We'll it seems like once again someone has to write an article about the message boards that most race tracks have on their web sites. A gentleman who writes for AARN wrote an article the other week criticizing people who post on message boards. He wrote that most people "With star-trek screen names who spend hrs. online in their moms basement, because we have nothing better to do." are a detriment to the sport. I do agree with some of what he said, and here is why.
Some of the people who come onto message boards know that they can post anonymously by creating a screen name. Know that they can say anything they wish because no one will ever know who they are, they feel they are free to bash any driver they wish because they will never come face to face with that driver. We even have people who will have an agenda with a certain track and will do nothing but put down that track knowing that know one will ever know who they are. To put a stop to this all we would have to do is enforce a rule that says if you decide to sign up and post on a message board, you will use your real name. I for one have never had a problem telling anyone what my name was on a message board and have gone out of my way to meet as many people who run the sites as well as other people who post on these sites. There is a quote from someone who said that once you put a face with a screen name, that person always seems to watch what he says. he might be on to something there. makes you think don't it?
Know Mr. Elliot's main problem was that the message board is a place where any person is able to talk trash about another driver and how that driver is doing during the season. That does seem like i problem for the drivers, but i personally don't have a problem with it. I believe you can talk about the troubles a team is having at the track in a productive way. The problem arises when people take the opportunity to bash a driver for no reason what so ever. Most of these type of people would never have the guts to say it to the drivers face, so they come on a public forum and post it because once again, no one knows who they are. Most of what is discussed on a message board is an extension of what most fans talk about in the stands. "Bench racing" has been around for ever and more than likely will never go away. The problem that people have with it is some people can't just say something , they have to bash the team for no reason. There is no need for personal attacks any where on a public forum. It only makes the fans of the area look bad for the things that you are saying. Why would you want to make our whole area look bad because you have what you think is a personal issue with a driver or team?
Know that is not to say that the message boards are all bad. On the contrary we have quite a few people who have done a lot for our sport. Ron Judd is a member of the message boards and he is the brains behind the National Open Chili Cook off at Williams Grove. Because of his idea (which was started on a message board) the fans of central Pennsylvania racing fans have been able to raise over $16.000 for the teams that entertain us every week. Mike Root is a member of the message boards. He is the brains behind the Beer hill Gang. A group of fans (who are all members of a messgae board) who help sponsor a number of race teams that race at williams grove. Mike Crittenden is a member of message boards. He sponsors numerous late model teams in the area, not to mention he donates money to different causes in the area to help raise money for the race team's.
The thing that most people just don't seem to realize (or just don't care about) is that most of the drivers family's read what we post. How would you feel if your son or daughter was on the computer and read that some one thinks you are the "biggest piece of shit that ever strapped into a car" you might not be so happy would you? These drivers and teams spend a lot of money to entertain us every week. They put their lives on the line every night at the track, just so you can go on a message board after the race and " tell it like it is". Now i know it is always said that we should not criticize a person unless you have done what they do, and i have always used the excuse that i have never thrown a pass in the NFL, but i know i can see a bad pass when i see one. But the difference is those people are not one of us.The drivers who run at our local race tracks across the country, are just like me and you, except that they are willing to spend a lot of money to do what most of us could not, or will not ever have the balls to do. And that is go 100 mph down a straightaway and throw it sideways into a tight corner with another car right beside them. Trust me when i tell you they do not wreck each other on purpose, and most of the time the drivers make up with each other way before you can come onto a message board and complain about it.
We'll that's about it for this time.Just remember to use your head when posting on a message board. Yes we have fun and bust on each other. We might even be a little cruel to each other at times, but most of us are all there for one thing, and that is because we all love the sport of short track racing.