Prequel to the Ray Saga: How It All Began

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Prequel to the Ray Saga: How It All Began

Post by Earl on Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:47 am

I should have posted this new topic in January.  So, here goes:



It was a dark and stormy night. . . .   pale 

Well, actually, I don't remember what the weather was like outside my domicile when it all began.  Now, as to the time, I don't remember the exact date.  Perhaps it was in May or June of last year, which is only a guesstimate.

Anyway, one day I chose to make a Google search on the URL of Ray's website (www.sportssuck.org).  I was just curious as to what I'd find.  I discovered there was a website that was providing statistics and other information about other websites on the Internet.  Among the links that were accessed in my Google search was a link to the webpage of this particular website that was devoted to Sports Suck (which I will hereafter refer to as "SS" for the sake of convenience) -- which is posted below, as follows:

http://www.statmyweb.com/site/sportssuck.org

I skimmed through it and discovered that SS had an expiration date:  "03 January 2013."

Like a fool, I procrastinated and didn't tell anyone about it until the middle of November.  (At the risk of insulting the reader's intelligence, I'm referring to November of last year.)  Since he was my immediate superior at SS, I asked Skul (the forum Admin) in a PM if he knew anything about this expiration date.  He replied that he did not, but said that he would contact Ray (the site Admin) to ask him what would become of the website on that day.

(Incidentally, before I continue, I noticed in a subsection entitled "Web Site Safety and Reputation Rating" on the StatMyWeb page that SS had a "Child safety" rating of "Very poor."  I can only guess why.  Perhaps all the cussing and the posting of violent images had something to do with it.)

If I remember correctly, I then left SS, but came back later within an hour's time and logged back in.  At that time I saw that someone else had logged in under the username "secretary," which was shared by both Skul and Ray as Admins.  No other individual was able to log in under this username.  Skul soon sent me a PM in which he said that this unidentified individual had deleted Ray's Admin profile, which had the effect of automatically deleting all of Ray's posts in the forum!  Skul also said that Ray had not replied to his inquiries.  We now have no doubt that it was Ray who had logged in under the "secretary" username.

Previously there had been an exchange in the Guestbook between Fat Man and a visitor who claimed that he was the real Fat Man and that he had changed his mind and become a sports fan, a Republican, and a Christian.  I found the exchanges between the two of them to be hilarious.  Several times I would chime in with a comment to the effect of "Send in the clowns.  No, wait.  They're here."  Anyway, while Ray was still online at the time he deleted his Admin profile, he also "cleaned up" the exchanges between the three of us by deleting them all and banned me from the Guestbook!  Yeah, I kid you not!  (Incidentally, in either 2010 or 2011 Ray had told me in an e-mail how I could delete spam and abusive comments in the Guestbook.  Interestingly enough, a few months before that night in November of 2012, I discovered that the instructions Ray had given me had apparently become outdated.  I have no idea if Ray in the interim had had a change of heart about me and had therefore deliberately deprived me of the ability to delete comments in the Guestbook or if it was just a coincidence.)

Skul sent several e-mails to Ray, asking him why he had deleted his Admin profile and what he was going to do about the expiration date.  Not only did I have Ray's e-mail address, but also I was a "Friend" at his Facebook account.  So, in addition to several e-mails, I sent him a total of six PMs at Facebook.  He never replied to a single one of them; and he never replied to Skul, either.

[Ever since Ray had first sent me an e-mail in the spring of 2009 after I had posted several times in the "Letters" column, we communicated extensively by both PM and e-mail.  His replies were usually quite prompt.  I assumed we had become friends.  But even though I had given him my name, e-mail address (and regular mailing address as well, if I remember correctly), my home phone number, and my cell phone number, he never gave me a phone number so I could call him.  He claimed that I would find him to be boring; but, of course, I now doubt that was the real reason why he wouldn't give me a phone number.  He told me he was scared that certain members of his family might find out he was the creator of SS.]

Soon he deleted the large "button" on the home page of his website that accessed the index of the forum.  But we could still visit the forum as long as we used its URL.

In the meantime, Skul began to see what he could do to set up a new forum separate and apart from Ray's website.  He also conducted a poll among the members of the old forum for the purpose of deciding whether to keep the original name of the website ("Sports Suck") or to come up with a new name.  We voted in favor of a compromise:  "I hate sports."  Dear Reader, the forum in which this OP has been posted is the product of Skul's efforts.

