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Poll: Are Message Boards Good for College Sports?

Message boards have changed the college sports landscape for coaches, players and reporters. I could write a thesis about my experience with them over the past decade, but I’ll save that for another time. Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen says he doesn’t read them but he is certainly aware of them. There are two primary ones that cover Maryland, I believe.

After the win over Clemson, Friedgen saw his wife, Gloria, looking at some message board and seeing that Tommy Bowden was getting torched by fans for another unsettling loss.

Ralph told Gloria: “Don’t do that. Don’t do that. Why do you even read that?”

Gloria: “How can you not?”

Ralph: “Because I don’t care. I really don’t care. Those people don’t know anything. They are not going to change who I am. I am going to be able to look in the mirror and know if I do a good job or a bad job. So it doesn’t matter.”

To that end, in the minutes after the game, Tommy Bowden said to Ralph: “Are they booing you or me?”

Ralph said: “They are probably booing both of us. Who cares. Move on. It doesn’t matter.”

Take this poll question any way you want:

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 1, 2008; 9:23 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Comments

They are good in the sense that they can help build excitment and interest in college sports. Much like this blog does, the more info you have, the more likely you will be in following the team, being a fan etc.

They are bad in the sense that it allows anyone with the internet to voice an opinion, in many cases, uninformed ones.

It usually doesn't take long to figure out what posters know a thing and which ones use the boards to pull a power trip or just to bash players and coaches.

Posted by: BuddhaUMD | October 1, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Oooh, voicing uninformed opinions! No one's ever done that before!

The problem with message boards is people who take them seriously.

Posted by: Lindemann | October 1, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

You know, it's a shame to hear Ralph say a comment like "Those people don't know anything", when they are the fan base, and some actually do know quite a bit about the sport. Some of the people belonging to the message boards are players' parents/family, and some are former players, coaches, and media as well. Sure, there are quite a few that are novices, but to paint with a broad brush like that is a dangerous thing.

-- The Big Texas

Posted by: The Big Texas | October 1, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I have like 500 user names on Terrapin Times and scout. Sometimes I have entire
threads with my multiple user names. I definitely need to seek help!
And Yes it is good for college sports.

Posted by: crespiboylol | October 1, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

buddahmd is exactly right. The positive is that the message boards generate and encourage interest among fans. It is true that they also give a voice to some reactionary blowhards who may not understand anything about football and get their rocks off by calling out coaches and players while hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet. You have to take the bad with the good and understand how to filter out the idiots. I agree with Coach Friedgen that it may not serve much of a purpose to read message boards most of the time, but I still feel they do serve a positive purpose for fans and the programs in general at least.

Posted by: Joe W. | October 1, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Eric...you ask a question about the usefulness of blogs on a blog? And you expect what?

Grown men making millions of dollars a year off of young men can handle some chatter from the people who are fueling their paychecks. If they can't, they should find another line of work.

Posted by: RITerp | October 1, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I don't have any expectation when I do these polls. I truly want to know how readers feel. Maybe 90 percent will think they are good. Maybe it will be closer to 50-50. I'm curious. Ralph had strong feelings about the topic, so I wanted to put it up on Terrapins Insider to see how everyone thought. I value the opinions of the readers, and I try to gear coverage to their interests. One writer told me he wants to write about what he wants to write about, regardless of whether there is a QB controversy or some other breaking story. I don't feel that way. to make a long story short, your opinions, your thoughts, matter to me...time for the ACC conference call. Back in a few.

Posted by: Prisbell | October 1, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Without the messageboards, fans would still be saying the exact same things... they just would be saying them on their couch, at work, in the stands, at a bar, etc.

All it does is give them a centralized forum to discuss their team. Yes, of course there are going to be negatives thrown around. If you don't like it, do what Ralph does and don't pay attention.

Posted by: terpfan | October 1, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

message boards are for the fans. good, bad and ugly, its just fan chatter about the teams they love or love to hate.

if coaches or players take them seriously or get upset by them, they need to grow up.
I would think coaches and players should stay away from them, and just focus on the games and the practices before the games.

Posted by: UMDFAN | October 1, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I think most coaches will come out against them. It can negatively affect recruiting and can also give the athletic department an idea of where a fan base stands on a coach.

Posted by: Rob | October 1, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Message boards are fun. I don't expect anyone to make a game plan based on my opinion but it is fun to trade thoughts with others. I've always thought Ralph thinks he is the only one who knows football. I know he should have paid attention on the Steffy/Jordan thing!

Posted by: ewg | October 1, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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