Incessant online complaining, negativity about UMaine athletics tiresome, unnecessary

I’ll be the first to admit that, reluctantly, I often take a glass-half-empty view on the world.

Whether it’s sports or anything else I, somehow, have been conditioned to look for fault and flaws, initially taking a negative slant.

That’s not a good thing.

And since I long ago made that realization, the key to not being perceived as a total jerk is not to impose that negativity on family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances all the time. One must pick his or her spots.

There are some in the world of Internet sports forums — and those who comment on BDN stories online — who apparently haven’t figured out that important dynamic.

Yes, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion about their favorite players, teams and coaches.
In fact, some debate about sports subject matter can help everyone involved broaden their horizons and their perspectives.

Since my work responsibilities revolve mostly around University of Maine athletics, I am curious what people are saying about the Black Bears’ student-athletes, coaches and teams. For the record, most of those folks are dedicated, hardworking individuals who take great pride in representing themselves and UMaine.

But there are some people who have been banging their anti-UMaine drum loudly and incessantly for days, weeks, months and even years — nonstop. If you believe them, UMaine has never produced a team, a coach or an athlete worthy of praise.

The whining and criticism are thrust upon anyone who clicks on a website thread for a particular topic. The points are occasionally accurate, but almost always negative, sarcastic and/or mean-spirited.

Granted, it is a tiny minority of forum-surfers who feel obligated to share their every waking thought about what an idiot they think a certain coach is, or how so-and-so should be fired.

When the Internet chat room revolution began years ago, I was intrigued by the web’s ability to bring people together to discuss their favorite topics.

And there admittedly are times when criticism or scrutiny is warranted. But not every day.

However, it only takes one or two people camped out at their keyboards — seemingly 24 hours a day — to monopolize forums and dominate the discussion with their particular slant on any thought posed by visitors to the sites.

It doesn’t take long for that shtick to get old and most of us just stop reading the forums. Then, hoping for change, we check it a couple of months later to find the same people making the same tired arguments.

Sometimes, I try to imagine what it would be like to click on a topic and read some positive, encouraging, complimentary words. It doesn’t happen very often.

I’m well aware the same posters who bash UMaine every day — and who have shown a disdain for some of us in the media — are likely to spew their venomous words in my direction.

Yup, from here the glass looks half-empty.

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About Pete Warner

Pete is a Bangor native who graduated from Bangor High School, Class of 1980. He earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He has been a full-time member of the Bangor Daily News Sports staff since 1984. Pete lives in Bangor with his wife of 35 years, Annia. They have two adult sons, Will and Paul. Pete is fluent in Spanish and enjoys visiting his in-laws and friends in Costa Rica. His hobbies including hunting, fishing and listening to jazz.