Six or so years ago, I stumbled on this site when it was linked at the old
Superbama site. I guess that makes me an old-timer. In the beginning there
were maybe a hundred or so people, and it grew exponentially from there.
I don't know how many thousands of people pay to be on this website, but
it is surely at least 4000.
used to love coming here. You never knew when a topic would stray into a
Monty Python quote-fest or some other silliness. Most of the posters actually
liked each other. We had gatherings where we could put names with faces.
We had dinners, watched film on recruits, talked together.
that way now. We have lost some people who genuinely contributed here, like
Milray and 92D. Others post less and less frequently. Rodney still has
great info available only to subscribers, but you don't get too much on the
Open Forum anymore, and that's too bad. And we don't like each other much
anymore. It took me over two years to get into a teeny, tiny flamewar with
somebody. Now I get in 'em frequently, which speaks to both deficiencies
in MY character, and the general deterioration here.
With all that
said, I'm still here. I almost left a couple of years ago, but i just couldn't
do it. The people from here who have become friends still come here occasionally,
and the information available to subscribers is still first-rate. Rodney
is not responsible for the decline of the Open Forum. If anything, the best
feature on any Bama site on the internet is this forum when it is working.
WE are responsible for the lowering of discourse here. Rodney has given
us a forum, and we are abusing it. I say "we" because I do it too.
would be very nice if civil discourse and a sense of humor could return here.
The Quad is a perfect place for yelling and screaming, politics and craziness,
and I for one am glad for the forum it provides. It would be nice if the
Open Forum could stick to football and other bama sports.
I'm on my soapbox, let me say this: We Alabama fans need to develop a critical
faculty about our team. We need to be able to think outside a twenty-years-gone,
houndstooth-clad box. We need to understand where the program is right now,
and what it will take to turn it back around (time and patience). We need
to admit that, while we do have enemies, our biggest enemy has often been
us. Us as in cheating boosters. Us as in woefully misguided and possibly
disturbed secret witnesses. Us as in (possibly) coaches involved in cheating.
And us as in impatient, unrealistic, overly demanding fans. We need to
get behind the program and stop so much of the b!tching we do about it.
There are two kinds of criticism: constructive criticism with suggestions
about how to improve something; and mindless whining, complaining, and conspiracy
theories. We have not nearly enough of the former, and all too much of the
latter these days.
Anyway......I'm still here, for now. This is one
of the most freely accessed sports boards on the 'Net. For $36, you can
say damn near anything you want here. That is to be cherished, and not abused.
It's the main reason I'm still around. We've grown too big for intimate
gatherings anymore. We'd have to rent out Coleman Coliseum for a TI Gathering
these days. I just hope we haven't grown so big that we've grown out of
That's it. Off the soapbox. Feel free to flame, moo, disagree,
agree, whatever. That's what we do here. We just need to do it better.