Before I address the important Giants-49ers game this week, there is something I need to get off my chest.
I’ve seen quite a few posts recently that have said the new site isn’t as good as the old one, the new site is confusing (where is “Letters to the Editor”?), the Game Reviews are not as good, the good posters have left, etc., etc.
As I posted a few weeks ago, I think a lot of this centers around change. People don’t like change. They like the old BBI because it was comfortable. So there is a tendency to focus on the negative changes rather than the positive ones, as well as the future positive ones.
Let me address a few specific complaints before I address the big picture.
(1) New Site: The new site is not done. It will still look and function much different when it is done. We know there are bugs that need to be fixed. Not everyone can see the site the way it is intended to be seen. The site will look much better and function much better in the future. Gary and I have just gone through a very, very hectic few months getting to this point. We’re catching our breath. Neither one of us is getting much sleep right now. Give us a chance to re-group.
(2) New Site Layout: People are confused because the new site is different. It is actually easier to surf around than the old one. We know the menu bar sticks for some (this will be fixed), but the menu bar also lets people surf all over the site much easier. Aside from the menu bar, the non-Forum part of the site has a side bar that only contains 10 categories of information. This is a far simpler set-up than the old site that had 29 categories. And these menus follow you around the site. If there are only 10 categories, “Letters to the Editor” shouldn’t be that difficult to find people (hint: it’s in the “Opinions” section). Believe me, once you get comfortable with the new layout, you will prefer it.
(3) Game Previews/Reviews: “These are not the same.” Well, I’m still writing the game previews so that point is moot. As for the Reviews, as I’ve said, I needed a break this year. I couldn’t handle the new site rollout and the Reviews this year. A review takes me 10 hours to put together. I didn’t have the time. If I had attempted it, I probably would have quit doing the site. Plus, after 12 years of game reviews, I was burned out. I needed a break. I put out a public bid on who might want to do the reviews (and get paid for doing them). Damon not only provided the best sample, but he was one of the very few that could meet a deadline. People say they miss my game reviews for the detail, but I don’t know if that is truly the case (I will address that in a moment below). But I think Damon’s reviews are very readable and hit upon the most important points of the game.
(4) On a related point, since I’m delegating more now, there is more content and different content. There are many more original articles on this site now than there were in the past because there are more writers with different opinions. How is this a bad thing?
(5) “The good posters have left.” I’ve operated this site since 1995. I can’t remember a time when this was not said. The original group (and there were not many of them) complained about the group that showed up in 1997-1999. That group complained about the group that showed up in 2000-2002. And so on. We’ve lost good people; we’ve gained good people. Some people have departed for different reasons – some of which are not related to this site. Some high-profile posters have chosen to post less or depart. Then there are some who cry “Free gg” even though gg is still on the site…go figure! With the advent to the new site, I openly welcome lurkers to register and contribute. Now is a great time to join. There is a need and demand for quality posters. And while there are some cliques of people on the site that can often make a newcomer feel unwelcome, that kind of behavior is not welcome by me. Join and make this site your site!!! If you are a valuable contributor, you’ll win over even the grouchiest old timer (not to be confused with “old timer” who is actually not that old, or grouchy). If you don’t understand how to register, e-mail me at email@example.com. As for the regulars who are reading this – most of you were newbies at one point. You should be more tolerant of new members. When I meet BBI’ers in person, there is usually a 4-to-1 ratio of lurkers to posters. And most of these lurkers have something to say.
My last point. I just had lunch with an old BBI-hand, Ray in Arlington, who was with the site from the beginning. He told me he doesn’t post as much as he used to because (1) his life has changed and he has less time for football now and (2) a lot of BBIer’s take the game way too seriously and get upset if you make some wisecrack about a player. But he still lurks and reads many threads. His 10-year old son also reads the site.
One of the things Ray told me kind of struck home. I’m paraphrasing, but he said, “Eric, you’re the Giants’ uberfan, the head of this community. It’s not so much the content of your game reviews that I miss, but your emotional reaction to wins and losses. That’s why I liked your reviews.”
I not trying to sound egotistical, but some people on this site probably feel that my presence has waned. They probably see me less not only in the Previews and Reviews section, but also in other areas of the site. That is only a temporary situation folks. Once things are back to normal, you’ll see my at-time not-so-diplomatic presence much more. But right now there are only so many hours in the day and I pick my spots. You may see me posting at noon; you may see me posting at midnight. But I’m always around the site and around this community. Other than my immediate family, this community has become the most important part of my life. I have a sense of obligation to you to keep this thing going. It’s why I chose to delegate more this offseason so I wouldn’t get burned out. Right or wrong, I felt I’d be throwing you guys out into the cold if I shut down the site. The site revenue is nice, but it’s not my motivation. My motivation is the best group of Giants’ fans I know.
That’s why I get defensive and kind of ticked off when some say the site is going down the hill. It feels like you are kicking me in the nuts after I helped pick you off the ground.
With all that said, I will only cover the 49ers game very briefly. Next week I’ll get back to business and do one of my regular game previews.
We all know that if the Giants play their game, they will be 6-2 in two weeks. The 49ers have a very respectable defense, but their offense has been dreadful this year. The Giants are clearly the better team. Don’t play it too safe, but don’t make the dumb mistakes either. Turnovers are the great equalizer. The only way the Giants lose this game is turnovers. If the Giants shut down the run, the 49ers’ offense should keep struggling. As usual, special teams will play an important role.
Let’s go Giants! Let’s go BBI!