In the meantime, as soon as the new forum was running, Ray completely wiped out the old forum.  It no longer exists.  What a waste!

Now, I don't remember if what I'm about to relate to you happened before or after the expiration date; but it really doesn't matter.  I had mentioned to you that Ray had accepted me as a "Friend" at Facebook.  (Incidentally, this was done in 2009.)  Anyway, one day when I visited his webpage at Facebook, I noticed that his "wall" was no longer displayed.  So, I checked the list of his Friends and discovered that I had been removed from the list!  Can you believe that?  But my feelings weren't hurt at all.  I just chuckled about it because it was so petty of Ray to do that.

But this is not the end of this strange tale. . . .

The expiration date came and went.  Skul had had no idea if the old website would simply vanish or just float around the Internet as inactive junk. So, we were surprised when two messages soon showed up in the letters column for this year.  As I understand, Ray was the one who had always been in charge of the letters columns.  He would approve or block messages that had been e-mailed to secretary@sportssuck.org.

The third message that appeared was sent by an intolerant sports fan.  Oddly enough, the sports bore's message (as had previously been the custom) was not displayed in blue print, but was displayed in the usual black.  I e-mailed a response to the sports bore.  About two days later, a fourth message was displayed, this one from a teenage boy who rebutted the sports bore.  He had never even registered to post in the forum, but was one of the regulars who posted from time to time in the letters columns.  He would sign off as "Tim."  My message was never approved by Ray, even though I had quite effectively refuted the sports bore and had signed off as "A former member" instead of "Earl"!  In the good old days before he went bonkers, Ray would have approved my message as well as Tim's.

Ray's continued activity in the "Letters 2013" column seems to indicate that he must have paid a certain sum to keep his website running, I would assume. Why hasn't he just let the website die?  Why continue the letters column past the expiration date?  Your guess is as good as mine.

Still no answer from Ray as to why he has taken such capricious action.  We have been left to speculate as to why he has acted this way.  I'm not able to make any sense out of it.  How ironic!  Ray (the creator of the website who was more extreme than those of us who had no problem with civil sports fans posting in the forum) has accomplished what Samdaman sought to do!  But at least we have a new forum, and hopefully more webpages will be added so that we will have another website for "sports haters."


Last edited by Earl on Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:47 pm; edited 1 time in total

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"You beat a woman and drag her down a flight of stairs, pulling her hair out by the roots? You're the fourth guy taken in the NFL draft. You kill people while driving drunk? That guy's welcome. Players caught in hotel rooms with illegal drugs and prostitutes? We know they're welcome. Players accused of rape and pay the woman to go away? You lie to police, trying to cover up a murder? We're comfortable with that.  You love another man? Well, now you've gone too far!" -- Dale Hansen, Dallas sports anchor for ABC local affiliate WFAA
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Re: Prequel to the Ray Saga: How It All Began

Post by Earl on Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:11 am

Bump!

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"You beat a woman and drag her down a flight of stairs, pulling her hair out by the roots? You're the fourth guy taken in the NFL draft. You kill people while driving drunk? That guy's welcome. Players caught in hotel rooms with illegal drugs and prostitutes? We know they're welcome. Players accused of rape and pay the woman to go away? You lie to police, trying to cover up a murder? We're comfortable with that.  You love another man? Well, now you've gone too far!" -- Dale Hansen, Dallas sports anchor for ABC local affiliate WFAA
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Re: Prequel to the Ray Saga: How It All Began

Post by Sinead on Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:44 pm

I understand you have the best of intentions in your dealings with people but I would strongly advise you against giving your personal contact details to anyone you talk to on the internet, no matter how well you think you might know them. At the end of the day you just don't know these people in the flesh and sometimes, like this guy, they turn out to be bad eggs. I would be concerned if a person who had spectacularly turned their back on me like this on the internet had my home address and landline number.

Think you would be best just forgetting about this guy and the Fat Man for the time being (I've seen both websites) and maybe getting involved with some other online forums discussing topics which interest you as let's face it, without Fat Man things are going to be much quieter round here and this Leyton Wingit guy (or whatever) just seems like a troll from a whole other place. I strongly doubt it's this Ray character. Again, like I say, I think he knows about the reactions his irrational behaviour generates on this forum and gets a buzz from seeing them. If you just ignore him he'll probably lose interest altogether. Again, try finding other discussion forums online. If there's one thing I know about the internet, it's that there's always enough to satisfy anyone. In fact, more than enough.

