OTC: That Dent In My Couch Is About To Get Some Time To Heal Itself

My Off The Couch column and the comments section that follows each column has always been a source of pride. I enjoyed the chance to share my thoughts with those who bothered to read my work. I write with a pointed opinion and I expected nothing less from those readers who agreed or disagreed with my stance on a subject.

The comments from readers – both pro and con – were just as entertaining for me and many of my readers.

Somewhere along the way that changed.

Instead of attracting intelligent, passionate and humorous repartee, my OTC column comments section has recently devolved into mostly immature blather. It just is not something with which I or my column wants to be associated. There are plenty of websites that welcome drivel – and even mine can handle some. But this constant deluge of dunces embarrasses me.

I am not much of a proponent of censoring those who read my work so shutting down the comments or blocking particular contributors is not an option. It might simply be time to move on.

There are a number of other writing projects I have wanted to spend more time on and this appears to be as good a time as any. I will continue to be active on Twitter and even occasionally post here on this website. But for now it appears time for me to get off the couch.

and Twitter @greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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164 Responses to OTC: That Dent In My Couch Is About To Get Some Time To Heal Itself

  1. Kevin Knapp says:

    Always enjoy your posts Greg! Sorry for the internet boneheads who rant without pausing to engage their brains.

  2. Boyd Crowder says:

    I’m disappointed to see this. I rarely comment but always read each of your posts. I always believe that the ridiculous comments and trolling just reflect on the person who posted them. No one else. I’d like to see you reconsider but understand if you don’t. I’ll still continue interacting with you through Twitter during sporting events.

  3. Kyle R says:

    Greg – sorry to read your decision but understand it too, as the trolling has gotten ridiculous lately. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your fam! Hope some time away will reignite the love for your OTC.

  4. Tigerpiper says:

    That’s a bummer. Thanks for the past columns.

  5. Renton says:

    This is why we can’t have nice things. Comments sections are the never-cleaned truck stop toilets of the internet. Useful for a few, but mostly places for disgusting people to hang out.

    Sorry to see OTC stop. It has indeed been a pleasure to read all these years.

  6. KSUdenny says:

    Sorry to hear this Greg… I enjoy the column as it is nice to get a review of what is either written about or said on the radio… however the comments section is ridiculous and has been in the 4 years I have been reading it. In that time it has always been filled with people posting to pi$$ off followers of one team or school. I will admit I have reacted to what others have said in a negative way. It is ashame that we can’t be adults and make sound comments regarding sports, rather then act like children who want to push the buttons of others. Thanks for the years of work and for having an outlet to read about sports. Sorry that the customers screwed up a good thing…

  7. KSbugeater says:

    Didn’t the Terminator say, “It’s in your (human’s) nature to destroy yourselves.” Thanks a lot, jerk-y commenters. Now we have to endure another winter without OTC, as in the years between Greg’s Star stint and the Platte County Bugler.

  8. Brian Settle says:

    Very disappointed to read this. I have been a long-time reader and fan of your work.

  9. Matthew says:

    I hate to see this as I look forward to reading OTC ever day. I understand why Greg, just hate to see you go. You’re the best at this

  10. Carlos Febles says:

    Too bad. I hope you will reconsider at some point. Your work is enjoyed.

  11. Gavin says:

    Greg,

    As one who has tried, but not always succeeded, to keep away from all the nipple twisting that goes on here, I would like to apologize for doing my part to degrade the comments section and to also degrade your willingness to keep doing it. If it helps, I’d be willing to self-impose a ban (or accept one posed by you) from commenting as I’d happily keep reading even without the ability to engage in some of the stupid “debate” I’ve occasionally engaged in.

    I might also suggest a couple of other things:

    1) Ban anyone, me included, who can’t be respectful of what the column and the community is about and trying to do.

    2) Make people who want to comment log-in via Facebook. Strip away anonymity and my guess is that a lot of the trolling will stop. I have to assume that most people who troll, er, um post here are also on Facebook and even if they aren’t, well, that’s the price of admission.

    Whatever you decide (and I read your post today as not a final decision, but a pretty strong indication of what you intend to do, especially if things don’t change), I’m sorry that it’s gotten to the point of no longer being fun and I’m also grateful for the years you have been devotedly doing OTC, going all the way back to your days at the Star. I’ve been following you from the Star to the Landmark to KC Confidential to your own site and I will miss it dearly. I hope you change your mind, but I understand if you don’t. You practically have to be a lion tamer to deal with this shit as often as you do.

