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Well, I have read over most (not quite all yet) of the posts surrounding Butter, Blake, and new posters. And I just thought I should reiterate (sp) something.

People are saying that this board is unwelcoming. I am sorry that some of you find it to be that way. Although, I do not see it as unwelcoming. I see it as more of a place where you earn your respect.

Butter, I apologize if you feel as if you have been disrespected on this board and no one is listening to your opinion. I would personally would enjoy having you as regular poster on this board. The more opinions, the better the debates and discussion of Billiken Basketball. Although, I wouldn't have exactly come onto this board the way that you did:

"I think the majority of this board is hilarious!"

Followed up by insulting thetorch and billikenguest (backwords). I don't know if that is how you introduce yourself to most people, but from my personal experience. The best way to get off on the right foot is NOT to insult people. But you are you, and I am I. And that is what makes this world interesting.

Continue posting however you wish. It never hurts to spice things up a bit (just don't step over the line). About 2 years ago a poster named Triangle came around. Originally insulting SLU (calling them a cupcake). And he is still around. And while it may seem like a lot of people do not like his presence (I have actually lost one poster because of him, he posts on CUSA-Talk, and I don't think is coming back, but I would love to have him back). But at Billiken functions I have recieved a very large number of compliments for not banning him when people were wanting me too. A lot of people enjoy reading his posts. There are about 120 registered posters. But I feel safe saying there are at least 300 readers (during the season), and it has probably been a positive keeping him around.

BigMac and MUTIGER, I also am sorry to hear that you feel that this board is unwelcoming. If you have any suggestions (and this goes to everyone), just give me an e-mail, and I will do my best to get back to you.

So overall, Butter, I hope you stay, but it is your decision.

As always, any comments complaints or suggestions e-mail me.

Steve

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Steve,

You do run a fine board, there is no question about that. The problem, as I see it, is that the relatively few posters that contribute the majority of posts are unwilling to accept new posters or new opinions.

I think that everyone will be in agreement with me when I say there is a regular on here other than Too that have run off more people than Too has.

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Great post, Steve.

I use the word, "community," but as we don't see each other's faces and hear each other's voices, how much of a "community" is it really? It's really an *online* community, which has only slightly different rules for interaction than a regular community does. In fact, this is more of a special interest group than a community.

One analogy I might offer is, What would happen to a J.D. Drew supporter (whether family or friend) who sauntered into the concourse at the Phillies' ballpark (Veterans' Stadium?) and started started showing a slideshow of Drew's best exploits with the Cardinals and saying, "What a great game Drew had last week! Boy, wouldn't he look great in a Phillies uniform?" Would it mater whether or not he or she were wearing Phillie gear or Cardinal gear? I'm sure you get the idea. (Yes, I admit the details probably aren't all parallel, but flow with me here.)

This message board community has been here quite a while, so a new poster has ample chance to browse a while before digging into the fray. Just like when a person goes into any new community (new city, new school, new job, new church, etc.) and is relatively quiet and shy until he or she learns some things and waits to gradually come out of his or her shell... that's how new posters should be -- unless they enjoy the backlash (like fans of an opposing team engaging in some "friendly" bickering in the parking lot before or after a game).

Bottom line: I'm sure that if any new poster came to the board and posted, "I'm a new poster; I'd like to know what you guys feel about.... My feelings are...," then we'd welcome him or her very cordially. Any flamer, like Buttter 33, though, would get treated like the J.D. Drew fan in Philly.

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BigMac-

I am just wondering, what other posters have been run off? I am honestly wondering, not trying to discredit you. None come to mind (I can honestly be mistaken, and proven to be very forgetful (ask any of my friends, I am horrible with names)).

There are some posters from Billikenboard.com (Nark's Old Board) that have parted, two that come to mind are Lewba and Kevinfootes. Although I do not know their reasons for leaving. They both have made brief reappearances, and have left us again. I honestly do not know the reasons behind it.

If some posters do hamper the amount of new posters, what do you suggest is done? I cannot tell X poster to contribute less for the good of the board. It wouldn't be fair to poster X. There are very few limitations of this board. Everyone was a new poster at some time in the boards' history. Some have stayed, some have left. But everyone was new at one point.

