The website WISEGEEK.COM has this to say about the unfortunate phenomenon known as trolling: “An internet troll is someone who posts offensive, controversial, or divisive material on an Internet community.” Anyone who’s spent any amount of time on an intenet message board or blog has seen ‘em and perhaps even pities these people who spend their time getting off by anonymously being a jerk to people on the internet.
(So many good reasons to mock Texas A&M, why make stuff up?)
Usually, trolling occurs on the fringes of the internet, where the overly passionate message board readers or posters are easily riled up and duped. It’s much rarer to see it occur in the broad daylight of a mainstream website. It’s even rarer to see it happen in the pages of a major American newspaper, but that’s the only explanation for Richard Justice’s latest column. Nobody could actually honestly be this stupid.
And yet, there he is, seemingly straightforward in his desire for Texas A&M University to drop out of the Big XII and join Conference USA. No, really. A sample, from yesterday’s HOUSTON CHRONICLE:
One thing we probably can all agree on is that the Aggies can’t be a contender in football as long as they’re in the Big 12. They seem unlikely to ever pass Texas or Oklahoma in the standings. They’re probably not going to pass Texas Tech or Oklahoma State, and they’ve fallen far behind Baylor.
What the Aggies need is a chance to get their self esteem back. That’s why now is the time to consider a move to Conference USA. The Aggies would be the gold standard for facilities and fan support on their first day in C-USA.
Allow me to paraphrase this in the language of the internet: LOL AGGIES U SUCK! It’s not that Justice is wrong in knocking the mediocre morass that Aggie athletics seems to have become in recent years. There’s no denying it’s become a bit of a rudderless ship after the Dennis Franchione mess. But to put it in scientific terms, Justice is just being a dick.
People like Justice spend a lot of time and energy bashing new media and blogs for being lazy and sensationalistic, but it hardly gets any more of both - not to mention lazy - than pooping out drivel like this. Hell, we’ve got no particular love in our hearts for Texas A&M or their freaky-weird faux-military ways, but it’s a fine university with a proud athletic tradition and deserves better, more intelligent treatment than this hit job by Justice. No wonder newspapers are dying.