I must say, I am very impressed with how much this community has grown in popularity. The amount of unrecognizable members has been going up at an alarming rate. However, there's something interesting about that, I hardly ever see these members in a CKC (though I usually don't have much input there either), live game threads, or posting a lot of positive things in general. What I have seen though is a sudden influx of negative, poor logic/grammar, and mean/profane/offensive posts. Before I officially begin my rant I have a few definitions that I need to point out.
Negativity: Lacking in constructiveness, helpfulness, optimism, cooperativeness, or the like: a man of negative viewpoint.
Pessimism: The tendency to see, anticipate, or emphasize only bad or undesirable outcomes, results, conditions, problems.
Realism: The tendency to view or represent things as they really are.
Optimism: A disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.
Troll :One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument (via Urbandictionary.com)
Tony Sparano: Head Coach of the Miami Dolphins, commonly misspelled as Sporono by certain members of The Phinsider.
Now I don't want to be giving an English lesson, but it is important to understand these definitions for the point I'm trying to get across. When I first came on the site there were so many great fanposts being put up. I had Rzayo to look forward to, Nicky with his stat posts, and even the infamous Finsxfactor putting up the occasional worthwhile post. Everyone was respectful to one another, with intelligent, funny, or encouraging posts. Above all else we were all Dolphin Fans first. I think a lot of people in the community have forgotten that.
For example, let's look at the most recent Dolphin News, the signing (or to be signing) of Daboll as our O-Coordinator.
Negativity: "This is the worse signing in Dolphin history!"
Pessimism: "Our offense is going to be the same as last year, we're going to finish last in the AFC east"
Realism: "Let's see what this guy brings, I mean look at what he had to deal with in Cleavland."
Optimism: "This guy wants to bring in the spread! He's going to fix Henne and we're going to win the AFC east!"
Troll: "Are you guys F*%#'n stupid, this hiring SUCKS, I'm getting sick of this stupid front office and their bad decisions.
One could make an argument that the pessimists, negative nancys, and the trolls are just being "realistic" and expressing his or her viewpoints. That's fine, but it would be nice if they expressed positive thoughts too, or used facts to back up what they're thinking. I have no issues if someone says something like: "This guy led a Cleveland offense that was worse than ours! I'm not feeling so great about it."
Posts like that lead to good healthy debate amongst the community members. I know we didn't go to the playoffs this year, but realistically we were an 8-8 team at the start of the year with an upside of ten wins. Since then though, I've seen so much negativity. Few look at the positives of our team. Even when we won the focus was on how Henne still underperformed or how Henning's offense sucked. Yet where are the facts behind why our offense sucked? Only negative "We suck" posts, no posts explaining that we were ineffective because we took too few deep shots downfield, therefore the safeties could play up on us and stop the run game and forcing us to pass short. Our lack of a deep game condensed the D making everything else suffer. Where were some analytical posts like that? Seldom to be seen, just people complaining. Where were the posts talking about the positive development of Chris Clemons (until he had a dip at the end of the season). Or how our our D moved from 21st in the league to 6th! Positivity is hard to come by around here.
I try to be a knowledgeable, respectful, and realistic member of The Phinsider. Was I overly ecstatic over the hiring of Daboll...not exactly. Was the first thing I did say, "Eff this team", NO! I did some research into the guy, read what Chad Pennington had to say about him, read what he plans to do for us putting in a 5 WR spread look. Now I'm a bit more comfortable. Do I think he's the answer to all our problems? No, we still need a QB, interior line, a fast WR, and maybe a dynamic RB, but he's a piece of the puzzle.
If this came off as a preachy lecture then I'm sorry, but this is how I've been feeling lately. I don't want us to become like Jets fans, ignorant Trolls. I want us to be respectful and knowledgeable fans. There's a place for negativity, and feeling angry about the front office, but it's place is behind posts with a little more substance. So I challenge everyone to bring The Phinsider back to what it used to be, a great community, full of debate, humor, and guys like Ohio, Mau, Pot, Medic, Neo, Tuna, and Mosul all being great fans and people. It's going to be a fun offseason, maybe long, but fun.
Remember, we all have a common link, we all love Football, and we all love The Dolphins. Don't forget it.