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SITE NEWS: Addressing Some Recent Criticisms

Believe it or not, there are Texans fans who are mad online. This post attempts to quell some fears about BRB.

New York Jets v Houston Texans Photo by Thomas Shea/Getty Images

The comments to this post got a bit heated, so I wanted to take a few minutes to try to address some of the criticisms that I read about your friendly neighborhood Houston Texans fan site. If I miss anything, feel free to let me know in the comments; I’ll do my best to answer any additional questions I see there as time permits.

1. Complaints about Saturday’s post regarding Jadeveon Clowney apparently being spotted at the Golden Nugget in Lake Charles: Gripes about that post should be directed at one person and one person only—me. If you had a problem with BRB writing about it, I get it. I debated posting it at all, ultimately deciding that it was newsworthy and thus merited an entry. If you disagree with that conclusion, I understand. You have every right to that opinion, and I know where you’re coming from.

With regard to the story being pinned to the top of the site until earlier this afternoon, again, that is entirely my fault. My intention was to keep a story that I believed was newsworthy pinned until late Monday, as there are a fair amount of people in our community who don’t come to BRB during the weekend; those folks primarily come to the site almost exclusively during the traditional work day/work week. Unfortunately, my day job demanded every ounce of my attention Monday night, yesterday, last night, and all day today until I started writing this post. Unpinning the Clowney post completely slipped my mind until someone brought the comments blasting us for still having the post featured to my attention a couple of hours ago. Leaving it highlighted yesterday and today was not the plan, and I apologize. I was not trying to keep BRB’s name in lights or prolong the debate about what Clowney did or did not do. Nor was I trying to chase page hits. I got busy with real life. Much to my chagrin, it happens from time to time. If anyone was genuinely inconvenienced, irritated, or offended by a post not being further down the page than he or she thought it should be, I’m sorry.

2.  Complaints about "too many posts": We strive to get at least four (4) new articles up each day. Most times we succeed; sometimes we don’t. Many of the articles you read on a given day are scheduled to publish ahead of time. For example, on Monday night, we had four (4) posts scheduled to publish at various times during the following day, not including Dunsmore’s always excellent Battle Red Newswire. We ended up publishing a total of eight (8) new articles yesterday. Why? Because there were additional news items to write about that broke throughout the day (e.g., a division rival trading its 2015 second-round pick away, the Texans announcing they would play on turf again in 2016, and the Texans signing a new player).

The additional content is not part of some craven grab for advertising revenue or to bait anyone into clicking. There is no incentive, financial or otherwise, to chase advertising dollars by the BRB staff. Writing at BRB is by and large a hobby. Nobody’s retiring early and living off their blogging dough. The plethora of posts are simply a function of (1) having things to write about and (2) having additional writers available to post. Speaking of the latter...

3. Complaints about the new writers: Every one of our new writers is adapting to something they’ve never done before; that is, writing for the BRB community. Be kind. It’s not easy, especially not at first.

Additionally, you can give constructive feedback without attacking the writer. Think Will Fuller wasn’t open? Cool. Reasonable minds can differ in their opinions. Please respectfully express your disagreement without lambasting or questioning the writer’s intelligence.

4. Complaints about the content of the posts: It would be awesome if we could produce detailed breakdowns and film studies every day. Sadly, the amount of work that goes into those kinds of articles, coupled with the responsibilities all of us have in other facets of our lives, necessarily means that likely won’t happen with that sort of frequency.

Not every post is going to merit consideration by the Pulitzer committee. Sometimes, they’re just going to be quick posts reporting a transaction or news item. Sometimes, they’ll just ask a question to generate discussion.  Sometimes, that's all the time we have.  Sometimes, it's all that's needed.  There’s no hard and fast rule as to what should comprise a post.

There’s also nothing that says new content has to come from the masthead. If you have an idea about something that hasn’t been written about, or you believe something deserves further exploration, write a FanPost. FanPosts often serve as a great place to inspire future posts or additional discussion. Please make generous use of them.

5. Talk of starting a new website: I mean this with all sincerity and without an ounce of vitriol—go for it. The more places dedicated to talking about the Houston Texans, the better for Texans fans. I’d love to see more Texans coverage from talented writers, and I know we have several excellent writers in our community who don’t write featured pieces here. If you want to start a site focused on the Texans, I applaud the initiative and look forward to reading your work. If there’s anything I can do to help, please let me know.

6. Complaints about the new layout: SB Nation is transitioning to a new layout, and it’s a work in progress. As with any transition, there have been and will continue to be hiccups. Those of you who were around in 2012 when SB Nation debuted its current platform may recall that we experienced some bumps in the road back then, including but not limited to people lamenting that the old format was preferable. I remember there were some who said they would stop coming to BRB because of the platform change, though I don’t think that actually happened.

I sympathize with your frustration about the notion of there not being a need to fix something that isn’t broken. All I can say is that SB Nation has given every indication that they’re committed to improving the product and interface, and they have expressed a willingness to listen to all suggestions about how they can do that. Please give the process a chance, as we certainly don’t want to see anyone decide that they’d rather forfeit the interaction with the other members of this fine community over a problem with the technical side of the operation.

With that, I yield the floor. Thoughts, comments, concerns?