I love reading articles on this website. And I love posting, reading, and responding to comments. I feel there are several things every person should keep in mind when commenting. Here is my guide for the proper way to debate a topic.
* For the record, I myself have done most of these before in my arguments. We've all done them. And you don't have to agree with them. Hey, this is just one writer's opinion.
1. Don't attack an author. Don't call the author stupid just because you don't like their idea. Don't criticize their name, their age, their picture, etc. Don't call them ignorant or retarded. And don't tell them they have lost all credibility simply because they believe something you don't. *1b. If you're going to attack an author, be prepared to get attacked back.
2. No profanity. Keep it mature here. If we're old enough to debate sports, we're old enough to do it without cursing each other out based on a disagreement.
3. "You just hate him." Don't call out an author just because they criticized someone you like. If the author writes an article saying Peyton Manning is overrated, he probably doesn't hate him. He just thinks he's overrated. Not a big deal.
4. No hit-and-runs. Don't leave a comment and not write back simply because someone proves you wrong.
5. No beating a dead horse. To the writer: If an argument is going nowhere, don't keep it going just to get comments on your articles.
6. No ill-advised psychic predictions. Don't say, "Oh, well your Eagles are never going to win a Super Bowl." How do you know? You don't have a clue. None of us do. Don't act like you're a psychic when you're not.
7. Stay on topic. If you're arguing who was better, Brady or Montana, don't get off topic and start discussing who ran a faster 40 yard dash, Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders. Stay on topic.
8. No advertisements. I'm sure you have an article of your own that you're particularly proud of, and I bet it's even well-written. But you don't need to post it as a comment with a little "Read this" note. You can simply post it on my bulletin board and I'll read it when I get a chance.
9. "You couldn't do it." My least favorite argument. "What do you mean, Brett Favre sucks?! He played with a dislocated shoulder! You couldn't do that!!" Yes. That's correct. I probably couldn't. I'm also not the one being paid millions of dollars to play quarterback in the NFL. And my personal pain tolerance is really not relevant to this debate.
10. Get your facts right. I really don't care if you correct my stats in my article. If you see an incorrect stat, feel free to let me know. But try and leave an intelligent comment as well. Tell me how you felt about the article. Did you like it? Why or why not? What do you agree with? What do you disagree with? Don't simply post, "DeAngelo Williams had 18 rushing touchdowns. Not 20."
11. Be realistic. Don't be one of those guys who automatically assumes that the 53 guys on their team are the 53 best players in the NFL. I'm an Eagles fan and I'll admit that Donovan McNabb is not the best quarterback in football and Brian Westbrook is not the best running back.
12. "Your article is pointless. Thanks for wasting my time." No article is pointless. If someone took the time to write it, it means something to them. You may not like it or particularly agree. Then don't bother commenting and move on with your life.
13. Don't bring my team into it. If I say Aaron Rodgers is overrated, don't turn around and say McNabb is overrated. We're not talking about McNabb. Try and stay on subject here.
14. Don't tell me to respect my elders. With all due respect, I don't care if you're 60 years old or the President of the United States, if I disagree with you, I'm going to let you know. The fact that you're older than me really isn't relevant.
15. Don't pick and choose your response. If I write a pretty long comment calling you out for five different points, write back to all five of them. Don't just pick three and ignore the two that you can't defend. .