A little over a year ago, a simple idea had been welling up for months. Though the FOC had become an important part of our lives over the many years of its existence, a serious rift developed between those who only wanted to discuss hockey and those who wanted to talk about a wide range of issues. And it was serious. We had already lost contact with some of the FOC's valued contributors...RPAP, FCF, CHF, CzechPrincess, to name a few. We don't know the reasons why all of them left, but we do know that the FOC was no more a factor in their daily lives. I think we all were (and are) eternally grateful that Nancy provided a convenient forum for the "adults" to discuss hockey and related matters. But the rift developed primarily because of an ugly spat that started in 2002 between those who believed that the Stanley Cup could be bought, and those who didn't. The spat eventually crossed over into political matters, which further led to more personal insults and derision. No one person or opinion was to blame for the deterioration that ensued, but it was clear that that FOC was losing its legs. Thus, the creation of the "Sin Bin" was more an attempt to save the FOC from further abandonment than it was to provide an alternative hockey forum. The idea seems to have worked, in principle (although the old contributors have yet to return). This forum is the FOC's penalty box, and we - the contributors - are serving time for violating the unwritten, "hockey only" rule at the FOC. Most of us realize that Nancy had no qualms with our non-hockey posts. The remaining contributors, however, made it clear that those posts weren't welcome any more.
So here we are - a year later - hammering away at the issues of the day and often trying to make sense out of the insensible. In so doing, I've learned an awful lot about you, and myself, during the past year.
I tried to institute ground rules at the outset, only to find out later that some of them were either too burdensome for some of you (the "!" warning), too time consuming to edit (careless typing), or too difficult to enforce (long articles instead of links). I've also learned that a few of you think you have the "right" to post anything you want here. While I clearly communicated that I have sole discretion over the content of this board, some of you took issue with the way I exercised my right as moderator, particularly D'Artagnon. He may change his mind and eventually return. As far as I'm concerned, his loss is our gain. I twice made the mistake of asking all of you to vote on banning smike, just as the FOC moderators had done when Pete was "voted" off. Sharkalope is right. I didn't need to resort to that tactic, and I was wrong for doing so. Nevertheless, I will not allow this forum to be an outlet for anti-Semitic or racist commentary, even when they're made by people who are clearly too ignorant to know when they make them.
All in all, this has been a fun and enlightening year. Here's to many more...
Thanks to all..and keep the fur flying!