2003 Season





Friday - May 14, 2004 GAME RECAPS


Ranting and Raving

By Aaron Brown


Lincolnshire, IL -- The popularity of this web site has risen drastically in the past few weeks. As the season was winding down, more people were hearing about everything had to offer, and were checking in on a regular basis to find out what was happening in Illinois Water Polo.


As a result, there are a few things that "newbies" need to understand about this site, which has been available now for the second consecutive year. It started with somewhat of a cult following, and the same people who have been around for that long have formed somewhat of a network that provides with information and helps make this site possible.


But, in the past week or two, I have received a handful of e-mails from people (mostly players) who for some reason feel like they "deserve" to be listed on the site for whatever they feel they have accomplished. The tone is basically "we are never listed on the site" or "you are showing no respect for our team" type of things.


Here is what you are missing:


1. This is a voluntary web site run by "fans" of Illinois Water Polo - There are no salaries, there are no set is basically a "personal" web site that between 1,200 and 2,000 people are checking on a daily basis. Our views and opinions are expressed in the site and we have the freedom to choose the content that is included and the people that we wish to recognize. No one "DESERVES" to be on the web should be more of an honor and a privilege to get your name printed for your accomplishments since so many people are checking it out every day.


2. There are no other sources of information - Everything we get is either something that we have seen, or a coach, player, or parent has emailed and told us about it. As it says on the 'Ballers of the Week' page, players are nominated mainly by coaches but, they are also accepted from parents or players as well. Therefore, if your coach or players are not sending anything in, there is no way to know who is doing what or what to print! We can't just make up names or assume who has been starting, scoring goals, or making saves. Even if your info was being called in to the local paper; if we can find it, we will get it and print it on the site. However, too many people have written complaining that there is nothing about their own team but at the same time, no one from that team is taking the time to send anything in to the site!


3. Boys and Girls play in the same season - This means there are close to 120 teams playing over the course of nine weeks. If you do the math, it's not hard to determine that it would be IMPOSSIBLE to see and report on every single team. Therefore, it is up to you and especially your coaches to send in information. And as many have seen, not only do you normally get a prompt response to your message, but probably 90% of the time, whatever you send to will get posted on the website (nominating yourself will probably not work and takes up the other 10%). With all of this going on and a thirty game schedule for most teams, it is also very difficult to know exactly what is going on at all times. But we try!


4. All-Illpolo Teams and Other Awards - The decision to come up with lists of players for awards and what not was a decision made to basically recognize as many people as possible. With the addition of things like the "All Lefty Team" or the "All Underrated Team" we have been able to list more and more players who may not have gotten recognized if they weren't leading their team in scoring or were lined up to be an All-State player. But, these lists are merely the opinion of and are simply based on what we have observed over the course of two months of action. As we have stated, we saw and recapped 162 games, kept track of scores on a nightly basis, and received 1,347 emails with information about what has been happening. From these things, we determined who WE feel are the top 40 players, top defensive players, best position players, etc. The key word here is WE. US. If you don't agree with our opinion, then debate it with others, but dont tell us that we need to change it or we are completely wrong and we are "disappointed in you" or whatever. Usually the opinions are coming from someone who is on a team that wasn't chosen or maybe it is the player we didn't choose but regardless, it should be an honor to be considered and if not, be happy that there is ANY coverage whatsoever.


5. We attend games - The decisions we make on awards or power rankings comes from the things we have seen over the course of the season. While many players, coaches, and parents get to see some opponents maybe once or twice a year, we were able to see every team in the Top 20 Boys and Girls rankings on more than one occasion...for example, we recapped 11 Fenwick boys' games, 16 Stevenson boys' games, 12 Stevenson girls' games, etc...the point being that if there is anyone that has seen enough of these teams to make decisions about who the top performers are or who is potentially a better team in the rankings, it's probably our site.


6. We play favorites - Don't jump to conclusions with this one. We cater to our readers and the people who support our web site. So, if a coach or a certain team is sending us loads of information about their team, suggestions for how to make the site better, or offering us free Coke at games (a very wise strategy!) then we will definitely reward them with more and more coverage. As much as I don't sleep, I am not a robot and have a human side so when I go to cover games or teams it is nice to have them treat you with respect and let you know that they appreciate the coverage. It works both ways in most cases. If you see a lot of a particular team, it could be that they have a tough schedule, but in a lot of cases it is because they are constantly communicating with me about their team and making it more interesting for me to cover them.


Finally, has been blessed to work with some great athletes, parents, coaches and people over the past year or so. We continue to try our hardest to provide the best (and sometimes only) web coverage that we can. Please join our network and help us out with information so that your team gets some recognition and everyone is more aware of what is going on.




Copyright 2004. All Rights Reserved