I am brand new to this board. This is most likely the only time I’ll ever post here but I feel it’s necessary and hopefully I won’t be offending anyone. I’ve been a longtime DM member since 2011. I am a passionate Husky football fan and have been a season ticket holder with my dad for over 25 years.
I’m a UW grad and like most of you, I love to follow recruiting. With the recent change in team leadership and the poignant dip in recruiting, my tone on DM has been more critical these past few months. I’ve also issued consistent concern with coaches like Gregory and Bhonapha in the past who I think are paid far too much for their services and the returns on recruiting. I am also considerate of other DM members when it comes to such criticisms as I realize my sentiments are not heavily popular over there. As a heavily-invested fan, I feel it is my right to vocally challenge the direction of the program if I feel that winning is not its highest priority. I don’t dump on others’ opinions or optimistic statements about the the team.
Many folks on DM view me as a cynic and a downright pessimist when it comes to recruiting. That is a stigma that the staff at DM have attached to myself and other posters in a means to censure our credibility or quell our voice. In most of my years on DM, I’ve respected the MODS and their opinions, whether I agree with them or not. More recently, they’ve taken to more aggressive tactics of censorship, pulling down posts that don’t directly violate their rules in the least bit and deleting opinions that they don’t deem positive enough or aligned with their personal views of the program. This is what censorship looks like. To be frank, I have a hard time with that.
My view of passionate fan message boards is that opinions should be shared, discussed and argued freely. In no world will a sports fan base universally agree on anything. I can get on board with prohibiting bad language, personal attacks and the like but pure censorship has no place in such an arena. As such, my immediate experience as a Husky fan in recent weeks on that site has been completely sullied and I’ve been shamed on several occasions, made to feel like a bad human being or a lesser-than fan because I have high expectations of the program. Some of those personal attacking comments that are directed towards me and are in service of the staffs’ opinions are left untouched, while they clearly undermine the set rules of these message boards. It behooves the DM staff to keep things light, to promote positivity right? As a business, it’s in their best interest to keep fans engaged and under the guise that good news is coming. They did the same thing to Sonics recently when he would post critical intel based on legitimate sources, sources that didn’t necessarily align with what they were hearing. They edged him out quickly despite the fact that he was supplying passionate fans with the valid information they so sorely desired.
Why? Because the news wasn’t sunshine and rainbows? There’s plenty of fans that can appreciate that, the veiled promise that all is well in any athletic program and next year is a championship year. I am not one of those fans that will continue to invest money into a program that isn’t doing everything it can to win.
Subsequently, I have cancelled my DM account and just today I messaged Kim Grinolds directly to state my displeasure of being censored and also that as a loyal customer of his recruiting services business, I would communicate my degrading experience to other Husky fans. I have a pretty thick skin and I am a reasonable, thoughtful human being but his response absolutely set me off. His reply was that I am simply an incessant complainer, comparing me to that of a nagging wife or girlfriend, that brings zero value to the boards when I am critical of the football program or coaching staff. He indicated that I and others like me were wearing down the entirety of the DM subscriber base and as moderators, this is something they’ve seen before and are fit to address accordingly. He also made it abundantly clear that if I leave as a subscriber, the boards will thrive and the DM community will be better for it.
This is insulting on so many levels, not only because there are often times that I’m not “critical” of this staff or the program, that I celebrate recruits, the efforts of the team, etc. Let me be clear, I love Husky football. I’ve been to every home game the last 25 years of my life, left with no voice each following day. Today though is a low day. After this exchange and the blatant aggressiveness to edge me out of that community, I’m a little taken aback and frankly disgusted. I felt it was important to share that. I’m sure I’ll catch some level of condemnation here but as a man of integrity, I have to share my experience. I hope some of you can understand that.