It should go without saying that I love being a Devils fan. I’m biased, of course, but I think we have a great and passionate group of fans, even if we can be vulgar at home games. And bring back Rock and Roll Part 2 as the goal song, dammit! “Hey You Suck” is iconic!
The SB Nation fan blog for the Devils, however, contains a userbase that I consider to be disgraces to Devils fans. Formerly named In Lou We Trust, All About the Jersey is filled with some of the most pompous, boring (get used to reading that word a lot in this post), and outright infuriating people in any group of sports fans. It was one of the first blogs to use advanced statistics in its articles, but now that everyone else is using them, they’ve lost their identity and what’s left is just shit. I should mention that SBN gives no editorial requirements for these blogs, so there are some great ones in hockey and other sports within the site. Whenever I look at Lighthouse Hockey or Blueshirt Banter, I think of what AAtJ could be instead of the quagmire of shit that Devils fans have instead.
I’ll use this article as an example to go off of when it comes to everything wrong with AAtJ. Bear in mind, this is by no means an exhaustive list. It’s not uncommon to find an article that’s written in the same style as a college freshman’s essay: the article subheading acts like an abstract (“This article goes over X” or “I’m going to talk about Y here”) and the opening paragraph repeats what they’re writing about in the rest of the essay. The front page lacks a lot of fun off-the-ice news as well, further amplifying how boring it is there. The Devils have stepped up their social media game since Lou Lamariello left and they’re fun to follow as a result. AAtJ doesn’t bother with such frivolities. It’s a big boring slog through and through.
1. It’s based off an idiotic premise
Right off the bat, the author talks about putting Nico Hischier on the first line at the start of the season. This is not only a stupid idea, it was never going to happen. Playing 1C was the only thing that wasn’t going to come out of this preseason. He’s good right now and might be a wonderful talent in his career. Right now, though, pitting him against the likes of Sidney Crosby, John Tavares, and Auston Matthews at center won’t be good for his development. Even Matthews started on the third line for the Leafs this season. And that’s not even getting into the defensemen that Nico would have to face. But OK, you clearly have an argument, so let’s just see-
2. Holy shit look at all those numbers and spreadsheets, goddamn
There are some people in sportswriting who act like they’d be better off giving a statistics lecture than sports commentary, and the author is one of them. CJ peppers his articles with numbers and spreadsheets throughout. Using statistics as the only verifiable source of info in hockey is a fool’s errand- there’s a lot more that goes into the game than just numbers. Unlike baseball, there’s lots of dumb luck and different tactics involved in hockey. Stats are a valuable guide with which to make decisions, but they’re not the only thing that should be considered, and it certainly doesn’t make for fun or good reading.
3. CJ undermined his entire point
If you’re gonna use stats and numbers to solidify your case for making Nico the first line center from the start, don’t sabotage your own argument. Word to the wise, CJ: when you say that this is entirely based off of 6 whole minutes of Nico working with Hall and Palmieri, then maybe you shouldn’t have wasted your time writing this trash. Dropping a bunch of numbers, stats, and names for stats doesn’t make you smart.
4. You don’t need to ask us what we think at the end of every article
CJ, do you really lack self-confidence that much? I mean, it’s justified in your case because you wrote a terrible fucking article, but still. Anyway, sounding off is what the comment section is for. Then again, maybe this place shouldn’t have one of those, because…
5. The comment section is also boring
The responses to the article are walls of text with barely any responses, and the ones that are there are also boring. If you read Blueshirt Banter, there’s a sense of community and familiarity among the regulars. Here, it’s just a bunch of snobs and nerds trying to one-up each other. A sense of humor also seems to be in short supply. I’d say that the comment section makes for more infuriating reading than the articles.
6. The community acts like a bunch of snobby dipshits for no reason
Somebody in the comment section talked trash about Fire and Ice, a Devils fan blog that turned into NJ.com’s reporting section for the team. Or maybe it was a different article’s comment section, but I’m not going to dig it up. This isn’t an uncommon sight around these parts. The people who post on AAtJ think that they are God’s gift to hockey fans, but they’re more like the fan equivalent of a horse’s ass. F&I got a lot of team scoops back in the day, and Tom Gulitti did such a great job with it that he landed himself a job at NHL.com. John Fischer, editor of this terrible blog, hasn’t gotten a gig through it, and I honestly hope he’s unemployed and never gets a real job. He’s probably a big boring bitch in real life, considering how horrible AAtJ is run.
Also possibly in this comment section (again, not checking): some unpleasant guy bringing up “I thought YOU believed THIS before!” to somebody else on some subject. Holding grudges isn’t a good look for people who foolishly want to put themselves into the community.
7. There are no swear words or .gifs because they’re not allowed
And by “swear words are not allowed,” I mean that you can’t even partially censor them. I guess in addition to making me want to die from boredom, the people in AAtJ are a bunch of prudes. And .gifs make the world go round. I guess they get in the way of the pedantic bullshit that they think makes for a good read, though.
8. Somebody honestly asked what the news about Brian Boyle is
He has cancer, you stupid and/or insensitive prick.
Bottom line: tell Fischer and his gang of terrible, boring writers to fuck off, encourage all of them to kill themselves, and let fun people run it. If Bleed Cubbie Blue didn’t exist, All About the Jersey would be the worst fan blog on SBN. And there are over 300 over them, so that’s quite an accomplishment.