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About Last Night

Some of you are nuts and understand I mean that affectionately.

Before I delve into what happened last night at the game I feel it necessary to address what happened last night on this blog.  THF has been in operation for nearly three years and during that time I have never once set forth anything in the way of ground rules about how folks should behave?  There were a few reasons for that.  The first is keeping standards vague makes running a benevolent dictarship easier since there are no pesky loopholes and I don't have to explain myself should I decide to crush the life out of your online presence here at THF.  Secondly and probably more importantly, it has never been necessary.  I have built THF on the premise that civilized and intelligent UNC fans can have a discussion in an online forum without resorting to message board level baiting and meltdowns.  It would appear last night I was somewhat mistaken in that premise.  Some of that is the frustration over the loss and some of it has to do with the fact there are people who do make positive contributions but also let the worst demons of their nature to take control of their keyboard when the Heels are losing a tough road game. It happens.  And I accept full responsibility on my part for allowing certain comments to filter through on the liveblog which I probably should have left unapproved. That is on me and I will endeavor to do better.  As for the rest of it.  Well I did ban someone for the first time in the history of this site and did so because that individual decided to attack other commenters and then called me out.  Again, it happens.  I would rather not do it but there is only so much I am willing to put up with given this is a side venture for me and I have bigger fish to fry most of the time.  All of that being said, allow me to deal with three specific issues.

1. Attacking other readers of the site is not permitted.

You guys can disagree with one another all you want.  You can disagree with me all you want.  If you make the mistake Ty Lawson keeps making and turn it into something personal then you will be warned to stop and then if you persist I will remove your account.  I actually do not expect this to be an issue since most everyone has been on good behavior during the course of this site's existence.  In terms of how this work on liveblogs, I will not approve comments that are in this vein.

2. Attacking the players and coaches in an overtly negative or insulting manner will not be tolerated.

During the liveblog there were comments like:


I am not sure if this came from an actual UNC fan or a rival fan base's troll.  With the liveblog the same registration system that guards the blog comments is not in play.  I have to approve every comment made and that is the nature of some of the stuff I was seeing.  The reason this kind of stuff cannot stand is unless you are a former NBA player you have no room or even so much as an ounce of skill enough to call a Division I scholarship player at one of greatest programs in college basketball "garbage."  Yes, he might be playing badly or soft or not in control of his body but the last I checked he still was wearing the words NORTH CAROLINA on his uniform, he still works his rear end of trying to win games for the Tar Heels and to quote Gene Hackman from Hoosiers, "That kind of sacrifice and commitment deserves your respect."  It is easy to sit behind a keyboard and anonymously flail at another individual and a tad cowardly to do so in the manner I saw last night.  There are legitimate criticisms to be made.  There are real technical parts of the way any player plays that can be discussed at length and some of it involves their failure on the court.  However insulting players or talking about them "sucking" is not kosher on this site unless you are referring to Duke players. ;)

3. Try to remain calm and if you cannot step away from the keyboard.

I know this is difficult and some of that is the fact people react differently to these games.  I know Tar Heel Wife chastises me for yelling at the TV and being loud enough to wake the kids during late games.  The worst time to starting allowing a thought stream to flow onto your computer screen via your keyboard is if you are really pissed off.  That is why my postgame write-ups do not necessarily come as soon as the game is over or if they do I follow-up the next day when I have had time to think about it and post something well thought out and coherent.  If you are hopping mad about something and cannot trust what you write to be rational or full of negativity then take some time to cool off then post your comments.  The site is not going anywhere.

Here is my bottom line so to speak.

When posting on the internet one must always bear in mind that if you are unwilling to say something to somebody's face you probably ought to rethink putting it out there.  Now I probably violate this guideline some myself but not so much in the respect that I drop personal insults but on very rare occassion.  I have always been of the mind that if you cannot make an argument without dropping an insult then you point is worthless to begin with and even if it is not, it is negated by your approach. I believe people can disagree, discuss and generally hash out any issue while being civilized at the same time.

Secondly, if you have read THF long enough you know what this blog is about in terms of temperament.  It is clear that I take a vested interest in making this blog as credible as any news organization.  It is my intention for the content and discussion to be ground in facts and logic not given so much to the reactionary nature seen on the message board.  I would very much like this blog to be a legitimate outlet to discuss UNC football and basketball without all of the extra noise you get on message boards. In that respect maybe I am limiting myself or my readership by being so reasonable when most fan sites are given to cheap shots at rivals or seat of your pants analysis that misses key facts.  From where I sit there is a battle being fought between the old and new media.  The Old Guard believes bloggers are unaccountable, untrained and generally chaotic with what they are willing to publish.  Blogs have been demonized in large part as being cesspools where anything goes and no real analysis or legitimate opinion goes on.  I started THF on the premise that the Old Guard is wrong and THF can be a well thought out, very reasonable fan site that is grounded with an "objective bias" i.e. I am biased towards UNC but not to the point I will ever be intellectually dishonest.

Let me also say I understand that what makes this site successful is the numbers on the hit counter and also the high level of discussion people engage in the comments section.  It is my goal for this site to grow in numbers but keep the content and interation above the fray so to speak.  Any help in achieving this goal would be greatly appreciated.