Community is a great word, and I'm about to apply it to a wide variety settings.
First, I want to thank Joe Baker and Daniel Menezes for their help on a massive project on the NFL draft. It should be ready early next week.
Second, I want to put out the call to any readers involved in graphic design to see if they might be interested in working up an 18to88.com letterhead.
Third, I mentioned Dustin McNichols efforts to raise money for breast cancer research on Sunday. Dustin followed up with this:
We just got our raffle tickets and the iPad 2 - so anyone you know that would be interested in donating for a chance to win a 16gb WiFi Black iPad 2, its $5 a ticket, or 5 tickets for $20. For each increment of 5 that they donate online earns them a ticket, and by inputting their email address when they donate online, I have their email address to inform them of the contest drawing and their respective ticket numbers.
Next, I found this article by Joe Posnanski fascinating. Joe talks about online communities and the kind of hurtful things people often say in the comments.
I can remember The Kansas City Star once writing a story about the employees who had been laid off because of the terrible new economics of the newspaper industry. These were my friends, many of them, good people who work hard and have families and didn't deserve that sort of terrible blow in their lives. Below the story was comment after comment from giddy, grotesque and anonymous people crowing that those people deserved to be fired because the Star is such a terrible newspaper. And my heart ached.
I've always found the commenting and interaction with readers the best part of running 18to88. I've received my share of nasty comments and emails, and only on a couple of occasions (mostly for vile racism) have I ever had to step in to moderate. My policy (and character defect) is to challenge each wacko head on. I generally find that bullies back down when someone gets in their face. The result has been the cultivation of an incredible community of readers and thinkers who challenge me and make this a place worth coming. My only regret is that until now, we've never had a commenting system worthy of you. We'll be going back to Livefyre at the end of the month (hopefully it will work right this time).
Anyway, thanks to all of you for being awesome.
I also ran across this bit of crazy this week. A writer blames the Giants fan in a coma for his predicament because he wore a jersey to the game.
Maybe someone can ask Stow, if he ever comes out of his coma, why he thought it was a good idea to wear Giants' gear to a Dodgers' home opener when there was a history of out-of-control drunkenness and arrests at that event going back several years.
Remember when it was the kids who were wearing the team jerseys to games? It was a common sight to see an adult male coming through the turnstile dressed as a regular human being with a kid dressed in a "real" jersey holding his hand.
Are the 42-year-olds who find it necessary to wear their replica jerseys to a road game, those kids who are now fathers who haven't grown up
I admit that when we went to Pittsburgh for the '96 playoffs or when we went to Soldier Field, my dad forbade us from wearing any Colts gear. That was probably wise. However, blaming the guy in a coma for wearing a jersey is indefensible. Yeah, I've seen Dolphins fans carted out of RCA on stretchers before, but I suspect that had more to do with the drinking the guy did than with the shirt he was wearing. Jerseys are the ultimate expression of fan loyalty and the single coolest piece of team apparel you can wear. The 'jerseys are for kids' meme applies ONLY to the NBA, because, let's face it, no grown man should EVER be caught wearing a brightly colored tank-top in public unless he's on the court.
Finally, let me wrap up this Community Thursday with this note:
Community is the funniest show on TV, and if you aren't watching it weekly, you are only hurting yourself.