Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Parry and Thrust

This post is many paragraphs long and concerns only the blog itself, and someone else's blog, and neither of the teams those blogs cover. Feel free to skip the navel-gazing and go straight to the cartoon at the end.

That "J" in "The JCCW"? Apparently, it stands for "jerkface."

So I, ahem, wasn't happy with a post Kyle over at DawgSports made about the, ahem, exceedingly potential ramifications for Auburn and the SEC of an investigation by the New York attorney general's office into the relationship of a student loan company with several subpoenaed (I hope that's a word) universities, Auburn among them. Kyle responded with a gracious, thoughtful post Sunday afternoon praising my effort, answering some of the points I'd raised (in a predictably effective manner), and describing his initial post as "ribbing an old foe in the way that he would josh with me if given the opportunity." Hey, that's fair enough, right? Right.

So why, then, did I add another post an hour later in which I continued to snarl in Kyle's direction and suggest he could take lessons from another blogger? That left Kyle understandably wondering yesterday evening what, exactly, was my friggin' problem?

Partially because--and I swear this on my grandparents' season tickets--I hadn't seen Kyle's response. This blog certainly tends to traffic in gut reaction (and bad puns ... let's not forget the bad puns) more than statistical or logical analysis, but I'm not really such a gigantic jackass that I'd continue to spit in the face of a more-established (for a reason) and better-respected (for a reason) blogger who just went out his way to say nice things about me. I'd have never added a second post maintaining that kind of belligerence if I'd read Kyle's response ahead of time.

And in retrospect, the belligerence of that second post was uncalled for regardless. I'd said my piece and could have linked to TideDruid's efforts on the topic without the continuing snark. I still do prefer TideDruid's approach to the issue, naturally. But the tone and antagonism should be considered redacted.

In my defense, all I can offer is that as an Auburn fan, particularly given our program's reputation, the issue of potential run-ins with the NCAA is always going to raise my hackles but good. I honestly don't care if Auburn's image remains dirty provided the program itself remains clean, but to see a blogger I respect not only (in my view) imply without firm basis that Auburn has trouble coming but express happiness over the prospect ... well, it was difficult to swallow. It's not personal. I would simply hope that, just as decent fans everywhere would never wish injury on another team's players, fans and bloggers could refrain from hoping to see even rivals they hate hobbled by the NCAA unless justice requires it.

But that's just my viewpoint. I'm not personally going to josh Georgia or 'Bama bloggers about probation issues (I already said I could care less about Saban's supposed secondary stuff), but it's hardly my place to tell Kyle he can't if he so chooses, just as it's my prerogative to tell him what I think of that choice when he does. The problem is when "wit and aplomb" and the good-natured trash talk of rivalry Kyle elaborated on give way to excess rage and bile, and in this case that's all me. Apologies.

Two last things: First, Kyle is right that Auburn's non-denial could be stronger. But I'll continue to maintain, for now, that any story that the rabidly probation-obsessed Alabama press hasn't followed up on (and I haven't seen them do so yet, though it's possible I've missed something) isn't one Auburn fans have to worry about.

Second, this is the last word here on this subject for now, since I think I trying to engage Kyle any further on the issue (Guard! Turn! Parry!) would feel like an awful lot like Daffy Duck trying to buck-and-a-quarter-quarterstaff his way past Porky's Friar Tuck:

(Fast forward to the 1:48 mark for the metaphor I'm going for here.)


BestofSEC said...

Thanks very much for the links you threw my way.

I am and continue to be very impressed with your blog. Who would not be impressed with how both you and Kyle King of Dawg Sports handled your difference of opinion?

That kind of class makes a rivalry fun. Smack talk and chest-thumping is so 1990's. :-)

I truly appreciate a spirited, high-quality give and take between blogs that doesn't descend into recriminations and invective. It is a rare thing, especially among sports blogs, and very satisfying.

Joe Cribbs Car Wash is a daily read for me, and if there are any Auburn, or for that matter SEC football fans who don't come here on a regular basis, they are missing out on some of the best, most well-written commentary around.

And you can quote me on that. :-)

Jerry Hinnen said...

If I ever decide to do one of those little "testimonial" sidebars, I might just do that.

Thanks for the kind words and keep up your good work.