For those of you that followed me here, or are new to the site, I gave a brief synopsis to what transpired that led to me starting a site on my own. The character maximum on twitter didn’t let me do it justice, so here it is…
I visited a certain message board quite a bit, and developed some pretty good friendships on there with not only other posters, but the site owner and the person I would consider the head moderator. The site owner at times would send things my way that he was creating to see what my thoughts were, and I had private conversations with the main moderator many times about things I had seen or heard in regard to the program. Things were great as I appreciated the conversations on that board and had also built up some “truth equity” (for lack of a better term) so people would reach out to me pretty frequently on a lot of things, but also liked hearing from people on why I may be wrong (there was a great debate on the 3-4 vs 4-3).
Along comes 2020 and with it a virus that shocks the world and sends everyone on edge, but also a new poster or two enter the fold on the site. If any of you read what I posted on there, I was pretty truthful/blunt with certain situations. While I consider myself a Nebraska football fan, I call it like I see it. Losses to Illinois, a third straight losing season for this staff (fourth overall), and failing to go to a bowl game again made it so the negative posts were a lot more prevalent compared to my positive posts. That didn’t go over well with certain posters, which i’m completely fine with. My argument was always “if we are 12-20 and not making a bowl game in our third consecutive year, there are going to be things to work on.” While I would comment on things we could improve on such as penalties, special teams, Omaha recruiting, etc., it would always be looked at as “bashing” by a vocal minority on there.
Some posters that disliked the negative posts I had (while bypassing the positive posts I made such as defending Chinander, praising Coach Fisher, etc.) started their own private message group which a majority of it was just bashing me. That’s fine, i’m a big boy, doesn’t bother me at all. The problem becomes when you see screen shots of the main moderator participating in that, and subsequently changing his moderation style towards you accordingly. When you see those screen shots and start to see them shifting how they moderate your posts, I knew it was a matter of time before things went sideways. With Covid-19 putting everyone on edge and another frustrating season completed, the tension really grew towards me as the “things we need to work on” posts came up more often than positives. I still don’t believe that to be out of line, again, we haven’t had a winning season since 2016.
I do normal write-ups and leave comments here and there, but the one that got a very healthy thread locked was when I stated “If Oliver Martin plays for us this year, he will lead our team in receptions.” I felt good about it, I was going out on a limb with a prediction of a guy I think will be very good while others may have been overlooking him, but also was showing caution because he had played for 3 different teams in 4 years. I get notice that the main moderator had replied to my post with “rumors are not allowed” and locked the thread. You see, if he would have asked what I meant by that, he would have read just what I stated previously in this paragraph that i’m hoping the kid sticks around because he can be very good in Lincoln. However, since the moderator was a member of the behind the scenes group that disliked my posts (again, the screenshots are wild) he took it as a chance to lock something and just assumed negativity and rumor. I started a couple more threads asking what the hell was going on, all of which got deleted, and subsequently got me a one month ban to Guantanamo Bay for “questioning moderation”.
People reached out to me via twitter as they had no idea what was going on. Eventually after a couple weeks I received an email from the site owner that my ban was lifted early, but I decided to stay off the main board and stuck to private messages. To me lifting the ban early was an admission of “we messed up”, but I never received anything like that. If I was banned for as little as what I posted a couple weeks ago, heaven forbid I make a comment like “If Omar Manning plays for us this year he will be all-conference.” One of the private threads I had was with someone that kept telling me the site owner wanted me to write for him with the partnership he was starting. I was intrigued, but I had never been asked, and since I had just been banned I preferred to have a conversation with the site owner himself and not “tell him he can write for me” through a third party. I don’t think that’s out of line. If I was going to write for someone’s site, I’d like that someone to ask me to. Further, I only write in my spare time and family/vacations/work could get in the way so I didn’t want expectations and frequency of articles to be something I wasn’t capable of.
Eventually the site owner gets a hold of me via private message and asks for me to call him. I asked what it was in reference to and he stated “writing for us and also to talk about the ban.” I responded with “I will give you a call as I have some questions what writing entails but also how it will be moderated as I will pretty much be putting the same things on there that just got me banned.” I told him my mid-year was coming up and I could get ahold of him after that. We also end up having a little ShortSideOption during this time, so the site wasn’t what I was focused on at the moment. When I logged back in a couple days later, I had a response from him, but then a separate conversation started between him and the main moderator (the one where I have the screenshots) titled “clearing the air”. My mid-year was over, but the holiday was upon us with a new baby in the mix, and the last thing I wanted to do is get into a back and forth with someone who I have seen gravitated towards an unfavorable opinion of me. I didn’t open either of the messages up.
I got through the holiday and took an extended vacation to help around the house and see family. I logged back on one day and saw my profile picture had been changed. That was odd, but I reset my password and changed it back and all was fine. I reached out to a private thread and told them what happened, but we all chalked it up to my password expiring and maybe that’s what happens. After I go to work for the day and get back, I receive a notice (still pinned on my twitter) that I was banned for “refusal to communicate”.
Long and short of it, is apparently they gave me 24 hours to respond, but since I hadn’t opened the messages I had no idea (that was relayed to me from someone else via Twitter). I had zero clue I had a timeframe to respond as I didn’t read the latest message from the private thread of the site owner, and had never opened the one he started with us two and the main moderator (again, the holiday and a new baby took a little bit or precedent). As i’ve told the many people reaching out, it’s probably for the best. If the main sheriff has it out for you based on what you’ve seen him participate in, it’s probably a good idea you don’t go back to that town. Further, if 24 hour communication notices are going to be given without someone even reading them and the result is a ban, i’m not sure I could fulfill what was going to be asked of me to write for the site anyway.
So here we are with my own site… I’m hoping to do a recap of each game and a preview for the next, but I know I have some vacations that will interfere along with heading to the USC vs Stanford game for one of the weekends. Hope you all enjoy!