I congratulate you for having the courage to ban one of the forum's most prolific members and someone who you class as a friend as let's be honest, he was repeatedly and shamelessly flouting the rules (some of the things I saw him write were absolutely appalling, especially in the context of what he suffered when he was younger) and I think the sight of him doing so day in day out encouraged numerous trolls to spout crap on this website convinced they'd get off lightly too. At first I did take Big Fat Heretic's side against members who clearly only started posting on here to provoke him, but having read more of his posts about politics and religion where he repeatedly generalises and savages those of different outlooks I agree he was riding roughshod over the forum rules and was possibly discouraging potential members from signing up.
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Re: Prequel to the Ray Saga: How It All Began

Post by Earl on Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:42 pm

Sinead, I deeply appreciate all of your comments.  Smile

Your advice against giving personal contact information to someone on the Internet whom one has not met in real life is very wise.  

I should have been more cautious dealing with Ray, but he was the first person on the Internet with whom I communicated.  The very first messages I posted on the Internet were displayed in the “Letters” column of his website for that year (2009).  I had responded to an abusive sports fan who had posted there.  Ray was impressed by my writing and contacted me by e-mail to compliment me.  (Incidentally, he has since deleted those messages of mine in that particular “Letters” column.)  He seemed to be very friendly, and we started having frequent e-mail and PM exchanges.  He was always quite prompt in his responses.  Later that spring he asked me if I would be willing to serve as a moderator.  

But when the trouble started about five years later, he stopped communicating with me despite repeated attempts on my part to find out why he was upset with me and Skul.  I now suspect he had gotten upset with me when I invited a decent college football player named Andy to post in his forum.  Andy had objected to the negative stereotyping of football players in the Guestbook of Ray’s forum, and I had responded sympathetically because I knew how it felt to be subjected to a negative stereotype.  I had had that experience when I was a boy for not liking sports.  Besides, abusive sports fans had usually been allowed to post in the forum as long as they wanted.  As far as I know, Ray never told Skul (who was the admin of the old forum) to exclude all sports fans.

By the way, Ray has shown no desire to harass me.  He has just ignored me.  He probably deleted my personal contact info.  I haven’t received a single e-mail from him.

After today, I intend to avoid talking about Big Fat Heretic and Ray as much as I can.  (However, from time to time I may copy and paste funny posts submitted by Skul in Ray’s revived forum.)  

I do get tired of posting in forums because of all the trolling and flaming that goes on (which, sadly enough, seems to be nearly universal).  But I feel a special sense of obligation to stay on as the sole moderator of this forum because Skul is one of the nicest (and funniest) guys I’ve ever met on the Internet.  If I cut out now, Skul would really be hurt.  Besides, forums such as this one serve a needed purpose, especially for kids who have no interest in sports and have therefore been alienated by the culture of school sports that is so dominant in society.

I deeply appreciate your sympathy and understanding regarding the yearlong ban of Big Fat Heretic.  I have considered him to be a friend (although he may no longer feel the same about me).  But I had to put the forum first.  The decision Skul and I made was not entered into lightly.  It was hard to make, but it was a long time coming.  When he had started posting in Ray’s old forum, I felt inhibited from objecting to his more outrageous comments and bizarre statements because I believed that he was emotionally fragile (a mistaken belief I now realize) since he had come from a background of abuse.  I now deeply regret that I did not start making criticisms when they were needed.  It would have been for his own good (although I fear he wouldn’t have listened).  

He needs to learn from other victims of bullying and abuse that the best revenge is to move on and make the most of one’s life.  I’ve come across a political website that he would appreciate; namely, Democratic Underground.  Some of their members suffered bullying when they were young, some of it rather severe.  But this is precisely the sort of advice they would give to him, and they’re not the hardhearted ideologues he so deeply resents.  Yes, putting the past behind can be very difficult for some, depending upon the severity of the bullying or abuse; but it’s still necessary in order to have a good life.

Sorry I’m late getting back to you.  Again, I deeply appreciate your interest in this forum.  Smile

_________________
"You beat a woman and drag her down a flight of stairs, pulling her hair out by the roots? You're the fourth guy taken in the NFL draft. You kill people while driving drunk? That guy's welcome. Players caught in hotel rooms with illegal drugs and prostitutes? We know they're welcome. Players accused of rape and pay the woman to go away? You lie to police, trying to cover up a murder? We're comfortable with that.  You love another man? Well, now you've gone too far!" -- Dale Hansen, Dallas sports anchor for ABC local affiliate WFAA
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