The Rules of Pacers Digest

Hello everyone,

Whether your are a long standing forum member or whether you have just registered today, it's a good idea to read and review the rules below so that you have a very good idea of what to expect when you come to Pacers Digest.

A quick note to new members: Your posts will not immediately show up when you make them. An administrator has to approve at least your first post before the forum software will later upgrade your account to the status of a fully-registered member. This usually happens within a couple of hours or so after your post(s) is/are approved, so you may need to be a little patient at first.

Why do we do this? So that it's more difficult for spammers (be they human or robot) to post, and so users who are banned cannot immediately re-register and start dousing people with verbal flames.

Below are the rules of Pacers Digest. After you have read them, you will have a very good sense of where we are coming from, what we expect, what we don't want to see, and how we react to things.

Rule #1

Pacers Digest is intended to be a place to discuss basketball without having to deal with the kinds of behaviors or attitudes that distract people from sticking with the discussion of the topics at hand. These unwanted distractions can come in many forms, and admittedly it can sometimes be tricky to pin down each and every kind that can rear its ugly head, but we feel that the following examples and explanations cover at least a good portion of that ground and should at least give people a pretty good idea of the kinds of things we actively discourage:

"Anyone who __________ is a liar / a fool / an idiot / a blind homer / has their head buried in the sand / a blind hater / doesn't know basketball / doesn't watch the games"

"People with intelligence will agree with me when I say that __________"

"Only stupid people think / believe / do ___________"

"I can't wait to hear something from PosterX when he/she sees that **insert a given incident or current event that will have probably upset or disappointed PosterX here**"

"He/she is just delusional"

"This thread is stupid / worthless / embarrassing"

"I'm going to take a moment to point and / laugh at PosterX / GroupOfPeopleY who thought / believed *insert though/belief here*"

"Remember when PosterX said OldCommentY that no longer looks good? "

In general, if a comment goes from purely on topic to something 'ad hominem' (personal jabs, personal shots, attacks, flames, however you want to call it, towards a person, or a group of people, or a given city/state/country of people), those are most likely going to be found intolerable.

We also dissuade passive aggressive behavior. This can be various things, but common examples include statements that are basically meant to imply someone is either stupid or otherwise incapable of holding a rational conversation. This can include (but is not limited to) laughing at someone's conclusions rather than offering an honest rebuttal, asking people what game they were watching, or another common problem is Poster X will say "that player isn't that bad" and then Poster Y will say something akin to "LOL you think that player is good". We're not going to tolerate those kinds of comments out of respect for the community at large and for the sake of trying to just have an honest conversation.

Now, does the above cover absolutely every single kind of distraction that is unwanted? Probably not, but you should by now have a good idea of the general types of things we will be discouraging. The above examples are meant to give you a good feel for / idea of what we're looking for. If something new or different than the above happens to come along and results in the same problem (that being, any other attitude or behavior that ultimately distracts from actually just discussing the topic at hand, or that is otherwise disrespectful to other posters), we can and we will take action to curb this as well, so please don't take this to mean that if you managed to technically avoid saying something exactly like one of the above examples that you are then somehow off the hook.

That all having been said, our goal is to do so in a generally kind and respectful way, and that doesn't mean the moment we see something we don't like that somebody is going to be suspended or banned, either. It just means that at the very least we will probably say something about it, quite possibly snipping out the distracting parts of the post in question while leaving alone the parts that are actually just discussing the topics, and in the event of a repeating or excessive problem, then we will start issuing infractions to try to further discourage further repeat problems, and if it just never seems to improve, then finally suspensions or bans will come into play. We would prefer it never went that far, and most of the time for most of our posters, it won't ever have to.

A slip up every once and a while is pretty normal, but, again, when it becomes repetitive or excessive, something will be done. Something occasional is probably going to be let go (within reason), but when it starts to become habitual or otherwise a pattern, odds are very good that we will step in.

There's always a small minority that like to push people's buttons and/or test their own boundaries with regards to the administrators, and in the case of someone acting like that, please be aware that this is not a court of law, but a private website run by people who are simply trying to do the right thing as they see it. If we feel that you are a special case that needs to be dealt with in an exceptional way because your behavior isn't explicitly mirroring one of our above examples of what we generally discourage, we can and we will take atypical action to prevent this from continuing if you are not cooperative with us.

