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Read this if you don't want to get banned!

Because without rules, we are merely basketball nerds yelling at each other.
Because without rules, we are merely basketball nerds yelling at each other.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Greetings and salutations, Bright Siders!

It's a new year and we're racking up tons of new readers.  This is good.  However, new readers means new people who aren't familiar with our community guidelines... and frankly a few of you old-timers could use a refresher as well.

Please take some time to review them here: Community Guidelines. I promise, they are a lively read. It won't take much of your time to peruse them.

Most of the guidelines are pretty common sense: be cool, have fun, don't be a douche.  It's mostly that simple.  However there are some nuances and points of emphasis that bear repeating going into the second half of the season.

Be Fresh

There are some tropes and personal axes to grind that just get tired and don't bear repeating.  Sarver is cheap (he's not!), Stern is out to get the Suns (he's not even around any more), Channing Frye sucked (he didn't and he's not even around anymore).  Let it go and enjoy the rollercoaster that is the 2015 season without living in the past.

Even when we live in the present, let's be fresh with our takes. Some of us want to keep Gogi at all costs while others want to "save" him by sending him to another team that will give him the full time point guard position. Both sides of that argument are valid, yet when repeated over and over...and over...and over... in the same thread or on consecutive threads gets tiresome. Don't just repeat yourself. If you want us to remember your stance every time, put it in your sig.

Just remember this: if a moderator can count to 10 the number of times you've repeated the same argument in the same thread, like a broken record, you will likely get a warning. And if you're surly enough about it, or don't heed the warning, you might just get banned.

Trolling

So, this is a weird thing, but in some of the more heated threads, it seems like some of y'all are trolling each other. Whether it's insults or inflammatory language, it's really counterproductive to the idea of being a community of Phoenix Suns fans.  There are plenty of examples in our comments sections of people disagreeing with one another without resorting to name-calling and pettiness.  More of that and less of the acrimony that finds its way into certain threads helps foster the sense of community that has made Bright Side of the Sun so welcoming for the last 9 years.

We do appreciate different points of view. I promise! Just try to make your point salient if you want to engage in a conversation. And if someone's reply to your awesome, timely comment makes you go "whaaaa???", it's okay to accept that people can disagree with you. You don't have to take your keyboard and bash them over the head with it. Just make sure it's in a respectful manner. If not, flag it.

Just remember this: the moderators have the ability to warn or ban you for being exceptionally trollish. Before a banning, we give each other a heads up via email to grab a consensus, so we're careful not to reverse-troll by over-banning. We rarely ban people. So take it as a compliment, of sorts, if it happens to you some day.

Thinking Before Writing

This covers a lot of ground.  Some of our commenters know their way around an argument and will back their positions with statistics and fancy book-learning.  This is hardly a requirement having an opinion, but when someone goes through the effort of demonstrating their point with facts and figures, it's poor form simply dismiss their evidence without some kind of rebuttal or acknowledgement of their work.

Also, it's a long season.  There will be ups and there will be downs.  And not all of us will be in control of our emotions all the time.  If you're feeling angry or disappointed, maybe count to 10 (or 20 or 1000) before posting your diatribe about how [insert player here] needs to be benched or traded, or your 10 F-bomb reaction to whatever is literally the worst thing in the world that just happened to the Suns.  And does "lol ;)" really contribute anything to the discussion?  Like our front page posts, commenting is just as much about quality as it is quantity.

Here's an example: When a recap thread goes up within minutes (surprisingly, regardless of wins or losses) and you've got this urge to type "Trade ________ to save him from this sh**ty team", follow our suggestions and take a few minutes to calm down. Wait till your blood pressure gets back down to normal before typing anything. It's kinda like the rule on drunk-texting: don't do it.

Just remember this: If you're one of those people, and you know who you are, who cannot control those urges and find yourself in a two-hour death battle with fellow readers who want you to stop repeating yourself over and over, you might want to check out for a while before you find yourself warned, or banned.

It's a team sport

We all get attached to individual players. Or develop a deep-seeded hatred toward individual players. Or, we just don't have an opinion on them and so we consistently include them in trade suggestions that for some reason get other readers in a tizzy.

But what we need to remember is that Phoenix Suns basketball is a team sport. If you find yourself constantly talking about just one player, or just two players and/or are accused of same, take a step back and remember that this community is here to follow the Phoenix Suns.

This isn't golf. Or tennis. It's a team sport, so let's remember to support the Team Over Everything (T.O.E.).

Just remember this: Too much focus on one individual player on your part, to the ignorance of the rest of the team, the games, the outcomes, etc. just might get you banned.

The Madhouse

And last but not least, if you've got an idea (trade scenario, screenplay, whatever) that isn't on the topic of the current thread and you don't have the time or effort of a FanPost, post it in The Madhouse.  That's our weekly catch-all thread where we talk about the rest of the NBA, The Last Airtwister and the Cereal PodBlog that all the kids are raving about. It's basically the Bright Side Rumpus Room.

Closing Remarks

In closing, we here at Bright Side of the Sun are dedicated to bringing you the best Suns coverage a bunch of unpaid volunteers possibly can and fostering a community for fans of the team.  YOU are the community.  Without the community, we're just a bunch of basketball nerds with no one to talk to.  These guidelines are designed to make this community as welcoming and sustaining as it can be.  We hope you all will continue to be your charming selves and abide by our house rules.

Because if you don't, we will ban you.  And then miss you.  But mostly ban you.

Thanks!