There’s a hockey game taking place in a matter of minutes, so I’ll make this brief and blunt.
I was overcome with disappointment this week in a group of hockey fans who threatened mutiny over this website (and the paper aligned with it) for publishing a pair of articles that weren’t received well.
Did I agree with Trevor Kraus’ take on Jay Bouwmeester’s worth to the St. Louis Blues? No, but I didn’t hurl a grenade at his house or try to sum up his entire character and being as a result of one published piece. Could it have been worded better and dispatched outward at a later date? Sure, but sometimes, being a writer sitting on a piece can feel like standing on a powder keg set to blow.
Did I agree with Gabriel Foley’s analysis of the Marco Scandella trade? No, I do not. I personally think bringing in a terribly aged out Troy Brouwer was a worse move than bringing in a 29-year-old defenseman who looks like a Bouwmeester prototype and was shackled up in Buffalo for many years. What’s Buffalo like? Ask Ryan O’Reilly, but bring chocolate ice cream just in case. BUT ... Foley backed up his analysis and thoughts with stats, both easy to understand and of the more WTF variety (I took some Ibuprofen, no worries my head is fine).
The point is the entire St. Louis Game Time roster of writers will rarely align. It’s like asking a room full of politicians to not lie to the public. Part of being human and being a writer is infuriating people with your opinions. If not, you’re carrying water for the team. If you’re too harsh, you’re a hater. Walk that line and tell me how it feels. If we all agreed on everything, no one would get much out of the site.
For instance, there are people who stand and wait for one of my articles to hit the paper or Twitter feed. They have their guns loaded and pointed at my take, and it doesn’t matter if they agree with me or not. They just want to watch it burn or start a line brawl. I could spend 1,000 words telling you why that’s not the right mindset, but again, humans will human. Here’s the thing. I LIVE for that reaction. I want them to be waiting on my takes, hot-handed and ready to shoot. I like mixing it up and discussing what I wrote.
And that’s what is being lost here: Discussion. No one wants to discuss anything anymore. As a follower of mine named Leonard said, it’s a ruthlessly binary train of thought in people right now.
If you didn’t like Gabriel’s piece, fire a tweet back at him. Start a discussion. In the end, you may learn something. If you hated Trevor’s piece, respond to him or see what he has in store for his next article. If they are a strong writer, the next opinion is brewing the second the last one is published. We have homework for life, so it never ends.
There are articles from websites that I read where I want to put my head through a wall. We all do it and think it. But then I try to understand where he or she is coming from, and I make my way back from rage to a place where something can be gained. Okay, that was some real Tony Robbins shit, but stay with me.
Abandoning STLGT over a couple articles is extremely short-sighted and unfortunately narrow-minded. It’s just wrong. We aren’t one article; Game Time is supposed to be different, a united front of outsiders aiming to give fans the truth. As a woman named Gloria once said, “the truth will set you free, but it’ll piss you off.” I would hate to think that audience members are lost for a couple extra-hot takes. Hopefully, readers are better than that and come back. After all, disregarding a writer over one article is the opposite of fair play.
Give Trevor another shot. Give Gabriel another shot. Live to see the day where one of my articles comes across your desk and you think to yourself, “Time to hit the quote-tweet option and light this baby up.” I am here for all of it, as long as you don’t leave on misguided terms.
Today, when a friend of mine shared my Tarasenko piece on a Facebook thread, a commenter said that he doesn’t respect the site anymore after those two articles. That’s sad. Real sad. Don’t be that guy.
Remember, we’re all in this together. Enjoy Blues hockey and all its adrenaline, but keep an open mind.
Thanks for reading and please pass the bourbon on over.