Because the longer this goes on the more I feel like I am in the movie Airplane!
Quite a day here at THF. Tempers flared. Someone got banned. I got hate email which has never happened before.
It is funny how all it takes is 21 games of bad basketball to turn a fan base, some of whom might still be getting skin grafts from getting 3rd degree burns on Franklin Street into..well...Wolfpack fans. This is proof positive just how nasty losing can be and how short our memories get as fans. Sports fans are the ultimate "what have you do for me lately" constituency in the world. Some of that is the nature of the beast. One season ends and another one begins. We compartmentalize these seasons so the last one has almost nothing to do with impacting how we enjoy(or in this case suffer) the present season. Still, given the level of success UNC has enjoyed you can't help but think that maybe we all might be over the top in being overly upset at the state of things. Except the level of success is a two edge sword. It is immensely gratifying to be able to watch great teams for 3-4-5 years and equally disappointing to watch a team that falls well short of that.
The really disturbing thing is it really does not matter how reasonable a fan can be, no one can avoid succumbing to negativity when the team is playing this badly. When all you do is criticized sooner or later that criticism takes a nasty edge. I joked earlier this week about UNC fans going through the five stages of grief where this team was concerned and it is true. The commentary here has gone through a variety of stages until we reached today where it appears we have gone into a meltdown mode usually reserved for IC message boards.
Of course the irony of all of this, from a blogger's point of view, is that losing is good for traffic. The dirty little secret about the internet is that by and large it is one gigantic gripe fest. Message boards and blogs exist primarily to give people a voice. Opinions must be rendered! Points argued and counterargued! Someone is wrong and darn it I am going to prove it! This is the nature of the internet and the more there is to complain about the better.
So what's my point? Nothing really other than to sort of plead with you guys to do your level best to make your criticisms grounded in facts and without deninigrating the players you are criticizing. I have said this before and it bears repeating. These guys wear NORTH CAROLINA on the uniform and they invest serious time every day to play basketball for the university. Regardless of their performance on the court that sort of commitment warrants a basic level of respect as does the accomplishments of the coaches. Going forward, do your best to remember that. Also remember that everyone on this blog is entitled to their opinion as long as it is delivered with a modicum of class and respect. While I understand tensions are high the best rule to remember is don't write anything you would not be absolutely willing to say to the person's face.
In the meantime let me cheer you with this completely asinine quote dropped by Steve Lavin on ESPN Tuesday night during the Michigan St-Wisconsin game when discussing the Spartans' 2009 NCAA Tournament run calling it:
....the most impressive four game run of any team in the tournament
Yeah, that might be the dumbest thing I have heard this season. Not only did UNC's entire six game run trump almost every other national champion in the 64 team save Duke's 2001 title. In particular the four game run from the Sweet Sixteen to the title game was dominant in every way. Plus, I am not sure where Lavin found four straight games MSU was so impressive in considering they only beat #10 seeded USC by five in the 2nd round, won three games then got rolled by the Heels in the title game.
No wonder Dexter Strickland thinks ESPN talking heads are full of crap.