So I am playing with two different titles in two different genres here, but the point will be made.
Yesterday I came to a difficult decision that maintaining a message board presence on the only Duck recruiting site that I personally use, Duck Sports Authority, had become too cumbersome. I deleted a thread I had started and announced through this blog my intention to no longer spend my time on the message boards.
I want to take the time to explain that a little deeper; and hope that this message gets back to the members who remain active on DSA Stadium Club and the Casanova Center message boards. Feel free to link this post and or copy and paste.
I may go back and explain myself.
Let me start by saying I have been a member of DSA for nearly 10 years and have met a lot of very amazing people. The DSA Tailgates have given me plenty of opportunity to meet people who share my passion for and intelligence of Duck football. I was simply a member of a large community of Duck fans.
In my capacity as a member, pretty much, most people saw my comments for what they were worth; an opinion. Rarely was a disagreement anything to get up in arms about. We were all brothers in arms cheering for the same football team. Disagreements were nothing more than differences that we sometimes had to just agree to disagree.
Two years ago, that began to change. It was never my intention to become a "writer" so to speak. I was commenting on several different message board threads, including Rob Moseley's Register Guard blog, about things I had read about which contradicted, to some degree, information that had been released about the Will Lyles saga.
That's it. It would have stopped there, by A.J. asked me to do more; so I did. I have been friends with AJ for nearly as long as I have been a member of Duck Sports Authority.
The duties began to grow in 2012 as we had a little bit of a DSA retreat to plan how we would approach the season.
As soon as I started accepting a press pass to home and road games; I became a writer and not a poster.
But I had maintained my DSA nickname of "ducks39" until earlier this year when Rivals kind of forced the change. At that point, though I did not recognize it, I was no longer "just" a poster or "just" an admin; I was a paid member of the press. Nonetheless, I continued posting like a regular member of the DSA community.
Yesterday I recognized that I was no longer just a member of the board. Even though my post was through my personal blog, it was not viewed as it was intended; just a long post I preferred to put away from the message boards. Instead it was viewed as if written for DSA.
When it became clear to me that I no longer had the immunity of a DSA poster was the moment someone asked if TMZ was in my future and then compared me to Canzano.
Everyone should know that I am not, nor will I ever be, a "muckraker." Yet, there it was.
Yes, those comments in the thread were personally insulting and untrue. Those were the reason I deleted the thread. Personally, I could care less if other posters disagree with me. But to call me a muckraker; to imply I should work for TMZ and compare me to Canzano was a personal insult. It made the thread unproductive as all I could see was a backlash of people competing to prove either side of that muck raking argument. There was no value there so I made a decision.
Maybe I should have just "locked" the thread. But the choice has been made and I cannot undo it at this point so it is something we will all have to live with.
But back to my point. I am not leaving the site; I am not leaving the boards completely. I will still be there to post my official stories in the appropriate message board. If there is a specific question about something, I may pop in to answer the question.
What has become clear, though, is that my position, as a writer for Duck Sports Authority and Rivals.com changes the manner in which I am viewed on the site. That's okay, I probably should have changed my approach long ago.
I held on a little too tight and lost the edge a little.
I will no longer get involved in conversations like before and will no longer link to my personal blog.
I hope everyone understands that this is just the next evolution of my existence on DSA. If ever comes the time I stop writing for the site, I will likely come back as a "regular" member and re-involve myself in regular conversations. In the mean time, my approach will be a little more distant.
The disagreements are fine. I am okay with people not agreeing with everything I say. In fact, I expect there to be differences of opinion. However, in order to separate my personal emotion as a member of the message board community and my responsibility as a writer for the site, I feel I must step back and accept that my role changes the manner in which I can participate.
I hope this helps explain why I have made my decision.
If there are any questions, please feel free to contact me via twitter and I will try to answer them in that manner.
Thanks to all my brothers in arms at Duck Sports Authority. My friends outside of the boards will remain my friends. DSA Tailgates are still open to all members; even the ones who think I should be working for TMZ and compare me to Canzano! You will still see three articles per week from me and a game analysis piece. We plan to start providing podcasts again soon. I am not going away from the site, I am simply backing off as an active member of the message board community.