Of course, the first step was for the owners to find out who these posters were. Last week a judge ordered that
three fans whose postings might "reasonably be understood to allege greed, selfishness, untrustworthiness and dishonest behaviour", should be unmasked.I don't know what, precisely, these guys wrote about their club's owners, etc., but this shocks me. Although I'm a cautious person even I would occasionally let loose when particularly frustrated by the Mets. And I wouldn't have a leg to stand on if Yankees' owner George Steinbrenner ever decided to come after me.
Sports are all about hyperbole, no? Fans overstate the importance of the results in their lives and make ridiculously exaggerated claims - for better or worse - about the teams they "marry". It's a 100% emotional relationship; reason never enters into it. Are we all now supposed to only speak in legalese when talking about our team?
Look, I know posting on the internet is not the same as talking in a bar, but anyone who reads a blog or message board run by and for a team's fans knows that many of the posters are posting in that semi-sober, barely literate state that fans often find themselves in after a game. People do get carried away, but I would bet Wednesday's fans would be happy if the chairman, chief executive and five directors who are filing suit would simply let it go and tell the fans that they too are frustrated, but they do want to win.
Like I said, fans aren't reasonable, but they can be somewhat appeased if they know that those in charge of their team are suffering, truly suffering. They don't really mean any harm, but they're in agony and they're yelling at the doctor, the only one who can help them with their suffering. That's the owner and being thick-skinned is a prerequisite.