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10 Rules for greater harmony on the Crawfish Boxes comment threads.

We need more mutual respect.

MLB: Texas Rangers at Houston Astros Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros are on a glide path to their third straight 100 win season. They are running away with their division, are tied for first for the best record in baseball, and they just finished a seven game winning streak. After losing last night to the Orioles, you’d think the Astros were....the Orioles, or something. Let’s not all party like it’s 2013. Even great teams lose about every third game. Geez.

Friends, our comment threads have been very ugly lately. The whole purpose of a place like the Crawfish Boxes is for people to come together and celebrate their common bond. We all love the Astros. We’re all Astros fans. And we should love each other. How stupid is it for us to be attacking and insulting one another.

After yesterday’s game thread I have contacted a number of perpetrators with messages, warnings, and bans. I wasn’t there to moderate yesterday and all Hell broke loose. That will not happen again and there will be low tolerance for provocative behavior in the comment threads.

Here are some random suggestions:

  1. It’s OK to be wrong or different. We are not an online lynch mob. If someone has an opinion you don’t like, you can respond reasonably and respectfully, or you can ignore it.
  2. Reasonably and respectfully means no name calling, no insults, NO MOCKING. For example, “You shithead.” But most insults do not involve four-letter words. The worst insults insult someone’s intelligence. “You’re ignorant,” or “you’re stupid.” Saying “you’re idea is stupid” or “your idea is ignorant/idiotic etc.” is just as bad. Those are not arguments, they are abusive comments, and if you resort to that kind of language you are the one that sounds stupid. And you’ve just aroused a lot of anger which serves to lower everyone’s IQ.
  3. A special form of insult that has been here a long time and needs to stop is calling someone mf. We all know what mf means and it doesn’t mean my friend. Stop addressing people that way. They know what you mean and it escalates the anger level and animosity.
  4. Did I say NO MOCKING. Avoid sarcasm directed at others on the board. I feel like I’m back in seventh grade with the cliques I see here sometimes. Some people like to repeat other people’s online mannerisms to mock them. Sometimes this is done when that person isn’t in the conversation, or even in the thread that day. It feels like gossip. When you mock someone online, it is a form of ostracism, and that is the opposite of what we are about. WE are all Astros fans. Mocking is a form of online bullying. It’s like, let’s you and me and all the other cool kids pick on that guy over there who’s different.
  5. Stop piling on. If two people are getting into a personal battle stay out. Keep the bickering, once it starts, between as few people as possible. Let’s talk about baseball, not about each others’ personalities. In a Hollywood western, two men fighting becomes a big barroom brawl. Let’s keep the fight between the two, and preferably, let’s not have any.
  6. We are all Astros fans. We can criticize plays, or decisions, or get frustrated by GIDPs with the bases loaded, one out, game tied. Or we can lament a slump or question if a slumping player should be benched, for example. But don’t attack or name-call the players or coaches in a personal or hateful manner. (Unless it’s Carlos Gomez, lol) We’re loyal here, and you should expect a backlash if you show disloyalty.
  7. I like to think we are both the most loyal and the most intelligent Astros fans. Some among us have pessimistic natures and tend to overreact to a bad turn of events, and others have optimistic natures, and tend to avoid acknowledgement of bad trends. Both types of people are necessary in any society and as intelligent fans we should tolerate the others’ point of view but also avoid extremes arising from our own emotional make up.
  8. If you are a natural pessimist, keep your panic attacks in check, because loyal and intelligent fans don’t want to hear that the game is overrrrr just because the other team has a four run lead. I remember a commenter saying that the World Series was over when the Astros were down during Game Five of the World Series, and two minutes later Yuli hit his famous homer. That fan missed the greatest game ever played. But people of an optimistic disposition can sometimes exhibit symptoms of denial, and you can expect push back on that as well. The optimists and pessimists, instead of always bickering, should realize that they really need each other to some degree. They’re both right, sometimes. And they’re both wrong, sometimes.
  9. Which brings us back to point one. Express your disagreements with understanding and respect. We all love the same game and the same team, but we’re not always going to agree. So let’s keep the disagreements respectful, with an awareness that maybe, just maybe, that crazy thing that guy’s saying just might be right, and I might just be wrong.
  10. Try the Golden Rule. If you wouldn’t want to hear such a comment directed at you, don’t put out that comment yourself. If you’re writing to someone with anger or animosity in your heart, it’s probably showing up in your words, and it will probably come right back at you.

Did I say, stop calling each other mf, my friends?