If this isn't the board for someone, I don't know what I can say. I understand that the options for Billiken talk are limited. And this is the main place to go. Just in my opinion, a lot of people have to pay their dues (in a sense) before their opinion will recieve the respect as some others. In a perfect world, everyone would respect everyone else's opinion to the fullest. But everyone on this board, including yourself and myself, have worked our way up. And by doing that, it makes it a little easier in debates for that person, because people's reactions will not be: "Who is this guy?! He doesn't know what he is talking about?!" For all we know Butter could be the high-most authority on Basketball as we know it. Although, we have no clue what he knows. That is why respect is earned on this board.

Everyone on this board has had their opinions attacked. Including myself. I posted something 2 years ago about Mizzou vs. SLU and I was torn to shreds about it. It was ridiculous. People made all sorts of arguments, and the amount of knowledge I had wasn't enough to support my opinion. And I conceded, I didn't know enough about the subject, and I lost the debate.

I am not saying that Butter or any other poster doesn't have the knowledge. But if you are going to go on a message board fresh. Be prepared to back up your opinion HUGE if it does go against the majority of the board. And if you make a good argument, you should be fine. But if people disagree, they will disagree, and not cut you much slack if you are fresh. That is just how it is.

So, to end my long winded response: Who were the posters? How do you suggest it be solved while being fair to all parties? And do you disagree that respect must be earned?

Thanks,

Steve

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Steve,

The board is okay and so are the posters. It is a one-dimensional (written) form and is typical of group dymanics.

I can't think of a poster who has been inappropriate or offensive. It's a great forum for Billiken fans and in some instances for a few who aren't.

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I agree with the majority of your sentiments Steve.

There is only one new poster who has come aboard that is causing all of this, yet there are new posters every couple of weeks or so and I have never seen anyone besides Pistol/butter 33 and a few tiger fans get treated "poorly" that is resoundingly disagreed with.

People disagre on this board all the time and are not met with hostility. Pistol/Butter 33 was because he has an obvious agenda which is to degrade SLU for not giving a schollie to his son. He came on here after the RFT article came out at the beginning of the season (was never heard from during the season when Blake and DeSmet were doing poorly) and then when Blake comes up huge in DJ's game. We stated our opinions on Blake, some with more tact than others (potted plant :)). He upped the ante with his flaming and was met with the same.

It is very similar to Tiger fans who come on the board. Tiger basketball is a minor topic on this board and the tiger fans come out of the woodwork to give their two cents, which is fine. It is when they start going off on SLU that they are met with derision. I see no problem with this as it is a SLU board.

I for one think the board is doing fine. No one is being driven away. The tiger fans still show up no matter how much crap we give them. I am sure Butter will leave soon and show up on the rare occasions when his son plays well at SMS.

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Steve,

I had no intention of turning this into a big thread but since you asked two situations come to mind.

1) I don't remember his name but I believe he is a writer in IL. He wrote about Rammer saying this is the worst Billiken team in over 20 years. He didn't leave the board over it but he was completely abused for reporting what was said to him. An argument over his story went on and on and on...I personally thought it was very childish. Again, I don't know that he quit posting because of it but I haven't seen him here for awhile.

2) Chicos bailbonds; He is a Marquette fan that was very cordial, and very professional. He was ripped up one side and down the other for coming on "our board". He continued to be nice and cordial yet he continued getting abused, he finally said good-bye and that he couldn't believe how poorly he was treated here.

Those are the 2 that come to mind, I do believe there are others out there. I should also include Butter33. Sure, he came on fairly strong but people on this board were accussing him of being Mr. Ahern, Mrs. Ahern, and Blake himself...Very childish.

Is that fair to Blake, Mr. Ahern, or Mrs. Ahern, or even Butter33? Is that the type of posts you want people who just casually come on the board from time to time read?

Even though we are in the off-season I would imagine that it is a pretty hot time for the board. There are probably countless people lurking in to see what the Billiken faithful think of the conference shake-ups...What do they see when they get here? Posters accusing other posters of being a players mother or father?

How many people look in on the board but are intimidated to post because they don't want someones opinion crammed down their throat?

Int he words of our former president...Can't we have a kindler, gentler board?

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No offense, BigMac, but I don't really want this online community to be too placid. We're called fans because we're fanatic.

