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USCHOmbudsman: Delusional, despondent

January 24, 2008

The whole point of a message board is to share ideas. This much is clear.

But the problem with message boards is that the wrong types of people get to share ideas. Reasonable, well-thought-out arguments from people like us are shouted down in favor of drastic oversimplification of “THIS TEAM SUCKS” or “THIS TEAM IS AWESOME” depending upon any given set of variables that include, most obviously, wins and losses.

Almost all wins are good to some teams. Fans of teams that are traditionally not great in Hockey East such as Lowell, Merrimack, Providence and Northeastern (henceforth known as Group 1) will take a win any way they can get it. Two points, after all, is two points. Then there are teams like BC, Maine, BU and UNH (Group 2), where wins against teams that fit into the previous category are not happily welcomed so much as expected as birthright. This is the type of fan that will say “Yeah we beat Merrimack 3-0, but it should have been 6-0.” Understandable, we suppose, but then our philosophy toward the concept of “the win” is that they don’t put “3-0* (should have been 6-0)” in the record books.

Losses, though, are different. Fans of teams in Group 1 are more likely to shrug off a loss. “Ah well,” they say, “It was (Group 2 team).” Group 2 fans, meanwhile, view any loss as bitter disappointment, but if it’s a loss to a Group 1 team? Watch out. Not only was it not the result of the Group 1er playing well, it was, more to the point, the result of the Group 2er having 14 players out injured, the refs sucking, the team having its worst game of the season by far, and perhaps the ice quality. Again, these rationalizations (read: lame excuses) are certainly expected, and almost understandable.

But the ‘Hawk-eyed reader will notice two teams notable from their absence in either group. These fans are so far on the lunatic fringe that not only are they not in Group 3, they’re not even in a numbered group.

UMass and Vermont fans make up their own classification (Group Z), one of such bipolar swings that Cheswick from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest would look at them and say, “These guys are out of their goddamn skulls.” Two weeks ago, UMass fans thought they had the best team in the history of college hockey (with no apologies whatsoever to Ken Dryden; hockey was invented in Cahoonaville and perfected over three years by the Mass Attack), and Vermont fans were all but curled in the fetal position under a rain of cold water in their town’s lone shower installation.

Don’t believe us?

This is an honest-to-Dainton* post from the board (UMass fans don’t post on USCHO apparently) from after the Minutemen won their tournament in Florida from “Justin.”

This team just doesn’t lose. They can fall behind early against teams like BC and CC, then lock down on D and start pushing the tempo. They can suck against teams like UML, PC, and Vermont, and stay in the game.

I’m starting to believe that this team can run with just about anyone in the country. We got some breaks tonight (missing CC players/crazy 5×3’s), but we can roll with the best team in the WCHA, any day. I love that I don’t think we’ve seen UMass play their best game of the year.

Wow Justin, really? Don’t think you’ve seen UMass’ best game yet? How do you feel two weeks later, after four straight losses to lower- (or even un-) ranked teams?

We’re doomed…doooooooommed!!!!!
I hate Umass hockey. We suck. We suck ass. 8th place is too good for us. I’ll be satisfied with nothing more than 9th place. This team will be lucky to win another game. Awful, no talent ass clowns. How dare they?!!


That stinker against your biggest rival (Lowell) sure was a gut punch, eh? At least you can do what all the other rats on that sinking ship are doing: jumping on the basketball team’s bandwagon. Repeat after us: “Hey, at least hoops won!”

Vermont, meanwhile, took three of four points from Northeastern last weekend. That’s great.

Here’s “snwbrdr,” one of the Catamount fans banging the drum for a national title bid after not even sweeping a team (at home, mind you) that everyone agrees has played well above its head.

Great game by the Cats. Two in a row. Shows they can compete with anyone if they play with a sense of urgency and DESIRE.

They DOMINATED large parts of both games for the first time in YEARS. all the lines looked good for the most part. The D looked solid, the transition game was excellent.

Is this the turning point for the season? Can they go on a run now?

I think they can.

Sure, the Catamounts hadn’t won in over a month before those two games, and didn’t have a league win since Nov. 20, but yeah, UVM getting three points against an overachieving team that’s been coming back to earth for the last two series is certainly indicative of its ability to “compete with anyone.” That’s a big change from this same poster’s feelings a week ago.

I’m glad Sneddon mentioned that lack of toughness the team is exhibiting. Call it what you want but the lack of what I call EFFORT and DESIRE are rather obvious when they coast rather than stride to loose pucks and when they let the other teams skate circles around them.

He says that he does not know how to coach a soft team. Fair enough. But if that is the problem then he needs to change the type of player that they recruit to get the tough players that he needs in his systems.

They bounced back against BU earlier in the year. Can they do it again? BC is not BU though. I suspect a better game but another L

I bet they get 2 points vs NU the next weekend though. But they are still angling for a bottom 3 finish.

Sometimes we wish big ol’ Chief would come by with a pillow and put these Group Z fanbases out of their misery/elation. We’re getting vertigo from dealing with the ups and the downs.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. justin permalink
    January 24, 2008 3:09 pm

    Nice bit of reporting. Either you are intentionally misleading people as you try to come up with pinhead blog #2, or you have failed to do your proper journalistic research. Firstly, you pull quotes from two different sources, which is worth mentioning, if irrelevant to the overall issue at hand. Second, if you were to read on on the umasshoops thread, you would have clearly noted that that was sarcasm in my post. Further research (yes, journalists do this!) would have revealed exactly how I actually feel about the team after the 4 game losing streak.

    “I just don’t like the see-saw attitude of a lot of fans…when the team wins they’re awesome, when they lose, they suck. Bishop’s post is exactly on point as to how I’m viewing the situation.

    Given the depths that this program has risen from, I’m still pretty happy. Lets focus on moving forward and sweeping a beatable UVM squad.”

    Gee, this would seem to be the OPPOSITE of what you are saying. feel free to go to, to do some follow up.

    So what is it? Are you an intentionally deceitful “journalist” who uses misrepresentation to “prove” your articles? are you an unfunny asshole like the boys from chestnut hill? or are you just a shitty “journalist?”

    And for the record, basketball sucks.

  2. The 'Hawks blog permalink
    January 24, 2008 11:54 pm

    we are just jerks for no reason.

  3. justin permalink
    January 25, 2008 2:15 pm

    Ahhhh…The Pinhead approach. Fair enough, honesty appreciated.

    Good luck against UMD

  4. Anonymous permalink
    January 25, 2008 3:45 pm

    At least Pinhead Nation is funny…

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