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The offseason at BTB

Since we are in such a slow news cycle right now, I thought I'd take a moment to talk about the offseason at Blogging The Boys. There are some of you who were around for last offseason - thanks, by the way - so you already know how it works. To everybody who came on board during the season, or after reading my training camp reports from Oxnard, welcome and I hope you'll stick around through the offseason.

The regular season makes things easy, there's always news or a story available. In the offseason, sometimes we have to create our own news. That's why having a community blog works so well, everybody can help with the news, rumors, opinions, guesses and all the other stuff that goes on. On the draft, I'm no college football guru, I follow it but unless a player is nationally known or played in the ACC, I probably don't know much about them, yet. I will be polishing up on the draft prospects, but I'm sure plenty of you know more about NCAA players than I do. (Unless it's Calvin Johnson, then I challenge anybody to a duel!) In free agency, there are rumors and mentions of players in every city, I can't catch them all, so you guys can help provide the news.

That brings me to Diaries, an open forum for everybody to post their own stories. Please feel free to use them; they are there for posting news or opinion that I'm not covering on the front page. Even if I am covering something and you have a different view, write it up. Whether you're writing a Diary or posting some news in the comments, I do ask one thing, and this is especially important in the offseason, let us know the source of your news and provide a link if available. If it's something that's just been rumored somewhere or you read it on another forum, tell us that so we can decide for ourselves how much credence we want to place in it. Rumors or wild speculation in the offseason are fun, just make sure we know when it's a rumor, or when someone may actually have real information.

On the front page, I'll be posting a mixture of facts and rumors, and I'll always try to make that clear. And just because I post something doesn't mean I definitely support it, even if I think it will never happen I might put it up because it's interesting news. Also, for all you novice posters or complete lurkers, here's another pitch for you to join in instead of just reading, although I appreciate the fact that people do come here everyday to read the BTB. Sure, you'll occasionally get ripped by other members of the community - in a respectful way - but so what? I get it all the time, and it's cool because plenty of times I'm wrong - anybody remember this heart-felt ode to Drew Bledsoe I wrote just two weeks before I threw him under the bus? It comes with the territory. But go for it anyway, it's not about being right or wrong, it's about participating.

This is also a good time to review the guidelines here at BTB. First rule, no politics, religion or other subjects that make people crazy. This is a football blog, more specifically, a Dallas Cowboys blog. Those other subjects, while truly important topics, are not what we are here to discuss. There are plenty of places on the net to have those discussions. Next - profanity. If you can't express yourself without dropping f-bombs and the like, then re-think your need to post. I'm no prude in real-life, and depending on who I'm talking to, my language would make Quentin Tarrentino blush. But on the blog, I like to maintain a PG-13 rating. Nobody's getting banned for an occasional slip, but continued use of profanity, especially in an aggressive manner, will lead to being banned. The third rule is respect for others. Just because you don't believe what someone else wrote and think it's the most ridiculous thing you've ever heard, there's no need to go after someone on a personal level. Disagreements are fine, good debate is more than welcome, attacking each other is not. Remember, it's not personal. If I love player X, and someone else criticizes player X, that's not a personal attack on me. Realize we've all got opinions, and no one holds the secret to the absolute truth.

But other than that, have at it. Go forth and multiply your comments and Diaries, help me out by keeping the news and opinion flowing at BTB.


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