I spend quite a bit of time on the internet. It kills time at work and I like to know what's going on in the world. I'm a sports nut as well, so I spend most of that time on ESPN.com.
It's usually a nice place to get information, but if you want a good laugh, go to the comments section after every article. I used to be able to laugh all the time at that stuff, now it's just getting frustrated. People really are ridiculous when it comes to their favorite team. So, I thought up some rules so people will sound somewhat reasonable on message boards.
1. Learn to spell properly—on won cna raed wen yuo splel liek thsi (No one can read when you spell like this). Dictionaries are great for this, and it makes you look smarter if you have a dictionary by your computer desk, or you can bookmark "www.m-w.com".
2. Learn Grammar and when to use certain words—Is it too much to ask that people know when to use there, their, they're, your, and you're? And how about using some punctuation? Since I still have a small belief in the education system here in America, I say no. Learn the difference.
3. Read previous posts—You don't have to read all of them, just enough to see where the conversation has been and where it's going. You can also see who's on what side and all that.
4. Don't Troll—If you're a fan of a different team, by all means share your perspective on a situation. Just make sure it's not "team a/player b sucks". Everyone knows what trolls are—don't be one.
5. Identify Yourself—This is especially helpful if you're on another teams' message board. Just say who your team is—if you get taunted, be the bigger person, call them an idiot in real life and move on. It's not your fault they're a homer.
6. Don't be a Homer—You can respect another team or other players if they're not "yours". I'm a Cubs fan. The Cardinals are playing good baseball this year. I said it and I'm not any less of a Cubs fan. This also includes knowing about the other teams in the league, especially your division. Makes it that much sweeter if you can tell a rival fan why your team is better and back it up.
7. Come up with original arguments—If I had a dime for every time I read the Cubs aren't going to win this year and the 100 years since the last title or the annual cubs drop off was mentioned I could pay off my college loans. Come on people, let's get some new material.
8. Come up with new insults—I'm sick of seeing "moron" or idiot". Let's get some variety on these boards. Remember the dictionary you have sitting by your computer now, use it.
9. Don't be a sore loser—I know your team just blew a huge lead late, but the other team was there too right? The other team didn't just lay down right? Give them some credit. It's a respect thing again. The other team fought just as hard as yours.
I have to bring this up because of Matt Leinart. After Vince Young and Texas beat his USC Trojans for the National Championship in 2006, he told reporters that the Trojans were the better team in that game. Sorry Matt, you're wrong. You may have had the more talented roster and the best players, but Texas executed as a unit to win the game. They won the game too, that makes them the better team on the field.
10. Don't be a sore winner—Just as important as rule nine. Don't say a team sucks because they lost. I'm pretty sure that the chances of your team going undefeated are really bad. You can be glad that you won the game and all, but don't rub it in unless you know exactly how everyone is going to take it. Hopefully you can develop some friendly trash talk with a fan of the other team and rub it in a little.
Hopefully these rules catch on. Anything I should change, anything you'd add, anything you think is stupid—just let me know, but please use these rules.