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San Jose Sharks Gameday: My Biggest Fans

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I've gotten some great responses to my writing recently.

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Not a fan of me or my works.
Not a fan of me or my works.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

In recent months, my great works here at Battle of California have earned me a spot writing for the main SB Nation NHL page. This has been a lot of fun, in no small part because it has allowed me to write for a whole new audience who are not cool or smart enough to read Battle of California.

Predictably, this has led to a few complaints.

My first experience with angry fans on the NHL page came when I made fun of Ryan O'Reilly's crazy dad. Some folks took exception to my mockery of his bizarre and borderline-incoherent anti-medicine rants, and a guy let me know about it in the comments:


This "article" is so riddled with bullshit, that one can only assume it came from an oilers fan. Amazingly misleading.

I'm not exactly sure why saying that I am qualified to work at the worldwide leader in news is supposed to be an insult, but I'll be damned if I'm going to let someone imply that I'm an Oilers fan.

My next "popular" post came when I discussed Chicago broadcaster Ed Olczyk getting mad at Nail Yakupov for ducking out of the way of a hit. There was plenty of criticism of me in the comments, but my favorite piece was e-mailed to me directly, with the subject "Ed Olczyk comments!!":

Do you even know what your talking about?? There is a difference between dodging a check and ducking. When you dodge you move left or right and the opposing player squares into the boards and misses the check. When you duck you force the opposing players face or head into the boards because you cause the legs to remain back. You have no clue what your talking about and should just keep your little queer comments to yourself, you have probably never played hockey or have a clue about it. For Christ you carry a man purse and that just screams PUSSY!!! Stick to commenting on your shitty Sharks and leave the real hockey writing to people who know the game. Have a nice day!!!!

For Christ.

I've discussed this already on this site, but the "man purse" thing is probably referring to the picture of me on my SB Nation author page, in which I am carrying a messenger bag. The bag is 1) NOT a purse and 2) very stylish and fashionable, so this guy is just totally off base with his criticisms.

Have a nice day!!!!

The best responses I have gotten so far, though, came last week when I wrote about Sidney Crosby getting Rock Bottomed. Specifically, people took issue with the final sentence of my article, which said "No penalty was called on the play, so hopefully everyone starts doing this to Sidney Crosby all the time."

For the record, I don't hate Sidney Crosby. I just love seeing wrestling moves in hockey, and think it is hilarious. I thought that was clear from my article, but apparently it was not.

The article received a few comments like this:

Nicholas your comment is just stupid, if you love hockey and competition.

"So hopefully everyone starts doing this to Sidney Crosby all the time."
Nicholas whether you like Crosby or not, this is a ridiculous and quite frankly stupid thing to say. Crosby is one of the best and recognizable players in the league. Why would you want him hurt or injured? The league needs stars to be loved and hated. Also why would you wish that anyone especially a good person like Crosby be slammed to the ice all the time?!?

...but even BETTER than the comments was the e-mail exchange the article sparked, which I will now reproduce in its entirety. The only alteration I have made to these messages is to remove the last name of the guy I offended.

Here we go:

Dear Nicholas Scibetta,

I was reading an article called "Sidney Crosby gets Rock Bottomed", an article you did. There was a line in the article that made me very upset and ashamed.

The line in the article read, "No penalty was called on the play, so hopefully everyone starts doing this to Sidney Crosby all the time." This line followed the explanation of Mark Fraser's extreme hit on Crosby. What a thing to say. Hopefully players around the NHL keep hitting Crosby and cause a possible injury to the current best NHL player today? I think you should be ashamed of yourself for saying such a thing.

I really hope you choose your words more carefully next time you do an article like this.


I read the e-mail, thoughtfully considered the opinions expressed in it, and then sent this response:


Thank you for your positive feedback and I'm glad you enjoyed my article.


Chris didn't consider our conversation to be over, though, and wrote me back:

Are you kidding me? Did you even read my email. I did not enjoy your article and I expect an apology for what you said in the article.

And so I replied:


Thank you for your positive feedback and I'm glad you enjoyed my article.


And then he said:

You are retarded!

So I said:


Thank you for your positive feedback and I'm glad you enjoyed my article.


As of yet, he hasn't written me back again...but I'm praying every day that our correspondence will continue.

I love you, Chris, with all my retarded heart.

Next Game

San Jose Sharks
@ Edmonton Oilers

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013, 6:30 PM PDT
Rexall Place

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The Sharks play hockey today?

Damn it, I hate when that happens.

Prediction: I don't know. Probably something bad.

Today's book is Hell's Angels by Hunter S. Thompson. Here is a quote:

“A man who has blown all his options can’t afford the luxury of changing his ways. He has to capitalize on whatever he has left, and he can’t afford to admit — no matter how often he’s reminded of it — that every day of his life takes him farther and farther down a blind alley…”