Dear Santa


Dear Santa,

I know it has been some time since I bothered to write, but I assure you I am not holding that wool sweater back in 1994 against you. The Herschel Walker football you dropped off in the late 1980s more than makes up for an subsequent mistakes, as it was used to go a Colts-like 34-0 in backyard football.

I write to you today because the situation is dire, and I think you might be the only one who can deliver what I need. As you well know — because I can trace IP addresses and have seen yours frequently — this blog began about three and a half years ago when I first got to Bloomington. To be honest with you — who would ever lie to Santa, anyway? — I didn’t have much of a notion of what blogging was or should be. We just sort of went with it, hopping something would grow.

Luckily, Eric Gordon was indecisive. Our coverage of his waffling drove traffic and began building a small community of loyal commentors. We’d sit in Yogi’s, trying to spy on him as he scanned the menu and contemplated the eternal conundrum: should he upgrade to the buffalo chips? Kelvin Sampson would always be there. But he’d be on the phone a lot. We thought that was strange at the time. We don’t anymore.

The Scoop began to flourish, and I think it found a niche. We were more off beat than the big guys up in Indy. Took ourselves a bit less seriously and weren’t afraid to link to what others were reporting. We got a little bloggy with it, befriending the fine folks at Inside the Hall. Eventually we discovered CoverItLive and began getting together with people from all over the world to talk about the games we covered.

For a young guy who is actually a bit old school, interacting with readers so closely was a revelation. No longer did we need to guess what fans wanted, or assume how best to provide coverage of Indiana. We could just ask. Well, we didn’t even need to. The folks on the Scoop were more than willing to tell us what they thought. It helped our journalism by keeping us accountable. But it was fun, too. I met some of the most passionate and intelligent people, and they gave me a sense of what it meant to cover Indiana basketball.

Not to get too sappy with you — who better to get sappy with than Santa, though? — but the relationships we were building on the Scoop gave the job meaning.

Something has changed, though.

The Scoop is a wasteland, and we’re not having that much fun anymore. Discussing college athletics with passion, nuance and insight has been replaced by a mix of excessive posturing from a few antagonists and sheer lunacy by others.

Here’s the thing, though: I’ve never really wanted to be very strict with moderation. I’m a journalist. Believing that people have the right to share their thoughts is an essential part of my being. Beyond that, I’ve always wanted to cultivate a diverse collection of commentors. The Scoop isn’t supposed to be a stodgy place; it thrives in part because of how connected its readers have made it to the world beyond the fields and courts. I don’t want to choke off creativity. Frankly, I can’t live without a steady diet of Ro*Tel jokes (because a steady diet of actual Ro*Tel would, I think, not be healthy at all.)

But this place needs to be under control again. Indiana fans need to know they can come here for rational discussion of the games they follow. And it’s up to me to be the sheriff and quell the rebellion. I could ban certain IP addresses, or make people register before commenting. We could use Disqus, the way the dudes at ITH do. Maybe it’s time to fold the Scoop in with the rest of our Web site and make people pay for it. Subscribers to HTO are only allowed to have two usernames, and that has brought an increased level of accountability to the discussions there.

See, there’s a lot more that we have to worry about. We’re still putting out a newspaper, and we’ve got the HoosiersHQ site to deal with. The Scoop is worth dedicating a good portion of our resources to but it’s just part of what we do.

So here’s what I’m asking of you: use whatever magic you put on that Herschel Walker football to bring the conversation here under control.

I know you can do it. Because we all know I wasn’t good enough at football to go 34-0 without some magic.

Thanks.

Chris

P.S. Don’t bring Dustin any presents.

P.P.S Bring Hugh new hockey skates. Size 10.5. But deliver them to my house.

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59 comments:

  • Aruss says:

    Korman – please add a registration system for commenting. this place has turned into a dump because of all the trolls. I’ll be happy to monitor it for you.

  • J Pat says:

    Chris,

    Wow, what a great read. I love this line…

    … Indiana fans need to know they can come here for rational discussion of the games they follow.

    I actually woke up thinking this morning that all it takes is one or two bad apples to ruin the bunch. The sad thing is that the one or two is loving this and cracking up about it all.
    I would vote for a censoring program of some sort. It sucks, but it is time! Don’t make us pay for it because of one or two people, please. I simply cannot afford it and am against that all around. It is time to do something though. When people start taking pleasure in beating up on people…it is time. Take care.

    J Pat

    PS for me it was a mini bball signed by the 1990 IU team!!!

  • jubilee says:

    Totally agree with J Pat.

  • GFDave says:

    Thank you Chris. I am aware that I have not been part of the solution, probably even a part of the problem. Merry Christmas too all.