I agree that we should be able to disagree without delivering threats or calling people names, but under almost no circumstance should we be able to all agree (especially when some of the posters are fans of rival programs). I expect true-blue Bills fans to express their opinions with some oomph -- anything less probably makes said poster a casual fan. While there's a place for casual fans, SLU's program needs some crazed fanatics in its corner. It is a fact of life that the more passionate a person is about something, the more likely he or she is to respond.

There's a general notion about Saint Louis University fans. I've heard Bob Ramsey retell a story a couple of times, and it has stuck with me. He said that, at one SLU home game he was broadcasting, some dominating player blocked a Billiken's shot, and someone in the audience yelled (loud enough for Ramsey to hear), "Leave him alone, you big bully!" When I read, "kinder, gentler," in your post, I thought of that anecdote. Whether or not the anecdote is true, I don't want SLU fans to sit on their hands and just accept things or expect pity. Growl, fight back, make demands. I want to see the Billikens play in the Final Four at least once in my lifetime, but it won't happen unless key people step up and demand it, and there won't be a reason for them to if the fans are all happy with occasional NIT bids.

As for calling Butter 33 a member of the Ahearn family, I guess I don't see a problem with it, considering I did it. If you can't see how he made so much of a personal issue out of it doesn't make it appear like he's a member of the Ahearn family, then you're just being naive. His tone screamed that he had a personal stake in it. I didn't continually call Butter (fka Pistol?) Mr. Ahearn because I don't really know that that's who he is -- he hasn't made his profile available, so I can't see what his real name is -- but I believe it's plausible and would not be willing to wager that he isn't related to the Ahearn family.

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BigMac-

You are very correct. The reporter that you are thinking of is jmolina. He still posts on the STLtoday Bernie's Board. I wish he would come back, I like the guy. Although, I may have been the one to cause him leaving. I didn't mean to discredit him or anything. I just got the Rammer's take on things since he was being insulted on this board, and I wanted to know if it was a fair insulting.

Chicos, once again you are right. He was driven off. And I do read his stuff on the Marquette board when I read it. Nice fellow it seems.

You are correct. And probably correct in more instances. Although, any suggestions (for what I could do as the primary runner of this board) that I can do. Since I would like to prevent things like that from happening.

Thanks for the reply,

Steve

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I understand that you want to please everyone, but it's not possible and you shouldn't look at it as a failure on your part just because an occasional few depart.

I've read a quote attributed to Bill Cosby: "I don't know the key to success, but the sure path to failure is to try to please everyone." (slightly paraphrased -- not sure on wording)

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Thicks-

Don't worry, I understand that the world cannot be perfect. Yet alone this board (as we know from crashes to viruses to other goodness, this board is FAR from perfect). But I am always open for suggestions. So just seeing if anything has thought of something that I haven't. And if they have and it is a good idea, we will all benefit. Doesn't hurt to seek to improve.

Steve

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it is pretty obvious you are talking about me bigmacslu88. jmolina, was the poster name of the first poster you were talking about. and jmolina and i are now cyber friends in my mind anyway. in fact, i have supported jmolina a number of times on this board and bernie's board since the above referenced incident.

to defend my positions, imo, last year's team was never one of the 20 worst teams in billiken history yet fan perspective everywhere was approaching that view. i felt it was necessary to defend our team and thus i drastically defended the billikens with facts to show they were not one of the 20 worst teams in history. at the time i suspected jmolina, who is an admitted tiger fan first, may have made the story up to try putdown the billikens with a mythical "expert" making the statement. thus i pushed him to name his source. he later admitted it was bob ramsey who said it.

i have no idea why you want us to kiss chico bail bonds, who is an active marquette poster who visited here to try to educate us on why his marquette warrior team is so much better than the billikens. sure marquette had a better team than the billikens last year. they had a better team than about 340 college teams last year, but still it isnt like marquette was that far removed from the same level of play that the billikens were at last year. and in fact the billikens played the marquette team very close last year. yet i guess you want us to all thank an opponent's fan for coming to our board with a very condenscending attitude to tell us we suck? if you want to stand by and not only allow that to go unchecked, but actually encourage it, that is your choice. i personally will always defend the billikens to the likes of chico's bail bonds. there are plenty of admitted opponent fans on our board that do not post in that manner. thicks is an admitted tiger fan. billiken law sat next to me at billiken games already wearing his glow in the dark marquette gold shirt. mutiger is without a doubt a very civil tiger fan that gets much leeway with his posts as compared to other fans. natical, uctom and gruehls visit and are seldom torn appart when they post here. the point is not all opponent fans are ripped to shreds. but it is the way they approach the board with respectful posts that allows them to write without attacks.

