Thursday Thoughts: Another walk in the swamp that is social media

It’s time once again for Thursday Thoughts, and if folks hadn’t noticed 210Sports has increased the size of the staff 100%, going from one writer to two. After years of us joking about it, Matt Medoff has officially joined the site. The original plan was for Matty to write a couple times a month about the New England Revolution, but he’s decided that since he can pretty much write about anything sports-related he wants we might see more frequent postings. Most of the posts will still be from me, but having a different voice on the blog can’t be anything but a positive.

Right now the theme I’m using puts the author’s name at the bottom, and since I’m not planning on changing the theme until I have a good idea of how it impacts all the pages on Worcester hockey and baseball I’ve already built there needed to be a way for readers to know whose work they were reading. I’ve never been a fan of having the author’s name in the post title, and with post previews being so important in driving traffic to the site having our names at the top of an article is a non-starter.

So what folks will see at the start of the second paragraph is a graphic that shows who wrote it. My posts will have my signature “210” attached, while Matty’s will have “MM” in a similar style. If you’re reading on a computer or tablet, it looks decent. Unfortunately, not so much of you’re on your phone. We’ll be working on that at some point. If you scroll down you can see in the section below for the weekly posts how we’ll be identifying the writer.

Local Collegiate Results
On Thursday night the Anna Maria Men’s hockey team got back into action as they took on the Panthers at the Plymouth State University Ice Arena in Holderness, NH, but came up on the wrong end of a 6-3 final. Lukas Radina, Jack Sitzman, and Patrick Manning had the goals for the AMCATS while Julius Huset had 42 saves in net.

Friday night saw the Nichols Bison came from three goals down in the third period at the Worcester Ice Center to gain a 4-4 tie against the Becker Hawks in Women’s hockey action. Becker Junior Clare Conway had three assists on the night that would make her the Hawks’ all-time leading scorer in program history. Conway now has 25 goals and 30 assists for 55 career points. The 30 assists are also a new program record. The Hawks’ goals were scored by Anya Laxton, Katie Puumala, Amy MacGlashing, and Kylian Kelly (Shrewsbury High). For Nichols, Isabella Portt had two goals while Kayla Currin and Mel McAleer each had one. Bisons’ netminder Julia Carroll stopped 37 shots, Maddy Morgan had 52 saves for Becker. In Men’s action, Nichols senior Filip Virgili had a four-point night lifting the Bison to a 5-3 win over the Becker Hawks at the June Rockwell Levy Rink in Burrillville, Rhode Island. Jason Diamond, Evan Green, and Colby Audette had the Becker goals while Austan Bellefeuille, Lucas Andersson, Justin Perron, Virgili, and Curtis Carlson all connected for Nichols. Andrew LoRusso had 34 saves for the Hawks and Matt Efros had 36 for the Bison.

The Nichols/Becker hockey match-ups continued on Saturday as a trio of third-period goals by the Bison led them to a 5-2 victory over the Hawks in Men’s hockey at the Worcester Ice Center. Conor Leonard, Oliver Arnberg, Petr Miko, Austan Bellefeuille, and Curtis Carlson had the goals for Nichols while Tristan Mock and Romain Wild lit the lamp for Becker. Freshman Mathias Backstrom had 35 saves in his first career start for Nichols, Zach Skop had 15 for Becker. In Women’s action, Sophomores Katie Puumala and Cassidhe Wozniak both scored two goals for the Becker Hawks on their way to a 4-2 win over Nichols at Levy Rink. Wozniak’s pair of goals gives her a team-high nine to finish out the season, and Puumala’s two-goal night gives her six to finish the year. Senior Mel McAleer and sophomore Sarah Zeidan each scored for the Bison. Amber Lee made 37 saves on the night, improving to 5-3-0 for the Hawks with the victory. Abby Bassett had 30 stops for Nichols.

In Men’s soccer action Saturday Junior midfielder Dylan Scanley and sophomore midfielder Matt McGonigle both scored goals as Holy Cross posted a 2-1 victory over Army at Malek Stadium at Clinton Field on the campus of West Point. Senior goalkeeper Nick Conklu picked up the win for Holy Cross, making two saves. Jacob Suppiah recorded three saves for Army. Holy Cross improves to 1-1 overall and 1-1 in the Patriot League with the win, while the Black Knights fall to 2-1 on the season and 0-1 in the conference.

