Monday, September 15, 2008
Hey, anyone read any Oilers blogs lately? Hoo boy. What seems to have started out as a debate over the value of some of the new statistics the Oilogosphere has produced (see: here, here, here, and here) has degenerated into a veritable shit fight at the monkey house. Check out some of the comment threads here, here and here, and try to remember that some of these cats are the same people who deride the folks at HF Oilers for being immature drooling retards, which just goes to show that age and education is no defense against being a total fucking asshole.
Now, I'm no stranger to online pissing contests, but as someone with no dog in this fight beyond my interest in the fortunes of the mighty Oil, I find the whole thing ridiculous even by the gutter standards of internet discourse. So forgive the misuse of this space, and though I know no one has asked and no such advice will be heeded, I thought I'd get this off my chest.
Ain't nobody getting paid for this. For most everyone who writes, reads or comments on the Oil blogs, this is a hobby. The differences seem to be between those for whom following the Oilers is a way to while away the winter hours and an excuse to knock back a few beers and those who, like furries and diaper fetishists, seem to live and die by it. The stats business is a good example. I'm certainly sympathetic to the aims of those who want to push things forward in terms of how the game is analyzed and understood so that shit like "Joffery Lupul is a one-shot scorer" won't be allowed to stand, but a little perspective is needed. I'm sure the stats-heads like to think they are doing the game a service, but I have to wonder what the real world application for some of this stuff is. At best, it's an academic exercise, which is in and of itself worthwhile, but not something to get one's tits in a twist over. A good rule of thumb is: if something someone has written on the internet prompts you to utter a threat against them or their family, you're in too deep. And you probably need some therapy.
Personally, I can take or leave the stats stuff. It's great to have some quantifiable data in hand for winning arguments on the internet, but what matters most is the community, the social aspect, the fact that people from Edmonton to Toronto to Vladivostok and all points in between can be united by their shared love of the game and a team: The Passion That Unites Us All, to borrow a slogan from some minor-league softball team. It's not an exclusive club and it's nobody's personal domain. It's funny as hell to see some of the old-timers complain about the growth of the 'sphere in terms that sound strikingly similar to those used by the gatekeepers in the mainstream media to deride this whole blogging thing back when it started to take off. On the Oilogosphere, there's crap and there's quality and sometimes you have to work through a lot of the latter to get to the former, but that's the price of success. Most of the time, the quality shines through, which is why my posts get three views and Lowetide gets 10 jillion.
The real point here is that we're still a few days shy of training camp in what rightly or wrongly is one of the most anticipated seasons in recent memory. As such, it'll be nice to read and talk about actual hockey again and fuck the rest.
Posted by LittleFury at 1:28 PM