This article has been months in the making, and it only seems right that I finally felt the need to post it after a wild seven-week stretch of Michigan football. The past two months have been stressful and infuriating at times, which naturally led to me shaking my head at some ridiculous comments about Michigan's recruiting efforts across the internet.
But every fan base–yes, every–has a set of Those Guys, who are constantly mucking up intelligent conversations on football and recruiting forums with posts that make you want to put your computer away for good. These users are the same as Those Guys in small local bars, who are constantly screaming drunken slurs at the television despite not knowing what the hell they're even yelling about. There's no way to cut someone off from the internet like you can cut someone off at the bar, but that doesn't mean we can't fight the good fight.
Attacking Common Recruiting Comments
Here's a list of common That Guys who are unfortunately found across every recruiting forum, and how each one of them can find the more likeable forum member inside.
The Unnecessary Cynic: "I'll believe it when I see it. These kids never stick to their commitments like people from my generation would have."
One of the most common characters on recruiting boards, the Unnecessary Cynic is constantly shooting down every and any hope of landing recruits because he's still spooked from that one player who chose that other school fifteen years ago. He has no faith in the decision of young athletes and will cite anything in order to make it seem like a school's chances with a recruit are slim to none.
The Unnecessary Cynic needs to realize two things. First, most athletes stand by their chosen schools throughout the process, even when bad times come down on the program. Second, the decision and actions of one prospect during his recruitment can never be reflected upon that of another – the Golden Rule of Recruiting that the Unnecessary Cynic throws aside more than any other forum bad guy.
In life, the Unnecessary Cynic is always calling everything into question. He secretly thinks the Illuminati are sticking us with needles in the middle of the night, which in turn causes us to get cancer and pay the government more taxes, because those things are all so freaking connected. Oh, and the President of the United States is a reptoid.
The Naive Ned: "I just have a gut feeling that our staff can pull this one off."
Ned is the most common guy of them all, showing us all just how irrationally optimistic we can be when talking about our beloved sports teams. He is constantly making positive predictions despite not knowing anything about a particular recruit's story, which instantly cuts his credibility down to nothing. He rarely adds intelligent thoughts to a forum because he's just there for good vibes.
The Naive Ned needs to look into things a bit more, which will allow him to make more insightful comments, however optimistic they may be. There's nothing wrong with bringing a positive vibe to a forum.
In life, the Naive Ned is a forty-year-old virgin who never had a movie created about him. He's the guy who loans his car to those guys who are "moving out of their apartment" next door, only to never see his car again. He'll eventually be slapped in the face by reality, causing him to fall into a drunken spiral that could turn him into a Super Unnecessary Cynic. Look out, folks.
The One Who's Never Pleased: "Where are all of the six-foot corners? This tailback doesn't even have that extra gear, and you have to have that extra gear. Why can't we ever win a recruiting national title?"
This guy wouldn't be happy if his team had the finest recruiting class after coming off of a national title season, because that one coach from that one era did it more times. He'll watch a minute of a recruit's film and begin to shake his head, cursing the name of his head coach for even extending an offer. He thinks he's familiar with schemes and is always complaining about how a different coach from that one team recruits the proper players for the best scheme; he's part Unnecessary Cynic by nature.
The One Who's Never Pleased needs to think on life a bit. How often do unstoppable dynasties come along in the world of college football? Not often. Much like Naive Ned, there's nothing wrong with thinking your team could do better, but bring legitimate reasons why your team could be performing better with you on your way to the computer.
In life, the One Who's Never Pleased wishes he was fifteen again. This way, he could get his own television show and dedicate it to the lavish party he'll have when he turns sixteen, only to curse his father out in front of a national crowd for not getting him the red Chevy Cruze. His trophy wife isn't good enough and clearly isn't filling the void left in his heart, which was created when his father told an eight-year-old One Who's Never Pleased that his Lego tower was stupid.
The Salty Sam: "We didn't want him anyway."
This guy has his head so far up his ass that he actually believes a coaching staff would extend a full athletic scholarship to a player it doesn't want. He is extremely salty and thinks his coaching staff slow-played the recruit to find another, more highly-rated prospect, because his staff knows how to evaluate talent better than yours.
Salty Sam has to put his pride aside for a minute. Even Nick Saban misses out on recruits he wants, so take a deep breathe and look forward to seeing another coveted recruit take the field.
In life, the Salty Sam resides somewhere in Ohio. He has a god complex so severe that his own father, who has been divorced three times because of his arrogance, thinks he's a complete tool. Don't beat him in a poker game, because he'll flip the table over and claim that ALL YOU MOTHERFU***** WERE CHEATING.
The Uninformed One: "I know this was covered before, but.."
The Uninformed One is on the recruiting forums to have his questions answered. He doesn't realize that the original freaking post answered his question in great detail, and he's certainly not willing to dig through the whopping ten replies to see if anyone else came up with some information. He'll ask something obvious, wait for the reply, and give you some virtual guilt trip when you tell him to read the damn information that's available to him.
This guy has the easiest route to becoming a great forum member: Take thirty seconds to read the original post in its entirety. There's also a magical tool known as Google for all of your unrelated questions, bud.
In life, the Uninformed One is large and not in charge. He spends more time on his couch than anywhere else, yelling to his mother for some more cheesy poofs, pleaz; he's a near mirror image of Cartman from South Park. He quit his post-grad education two classes in after being told to read the instructions twice in one day. The world is just too cruel.
The Foreign Troll: "hahahah you guys really think this guy can beat my school?"
Oh, the Foreign Troll. He's so manly and ballsy that he can sit behind his computer at home and talk trash to people on other schools' recruiting forums. He rarely adds to the conversation in a neutral way, almost always attempting to knock your school's recruiting efforts down a peg via short, annoying comments that make fans of his own school roll their eyes.
Plain and simple, the Foreigner needs to go away and never return. You have your home forum, and there's no reason why you should be leaving it.
In life, the Foreign Troll is constantly trying to join close circles of friends that he has no business being around. He's always ruining inside jokes at the office by adding on to them, somehow scaring people into going back to the desk to do actual work.
The Unintelligent Douche: "Whatever, O$U/The Crim$on Tide/U$C/Texa$ sucks and their coach does too"
This guy is the most vile user on the boards. He knows nothing about recruiting and only comes to the forums to bitch about the teams he hates, which just so happens to be every team on the planet that isn't his own. He thinks the use of dollar signs in text is ironic; he doesn't know what irony is.
The Unintelligent Douche needs to start from square one and rethink things a bit. It's obvious that he's passionate about his team's success, which is a good start. Knocking off the habit of using dollar sign$ in sentences is also a quick path to improvement.
In life, the Unintelligent Douche has a wardrobe stocked full of tanks and Affliction shirts. His drink of choice is Bud heavy, emphasis on the heavy. He sleeps with 19-year-old girls on the regular despite being 25, as no woman his age will hold a conversation with him for longer than thirty seconds. No one gives a damn about the light ab workouts he's constantly talking about, which certainly replace leg day in his superb workout regimen.
Improving the Forum Experience
There's no reason why we can't all come to forums and contribute in positive ways. The biggest takeaway here is that people need to set their biases aside before coming to the computer.
Just use your head. Don't go to another team's forum if you're planning on talking about your school. Stay informed in order to keep yourself from becoming overly cynical or optimistic. And, for the love of all things recruiting, remove the dollar sign from your keyboard, the number four be damned.
Go on, children, and fight the good fight.