During the normal course of writing articles, I try to inject some levity into them. This may come in the form of a joke or sarcasm. Most of the time these attempts at humor fall flat but they fit within the context and do not have a negative impact in perceptions that the audience may hold. Other times though, there may be misconceptions which do not have broad impact. On the rare occasion something that I posted or said does have an impact because I failed to provide context and expected the readers to understand what was posted.
Yesterday I posted an article with an attempt at humor that implied the opposite of reality. In order to provide sufficient context I would have need to add a few words. However, I did not and this led to several readers to question the statement that had been written. I added a correction quickly and noted the error that had been made in the initial version of the article. In most cases that would be the end of it.
However, even making the change did not sit well with me. It felt too small considering the implication that the original statement made. In our sport we have the concept of spirit that is broadly interpreted. I interpret it to mean that players work together to maintain integrity of the sport to ensure fair play and access. This interpretation includes the community, as in those involved in the game and not just playing it, to take an active role in ensuring that the integrity of the game those are about to play on the field is maintained.
Articles and analysis must abide by those standards as well. While it is fair to speak about the strengths and weaknesses of a team statements about the character of a team, their spiritedness, must be backed by factual evidence. While for many a correction or a small article that states the correction may be sufficient, I believe that this needed to be better explained. The correction also deserves an explanation as to why it was not sufficient, in this case, for a correction in the original article.
Spirit matters and too often we consider it a footnote in the game. That winning, whatever form it may be in for you, is more important especially in the heat of the moment. After the fact it can be easy to brush aside but it needs to remain at the forefront in order preserve the integrity of the sport. That means all community members from the players, spectators, to commentators. It’s also never too late to apologize but we must try and right wrongs sooner rather than later.
Yesterday I posted this about Tetraphobia:
Tetraphobia (2) were underestimated in 2017 but this time around they start near the top. Featuring veteran players this team is known of making quick runs, grinding out the late game, and has a few players that, while talented, push the boundaries of acceptable spirit. Part of the allure of this team is their brashness, drive to win, and sometimes sloppy play. All of this means that they should make it through the top 4 even when they are behind in a critical game.
While the majority of the statement is positive in nature, the most important part of this statement implies that some of the players have poor spirit. My implication was meant to be the opposite that some of the players are very spirited. It would have taken a small note following the word ‘spirit’ that said the following: at O4UC 2017 Tetraphobia finished first in spirit. Without that context there was a negative connotation and for that I apologize.
I should note that nobody reached out asking for a correction or change. Rather, this article is something that I believe is necessary and in a manner that clearly outlines why the article itself is necessary. Perhaps this deserves a deeper article about the perception of spirit in our game. That whenever we talk about it that it is because of poor spirit. Does that mean we generally have good spirit or that we generally only talk about spirit in the negative sense?
As always, we are accessible for comments, corrections, and criticism via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also published on Medium.