I've spent the last couple days browsing the internet trying to get a handle on the fallout from Rev's last post, and the thing I keep running across is all the anger at Halos Heaven. I'm not talking about the somewhat justified anger towards Rev and his article, but the outright hatred for the people of Halos Heaven.
In my announcement post about the changes here, I included a tweet from some random guy. I didn't pick Preston Ross' tweet because it was unique in its hatred for the site, it just happened to be the last one I ended up one after following the thread of tweets spewing vile ranting. Ranting that resembling the sort of things they accused us of spewing. I'm going to tread lightly here because I don't want to seem insensitive to any group, but how closely do these sorts of ranting come to being regarded as defaming and degrading? When people use the words "those people", or "that bunch of ----", is it any different than a racial or gender-biased slur? Sure, I'm taking this a bit too far, but my point is, why do people think it's acceptable to categorize another group of people, especially when they know nothing about that group?
But you know what? It's not only them, but we do it too. How many of us say things about Lone Star Ball and their hillbilly community without having spent more than a couple minutes perusing their site? What about all the things we write regarding the idiots at Lookout Landing? It's all part of being a fan, but at some point it goes too far. And I think we cross that line too often. Being a fan of a team, and then giving crap to the fans of the other teams is what it's all about, but when it stops being, "Tastes great! Less filling!" and becomes, "You suck! Screw you!", we've left the arena of being a fan community and have become a mob.
I'm only the place-keeper until the higher-ups at SBNation find a permanent replacement for me (if they wanted me to be permanent, they would have offered me the job), and I'm okay with that. What I won't be okay with is if the replacement is a Preston Ross-type who thinks they can run a community without ever having been part of one. The hardest part about this job isn't the writing, it's dealing with all the other stuff that comes with being part of a passionate group of people who sometimes go too far in their passion. I'm not worried about being "respectable" or "well liked", that comes when you do things well, and Halos Heaven does things very well. What we need to do going forward, what I'm going to do while I'm here, and hopefully my replacement does once he/she arrives, is highlight all of the things we do so well as a community, show tolerance to other fans, and show the rest of the internet Halos Heaven isn't a cesspool, but is a vibrate, funny, creative, edgy, and fun community. One that we are proud to be part of.
My background is the corporate world where Mission Statements are so important, and oftentimes forgotten once they written, so here's my Mission Statement for my time here:
We at Halos Heaven will strive to have fun. We'll have fun by being part of a community that respects each other, regardless of which team's cap we're wearing, but will also not shy away from giving another fan the deserved razzing that comes with being the opposition. We'll have fun by continuing to be different and edgy. We'll have fun by being a community that cares about this team, and each other. We'll have fun by welcoming everyone, so long as they know we won't take any crap. But the most import thing...we'll have fun.