    Also, another reason I hope you will stick with it is because I will miss the vicarious thrill of you running a marathon (as I’ve said before, I could do what you do in Boston, I’ll just need a map and a gassed up car to do it) and I will miss the annual unveiling of “Baseball Is,” which I think would have been a doozy next spring after the Royals’ magical run. But, again, I get it. I hope you don’t do it, but if you do, I understand.

  12. KSUdenny says:

    Very well state Gavin

  13. KSUdenny says:

    Stated. Sorry typing dyslexia this AM

  14. MightyMo says:

    I admit. I thought your departure message was less than stellar. I have posted rarely but mostly honest commentary. Not as entertaining as some, but I always enjoyed the read. To end by blaming your readers, while it may be true, seems bad form. Like taking your ball and going home when you lose. I would have preferred a more classy sendoff but such I life. God’s speed Greg.

  15. Old Man Kissel says:

    So Greg quit because he couldn’t handle the KCForum.net crowd coming in and messing things up. I’m shocked that he didn’t blame this all on a KK/810 conspiracy to keep him down.

    I guess making a carrier out of lies, half truths, taking people out of context and lack of nuance finally took his toll on Greg. Somewhere Herne Christopher is laughing and about to write an expose on Hall giving him a taste of his own medicine.

    But hey that would make me a, “possibly deluded individual.” Or, “some of Hall’s peers and former co-workers and editors I spoke with stated that Hall was the least trustworthy source of this information.”

    http://deadspin.com/5592824/the-mysterious-trouble-with-jason-whitlock

    810 scoops 610 once again.

    • Gavin says:

      Yeah, I can see why you’d want to get out.

      But I’m telling you, make people log in via Facebook to comment and so much of this goes away.

      • Old Man Kissel says:

        Truth hurts.

        After more than a decade of running over the names of everyone in the local sports media he quits (What for the fourth time now?) because of the commentators are largely a mirror image of his own column.

        But while Tony, from Tony’s Kansas City embraced his crazy off the wall commentators, Hall saw too much of himself and quit….for the fourth time.

        No shock here. For a guy who is suck an expert of the media didn’t do well in it. But I guess the old saying goes, those who can’t teach or critic.

        But hey, I’ll always have that found memory of Hall going to Nick “White Guilt” Wright’s show and being thrown like a rag doll.

        810 scoops 610 once again…

      • Old Man Kissel says:

        By the way, anyone remember the Paul Splittorff scoop a few years back?? All you need to know about Hall.

        As I said, a Herne Christopher column about Hall is coming. Get ready for it.

        • Gavin says:

          Yeah, I remember. Not Greg’s greatest moment and I was one of the (many) who let him have it over that. But that was (mostly) respectful disagreement with his tactics, which Greg has always made clear he can handle. This anonymous trolling and stupid back and forth insulting with no effort to add to the quality of the discussion (which, again, I admit I’ve engaged in from time to time; I haven’t sufficiently internalized my “don’t feed the trolls” mantra, clearly) is a completely different thing. This comment section is not the darkest part of the internet’s underbelly by a long stretch, but it has gotten more and more unpleasant and not just in a way that relates to Greg’s mistakes on stuff like how he treated Paul Splitorff.

          • Old Man Kissel says:

            Here is another, “Not one of Greg’s greatest moment.”

            Another lie, Greg told only to be called out on it.

            “From the moment he took the call from Wolverine Willie, Jason Whitlock’s substantial finger should have been poised to hang up. Only a couple of weeks earlier, Willie, a frequent caller to sports-talk radio shows, had been banned from Jim Rome’s Jungle for one of his signature parody songs. Rome and many of his followers thought the tune was anti-Semetic, and the host gave Willie the boot.
            Even if Whitlock hadn’t known Willie’s reputation, the Kansas City Star columnist should have been wary when the frequent caller to his afternoon radio show, The Doghouse, began singing in a redneck drawl to the tune of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line.”

            “I keep my zipper wide open all the time,” Willie sang. “Arrested for performing an indecent crime.”

            Another host might have cut off Willie at that moment. For the local horde that finds Kansas City sports-talk radio so absorbing, there was no question who was being attacked in Willie’s joke.

            The target was Kevin Kietzman, Whitlock’s former colleague and boss at WHB 810. And Willie’s song was just the latest version of an urban legend that Whitlock himself had helped perpetuate — that late one night, Prairie Village police stopped Kietzman while he was driving home from an 810 function and caught him, literally, with his pants down.

            In the version spread by Whitlock and his listeners, Kietzman, caught in a compromising position with a young coworker, barged out of his car with his pants around his ankles and berated police, asking them repeatedly whether they knew who he was.

            “My family’s broken and in a state of disgrace, ’cause I left a stain on some poor girl’s face,” Willie crooned.

            Whitlock roared with laughter.

