This edition of 'On Our Soapbox' was submitted by Grace and we couldn't have put this in better words than she did.
I have a long summer ahead of me and the lovely ladies on this board have allowed me to get on the soapbox. The majority of this post is about the Philadelphia Flyers, yeah "Flyers suck" and Mike Richards "whiner, douche". Since I know many of you are Penguins fans, or just plain hate the Flyers, I ask that you temporarily put that hatred aside to read this with an open mind. If you can't, then just skip down to the bold questions and just read those with your favorite team in mind.
Anyway, here we go:
I'm sure all of you are celebrating the utter collapse by the Flyers. It was big. It was ugly. Now fans across Flyerland are putting on their hats to become the big GM. Trade Richards. Trade Pronger. Fire Laviolette. This stuff is really said.
Anyway, Twitter is usually a safe haven from a lot of this bullshit. But Tuesday (5/10) was one hell of an interesting day. The shit first hit the fan when Tim Panaccio, aka the Russian Mobster (he's not really Russian, and probably not a mobster), wrote this piece:
Then, one of the better writers out of Philly posted this as a response:
Things simmered down for awhile. Then the Flyers injury report came out with at least 5 players getting off season surgery, including Mike Richards. He tweeted about getting surgery on Wednesday. People started sending best wishes his way, then BOOM, he pulls out the big guns with this tweet directed at our friendly mobster:
(Side note: The purpose of this soapbox is not to analyze Richards tweet, that's done enough in Philly already. But I will say, the tweet strangely shows his moodiness and while it might be unprofessional, I loved it all the same).
It is no secret in Philly that Richards hates the media, and they don't like him so much either.
In round 1 last season, Richards and Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer nearly came to blows. Carchidi had called out the team for their excessive partying and tried to stir up unnecessary drama. What is this? TMZ?
Carchidi and Panaccio share an occasional interest in getting sauced together during out of town games and watching porn in their hotels (yes, in a TMI moment, one of them tweeted about this). Now they share a dislike for Richards.
Following Richard's tweet, all hell broke loose on Twitter. Beat reporters battling it out with bloggers. If you care for a peak, this site screen capped some of the madness:
Anyway, it was awesome.
At the heart of the battle seems to be whether someone reporting a story, should also offer an opinion. Does this muddy the waters?
Group question #1: What I want to know, is when a sports reporter throws an opinion in what should be a fact based article, does it sway other peoples opinions on the matter? Specifically, in writing an article that clearly shows dislike for Richards, is the reporter swaying readers to dislike him as well?
With the quick fall of this team through the second half of the season and collapse in the Bruins series, everyone is looking for someone to blame. The Captain is one of the obvious choices, and many fans are demanding that Richards be stripped of the C. Part of their reasoning has to do with his poor relationship with the media.
Group question #2: What is the role of the team Captain? Is it to be media spokesman? Lead the team on the ice and in the locker room? Both? Can you have one without the other?
In general, I'm curious what female fans in other cities think, not about the Flyers, but their team and their role with the media.
That's all for now - thanks for your time.