It doesn’t matter who you support these days, be it the Boston Bruins or Flintshire’s U10s the chances will be that they’ve got an internet forum. Not particularly extensive research has revealed that a number of groups can be identified populating these sites. Whilst in no means comprehensive these groups should be fairly easy to spot no matter which site you’re looking at. Which am I? I don’t know really & if I did I’m not sure I’d want to admit to any of them!

1. The Voice of Reason. Easy to spot by the fact that they can’t sit down properly as the their splinters are digging in too deep! Every posting is pages long because they’ve looked at your point from every angle & they’re going to explain why you’re wrong from every different angle as well. Nothing particularly new there, but they don’t mind what it is about. They’d argue both sides of an argument, about Mars changing the names of Marathon if you asked nicely. It makes you wonder how they ever decide what to have for their tea! Every site has a few of these but there is one site in particular that has these in hordes. I won’t name names, I’ll leave you to guess.

2. The Antagonist. “If in doubt wind them up” is the motto of this type of poster. They are incapable of letting something that happened 5, 10, 15 years ago lie. Don’t get me wrong there are things in history that people should not be allowed to forget, like Sheffield’s grand sham season, but some things should just be dropped. The player that left 10 years ago under dubious circumstances is still either a Judas or a saint wronged by the management to these people & they’re not afraid of letting others know it. Quite often these people only have one opinion – the exact opposite of yours, no matter what it is. There is a fast developing sub-group amongst the antagonists who counter every accusation with the statement that a) Why won’t people stop going on about this or b) We might have done but you did it as well. Both of which seem to be designed to enflame the Antagonist even more and… well, you can see where it usually ends up.

3. The Sycophant. Their team can do nothing wrong. The coach could announce that Nicky Chinn was their team’s new franchise player & they’d a) Welcome him with open arms & b) Put forth a strong case for why the sky is now the limit for their team. If you could see a Sycophant’s feet you’d see a line underneath the front of them!

4. I Know Something You Don’t. Guaranteed to get up everyone, not just the Antagonist’s nose the “I Know Something You Don’t” do exactly what it says on their tin. Your team signing a new player? They know who it is. Ever wondered about the vagaries of the ITC registration process? They’re your man. That’s fine if they ever just answered the question but the thing is they’re incapable of doing it. They’ll either answer the question in such a manner that they expect you to want to fall at their feet in gratitude or they won’t answer the question & just tell you that they know the answer instead.

5. Forum Coach. It’s early in the close season, your team has signed three players & these guys will already be telling you which lines they’ll play on & who with (whether they’ve been signed or not). They’ll know the tactics to be played, will have spent hours scouring the internet for possible linemates & at the end of the day will be almost universally wrong on any number of occasions. During the season they’re as bad. The team didn’t win because Player A should never have been put on a line with Player B & even if they’d been swapped for Players C & D they were playing a clutch & grab game that was never going to beat team E. The problem is they’re always sat in the stand whilst this is all happening & even if they weren’t they’d be wrong all over again.

6. Statto. Ever wondered what your favourite player’s +/- stats were in his college sophomore season? No neither have I & neither have these people because they’ve already learned them by heart & are all too happy to tell all and sundry exactly what they’ve learnt. The problem is we don’t learn all that much from what they’ve learnt, still it keeps them quiet most of the time!

7. Puck Bunnies. You know the type. Except when it comes to the internet you don’t. In real life your average puck bunny is late-teens to early twenties & female. Sadly this is not always true on the internet. This type of puck bunny will defend their favourite player to the hilt, usually for the strangest reasons. If Puck Bunnies had their way players would be signed on how nice a person they were & games would only last 15 minutes so the players could get into the bar quicker so that they could have their pictures taken with them & get them added to Facebook all in the same night! Sort of an individual version of the Sycophant.

8. Brit Fans Essentially, to paraphrase Al Murray these are Beautiful British Puck Bunnies. Don’t knock the British lads when these people are around. You know that 100 point a season Canadian forward that won you the league singlehandedly (that’s ruled Tessier out then)? Well, he’s not a patch on the Brit benchwarmer who’s been brought up to keep the back-up netminder company. I’ve tried very hard throughout this to keep things fairly neutral but if you want an example of this I’ll give you two words – Daniel Scott! Need I say more?

9. The Pugilist. If your team has just announced that Sidney Crosby has quit the NHL to play for you, don’t expect these guys to be happy. He won’t be hard enough, won’t fight enough or if he did he wouldn’t win enough fights. At times it feels like the only points these people are bothered about are in a split decision. Their bookmarks will be full of sites like & their DVD collection will have a complete set of Don Cherry & a couple of moody fight tapes they found on eBay.

10. Would be Journalist. Similar in ways to both the Voice of reason & I Know Something You Don’t. Verbose to the point of pomposity these people write for a website & look at their shelves to try & work out where the Pulitzer would look best! Crucially these people are in the know – or think they are & don’t mind who knows it. Like all good journalists they never disclose a source, unlike good journalists they’re prone to not checking their facts & don’t tend to get paid. Another group that are easy to spot – they tend to ask for free tickets to charity games!

Written by JP Lamb


3 Responses to “Forum Fans”

  1. 1 oldman May 23, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    think i am in at least three of those groups, although not a puck bunny, unless you include defending kevin to the hilt last year, good though and so very true, good work.

  2. 2 spitting in thewind May 25, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    with all those stats what group is J.P Lamb in?

  3. 3 Boswanga May 26, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    Not in any of the above, I am a Newbie. You know the type, pretends to know what everyone is talking/writing about, but knows squat. And backs this up by writing something on the forum, that makes no sense whatsoever to the thread. We mean well though, and genuinely like the sport.

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