Mossman Prophecies No. 012
July 2, 2007
What do interstates, grocery lines, message boards
and sports talk radio have in common? Plenty.
For years I've done things on the interstate that I
wouldn't dream of in a grocery line. If we're at the
local market, I'll smile and nod for you to go in front
of me. It doesn't really matter what kind of schedule
I'm on that day, you take the spot.
On the roadway, it's a different story. That
grill in your rear view mirror is mine. No, I don't
have any particular time frame for reaching my destination,
but that matters little. It's a NASCAR world and
you're in the way.
OK, I am over-stating my driving habits, but you
get the drift.
Much has been said and written about road
rage, but you've never heard anyone ticked about the
back-up at the check-out line.
The reason for that is simple. With identity comes
accountability. When people know who you are, your
actions are attached to you.
The result of that is something we call "reputation." Get
one of those soiled and you're damaged on just about
That brings me to message boards and sports talk radio.
The concept of both is great. In their purest form,
both provide a free-flow of information the likes of
which we've never known before.
I don't call sports talk programs unless I am identified,
but I have participated on message boards for hobbies
that interest me. My identity on those is typically
known, too. That is not the case for most.
I've learned a lot of things by participating in a
community with others who share my interests. I've
also learned that when your identity can't be traced
the fuse on human decency, in many cases, is one-inch
long and soaked in gasoline.
The name-calling is quick and the critiques are harsh
with little regard for the next guy over even minor
differences of opinion.
Personally, I think the anonymity that comes with un-named
callers and posters is unhealthy, but I am resigned
to the fact that both are here to stay. As the caller
numbers and posters soar with the advent of football
season, this is simply a plea for common sense and
respect for one another.
And most of all it is a reminder that the student-athletes
who choose to represent this or any other university
in athletic competition deserve our respect and support,
not slashing barbs and personal attacks.
We expect those young men and women to represent us
with nothing but their very best. It is not too much
for them to expect and receive the same from us in
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Kenny Mossman, Associate Athletics Director for
Communications, provides his perspective on Oklahoma
Athletics in his regular column on SoonerSports.com.