Boston Teams This Week
Thursday
Twins @ Red Sox, 6pm (ex)
NY Islanders @ Bruins, 7pm
Friday
Red Sox @ Rays, 1pm (ex)
Celtics @ Milwaukee, 7:30pm
Saturday
Buffalo @ Bruins, 1pm
Red Sox @ Pirates, 1pm (ex)
Celtics @ Oklahoma City, 9pm
Revolution @ LA Galaxy, TBD (ex)
Sunday
Twins @ Red Sox, 1pm (ex)
New Jersey @ Bruins, 5:30pm
Monday
Red Sox @ Braves, 1pm (ex)
New Orleans @ Celtics, 7:30pm
Tuesday
Red Sox @ Braves, 1pm (ex)
New Jersey @ Bruins, 7pm
Wednesday
Dallas @ Celtics, 7:30pm
Revolution @ LA Galaxy, TBD (ex)

Worcester Hockey Alumni Highlights
Thursday Yanni Gourde goal

Friday Garet Hunt goal (no audio)

Saturday Patrick McNally goal (no audio)

Saturday Nic Pierog goal

Saturday Willie Raskob goal (Tweet says Michael Pelech, but it’s Raskob’s)

Saturday Spencer Asuchak goal

Saturday Yanni Gourde goal

Saturday Tomas Hertl goal

Sunday Brodie Reid hat trick

Sunday Nic Pierog goal

Sunday Willie Raskob goal

Sunday Matt Lane goal

Sunday Yanni Gourde goal

Monday Chris Tierney goal

Monday Logan Couture goal

Tuesday Yanno Gourde goal

Wednesday Chris Tierney goal

Wednesday Tomas Hertl goal

The swamp that is social media
I’m going to start this out by saying I love social media. The number of things I’ve learned because of it is incredible, and looking up the factual accuracy of the information on Twitter and Facebook has led me to look into different things that I likely wouldn’t have thought about before. I’ve found musical groups that I wouldn’t have otherwise heard of, discovered authors and columnists that I hadn’t read before, and stumbled into some incredibly informative websites and source material.

Unfortunately, I’ve also run into a fair share of idiots.

Now I’m not talking about people who disagree with what I think. In any large group of people, there will certainly be those who disagree on various subjects. And I love reading what people who have well-formulated opinions that differ from mine have to say. What I’m not interested in is someone regurgitating what some self-serving talking head is saying, or anyone who can’t express their opinion without acting like a total jerk.

Take, for example, a tweet I made Sunday about LeBron James. He injured his ankle Saturday night and laid on the ground screaming in pain. So, as I have done in the past when athletes tend to be overdramatic about an injury, I posted the video of Boston Bruins forward Greg Campbell continuing to play hockey with a broken leg. The only way anyone that doesn’t follow me on Twitter would even have seen it is if they were looking for LeBron tweets, and one user was and decided to reply to my tweet with just insults. As I usually do, I just chuckled and blocked them. I then continued tweeting the names of pro players who kept playing in games after breaking their legs.

Now I don’t want to see any athlete get hurt, and had LeBron been seriously injured I absolutely wouldn’t have poked any fun at him. And I know high ankle sprains are painful. I’ve gotten them before, and they do indeed hurt. But LeBron was laying there acting like he’d been shot. And that’s not the first time he’s done that. There’s a YouTube video uploaded in August of 2018 that shows LeBron’s various “injuries”. Now some of those are absolutely legitimate, but if you watch you’ll see a whole lot of Oscar-worthy performances. I find it humorous that the video was posted to show how tough LeBron is.

I’ll be glad to listen to anyone that wants to have a respectful conversation about a differing opinion of that situation, but unfortunately, if you’re a person that loves LeBron odds are you aren’t able to have one of those conversations and all you’ll be able to do is use words like “hater”. Well, Lebron is one of the top-10 NBA players of all-time, so if saying that makes me a hater I’ll gladly be called that for my opinion. And if you want to know who in NBA history was better than LeBron, just ask. I’ll be more than happy to tell you.

In another case of internet trolling, late last week Ohio State basketball player E.J. Liddell posted to Twitter screenshots showing hateful and threatening direct messages he received after Ohio State was eliminated from the NCAA basketball tournament after losing to Oral Roberts University on Friday. To call these comments despicable is a massive understatement. He posted a follow-up comment a few minutes later. “Comments don’t get to me but I just wanna know why. I’ve never done anything to anyone in my life to be approached like this.”

It’s of course lower than low to attack a player like that, but what were those people looking to accomplish? Do they have so little in their lives that a loss in a basketball game can set them off so badly they have to launch a verbal assault at one of the players to make themselves feel better? I know I’ve been angry after one of my teams has lost an important game, but not once did I ever contemplate actually contacting some of those players to say nasty things to them.

I love that Liddell posted those screen captures without blanking out the offender’s names. One of the things people think that social media gives them is anonymity, and the first step in reigning in the trolling is to remove the cover these people think they can hide behind and shine a lot of light on their hatred and their conduct. Because in the end, the vast majority of people that engage in that behavior have one thing in common.

They’re cowards.

Stuff you may have missed from 210Sports this week
Boston Bruins need more offensive punch to be legitimate Cup contenders (210)
Nothing But Shenanigans Podcast: Shenanigans Special: Worcester Railers’ Connor Haynes
The New England Revolution looking to return to former glory (MM)

Not so big finish
Got something you loved (or hated) about the post? Or for an idea for a future column? Head on over to the 210Sports Facebook page and leave a comment. You could comment on this post too, but fair warning, the spam filter catches lots of stuff it shouldn’t and it might be weeks before I see your comment. While you’re there, give the page a like if you could.

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