Also please be aware that you will not be given a pass simply by claiming that you were 'only joking,' because quite honestly, when someone really is just joking, for one thing most people tend to pick up on the joke, including the person or group that is the target of the joke, and for another thing, in the event where an honest joke gets taken seriously and it upsets or angers someone, the person who is truly 'only joking' will quite commonly go out of his / her way to apologize and will try to mend fences. People who are dishonest about their statements being 'jokes' do not do so, and in turn that becomes a clear sign of what is really going on. It's nothing new.

In any case, quite frankly, the overall quality and health of the entire forum's community is more important than any one troublesome user will ever be, regardless of exactly how a problem is exhibiting itself, and if it comes down to us having to make a choice between you versus the greater health and happiness of the entire community, the community of this forum will win every time.

Lastly, there are also some posters, who are generally great contributors and do not otherwise cause any problems, who sometimes feel it's their place to provoke or to otherwise 'mess with' that small minority of people described in the last paragraph, and while we possibly might understand why you might feel you WANT to do something like that, the truth is we can't actually tolerate that kind of behavior from you any more than we can tolerate the behavior from them. So if we feel that you are trying to provoke those other posters into doing or saying something that will get themselves into trouble, then we will start to view you as a problem as well, because of the same reason as before: The overall health of the forum comes first, and trying to stir the pot with someone like that doesn't help, it just makes it worse. Some will simply disagree with this philosophy, but if so, then so be it because ultimately we have to do what we think is best so long as it's up to us.

If you see a problem that we haven't addressed, the best and most appropriate course for a forum member to take here is to look over to the left of the post in question. See underneath that poster's name, avatar, and other info, down where there's a little triangle with an exclamation point (!) in it? Click that. That allows you to report the post to the admins so we can definitely notice it and give it a look to see what we feel we should do about it. Beyond that, obviously it's human nature sometimes to want to speak up to the poster in question who has bothered you, but we would ask that you try to refrain from doing so because quite often what happens is two or more posters all start going back and forth about the original offending post, and suddenly the entire thread is off topic or otherwise derailed. So while the urge to police it yourself is understandable, it's best to just report it to us and let us handle it. Thank you!

All of the above is going to be subject to a case by case basis, but generally and broadly speaking, this should give everyone a pretty good idea of how things will typically / most often be handled.

Rule #2

If the actions of an administrator inspire you to make a comment, criticism, or express a concern about it, there is a wrong place and a couple of right places to do so.

The wrong place is to do so in the original thread in which the administrator took action. For example, if a post gets an infraction, or a post gets deleted, or a comment within a larger post gets clipped out, in a thread discussing Paul George, the wrong thing to do is to distract from the discussion of Paul George by adding your off topic thoughts on what the administrator did.

The right places to do so are:

A) Start a thread about the specific incident you want to talk about on the Feedback board. This way you are able to express yourself in an area that doesn't throw another thread off topic, and this way others can add their two cents as well if they wish, and additionally if there's something that needs to be said by the administrators, that is where they will respond to it.

B) Send a private message to the administrators, and they can respond to you that way.

If this is done the wrong way, those comments will be deleted, and if it's a repeating problem then it may also receive an infraction as well.

Rule #3

If a poster is bothering you, and an administrator has not or will not deal with that poster to the extent that you would prefer, you have a powerful tool at your disposal, one that has recently been upgraded and is now better than ever: The ability to ignore a user.

When you ignore a user, you will unfortunately still see some hints of their existence (nothing we can do about that), however, it does the following key things:

A) Any post they make will be completely invisible as you scroll through a thread.

B) The new addition to this feature: If someone QUOTES a user you are ignoring, you do not have to read who it was, or what that poster said, unless you go out of your way to click on a link to find out who it is and what they said.

To utilize this feature, from any page on Pacers Digest, scroll to the top of the page, look to the top right where it says 'Settings' and click that. From the settings page, look to the left side of the page where it says 'My Settings', and look down from there until you see 'Edit Ignore List' and click that. From here, it will say 'Add a Member to Your List...' Beneath that, click in the text box to the right of 'User Name', type in or copy & paste the username of the poster you are ignoring, and once their name is in the box, look over to the far right and click the 'Okay' button. All done!

Rule #4

Regarding infractions, currently they carry a value of one point each, and that point will expire in 31 days. If at any point a poster is carrying three points at the same time, that poster will be suspended until the oldest of the three points expires.

Rule #5

When you share or paste content or articles from another website, you must include the URL/link back to where you found it, who wrote it, and what website it's from. Said content will be removed if this doesn't happen.

