Now That I’ve Got Your Attention…

Apparently I hit a nerve.

When I posted what was essentially a public scream, a last-gasp attempt to focus some attention on a few major continuing problems I felt were not being addressed  within the USFA, I expected it to be read by a few dozen people, perhaps even a few score. I had no great hope of provoking much of anything, but I knew I had to try before I could consider walking away.

I’m blown away by the many kind notes and comments and by the sheer number of visitors my broadside attracted to my sleepy little blog. My final hit count for May 13, 2012 ended up at 978, with 577 referrals from Facebook, 55 from fencing.net, 44 from Tim Morehouse’s blog, and the rest apparently from email referrals as readers circulated the link to others. That’s nearly triple my previous single-day high, from one day of the 2010 Summer Nationals.

I’m pretty sure that’s more than the total number of voters in the last USFA election.

No, I’m not going to tell you who to vote for.

I’ve never been a fan of the throw-the-bums-out approach. But neither am I a fan of uncritically voting a party line.

All I ask is that you think about what you want for the USFA and then look carefully and critically at the candidates. Look past the generic make-everything-better statements for the specifics of what they want to achieve: Do they think the USFA is on the right track? Are they asking the right questions? Do they know enough about how the USFA works (or doesn’t) to even know what to ask? If you don’t see the answers in their statements on the USFA candidate page or their linked material, ask them directly. Most of them provide an email address or are on Facebook—ask them for their answers and ideas. Figure out who will take us in the direction you think we need to go, and then VOTE FOR THEM. (Balloting opens May 18 and ends on June 1.)

I’ve spent too many post-tournament dinners with BC staff and referees and coaches, having heated discussions reinventing the USFA, figuring out what we would do if we could run the world. That was fun, once, when we had some small hope that we could make some of it happen. But those conversations have been too much the same for too many years now, too little grounded in the current reality of the USFA, too frustrating to contemplate any longer.

If we could recreate some of that sense of possibility…

I do love running national fencing tournaments. Thanks for the little flicker of hope.

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2 comments on “Now That I’ve Got Your Attention…

  1. I’m a disinterested observer from over the Pond, who has done a little coaching in the USA, many years ago.

    I think it would be entirely proper for you write editorially about the candidates, and how they appear, to you, to meet the criteria that you so have eloquently made clear.

    I understand your concern to be seen to avoid directing people’s votes, but I think you could offer a valuable service in giving some insight into the candidates, and how well they seem to you to meet the key criteria that you have identified for prospective board members.

    And good luck in your ongoing campaign to improve the governance of Olympic fencing in the USA.

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