Writing about hockey used to be a great release for me. It used to allow me to express my thoughts and opinions to a wider audience than the dozen or so people I regularly spoke to at the games. Sure, I’ve made my fair share of controversial comments. And I’ve taken plenty of criticism for doing so. Some justified, some not. But that’s just life. Not everyone will always agree with everyone else. And I’ve always been fine with that.
But recently, all the joy is going. I felt I was pushed away from THF, a forum I had been a member of for over a decade, because I refused to kow-tow to the abusive behaviours of a number of the posters on there, and the aggressive anti Phoenix mandate they operated under. 18 months of abuse, accusations and frankly outrageously biased moderation took it’s toll. And once the owner of THF openly admitted he would only enforce the “guidelines” on me, and me alone, well, that was that.
And now I find that I’m not even allowed to express myself on my own Twitter feed. Not on someone else’s forum, or website, but my own fucking Twitter feed. Mine. Run by me, for myself. All because I committed the sin of trying to find some (admittedly dark) humour in the situation regarding our sojourn in Blackpool. And it hurts.
I’ve put myself out there for this club, and it’s fans. I’ve taken far more than my fair share of the shit thats been thrown since we left Altrincham. Yet people still want more. They want to dictate what I can say, and where. And this is taking all the joy out of the game for me. There are other club officials who make contentious tweets. We know who they are. Yet no one calls them out over it. Except the one time I did. And got told it was their personal twitter feed, so they could post what they wanted. Funny that.
But I guess people just don’t care. It’s only what they want to see put out there that matters. Why bother about upsetting Robb? He is always brash and bullish. It rolls off him, right? He will just carry on, and eventually piss someone else off, so we’ll have a go at him again then. Well, you know what? it does upset me. This latest shit storm has actually had me in tears. Not that I think those behind it give a shit. Why should they? They are “special”. I’m just someone who says controversial stuff, who they can have a go at because it doesn’t fit their perfect image of the club. And of course, I’m sure some of them will just see this as me “playing the victim”. And maybe it is. But I needed to get this out there.
Hockey used to bring me joy. It used to make all the shit I deal with on a day to day basis go away. I don’t think it is any great revelation for me to state I’m a depressive. Hockey, and writing about it has always been one of the few things, apart from my wonderful wife and my beloved film collection, that genuinely brought me joy. And I honestly feel like that is being stolen from me to make others feel better about themselves.
Thank you for reading this. I know it rambles a bit, and doesn’t make as much sense as I wanted it to, but I needed to say it. Thank you.