An example:

If I copy and paste an article from the Indianapolis Star website, I would post something like this:
Title of the Article
Author's Name
Indianapolis Star

Rule #6

We cannot tolerate illegal videos on Pacers Digest. This means do not share any links to them, do not mention any websites that host them or link to them, do not describe how to find them in any way, and do not ask about them. Posts doing anything of the sort will be removed, the offenders will be contacted privately, and if the problem becomes habitual, you will be suspended, and if it still persists, you will probably be banned.

The legal means of watching or listening to NBA games are NBA League Pass Broadband (for US, or for International; both cost money) and NBA Audio League Pass (which is free). Look for them on

Rule #7

Provocative statements in a signature, or as an avatar, or as the 'tagline' beneath a poster's username (where it says 'Member' or 'Administrator' by default, if it is not altered) are an unwanted distraction that will more than likely be removed on sight. There can be shades of gray to this, but in general this could be something political or religious that is likely going to provoke or upset people, or otherwise something that is mean-spirited at the expense of a poster, a group of people, or a population.

It may or may not go without saying, but this goes for threads and posts as well, particularly when it's not made on the off-topic board (Market Square).

We do make exceptions if we feel the content is both innocuous and unlikely to cause social problems on the forum (such as wishing someone a Merry Christmas or a Happy Easter), and we also also make exceptions if such topics come up with regards to a sports figure (such as the Lance Stephenson situation bringing up discussions of domestic abuse and the law, or when Jason Collins came out as gay and how that lead to some discussion about gay rights).

However, once the discussion seems to be more/mostly about the political issues instead of the sports figure or his specific situation, the thread is usually closed.

Rule #8

We prefer self-restraint and/or modesty when making jokes or off topic comments in a sports discussion thread. They can be fun, but sometimes they derail or distract from a topic, and we don't want to see that happen. If we feel it is a problem, we will either delete or move those posts from the thread.

Rule #9

Generally speaking, we try to be a "PG-13" rated board, and we don't want to see sexual content or similarly suggestive content. Vulgarity is a more muddled issue, though again we prefer things to lean more towards "PG-13" than "R". If we feel things have gone too far, we will step in.

Rule #10

We like small signatures, not big signatures. The bigger the signature, the more likely it is an annoying or distracting signature.

Rule #11

Do not advertise anything without talking about it with the administrators first. This includes advertising with your signature, with your avatar, through private messaging, and/or by making a thread or post.
See more
See less

An interesting article out of Pittsburgh on Home Field Advantage

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • An interesting article out of Pittsburgh on Home Field Advantage

    I thought some of you guys might enjoy this article:

    A playoff win at home isn't as easy as it used to be

    Friday, January 14, 2005

    By Chico Harlan, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    Peter Diana, Post-Gazette

    The Steelers take their first step into the playoffs tomorrow against the New York Jets at Heinz Field, enjoying the coveted 'home field advantage' of football lore and legend. And the roaring support of their hometown fans.
    Click photo for larger image.

    Bettis expected to start against the Jets

    Steelers Notebook: Roethlisberger faces another major test

    Jets fans remain faithful despite 'heartbreak and more heartbreak'

    AFC Playoffs / The Jets: Curtis Martin a football star by accident

    Steelers Q & A: Larry Foote

    Welcome home: 34 local reservists end 11-month tour just in time to see Steelers for free

    More Coverage

    Steelers Nation: A photo journal of Black & Gold fan displays from around the world

    Submit your own Steelers display

    Black & Gold Gatherings Sites for Out-of-Town Fans

    Long ago, three words fused into one phrase -- Home. Field. Advantage. -- and when somebody dropped that phrase into the cauldron of sports debate, it became a term that warped under the pressure of myth and fact. It grew from a statistical trend into a built-in sporting phenomenon. It developed such a roll-off-the-tongue acceptance, who even bothered to notice that home teams in the NFL playoffs have lost six of the past 14 league championship games?

    Home-field advantage became a duty. Strive for it. Earn it. Protect it.

    "From the time you start with football," Steelers cornerback Chad Scott said, "everybody talks about winning at home. That's part of the football mentality."

    At its foundation, home-field advantage is instinctive, a primal desire to protect one's surroundings. For athletes, the desire rings so true that the phrase has rearranged itself into a pop-culture omnipresence. In a commercial for sporting gear company Under Armour, a football player screams, with animalistic urgency, "We must protect this house!" A recent VISA television ad features several New England Patriots barking about their desire to prevent opponents from winning at home -- where, incidentally, the Patriots have won 19 consecutive games.