last, again with butter33/pistol/mr ahearn, had he demonstrated at any time he was actually a billiken fan, he would have been met much differently. but all his posts have consistently been to tell us that the billikens screwed up by not signing blake ahearn. no effort whatsoever to talk about any other subject. if you go back and reread threads since saturday, there are a number of posters that wrote very complimentary towards blake ahearn. thicks, kshoe and nate all come to mind. and if you notice when you read those threads, they took no guff for their thoughts about ahearn. however they have track records with the billikenboard regulars and are respected for their thoughts. i wasnt the only one who combatted butter. and forgive me if you think calling him mr ahearn was terribly disrespectful. there were other posters that you failed to mention here that called him much worse. imo, he deserved everything he got from all of us. i believe with all my heart that butter33 and pistol are one and the same. the style they both posted with and their consistent points of view seem to be identical. i also think it is odd he/she was very obsessed with the posts that inferred they might be ahearn relatives or coaches. all of which point to a strong possibility i am correct in my guess they are one and the same. i question why butter33 feels the need to hide his profile? unless he is a coach or a relative or a player or blake himself, why? of course i dont understand why anyone hides their profile or lies about their name or e-mail address. and i know for a fact of all of steve's registered posters, the number of fake names and e-mail addresses are a high percentage. but i guess that is everyone's right.

what it comes down to is it sounds like you dont want to allow rebuttal. you want everyone and anyone to write what they want unrestricted, but for no one to question or respond to any point in a negative manner. now if you want a boring board that will eventually fade away, that is all you need to suceed in killing the board. i dont think you read many messageboards, because i dont know a single one that has been around awhile that comes off the way you want. this board is a typical successful fan messageboard.

that all said, i respect steve and the vast majority of the board and only want the best for the billiken fandom. if a large number of the posters or just steve want me to go away, i will in a second. i have always believed what i wrote was well taken by the majority of the members, but if i am wrong, and you all tell me such, i will leave for the board's benefit. let me know.

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This would surely be a very boring board. I don't always agree with you and I know that you have not always agreed with me, but debating opinions is what makes a fan board fun. I still consider myself a very passsionate Billiken fan and want nothing but success for the team. Like you and several others on this board, I live and die with this team.

I have stated that Butter33 is welcome to have his Ahearn agenda if it makes him/her happy...just as I feel having viewpoints from folks that are not true Billiken fans is OK too. I feel it adds some spice to the board, keeps us on our toes, and once in awhile people with opposing views actually make some decent points.

I am totally against censorship as long as people watch things like their language. Accusing someone of being a relative was actually kind of funny to me, but then again I also think the board should be fun and I like to try and throw in humor every so often. The day this board isn't fun to me then I am out of here.

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I am not, and never will be an advocate of asking anyone to leave the board and that is the reason behind this thread. I am just asking that we be more inviting of other opinions and viewpoints.

The "kindler gentler" statement was written tongue in cheek.

My point is that we have now counted 4 posters (pistol, butter33, jmolina, and chicosbailbonds) that we will probably never see here again. Who knows, they may have ended up being great posters that offered the board a great deal in the long run...Now we will never know.

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Steve,

First and faremost let me clarify one thing. I am from St. Louis and like all native St. Louisans I am a big fan of "all" sports in our area. I particularly love basketball. Although I have always been a spectator and never a player I enjoy watching the sport. Being a native St. Louisan I am particularly interested in rooting for "all" the teams from SLU to MIZZOU...and yes even SMS. I would love to see "one" our teams...I don't care which one win the final four if they could. Perhaps my never picking up a ball and bouncing it on the court doesn't qualify me to have an "expert" opinion...but...I still have one...and since I am over 21...free...and live in America...I will continue to express "my" opinions.

