ChiCitySports readers, you’re in for quite the treat. I was able to interview TurnerJ from Reddit’s r/CHIBears community. If you have no idea what Reddit.Com is, head on over to their site and check it out. Between running ChiCitySports and browsing Reddit daily, I get not only my Chicago sports fix but, with Reddit you can have a collection of interests fulfilled.
The Bears subreddit is just one of thousands, and thousands of communities on the site. I am warning you..if you’ve never been there before all of your free time browsing the internet is about to be stolen from you. TurnerJ5 is a moderator on the Bears subreddit and he has agreed to discuss it with us a little.
CCS: In a nutshell, describe what exactly Reddit is, for the Bears fans that aren’t aware of what the site encompasses.
TurnerJ5 : Reddit is like fark.com, plus digg, plus Mixx, plus any of the other thousand sites that aspire to be just like it; a place where users provide the content by submitting links to be approved (‘upvoted’) or rejected (‘downvoted’) by the masses – or ‘the hivemind’, as it’s called. Basically it’s the best way imaginable to rid yourself of free time while accomplishing absolutely nothing, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. It’s also a very good vehicle for any and all information, media, and networking, if you want to get technical.
CCS: Of all of the NFL team subreddits, where does r/CHIBears rank in terms of subscribers?
TurnerJ5 : Hrm, I’m far too lazy right now, post-beers, to actually check the stats, but I believe we are somewhere in the top three. If I recall correctly the Packers bandwagon was quite full at the moment, and we are trailing along with the 49ers’ and Steelers’ subreddits.
However it is quite obvious that ChiBears is the most active of any of the team subreddits regardless of subscribers. They’ are called “Superfans” for a reason, after all.
CCS: How often do fans of other teams wander over and cause trouble?
TurnerJ5 : Reddit is wonderful. You can immerse yourself in a pleasant conversation in one thread then go and find an old-fashioned pejorative-filled flamewar just one click away. The user base has been growing exponentially these last few years, and with that has come our fair share of trolls.
That said, /r/ChiBears has been remarkably peaceful. I can only think of one meathead, offhand, that I had to ban for causing trouble, and that’s in about half a year of moderation. Let me clear the record and say that most of the opposing (read: ‘Packers’) fans on Reddit are very respectful, but if your Chicago Bears logo is going to earn you a nemesis it’ll certainly be a Cheesehead. Or a Broncos fan I suppose – they still sting about losing Cutler.
CCS: What are your personal expectations for the Bears this upcoming season?
TurnerJ5 : Oh, jeez. Last season I went into it all with a very open-mind. I watched every game, hoping fervently that we’d pull it off, and – somehow – we usually did. I’m doing the same this season. No expectations. I am (reservedly) excited about what we’ve done in the offseason despite the notable lack of a veteran tackle, but Angelo has for once made the right moves for the right people. I think we’ll be better than people have us pegged – that’s all I’ll say.
CCS: What is the best addition to this Bears’ team during Free Agency?
TurnerJ5 : I really like Matt Spaeth. I know that the Tight End position hardly figures in our Martzian offense aside from ‘extra blocker’, but this dude fits the bill in every way. I always had a bit of a man crush on Kellen Davis and I’m glad to see he’ll be getting a lot more reps, but I remember watching Spaeth in Pittsburgh and pining for a tight end that could pick up a block; I think Forte is going to crush it this year with the combination of more downfield threats, better linemen, and outside help from the tight ends.
CCS: Any shoutouts to those in the Bears subreddit?
Haha sure I gotta first thank sir SteveJanikowski for having the faith to add me to the mod team in early 2011 after I came to him with a few ideas for this place – I think it paid off handsomely and he is to credit for being The Dude that started this place. Also Angry_Caveman_Lawyer is a true soldier and the ‘Old Guiding Hand’ of the subreddit – we’d be lost without him. ‘pygreg’ can be forgiven for his Cubs fandom, he’s a true-blue Bears fan, as is Humpty_Dumpty, aquapigeon, warbrain, astrobeen… there’s no way
I could include them all without omitting five dozen others. Oh – can’t forget ‘blind__man’ – the dude held my hand in figuring out this wicked bitch known as ‘code’ to redesign the place and for that I’ll always be grateful. Anyway, this “subreddit” really is full of genuinely kickass guys, a lot smarter than any given Bears Club at the bar on Sunday morning, but with just as much love and devotion for the squad. That said, come and see us, and BEAR DOWN!
CCS: Thank you for answering our questions Turner, we appreciate your generosity. Upvotes for all!
Except that prick Craig Krenzel, I still hate his ass.