*This statement has been confirmed by multiple sources, Florio-style (which is to say I polled my wife, my 2-year old son, and the leftover spaghetti in the fridge.)
We are proud to say that, in addition to going over 1 million visitors, Hogs Haven membership is cruising toward 1,500, and rising fast. With all the new folks coming through and checking us out, we thought it would be a good idea to set a season-opening tone to kind of spell out what it is we all do here and what we think it is important people know.
1) First and foremost, this is a fan-based community. We are in this because we love rooting for the Redskins and following our favorite team. Being a fan is about lovin', not hatin'. Criticism of the team and the moves it makes are welcome and necessary, but we try to refrain from hating on Skins here. You do that and you pretty much have identified yourself as a Cowgirls or Eagles fan.
2) The community theme is very important. Once you sign in as a member, we encourage everyone to engage in the various discussions and themes being posted. Kevin and I aren't the only ones offering thoughtful pieces to read and comment on. The FanShots and FanPosts are constantly updated with new material by all our members. We encourage you to post there--we often promote those to the front-page when they offer a fresh take or a cool thought that adds to what we have been talking about most recently.
3) This is a big one. When you read anything on this site that you like or would recommend, click the "Rec" link at the bottom of the article. A lot of newer folks don't know about this (it took me forever to figure it out as well.) The more "Rec's" an article gets, the higher profile the discussion becomes. You can "Rec" articles written by Kevin and I (you know, for the effort), but you can also Rec FanShots, FanPosts, comments, etc. If someone makes a good point, uses a well-reasoned argument, makes you laugh, or writes/links something that you would recommend someone else check out, "Rec" it.
4) Profanity is a part of all of our lives. There is a huge difference though between dropping the occasional 'shit' or 'damn', and peppering your commentary with f-bombs. We consider ourselves a bit more clever here and would like to think that instead of dropping f-bombs, we could all be a little more imaginative with our language. Excessive or pointless profanity is likely to get you at least warned. Racial slurs, threats of physical violence, or other forms of verbal harassment are grounds for getting banned. Chances are, the guy you are passionately debating the issue of the day with loves the Redskins as much as you do. If he's not, chances are pas493 (longtime member and commenter) either has already or is in the process of bashing this individual.
5) Aside from pas493being our resident bouncer of obnoxious opposing team's fans, we should all be respectful to anyone stopping by to check out our dialogues or chime in from time to time. We have drawn a lot of other team's fans to this site and I know from reading the comments sections of other blogs that the general consensus is that our discussions here tend to be more rational, fair-handed and even than a lot of other sites.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of etiquette but this covers the basics. In addition to this, we have a few things we will be looking to get accomplished this season that will involve pretty much anyone who wants to be involved.
1) Call-in podcasts- Kevin and I will be hosting a semi-regular call-in podcast that has Ghetto-Fabulous written all over it! We look forward to adding that facet to this site ASAP. Keep your eyes open for that.
2) The Inquisition - This will be a regular mailbag feature that will cover topics as wide-ranging as the questions you ask. We are of course a Redskins-centric site, but the fun of seeing what kind of things you will ask is simply too tempting to restrict anything. There will be a post coming out soon getting this set up.
3) Road game-watch events - We are working with a few bars in the area to try and nail down a Hogs Haven event for at least one road game. As soon as we have details, you will hear from us. Ideally, we would basically be doing our tailgate at a bar.
To everyone that makes Hogs Haven fun to be a part of, Kevin and I thank you very much. Keep up the good work and HTTR!