Recently, we featured a satirical story from another SBN blog that was a another entry in a series of articles that "attacked" the Dallas Stars. This article received an incredible amount of attention from not just Stars and Blues fans, but included fans of many other teams that all joined in a big debate over just how much everyone dislikes the Stars and Texas.
We've had a few of these sort of posts in the past on DBD, and this summer we've even feature our own series of satirical posts from old Pacific Division rivals saying "goodbye" to the Dallas Stars. For the most part, these articles have been met with the right attitude and have been appreciated for the humor they portray.
Perhaps this last article was just one too many.
For whatever reason, this was the one that really set off the DBD community. Once again, for the most part, our readers appreciated the satire for what it was and while we can all agree that most of the points made by Megalodon are not exactly...accurate...I don't think there's any reason to take any of it personally.
Yet it's clear that people did take it personally and as a result felt it necessary to respond in kind. Unfortunately, these responses have only had the opposite of the intended effect and whether it was what the author wanted or not -- these responses haven't exactly done much to represent the DBD community very accurately.
I understand that Megalodon's approach is very jarring to those that aren't used to it, especially when his vitriol is pointed at Texas and the Stars. At the same time, we're all just having fun on some fan blogs on the internet and there's absolutely no reason to take it as personally as some people obviously have. I also understand that not everyone's sense of humor is the same and when it comes to being prideful about your home state -- Texans certainly have the most self-pride of any state in the U.S. For better or worse.
I also think that this is partly my fault.
DBD is a bit isolated and unique when it comes to other SBN hockey communities, especially when it comes to our community guidelines and rules. We've become a bit more lax and forgiving in the comment sections, but we have a bit of a different approach on the front page than some other sites. There is no right answer to how a blog should be run -- some of the most popular blogs on SBN have no rules whatsoever and are doing just fine. We've chosen a particular approach and our community has been built around that.
As such, it's a bit jarring sometimes when we directly link to blogs with a different approach and tone to their writing. Some people appreciate one over the other, some people really don't care that much. I know that there are many out there that are frustrated by some of our rules, don't understand it, and then point and laugh. It is what it is.
Personally, I love Battle of California and everything they're about. I love satire and I love self-deprecating humor above all else. I think being able to laugh at yourself and your situation is a very important aspect of not falling prey to taking everything too seriously and getting all caught up and stressed out about the minutiae of everyday life. This is especially true when it comes to sports.
Hell, 90% of debates inside of each fanbase is about how horrible the team is and almost always the focus is on the negative. It's just what being a sports fan is all about. But as much as we're willing to tell each other how much we all stink, it becomes a much different thing altogether when someone else has the gall to say it out loud and in public.
I also really enjoy the back and forth with Megalodon and basking in the very obvious and very real hate he has for Texas and the Dallas Stars. Personally, I think he was greatly wronged by a North Texas cowgirl who had a hankering for hockey and this has turned all of his rage directly upon the hockey team and state we so cherish. While his writing is certainly satirical, there's also an unabashed honesty to what he has to say. I think it's hilarious, but it's clear there are some others who do not.
I'd like to think that the DBD community has a thick shell capable of being able to take the jabs sent our way, but that hasn't exactly been the case -- which is a shame. Every time that a DBD reader shoots back with a personal and angry response to Megalodon or any Sharks or Ducks or Blues fans -- it does nothing more than to feed the trolls and to perpetuate the stereotype that you are so hoping to prove is inaccurate.
There's a phenomenon called the "Streisand Effect" and its gist is this: The more a person tries to quash a story, or to say something isn't a big deal, or continues to drag a story out through unsolicited response after unsolicited response -- the more attention you bring upon the negative aspects of whatever it is you're fighting against.
We're not here to attempt to tell anyone what sort of sense of humor they should have or that they shouldn't take anything too seriously -- but at the same time, I think there comes a point when something has been played out to the point of diminishing returns.
As such, we will no longer allow FanPosts related to "responses" to Megalodon or anything else related to the SLGT article we had linked on the front page. It's become too personal and the humor has now been replaced with anger and spite.
This doesn't mean we're abandoning satirical writing or banning any FanPosts with that sort of approach -- but I think it's time we back away from the direct responses to Megalodon, his SLGT article and any of the satire we've featured on the site the past month or so.
If you have any questions or concerns about this new policy, feel free to reply to me directly by email.