it in the fucking law of the land that this is Oilers territory and enter at your own risk.

Can anyone else see the irony in this? A true-blue Oilers fan getting moderated on an Oilers board, for sending gibes towards an ultra-pro Leaf fan disparaging the Oilers. Queue the 'we're all adults here' or 'you don't like it leave'. If this isn't a safe haven for Oilers fans to tell leaf posters ragging on our team to fuck off, then what kind of Oilers site is this? If we don't share your opinion on a trade, sod off? If we don't want to lace Tambellini's Bellini with arsenic, see you later?

I wasn't even doing it in total jest either, I simply have never liked Burke's line of strategy as a GM. Take a look at some of his (dubious) moves:

Trades 2 1sts and a 2nd for Kessel (Tyler Seguin, Jared Knight)
Signs Mike Komisarek (D)
Signs Francois Beachumein (D)
Signs Jonas Gustavsson (G)
Signs Tyler Bozak (F)
Signs Colton Orr (F)
Trades For Wayne Primeau (F)
Drafts Nazem Kadri (F)
Trades Jiri Tlusty (F) For Phillipe Paradis (F)
Trades Nicklas Hagman (F), Matt Stajan (F), Jamal Mayers (F), Ian White (D) For Dion Phaneuf (D), Fredrik Sjostrom (F), Keith Aulie (D)
Trades Vesa Toskala (G), Jason Blake (F), For Jean-Sebastien Giguere (G)
Trades Alexei Ponikarovsky (F), For Luca Caputi (F), 5th Round Pick)
Trades Lee Stempniak (F), For 4th, 7th Round Pick
Signs Ben Scrivens (G), Jussi Rynnas (G)
Trades Viktor Stalberg (F), Chris Didomenico (f), Phillipe Paradis (f), for Bill Sweat (f), Kris Versteeg (f)
Signs Mike Brown (f)
Signs Brett Lebda (d)
Signs Colby Armstrong (f)

I like Brown, and Versteeg was alright. Phaneuf was a steal. Otherwise that's a list of failure, especially considering he made a crap load of moves with the firm intention of making the playoffs last year. Does anyone realize that Seguin actually has a higher P/60 rate than Kessel (1.72 vs. 1.63)? Sure he's playing dregs, but he's just a 19 year old.

In other words, in response to the poster above: QUOTH THE POT
Someone on the site replied fairly quickly, basically calling me out for being a poster who cares nothing for empirical  analysis (it's ironic that someone with no evidence either way would make such a claim), and that I should take my ass to (which is a fine site by the way, even if they rarely talk about Corsi Rel)

To this (now deleted comment by someone named idealistsomething) I replied:
Gee wilikers, that's a real well thought out response there Mr. Idealist. You be using all them big city words and all, just makes a simple mans head spin.

So back in the real world, my post was in response to my gathering disappointment at a site which allows Maple Leafs fans to run amok and disparage the Oilers without any fear of recompense. Do you think I would get pats on the back if I went over to PPP and started posting, by the way your GM blows Yak-balls. I'm sure that would lead to singing Kumbaya over Skype while I rock a glowing fireplace screensaver in the background.

I don't even like Tambellini. He's an ineffectual, pasty-faced leader who almost never exhales any verbiage of value. I didn't even like the Penner trade. But when this site has devolved into an anti-Oilers effort... Like an pro-LA Kings GDT when their success worsens the Oilers pick? Color me a bit worried that the jingoism is swinging to simply another (incorrect) extreme.

And empiricism? I'm pretty sure I've used Corsi (and it's fun-filled siblings) in a sentence more times than you have watered plants in your life (or some other such activity that most people have done a moderate amount).
Extreme emphasis added in this post - I think it sums up my basic thoughts about the editorial direction of Coppernblue recently. I'll be the first to admit that I fucking really hate the 'misery loves company' crowd. It's actually no different than a pro-Oilers circle jerk: everyone reinforces each others opinions, and dissenters face an attack-pack if they wish to voice commentary to the contrary.

Long story short, both of the above comments were deleted, and I received another cool insta-pop-up message from a coppernblue mod that said if I trolled again, I would be banned. I mean seriously, I have written 48 fucking posts on the Oilers here in about 2.5 months, tens of thousands of words worth of my hard-working prose, and this is how an Oilers site reacts? Do you see PPP writing Oilers post game wrap ups after 10 minutes of JFJ's innefectual play has forced shit into viewing eyeballs?

In the end you have two choices: watch the team, good or bad, or don't watch the team. It seems like some people out there want a third nonsensical option: watch the team and hate the team for making them watch.


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