NOTE – Apologies if we’ve written this post before. It sure feels like we have.
Every time Ohio State loses or plays badly, there are a few people who feel the need to make asses of themselves on Twitter or Facebook or CompuServe or MySpace or whatever the kids are using nowadays. They say terrible things to current players, coaches, media folks, and pretty much anyone who will listen expressing their unhappiness with the current situation. Assuming they’re posting from these United States, that’s their right and they won’t get jailed for it*. Is this what we would consider “good behavior”? Absolutely not. Do we spend much time correcting such behavior? Absolutely not. Do we spend ANY time correcting such behavior? Probably not.
* – Exceptions apply. Consult a lawyer if you’re not sure.
Our stance – by which we mean the editorial policy of The Buckeye Ninja and buckeyeninja.com is as follows:
- Each individual is responsible for his or her own decision-making and behavior.
- The great majority of people are assholes, ourselves included.
- In any group of people, there are going to be people who don’t strive to control or contain their innate qualities that make them assholes.
- Because of (1), anyone who fits the description in (3) is responsible for his or her own dickish behavior.
- Because of (4) and (1) one can’t make reasonable judgments about a group of people based on the actions of a few individuals.
- If people decide to behave like assholes, that is their right and any consequences that happen as a result of their behavior should fall on them alone, even they’re in groups we cohabit. In other words, having a few assholes in your fan base does not mean the entire fan base is made up of assholes.
- Because of (6) and (1), we feel no need or responsibility to correct the behavior of a tiny minority of people because their asshole qualities do not reflect upon us. Also…
- Because of (2) and (3) even if we try and succeed to change one person’s or ten people’s behavior, there will always be more assholes whose behavior we have now committed ourselves to trying to change.
- We have kids, man. We don’t have time for (8).
Anecdote: A few years ago Reds pitcher Mat Latos was having a little bit of a rough game and we saw several people bemoaning that some dick Reds fans were saying rude things to Latos’ wife on Twitter. Our first instinct was to mention her and say something like “Don’t worry, we’re not all assholes like that” since they were new to the Reds and all but first we decided to check her mentions.
Literally 99.99% of her mentions were people saying “Don’t worry, we’re not all assholes like that” or berating the two people who had made snarky remarks about Latos messing up their fantasy teams. Seriously, there were two “bad apples” (and what they had said to her wasn’t even really all that bad, considering – no vulgarity or anything) and several hundred people collectively losing their shit as a result.
So we didn’t say anything, because what really needed to be said?
It happens all the time, especially on Twitter. Everyone feels the need to correct other people’s behavior because they think for some reason it reflects on them.
“Aha!” you say. “You’re trying to correct the behavior of the people who are trying to correct other people’s behavior!”
First off, who says a-ha anymore unless they’re referring to “Take On Me“? Second, in a way you’re correct except that our goal isn’t to correct any behavior. We’re just pointing out that correcting behavior is a futile journey that will only end in disappointment and misanthropy.
Take a look at Best Fans St. Louis. Do you think we would suddenly say “Cardinals fans are really great people!” if their collective behavior matched the mythology? Hell no we wouldn’t. They cheer for the enemy so they’re the enemy, no matter if they’re all gooey nice or not (and of course based on our editorial policy we have already established that they aren’t – not all of them anyway.)
We promise the following: we will always talk about TTUN fans being terrible, terrible people. Because if they weren’t, why would they root for TTUN? But we also won’t dwell on the dickish words and behaviors of people who root for our teams. Keep your aim downrange, kids.
We advise you to remember that no one made you the civility police; you don’t have a badge, and you don’t have a gun. Just relax. Or don’t. Whatever, it’s your life.