Steve, there is no need to extend any kind of an apology to me. I am not that thin skinned. I do think it is a little funny though that every time someone expresses there personal opinion about a particular player that certain posters on this board accuses the poster of being their father, mother, sister, brother, cousin, grandfather, etc...etc...well maybe that's the only argument they have and do not want to face the facts. I don't know. I am not Blake's father or his mother but if I were I would be a proud parent as I am sure his parents are. When I posted my comments the other day I didn't realize that the posters on this board would be so disrespectful to a local who has certainly, and this is my opinion again, made watching basketball exciting for "me". I would have loved to see Blake Ahearn who has in "my" opinion again lots of talent and more importantly a "local" boy play for SLU... but...at least he picked a Missouri school.

I don't know if Blake Ahearn reads this board but I would like to apologize to him personally if he does only because when I expressed my opinions about him I didn't realize it would cause people to be so disrespectful and say not so nice things about him. Like Torch, I, too, am referring to the "potted plant" remark...only I am not following it up with a little smilely face. The kid apparently worked hard to get where he is today and no matter how he performs in the future he should be not only be commended but "respected" for making St. Louis basketball not only exciting but apparently very controversial. Good Luck Blake!

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Mac, those that are interested in a thread will post. Those that are interested in starting a new thread will do so. Those very few new posters that come in throwing crap, are expecting a return of serve, and usually get it! Butter received exactly what he expected to get; some agreement, but mostly disagreement. He didn't expect anything different.

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If keep it civil you won't get flamed. I believe this is the first civil post you've had on this board or one of the few. If you go around stridently spewing nonsense get ready to be verbally chewed up and spit out. I would expect to be beaten up pretty good on an SMS web site if I was being as big a goof there as you're being here. Try Tigerboard if yor really want to stir up stuff. They make Billikens.com look like a church choir.

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Put yourselves in other posters' shoes. You never posted here before. Then you post a dozen times telling us how great Blake Ahearn is. No rational person is going to derive from that you're a St. Louis sports fans who loves all teams and players equally. In fact a rational person would think that you might be someone close to Blake Ahearn. If you would have posted the same stuff on Tigerboard you would have gotten 20x worse than you got here. Don't you see that?

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butter 33,

i don't mind you coming on the board talking about blake. differing opinions are cool. he had a tremendous game on saturday. hopefully, he'll rock the hammons center in the same manner for the next four years.

i've never met blake, but i get the sense that he is a good competitor from watching that game. i'm guessing that he was extremely disappointed in how his senior season went as well as desmet's and this was his last chance to show that he was a top player. it was a very atypical desmet season. they were expected to contend for the state title, but they lost 10 games, failed to even win their conference and they were blown out by parkway central in the district finals by the score of something like 60-36. i remember him being second or third team all-metro in the post (maybe, nate can clalify).

i've watch desmet play for the state championship on television for what seems like the past five years. I'm sure blake wanted to take his team back to columbia, since without him last year after he got hurt. he had to be disappointed to see desmet slip so badly under his watch and leadership. especially when division ii players like austin kirby and neil griffin take their teams to state. I think blake wanted to show that he was a much better player than his senior season. he sure did that.

b. 33, you seem to know the young man and the family well. am i on the right track. if not, i stand corrected. I can't read the minds of my fellow posters, but some of them are probably miffed that they never heard from you during the season when blake and his team were stumbling through the season and losing to inferior teams.

concerning clarke, i have no problem with him in a slu uniform. having seen him play in minnesota, he has game and i think people will like him once he gets a grasp of everything.

as far as local recruiting, slu is on the trail of lisch, liddell, meyer, kirk and polk is already in the mix. they wanted grimes, but they are out of that contest early. i think lisch, liddell and polk (when healthy) are fantastic players. would you have a problem rooting for these guys if they ended up in billiken blue.

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>that all said, i respect steve and the vast majority of the

>board and only want the best for the billiken fandom. if a

>large number of the posters or just steve want me to go

>away, i will in a second.

Roy, the day I ask you to leave is the day I am a Republican ;)

hehe I am under the thinking I will never become a republican, therefore, I shall never ask you to leave. So, for your own sake, you better hope I don't become a republican, because when I do. Your days of Billiken Talk are OVER.

hehe, Roy, I would never ask you to leave, don't even let it be a thought in your head

Steve

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