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    As it should be. An exercise in willpower now or a show of discipline later.

  • Michael F. says:

    Chris, thanks for making this post. I’ve enjoyed reading the Scoop for the past couple years and do recall fondly a time when posting comments was fun and when debate was respectful.

    I guess I never really took the time to think about how comment posting has devolved, but looking back, it’s pretty clear. I’m very thankful that you’ve never censored anyone’s comments, but am also glad that you’re taking the time to address the situation.

    Merry Christmas to all the contributors and readers of the Scoop. And Chris, I hope Santa brings you what you’ve asked for.

  • Tom mcg says:

    I agree with J Pat. Ive really enjoyed these blogs and I would hate to miss out on them with the season getting ready to heat up. But I dont think I could afford an HTO subscription just because of that.

  • PB says:

    Well said Chris.

    It is frustrating to put time and effort into a sensible post only to have to sift through nonsensical ramblings to continue the debate.

    Very creative way to get your message across without sounding crass.

    When the integrity of the HoosierScoop Blog and it’s mission are in jeopardy the powers that be must be forced to take a stance.

    My hope is that as a group we will abide by your suggestions and maintain the Scoop as a place where Hoosiernation can come to creatively debate IU athletic related topics with decorum.

  • STLHOOS says:

    Thanks for acknowledging the problem Chris. When the Indy Star starting letting readers comment on every story I came to The Scoop to get away from all the idiocy and to discuss the specific topics related to IU football or basketball. Now I’m more inclined to go to ITH for some rationale IU discussion. The Scoop has become the place to go for some to vent their frustrations with personal inadequacies. Of the 96 comments made between the prior two headline topics I could only find about 10 of them that actually had something coherent to say about the IU game against NCCU. It’s really just a sad commentary on our society in general right now. Nobody wants to be held accountable and everyone wants to blame someone else for their own unhappiness.
    I hope you don’t go to having The Scoop being part of the HT subscription but it’s obvious some real action needs to be taken. I wouldn’t have a problem registering and with more strict moderation. Inflammatory or non-topic related comments should not be posted. There are plenty other sites that cater to trolls and antagonists.

    Happy Holidays!

  • Sam says:

    Chris, you just blew your Christmas completely. There is a very clear policy in place and it has nothing to do with the NCAA Rules Committee.

    1. You better watch out
    2. You better not cry
    3. You better not pout

    It goes on to explain why but most people consider this information common knowledge.

    Your comments have likely violated each of these rules thereby landing you on Santa’s less preferred list.

  • Cutter In Chicago says:

    Glad that Ro*Tel references are still welcome (I mean the new ads with Velveeta are just down right bizarre).

    Its always tough to try to balance these cyberwebs/internets/vacuum tubes. Personally, I favor the least amount of regulation possible (sort of a Hoosier John Galt meets IU sports blogging – i.e. I do not care for the HTO’s 2 username policy) but I totally understand that you don’t want a couple of bad actors to ruin it for us all.

  • Laffy says:

    What, exactly, is “rational” discussion?

    I guess you want to turn this place into what Peegs was like when Knight was at IU: Any negative comment is banned.

    All of it.

    I think it is fair game to point out it sucks we have a glut of 3 Star guards….especially when we keep getting our butts kicked on the boards.

    Last time I checked, no one is holding a gun to your head making you read my posts. I just skip over the people I don’t like.

    I guess many of you aren’t bright enough to do that and need mommy to get the posts off that don’t paint our recruiting as SPECTACULAR.

  • Chris Korman says:

    Laffy,

    You know that your comments about recruiting are not what I’m concerned about. Crean’s recruiting should be — and is — up for question on this blog. And it always will be.

    The problem is your last sentence. Why insult people? What’s the purpose? Do you feel better now? Is your chest puffed out? Seriously. I want to know. I just cannot fathom what sort of rush you get by randomly insulting a bunch of people you don’t know.

  • Laffy says:

    People insult me all the time when I say our recruiting isn’t up to snuff. Go back and read your archives.

    And my last sentence is exactly right. There are people on here I think are idiots. Guess what? I don’t read their posts. And I don’t cry they need to be kicked off. Not that hard to do.

    Are you going to blast the people who call me names when I complain about recruiting or do you have different rules for different people because they “like soup”?

    (rolleyes)

    Talk about tired lines……..

    I guess that’s ok to say that ALL THE TIME but saying I’m not happy with recruiting isn’t.

    (rolleyes)

    Just change the name to Peegs Little Sister and get it over with.

    Just like there, certain people were allowed to call names and insult ALL they wanted to (the people who worship Bob). Anyone else who posted insults was “bad” and had their posts yanked.

