The second, though, was a strange fixation on an anonymous comment the likes of with I hadn't received in two years of blogging. Regular readers probably wouldn't have noticed it, seeing as it came some time after I made my entry declaring that Darryl Sutter needed to go as Flames general manager. It was a strange comment, with fair rebuttals mixed in with such gems as "Grow a brain where instead it seems you have a steaming pile of dog shit."
I really don't mind criticism, but I do mind taking personal attacks unrelated to the matter at hand, especially from people who won't even go so far as to give themselves a pseudonym by which to be recognized. I'm the guy who absolutely can't stand it when, as usually happens at Vancouver Canucks games, fans decide to yell "Calgary sucks" instead of "go Canucks go."
Anyway, not everyone can have class, and not all people lacking class also lack brains entirely, so I eventually mentally deleted the bad parts and started fixating on something else in that comment:
In a month when the Flames have improved their record you will be singing Sutter's praises...again.
So, here we are a month later, and the Flames have improved their record. And I'm back blogging. Time to sing his praises ... again?
Well, that's a pretty black-and-white way of looking at things, isn't it? The entry that led to the comment, nor my Darryl Sutter analysis oeuvre, has never blanket declared him to be either good or bad at any given time. What I suggested was that, given the evidence in front of me, that the Flames weren't going to win the Stanley Cup with Darryl Sutter in charge, so it's time for a change.
Does a great run through December change that? Nope. I'm as happy as anyone about the Flames' recent success, but one month does not a Stanley Cup contender make.
But that's beside the point. What the comment did, in the end, was cause me to spend a bit of time questioning my place and my ability to ask questions about my favourite hockey club, and presuming it's my place to suggest such things as firing the general manager.
Then I went back to something else in that comment:
Of all the ungrateful things to say....fire Sutter?!?! Have you ever heard him speak of the fans in Calgary--he calls you people, who are calling him things like "insane", the best fans in the league.
I've lost count of how much time, money and emotion I've spent on the Calgary Flames since discovering their existence in 1982. It's not my obligation to be grateful to the hockey club or its management. And, anonymous, I don't know if you've paid attention to any of Darryl Sutter's appearance in the media, but the guy clearly doesn't particularly care what the fans think of his moves. Declaring a fanbase the"best in the league" is a requirement of hockey management. Maybe it's true, maybe it isn't. But that doesn't mean I'm not allowed to say he should be fired after experiencing the pleasure of dropping $400 on tickets and merchandise at the Saddledome in one night.
So, this is the long way of saying: After a long period of self-reflection, I'm declaring myself qualified to blog about the Calgary Flames, and I will not reconsider this.
I'm not always going to be right, and I'm not always going to be wrong, but I'm a dedicated fan who watches pretty much every game (at great expense, since I'm in Toronto and need Centre Ice to do it), who plays hockey three days a week, has held season tickets for teams and who attends live games whenever I can. And, most importantly, all this is for me is fun. The stuff I say here, it's all stuff that WI and I would say to each other in a face-to-face conversation if only we didn't live on opposite sides of the country. It's fan chat, and it helps keep me interested and entertained.
I do it in this form because it exposes me to more nice, intelligent fans with whom I can interact. I met WI through blogging, and now we're great friends. And we don't always agree — but we disagree respectfully.
So, anonymous, it's good to have you around. But I will delete you immediately if you register a personal attack, and I highly suggest you give yourself a name. If you're a Flames fan, you probably, like me, want nothing more than for the Flames to win, so we have something in common.
And you should know that nothing would make me happier than being wrong about Darryl Sutter.