            Problem is, the story’s not true.”

            http://www.pitch.com/kansascity/big-sexy/Content?oid=2172066

            • Gavin says:

              You know, Old Man Kissel, I was never one of those who believed you were secretly Kevin Kietzman. But the fact that you have such a broad and deep catalog of Greg’s errors maintained as a list of grievances and nursed like a family grudge while all the while glossing over Kietsman’s errors (still waiting for Mizzou to join the Big Ten) or ignoring them entirely really makes me wonder.

              And now I’m going to stop lest what might be Greg’s final post ends up being an example of the very thing that is leading to it.

              • Old Man Kissel says:

                Just calling Hall out on his crap.

                Truth is, KK, Whitlock and Hall have more in common then they want to admitt.

                The diffrence is that KK and Whitlock were good at it. Hall on the other hand failed in the sports media.

                810 scoops 610 once again…

                • TiberiusGracchus says:

                  If you quit Greg than Aholes like Kissel win! Don’t give the pricks the satisfaction.
                  I’m sorry for coarse language, but drones like Kissel are the worst sort sub-human filth. He is Joseph Goebbels/Tokyo Rose of 810. His only servile function is to praise Kietzman and 810 no matter what, and subvert Kietzmans perceived “enemies”. will probably become very depressed and suicidal one when he has to look back on his life.

                  • Old Man Kissel says:

                    I wonder if Greg had a son and he said he wanted to go to Penn St. would Hall go bonkers?

                    After all isn’t a degree from Penn St worthless now?

                    810 scoops 610 once again…

        • TiberiusGracchus says:

          If we were to do the Facebook sign in idea cowards like Kissel would not be able to post anymore as I am sure that she is way to big of a pussy to attach her real name to comments.
          At least Greg has the courage to attach his name to his comments you gutless wonder. How many times a day does Kietzman make you swallow a day?
          Sorry for this crap Greg…..But you get rid of Kissel and a few others and this becomes a nice neighborhood again?

          • Old Man Kissel says:

            Can’t..stop…laughing.

            Sorry if I’m calling out your hero. But I’m just doing the job that guys like you say Hall does to the local media.

            As I said, KK and Hall have a lot in common. The only diffrence is that KK was good at it.

            810 scoops 610 once again…

            • TiberiusGracchus says:

              He’s not my hero and I disagree with his opinions often. The problem is your job. You are a propagandist….so even if the things your saying are true they can’t be taken seriously because clearly you say anything that results in “Kietzman 810 good, people who criticize or compete with Kietzman bad”. I know many media,political and marketing organizations have people like yourself that do this same sort of thing.I just want to know how you go home at night and proud of the work you do.It helps to be a sociopath to be a successful professional liar(many politicans, lawyers are sociopaths). If you are a decent human being, which you may be, you can’t possibly like your job.

              • Old Man Kissel says:

                Will Greg ever produce any evedence that Whitlock Paid him to write a few columns?

                Or is that make him, ““possibly deluded individual.”

                http://deadspin.com/5592824/the-mysterious-trouble-with-jason-whitlock

    • Omar says:

      None of the worst offenders here are old KCForum.net posters.

  16. Mike says:

    Somewhere, KK is slightly relieved that no one will transcribe his most absurd BS anymore, but that relief is immediately clouded by his own inflated delusions once again.
    A damn shame, but understandable.

  17. Ramon says:

    Sorry to read this Greg. Keep those miles up and see you on Twitter.

  18. Nick says:

    What (inadvertently) worked for me was simply turning comments off for a year; when I enabled them again the people who now comment (very few) do so with something intelligent, or at least amusing, to say. All the previous jerks who felt my site was their personal soapbox moved on, never to return; seems email was simply too much trouble for them.

  19. Mike says:

    I agree with the above post that you should make commenting only available through signing in on Facebook. Anonymity is 95% of the reason idiots troll comment sections. Take that away and yes, you will get far less comments, but you will get meaningful discussion instead of BS.

    P.S. Count me as one of the everyday readers of your blog. I love reading about what the local and national pundits say about local sports headlines. I have a life and cannot catch sports radio that often. Reading the highlights you provide is the next best thing.

    • TiberiusGracchus says:

      Wouldn’t people be able to create fake FB accounts? I don’t know for sure, but it seems like that would not be very difficult.

  20. b12 says:

    This doesn’t surprise me. It’s not the old KCForum.net crowd that dragged it down. I’m one of them, and like many, I’ve read OTC in its various iterations for 15 years.

    The last few weeks have been brutal in the comments section. It’s not something I looked forward to anymore. One or two (one in my case) spoiled it for everyone.

    Greg, thanks for the time and effort put into this over the years. I appreciate it.

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