As you probably know, I am a huge Phillies fan. I also consider myself relatively intelligent and, of course, I’m an Internet geek.
That’s why one of my favorite Web sites is PhilliesPhans.com, which features the Renegade Phan Phorum. The Phorum has some of the most intelligent baseball–and non-baseball–conversation around and exists at the opposite end of the spectrum from Philly’s so-called sports radio station, 610 WIP-AM.
I haven’t posted too often on PhilliesPhans.com, but I read it a lot because there are many conversations about sports, news, politics and even religion.
PhilliesPhans.com was started several years ago by a Philly-area transplant named Dave Snyder, who was the owner of MVP Software in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Before tonight, that sentence would have read “…Dave Snyder, who is the owner…”
I went to check the site earlier this evening to see if anything was going on and saw this thread title:
Is MVPSoft OK?
Now, MVPsoft is…was…Dave’s screen name. The thread’s initial poster went on to say he saw on another message board that Dave had been killed in a car accident today (as it turned out, the poster had been on a Rutgers message board where Dave’s cousin, whose son recently signed to play college football at Dave’s alma mater, Rutgers, broke the sad news). Since there had been no comments about it on the board Dave created, that first poster figured there was nothing to it.
But soon links started appearing on Michigan news sites that confirmed the worst…
So, yeah, my only connection to this man was that he created a Web site that has become a big part of my daily routine. Yet, it still feels like I have been punched in the gut.
He gave intelligent Phillies fans a place to go and get away from the idiotic rhetoric written in the Philly newspapers and being talked about on WIP.
At least I know I’m not the only one who feels like this.
The reason for this outpouring of emotion is because when Major League Baseball Advanced Media first took over the Web sites for every MLB team a few years ago and completely messed up the fan communitiy the old Phillies.com site had built, Dave stepped up to host a Phillies message board that would foster intelligent conversation based on analysis and thought…not one that would allow trolling and name-calling. Through the years, PhilliesPhans.com evolved into one of the best online communities around.
However, there were several dust-ups that led to many popular PP.com posters being banned by Dave for breaking his rules one too many times. But those dust-ups would lead to the creation of new Phan communities, PhilliesBoard.com and BackSheGoes.com, which are now called home by former and current PP.com members. In fact, it was just this past December when Dave pulled the plug on the Phorum for a few days after a thread went out of control and he contemplated shutting it down for good. However, he was convinced by the members to bring it back under new registration and posting rules.
So even though many PP.com members had battles with Dave at one time or another, one thing is certain: He was a man of principle devoted to his family and the Phillies. And a huge number of Phans “met” through the community he built.
You will be missed, MVPsoft.
UPDATE (2/11/07): I have just read that, in a strange twist of fate, it was exactly six years ago today that Dave launched the Renegade Phan Phorum at PhilliesPhans.com.