    Let’s make a deal. Tell the people to quit insulting me if I post I’m not happy with recruiting and I won’t insult anyone else.

    Otherwise, just admit you’re all hypocrites and kick me off.

  • Engel says:

    Do I need to start regulating this blog like I’ve been regulating peegs lately? (c: Happy Holidays, everyone!

  • I was wondering if/when this was going to happen; the level of civil and intelligent discourse has gradually declined to the point that the comments have largely become devoid of any connection to the subject of the original post. What was once a great forum for diverse insights on IU athletics has become worse than a 3rd grade sleep over with a bunch of maladjusted, name-calling children. I’d suggest banning IP addresses, as most of the children who wish to pee in our pool are at least intelligent enough to set up separate email accounts to achieve multiple identities, even using disqus. While making it a subscription service may provide more accountability, I’d hate to see some of the worthwhile contributors cut out (though I’d quickly point out that Chris, Dustin, & Hugh’s work is well worth the price of subscription- the local news is just an added bonus for me). That said, I whole-heartedly agree that it’s time to reign in some of the B.S. that’s contaminated the Scoop. If people must revert to the childish name calling, stop by the Hoosier Chronicles, where I can, in an uncensored forum, tell you what I really think before banning your IP address from my site. And with that, I’m hastily off to my neighborhood hair saloon to see if I can find some queso. Must. Have. Queso! (What, your hair saloon doesn’t have shelves of Velveeta stocked in the back???)

  • Chris Korman says:

    Laffy,

    I’m hoping the name-calling goes away, period. That was the point of the above post. No name-calling toward you. No name-calling from you. If every person on the blog follows that, we’ve suddenly got a solution.

    Since I’ve rarely taken down any post here, I don’t think your comparison to what happened at Peegs is remotely accurate. Or fair.

  • Andrew says:

    Chris, good read. I read the Scoop and ITH daily, and enjoy both very much. I don’t always read the comments tho, so I didn’t realize that things were getting a little out of hand over here. But I can glean from Laffy’s comment why you would be frustrated. He can’t possibly be so obtuse as to pretend this has anything to do with recruiting banter. His second-to-last sentence is absurd: “Last time I checked, no one is holding a gun to your head making you read my posts. I just skip over the people I don’t like.” No. 1, he’s implying that he watches you read the posts, which for your sake Chris I hope isn’t true, and no. 2, of course HE can skip over anything he doesn’t like, b/c it’s not his JOB. It does, however, happen to be yours. Hopefully most people on here can understand that distinction, and why it does matter. I hope that if you decide to change anything, disqus would get the first chance, just to see how it works.

  • Laffy says:

    I will bet you the vast majority of insults are directed at me and not the other way around.

    I will post I think our recruiting sucks and the peanut gallery will start blasting me.

  • Jay says:

    Laffy,
    Can you verify that Peegs existed in the fall of 2000? Rivals did not start until 2001. Just curious.
    Have you ever been involved in recruiting a basketball or football player? It can be a difficult proposition. Consider that Crean got in late on many post men. With recruiting starting as early as 8th grade,we’ll have to watch and hope. Will Crean be successful with Zeller and others, only time will tell.
    I really don’t believe you are a hypocrite, nor do I feel that anyone else posting here is a hypocrite.

  • Laffy says:

    Chris–

    You said it was a “few” people ruining this place…..which I’m guessing you were including me.

    The fact is, people insult me first. I’ll say I’m not happy with recruiting and they start in with the insults. And then, they’ll cry that I’m ruining the place.

    Go figure.

    And while my comparison to Peegs wasn’t completely accurate, it is very similar: Certain people are allowed to insult and some aren’t. Tell your soup buddies to knock it off and I will too.

    And Andrew, the “gun to your your head” was not directed at Chris. There several people who start wetting their panties every time I say our recruiting stinks and say they are tired of me saying it.

    No one is holding a gun to their heads making them read my posts. If I see someone post I don’t like, I skip it.

    Guess that is too hard for some people…..

  • Engel says:

    Jay,

    Peegs was around in a different form before 2001.

  • byrd says:

    I love everyone 🙂 and THE HOOSIERS!!!!!!

  • Laffy says:

    Jay–

    Peegs was around long before Rivals bought them.

    And Crean did not just start coaching so I don’t how that excuse flies. Wasn’t he recruiting big men at Marquette?

    And if he’s going to take a chance on kids, which I understand, why bring in even more 3 star guards instead of 3 star big guys?

  • Chris Korman says:

    Again, Laffy, the post is directed at EVERY SINGLE PERSON READING THE HOOSIER SCOOP.

    EVERY.

    SINGLE.

    ONE.

Comments are closed.

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