If there’s anything I’ve learned from writing here at Oilers Nation, it’s that anybody taking the time to publish their opinions in a public forum is bound to take some shots now and then – some of them deserved, some of them not. A thick skin or alcohol, or occasionally both, are a necessity. There’s no reason to complain about that, particularly given that writing about a hockey team often involves critiquing players; turnabout is fair play after all.
Every so often, though, the startling discovery of something can throw a person.
Looking for an article I wrote a while back, I stumbled across something that managed to get under my skin, featuring a few regulars from this site. Traktor and GSC are familiar names on various online Oilers message boards, including this one. They tend to be highly sceptical of statistical analysis, and I’ve had various arguments with all three.
Still, one of the things I’ve prided myself on while talking to them was staying civil, and engaging honestly; i.e. I’ve tried not to assume motivations, to make arguments I considered honest, and keep an open mind when presented with new data. I may not always have been successful, but I have put an honest effort into that.
Unfortunately, I think I’ve been wasting my time. At least, that’s the impression I get from this conversation.
I won’t reprint everything written, since we do have some standards on this site. Honestly I’m not even the primary target: Lowetide, who has maintained a level of tolerance and civility that I have difficulty understanding, let alone emulating, is criticized in a harsher manner.
I’m afraid that despite years working in one of the least politically correct cultures on the planet – the oilpatch – I remain confused by what compels people to describe others in this fashion. I barely understand it when the people are personally acquainted, let alone when they’ve only ever discussed sports on the internet. It baffles me.
As far as I can tell, there’s simply no justification for that level of classlessness. Further, I see no reason to continue to bandy words with these people. Between the statements themselves and the cowardice displayed by those making them (do you think they’d make those comments to anybody’s face?), I’m done.
If there’s an explanation, I’d like those involved to come forward with it. If not, there’s no longer a place on this website for them. I’ve never seen the people they’re so casually tarnishing discuss them in that manner, not even in private.