Welcome to OTE. Let's Talk Ground Rules

We haven't seen this many refugees since the Mariel Boat Lift. And while we welcome new members, there's some ground rules.

WE INTERRUPT OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING FOR THIS SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Apparently, the ESPN boards are going with a Facebook-style type interface, where comments can only be posted from your FB account. That didn't apparently sit too well with a sizable portion of the Big Ten commenters over there, and suddenly, you're looking for a new home.

Cool, welcome.

However, this isn't the ESPN board.

We have some pretty easy to understand ground rules. Being a community with 12/14/however many schools Jim Delany eventually adds, we have a great diversity of opinion here, and we've found a pretty happy balance between what's good natured ribbing and what's trollish jackassery.

The former is cool. The latter isn't, so to make your transition easier, here are the rules:

1. No pornography.

2. No hate speech (i.e. nothing racist, sexist, homophobic, or derogatory towards persons based on creed, religion, handicap, etc.)

3. No links to illegal downloads/illegal streams of games in game threads. Our gamethreads are awesome, by the way

4. Try to keep it civil. If you don't like somebody's opinion, fine. Personal attacks aren't acceptable. Good natured jabs at schools? Perfectly acceptable.

5. Try to keep it (generally) on topic. But hey, we've had posts about coaching staffs delve off into what apple is the best type, so yeah, we're pretty negotiable on this one...as long as it's not going off the road into jackassery.

6. Never just comment "first!" on a thread (because you're better than that). And it's dumb.

7. Try to write somewhat intelligently in full sentences using English. We all like to banter back and forth, but if you write in a type of hieroglyphics that you and three other people in the world can understand, well, what's the point?

8. Don't give Illinois any nice things. Ever. Kind of like feeding the Gremlins after dark sort of thing. Or maybe not.

9. No politics/no religion. Ever. EVEREVEREVEREVER.

10. My lawn. Stay the hell off of it.

We're a pretty easy going group, but seriously, some of you new guys broke all of these rules but a couple within the first hour of getting over here. We'll give everyone a sort of amnesty on the other threads because, well, we're Midwesterners, and we're generally nice and tolerable folk. But remember, there's two kinds of dumb... guy that gets naked and runs out in the snow and barks at the moon, and the guy who does the same thing in my living room. First one don't matter, the second one you're kinda forced to deal with.

And we'll deal with it. We've already started, actually.

Just don't be that guy, and there won't be any problems. And most importantly, welcome to Off Tackle Empire! I hope you like it here as much as we do, and if you have any questions, feel free to post a comment of contact one of the members on the staff. Our email is in our contact info on the masthead.

This won't apply to 99% of the folks coming over here from other sites. Unfortunately, it's for the 1% of folks that like to be 'that guy'. We really hope you like it here and make this place your B1G home. To help us out, you'll notice a couple things in the comment box, most notably the 'rec' and 'flag' options. If there's a post you find particularly insightful or funny, click in 'rec'. Enough recs, and it gets highlighted green, so on long threads folks can skip to rec'd comments to get the most important/funniest stuff, and then come back later to read everything else. The 'flag' option is for posts that you find questionable, offensive, or potentially violates our community guidelines. Click 'flag', and us moderators get to see it on a different page in our editorial pages, and we can deal with it there, if we have to.

To everyone coming here looking for a new place to hang out, welcome. We hope you like it here.

We now return to our regular programming.

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