Forum Classics

I'd love to quit TI, but I can't

Posted by JimL on December 29, 2002

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.

I 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.

It isn't 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.

It 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.

And while 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 control.

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.