Monday, 3 March 2014

Responding To Comments: The Sequel

I have gone over some of the reasons why certain comments don't appear on my site. I understand that people are passionate about the game and their teams, but I really want to implore those who feel the need to comment to use their heads. I like everyone who stops by and leaves an intelligent comment, especially those who provoke me to think about the game a little harder. However, there are those who simply want to spout off. Today, we'll see another example of a poorly-worded, poorly-planned comment.

On February 24, 2007, I wrote an article that was prefaced with a hit made by Ottawa's Chris Neil on Buffalo's Chris Drury. I argued that the NHL rules allowed Chris Neil to target the head of Chris Drury, and concluded that Chris Neil was not a dirty player at that time.

That was SEVEN YEARS AGO. It wasn't like I penned that a few weeks ago. Heck, I barely even make a case for Neil being a clean player as much as the article focused on the problem with the NHL rules at that time that allowed head shots. That was the focus, and yet I still get comments like the following:
Chris Neil lost to the Red Wings & tried to go after Johan Franzen who had just returned from a concussion. ...[Content omitted due to idiotic statements and threats]... He needs to try boxing or wrestling if he can't accept losing a hockey game. PLEASE SOMEONE TAKE HIS HELMET OFF & POUND HIS HEAD INTO THE ICE UNTIL HE DIES!
I am rather disappointed with this reader. His name will be used once in this article, and it's certainly a male name under which this comment was posted. It became apparent as I read the comment he posted, however, that this person did not read the article past the headline in which I asked if Chris Neil was a dirty player.

The incidents described by the reader above occurred in the Thursday night game between Detroit and Ottawa. According to Neil, Franzen gave him a little stick work. "When a guy comes across the blueline and pokes you in the groin with his stick in a 6-1 game and chops guys that's a no-brainer," Neil told Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun. "He's going to get it."

Franzen, for his part, scored a hat trick in the 6-1 win over the Senators, but raised the ire of Neil with that spear. The two men decided to tangle a little after Franzen's alleged spear, and the end results saw Neil pick up a roughing call, an unsportsmanlike minor, and a ten-minute misconduct while Franzen took home a ten-minute misconduct and at least one facewash from Neil.

I'm going to assume that the vast number of insults and threats that the reader above weaved into his comment is simply a product of his love for the Red Wings and his hatred of the Senators. The last sentence written is beyond idiotic, but I will give this reader credit: he's passionate about the murder of Chris Neil.

Let's review a couple of things here. The article where I asked if Chris Neil was a dirty player was actually about checks to the head. The article in question was written seven years ago. The reader, who is clearly passionate about Johan Franzen's long-term health, obviously didn't read the article posted four years ago. He then decided to write an insult-filled, profane comment about Chris Neil in which he repeatedly wished for Neil's career and life to end.

I had written a quick formula for getting your comments to appear on HBIC. It included not posting comments that contain profane language, racist comments, sexist comments, or comments that are demeaning to the appearance of a person. I'll add that death threats should be kept to one's self as well since this reader took Chris Neil's play to a whole new level.

I like you guys. The vast majority of you post engaging, thought-provoking comments about hockey and the various spins I put on the stories from the game. The comment section is a place where we can have a discussion. If you're ranting and raving like a madman, no one wants to talk to you.

Chris Neil plays on the edge, and no one is questioning that. To threaten his life and livelihood, though, is pretty impressive when sitting behind a computer screen where anyone is a tough guy. I expect better from you, Doug. Be smarter next time.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

**Many thanks to Peter K. for his math skills!**

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