    To heck with the facts and myths of home-field advantage -- we'll get to that later. Home field, more than anything, is perpetuated by pride. Right now, the Steelers find themselves on a walkway to the Super Bowl. They need only two victories, both of which would come at Heinz Field, to get there. "And when you come to Heinz Field," running back Jerome Bettis said, "you're not going to leave with a win."

    As the AFC's No. 1 seed, the Steelers play host to the New York Jets tomorrow at Heinz Field, a stadium where they have yet to lose this season. If they win tomorrow they'll be back at Heinz next weekend.

    But no guarantees, remember. For all one can say to evidence the truth of home-field advantage -- one example: home playoff teams, since 1970, have won 70 percent of their games -- the Steelers have done much in the past decade to raise doubts. On Jan. 15, 1995, the Steelers lost at Three Rivers Stadium in the AFC championship to the underdog Chargers. Three years later, they lost in similar fashion to the Denver Broncos. By the time New England shocked the Steelers at Heinz Field in January 2002, such losses had become a trend; a painful, embarrassing trend.

    Advantage or not, failing to protect one's home field creates discord in the whole football cosmos. Strive, earn, protect ... strive, earn, protect -- that's what players have trained themselves to expect.

    "Nah, man," Scott said, when asked about Steelers' playoff struggles at home.

    Interview over. He walked away, unwilling to talk.

    THE HOME TEAM, in Vegas, generally receives a three-point edge in the point spread. If, for instance, the Steelers and Patriots were judged as equals when playing at a neutral site, the Steelers would be favored by three points in a game played at Heinz Field; New England would be favored by three in a game played at Gillette Stadium. By a prognosticator's eye, a home stadium is good for a field goal.

    But more accurately, home field, sandwiched between the gap of myth and fact, defies any general rule. By some accounts, home-field advantage is the push an NFL team needs to reach the Super Bowl. "It was a big advantage for us," said Franco Harris, a Steeler with four championship rings. "In playoff games, there's an energy and emotion in the stands that can play a lot into what happens on the field."

    By other accounts, home field is an element so often assumed to be advantageous, people forget about the pitfalls. Said former Steelers coach Chuck Noll: "There are some downsides to being at home, too -- people asking you for tickets, family concerns. A lot of outside distractions."

    Fact is, home teams win NFL playoff games at a remarkably stable rate. In each of the past four decades, home teams have won between 67 and 73 percent of their games. Despite that, many perceive that the advantage of home field has dissipated in the past decade. New stadiums, with their sterile ambience, tend to suffocate the loudest fans. Player movement through free agency melts away each team's identity. And most important, perhaps, a few statistical trends are starting to indicate that playing at home means less than ever.

    Since the NFL created its current, 12-team playoff format in 1990, only half of all No. 1 seeds (14 of 28) have advanced to the Super Bowl. Teams playing at home lost just four conference championships in the entire 1980s; home teams have lost four times in four years since 2000. Even last week, three of four road teams won their wild-card playoff games.

    "I would not say the league is inclined to be a place where home field doesn't mean anything," Steelers president Art Rooney II said. "The league has always understood that there should be a home-field advantage, but it's just a fact of life now that there is more parity than ever."

    Even so, playing at home comes packaged with natural benefits. The top two playoff seeds in each conference receive an extra off week, perfect for healing injured players. Home teams depend on crowd noise to stunt opposing offenses. Teams spend their whole season, as the Steelers did in 2004, aiming for those rewards.

    Then, once you earn all that, you just hope it makes a difference.

    THE FIELD is a variable, a huge variable. Arrowhead in Kansas City? Ear-splitting. Any dome? Tends to be tough. Arizona? Most parking lots are louder.

    When the Steelers opened Heinz Field in 2001, the team had concerns about losing a slice of its home-field advantage, and for good reason. Three Rivers Stadium, where Pittsburgh played from 1970-2000, had established itself as one of the loudest -- and most aesthetically unwelcoming -- venues in the NFL. Four championship teams played there. A legion of towel-waving fans hovered directly above the action. The unmistakable nexus of concrete and craziness, Three Rivers was just like Arrowhead -- ear-splitting.

    Playoff games at Three Rivers produced such electricity, players are goose-pimpled simply by their memory. "I mean, the building actually shook," Bettis said.

