Anonymity is a dangerous tool in the hands of some
These are indeed strange, strange times when it comes to the relationship between some athletes and there their fans.
And thanks the various social media things out there, I think it’s going to get more strange as time goes on.
With the tweeter, primarily, and other ways athletes and fans can interact, there’s a personal level to the relationship that’s never existed before and I’m not sure it’s entirely a good thing.
This comes in the wake of JP Arencibia deciding yesterday to shut down his twitter account (here’s our story on the whole issue) because he just got fed up.
I don’t put a whole lot of stock in the twitter thing, it’s more a tip sheet and mildly entertaining to me, just another way to stay in touch and perhaps pick up a snippet here or there that can lead to something bigger and more important later on. It’s fun, sometimes funny, often boring (I don’t care what people had for lunch unless they’re either buying it for, or sharing it with, me) and generally inane.
But it is, as they say, what it is and lots of people enjoy the interaction and I know first-hand through relatives that being able to read missives from their favourite players truly pleases some people.
Now, I will also fully admit that if athletes want to put themselves out there they are opening themselves up to some kind of criticism and harsh comments and I’m sure they all know there will be some repercussions they’d rather not deal with.
But the venon that comes with the anonymity of being able to take shots with no consequences is, in some part, disgusting.
There are “fans” who wouldn’t dare say in person what they type on keyboards and it is those gutless wonders who tend to ruin it for a vast majority of people who want to know what athletes are feeling unfiltered and who enjoy the interaction that should be relatively harmless.
As I told someone yesterday, those people are pimples on the butt of the world and while they should be ignored, it’s easier said than done. They are idiots of the first order but the cumulative effect of their idiocy can finally push people to the breaking point.
In this day and age of instant communication and the ability to throw out stuff without thinking we are, as a society, becoming more daring, more irresponsible, more hurtful because it’s easy and it’s done without any true thought or reason.
In so many ways, social media has made the world – and my job – a bit easier and a bit more fun; in too many ways it’s given dopes a chance to be truly classless and dopey.
Wish it could be more of the former, I fear it will become more of the latter.
End o’ rant.
Yes, it’s that time of week.
Mail, please. Not sure there’s an awful lot of HOTH stuff to ask about so I’ll be interested to see what kind of entertaining stuff you come up with at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yeah, ‘m okay with this group.
Smart people know which way to turn me.
Yep, I was Argo Boy yesterday (and there was actually some news to write about as I’m sure you’ve already read) and I’ve got to tell you, it’s a pretty good gig.
Not only do they practice about a three minute drive from Casa Doug, there’s something interesting about being able to sit outside and watch a full workout if you want.
Now, I’m sure if you had to do it every day it could turn into a mind-numbing experience seeing the same drills repeated over and over and over again but every now and then, loafing in the sun while pretending to work is pretty cool.
Of the three sports that invite the media to sit and watch practices – baseball, football and the pucks – I’d have to say baseball would be my favourite.
The slow pace to batting practice may take for what seems like ever but sitting in the dugout picking off guys to talk to every now and then is a fine way to while away 90 minutes or so. The weather’s always good or they don’t work, there’s just enough work to do while it’s going on to stay truly engaged and dugout banter can be pretty fun.
Football? It’s far more complicated than BP, lots of different groups doing different things at different parts of the field and it’s all so intricate and often so far away it’s hard to know precisely what’s going on. And you can’t talk to anyone until it’s all over and some days, that’s a long time watching tedious drills.
The pucks? It’s inside, in a cold arena, that puts it to third regardless of what’s going on.
We’re often asked why it is that basketball – and it’s an NBA-wide phenomenon – closes its practices except for maybe 15 minutes at the end so we can see some free throw shooting and one-on-one stuff.
In a lot of places like Toronto, it’s not physically feasible to have a handful of grunts and cameras in tiny practice gyms; some coaches are simply loathe to let us see how they operate during the 90 minutes or so when they’re teaching and some clubs simply think we’d be too distracting.
And you want to know the truth, at least from this perspective?
I’ve seen enough three-man weaves and shell defensive drills in my time that the boredom factor of having to spend a couple of hours watching more makes it quite fine with me that they close the workouts.
When Super Son was born, it took us about 90 seconds to decide the name we had picked out beforehand was suitable.
There’s another difference between those crazy royals and me, I guess.