Pros and Cons of This Forum
Posted by By the Book on 12/17/07
JHall posted something that hit a nerve with me about what he termed “It’s interesting…”. I agree with his sentiments 100%, so I’ll start this topic and see how others feel:
This forum, in its best moments, is a terrific community of people that love the sport of wrestling and find communion in it.
This forum, in its low points, reveals some things that aren’t so wonderful about our society. The things I like best about this forum:
1. The “kitchen table” is infinitely large. Lots of us sitting around a table with no limit on the number of chairs leads to lots of interesting things to talk about with each other. In this case, the focus is wrestling and we love wrestling.
2. The “open mike” is there for everyone to express their views. And it can be fascinating to hear what other folks are thinking about, what they enjoy, what concerns them and ideas about improving the sport.
3. Lots of variety in the threads means something for everyone’s tastes.
4. A chance to explore some topics in depth. As an official, I enjoy the opportunities to share some information from the rules/interpretations and insights from officiating in a way that I don’t get to while I’m actually working many events. More knowledge is a great thing in any sport and hopefully helps people understand/enjoy the sport more.
Things I don’t enjoy on the forum:
a. Folks forgetting that we are usually talking about high school kids or younger. Some of the comments or expectations expressed are not appropriate for that level of wrestler – in my opinion.
b. Lack of civility. I don’t know, maybe I’m old fashioned. But, people feel free to say things or take shots because they are anonymous and/or distant from their target. I think it’s a good standard to use to ask yourself this question – if I was sitting in your living room, would I say this to your face? Maybe people in today’s society feel more liberated to say all sorts of things because they’ve lost connection with the possibility that the person you are offending/criticizing/making fun of might just punch you in the face if they could.
c. The fantasy league mentality. Sometimes I read posts and think to myself, “Does this person realize we are talking about human beings, not robots or video game characters?” I think lots of folks in the past generation grow up thinking every time at the plate can be a home run because that’s how it works in the video game. Or that we can just swap folks around and they’ll perform at their peak everytime (e.g., if we move Mangrum up to 215 he’d pin person X from school Z). Sorry, real life doesn’t work like video games.
d. 24 hour sports network culture. Everyone is used to seeing round the clock sports, so they now demand some thrilling highlight to be entertained by it all. That means someone who isn’t pinning everyone in 15 seconds or winning by tech fall isn’t a stud, or something like that. Sports, and wrestling is no exception, are a human drama composed of lots of little things executed well. Sometimes that “boring” 3-2 match result actually represents a terrific achievement.
Anyway, I keep coming back because the positives outweigh the negatives by a long shot. But, I do worry about those negatives popping up with more frequency.
And a big “Thank You” to Dave G. for establishing this forum. You do a tremendous service to our sport sir.