April 06 2013 12:20PM
The open thread is something I used during the cursed lock-out to keep the discussion rolling here on FN. I figured it's time to resurrect it as we approach the off-season.
I may expand on this on Monday, but today let's focus on the bright side of things. For many this likely seems as the darkest days of their fanship, but TJ Brodie's incredible emergence this season as a legitimate top-4 defender (whose ceiling may be beyond what even I considered possible before the season started) proves there are always silver linings to dark clouds.
Calgary Flames fans have every reason to be skeptical, frustrated and pessimistic. The organization hasn't tasted much success in the past two decades and the previous pillars of the franchise are all crumbling. The great thing about pro sports is there is always tomorrow. The next great star might be just around the corner. Maybe the Flames will pick their Jonathan Toews or Anze Kopitar in this draft. Maybe Johnny Gaudreau is the next Martin St. Louis. Perhaps Jon Gillies is destined to be the org's next great puck stopper.
Despite the record this year (in what is essentially only half a season, remember), there's hope on the horizon, however dim it may seem.
One thing I'd like to avoid in this space is endless flame wars about what it is to be a true fan. One of the reasons I don't tend to spend much time at fan messageboards is the discussion always seems to inevitablity devolve into useless arguments and social signaling about how and what "real" fans of the team should act, feel and think.
Let's be very clear: there is no right way to be a Flames fan. If you're reading here, contributing here and care enough to follow along, then you're a fan. I don't care if you are endlessly skeptical or relentlessly optimistic, as long as you can put forth your arguments and defend them without descending into ad hominem, then you're welcome to share. There is no moral high ground in cheering for a sports team. You may be more or less rational in how you do it or what you believe, but that's what the discussion is for.
As always, we invite worthwhile comments and even (good) smack talk at FN. But what I want to avoid at all costs in the coming dark times is comment strings breaking down into fruitless No True Scotsman debates.