    "Three Rivers was special," said Darren Perry, who played for the Steelers from 1992-98 and now serves as the defensive backs coach. "It had a little mystique to it, and for some reason, it got noisier there. You can see the difference at Heinz Field. A lot of the older guys will say the same thing; they'll come to Heinz Field and say it's not nearly as loud. You know, it's the stadium of the new millennium -- a little corporate. Three Rivers was so old and beat up, bricks were falling down ..."

    Perry chuckled at the thought. "So yeah," he said. "It was definitely louder."

    The Steelers still feed off an intensely loyal and loud fan base, but several factors have diminished the noise at their new stadium. The Steelers, Rooney admits, likely has a fan base older than the usual NFL team. Moreover, Heinz Field, with 127 luxury boxes and 6,600 club seats, has more amenities than Three Rivers. That's good if you want to create fan comfort, bad if you want to stimulate fan craziness.

    This season, the Steelers went 8-0 at home and inspired some of the loudest crowds at Heinz Field. After several games, opposing team officials approached Rooney and commented that Heinz had become an extremely challenging place to play.

    What prevents Heinz Field from equaling the decibel level of Three Rivers, perhaps, is purely architectural. With the south end of the stadium open to the downtown skyline, noise can escape.

    "There's some question about whether you lose crowd noise by doing that," said Dennis Wellner, a founding partner of HOK Sport and the principal architect involved in the Heinz Field project. "But you've got other things in that stadium" -- Wellner referenced Heinz Field's spiral rampways and under-the-scoreboard plaza -- "that play to the atmosphere. There, the visiting team can look up at the city they're playing in and see very evidently that it's not their home. It's kind of subjective, but to me, that adds to the intimidation.

    "Even though sound is one issue, it didn't fit at the top of the list. If it did, maybe we'd just go on building stadiums with seats all around like Three Rivers."

    THE ADVANTAGE of everything the Steelers now have -- the swagger inherent with a 15-1 record, the AFC's No. 1 seed, a bye week for rest -- might be particularly pronounced this season.

    "Well this is just a huge advantage for them," said Howie Long, a Fox football analyst and NFL Hall of Fame defensive lineman. As Long, in Pittsburgh last week, paced the sideline during a recent Steelers practice, he started talking teams and matchups and scenarios ... a giant what-if game. And suddenly, home-field advantage, no matter what it has meant in the past for the Steelers, seemed like a harbinger of good things.

    "For the Steelers to be here rather than having to go to a place like, say, Indianapolis -- that's huge," Long continued. "First of all, Indianapolis is a brutal place to play, and that team is built for turf. So I think this is a tremendous edge. And you don't want to be traveling to New England. Remember, New England hasn't lost a home game in two years.

    "So let's say New England ends up here [in the AFC championship]. New England already came up here earlier this year and got hammered. Philadelphia came in here and got hammered. That's pretty impressive. The Steelers have turned Heinz Field into an extremely tough place to win."

    But the Steelers, too, are a team with a recent history of playoff failure, and that's where the facts and the myths run together. Why have the Steelers lost three AFC championships at home in the last decade? Bad luck? A statistical anomaly? Or is there a chance, even a remote one, that the reassurance of those home games allowed the Steelers a comfort level no football team should want?

    The past Steelers playoff failures create an interesting collision of expectation against actuality. Given the choice, any NFL player or coach will opt for a home game, confident that the advantages outweigh the drawbacks. But veteran Steelers -- those who have been around for one or more of the AFC championship losses -- know the truth: If home playoff games produce an appreciable edge, they can also lead to a painful -- and yes, embarrassing -- tumble.

    "We worked very hard to obtain this," Steelers coach Bill Cowher said, "so it's good to be playing this first game at home ... "And hopefully," he added with caution, "the next game at home as well."
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you

  • #2
    Re: An interesting article out of Pittsburgh on Home Field Advantage

    How many remember when the Dolphins opened Joe Robbie Stadium. They were 0-6 at home until they finally won one. They could win away but not at home.

    Look at last weekend. 3/4 visiting teams won! Hopefully this weekend it will be 4/4! (Sorry Steeler fans, but I always kind of liked the Jets except when they played the Colts. Beside, if the Jets win the AFCC is in Indy!)

    Home field advantage was always worth a FG in football , or at least 2 points in basketball. It why NASCAR driver love to race in Charlotte, they get to sleep in their own beds at night. (There is a downside. they have to sleep with their wifes, not..........)


    • #3
      Re: An interesting article out of Pittsburgh on Home Field Advantage

      What an awesome article. Jay, thank you.