Robbs Rant March 2021

Yes, it’s time for a “Robbs Rant” post. There have been a few things that have frankly wound me up this past week or so, and I need to express myself about them. So, onwards we go..

“Nostalgia”

It would seem that it is time for the “nostalgia” pile to be mined by the Storm. Despite largely avoiding any implications that the current club has anything to do with the original since Finnerty & his associates took over, that moratorium appears to have ended this week. The jerseys that the “Storm” will be wearing for the EIHL “Elite Series” were revealed. And they are basically the original Storms season 1 jersey, minus the “Allsports” logo.

Yes, once again, there is mention of “returning to their roots”, and all that other bollocks. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it once more: The current club that calls itself Storm is not, nor has ever had anything to do with the original club. Barring the use of the name and logo, it is an entirely new club.

And yes, I do find it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. They claimed the original Storms ISL title )even going so far as to get hold of the original title winner banner to hang in Altrincham). They put the year 1995 in their logo. And now they are claiming that the new jerseys represent the club when it started.

I truly thought that the Storm has moved on from this tacky marketing under Finnerty. But I guess that they desperately need fans to pony up for a glorified Team GB training camp. And that makes anything¬† acceptable as a marketing ploy. Because frankly, it reeks (and I mean reeks) of a lack of creativity. And it shows that they can’t even rely on their own 6 years of existence to maintain fan interest in the club. That they have to resurrect a 26 year old jersey says an awful lot to me about how much “hold” the current club actually has on it’s fans. A club with a solid, secure, loyal fanbase shouldn’t need to engage in such base nostalgia tripping to re-engage fans after a year off. Those fans should still be there.

Anyways, that’s my thoughts on that, which I’m sure will upset a fair few Storm fans. And they will undoubtedly tell me how wrong I am, how it’s meant to be “respectful” and all that jazz.

THF and the hypocrisy of it’s owner

So, after many, many years of patronage (including a self imposed sabbatical after the Phoenix died), I’ve finally managed to get banned from THF! And it had exactly nothing to do with hockey.

You see, most of what goes on over at THF these days is on the non hockey part of the forum. There has been plenty of political debate over the last couple of years, with Brexit, and racism dominating. Now, a few THFers have made postings that pretty much any reasonable adult would say were bigoted at best, and outright racist at worst. And it seems that the forums owner doesn’t like this pointing out. Or the fact that most of those making those posts are people whom he would class as friends/allies on the forum.

So much so in fact that after I had the temerity to call out racists for being, well, racists I found myself on the receiving end of a ban, and was told to “Go away and grow some bollocks”. Charming. I was also informed that calling racists racist is “intolerant bullshit”. Yes, calling out intolerance is intolerant!

And I’m not the only one. At least 1 other member has also been banned for calling into question the owners choices in what is and isn’t acceptable.

Now, I can’t say I’ll miss it that much, but the rank hypocrisy is nauseating. I took some very nasty, personal abuse on THF during the dying days of the Phoenix. And when I reported it and asked for it to be removed as it violated the sites code of conduct? Well, I was told by the sites owner he was allowing it as he agreed with it and that I deserved it. At least 1 other poster has suffered some very nasty personal abuse (including some truly distasteful comments about his partner), which again have been allowed as the owner agrees.

THF has become a sad little addendum to the British hockey community. It is increasingly insular and bigoted. It has almost no relevance to the fanbase today, and is fast becoming an embarrassment. Indeed, so many long term users have walked away in the last year due to the ever growing nastiness allowed from certain member that there are maybe 20 truly “active” users left from a multi thousand membership list. It’ sad, really. There could be a place for it still, but the drift towards being confrontational and antagonistic to anyone who doesn’t agree with a very, very small clique has pretty much ended that.

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