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Two Fundamental Assumptions that I think BW "bashers" are wrong on

One : that the BOD is a corrupt, venal organization out only for its own interests. It's insulting, and it's simply wrong. I believe Bob Heller when he says board members actually lose money. I think most of them are sincere in wanting to help govern the ACBL. Now, I'm no board apologist; Bob Heller and Russ Jones and Don Mamula can vouch that my standard greetings to them are "well, what stupid actions has the board taken now?" and more than once I chastised my District Director Bill Cook for his dumb votes. What was it like in the past? Well, I've known Jack Feagin and Barbara Heller a long time, and I know about the COI and the much needed reforms it brought about, so maybe it was treated like a sinecure, but I don't think it is now. To have any sort of constructive dialog about fixing the problems, I think this basic assumption has to be acknowledged; if all you do is hurl insults and shout "j'accuse!" do you really think people are going to listen to your suggestions?

 

B) and more controversial, that the BOD or even the ACBL had anything significant to do with the rise of bridge's popularity or its subsequent decline. For the first, we can thank the Great Depression (bridge is cheap entertainment; a pack of cards. Still is, though tournament bridge is another matter entirely.), Ely Culbertson, and a few other things. For the second, I'll take the rise of the two income family for $200, Alex. Now, bridge disappeared from college campuses in the early '80s, from what anecdotal evidence can be gathered (I like to blame cocaine and Ronald Reagan, but I'm probably not right - at least about Reagan, but it's so fun to blame him for things) at about the same time the ACBL dropped any semblance of a junior program, so some blame can be cast at that doorstep, but again, I think the disappearance of the American housewife get's the lion's share of the credit. The ACBL's mission statement sounds nice, but it's not really relevant; bridge will flourish or wither on it's own.

I'm probably alone in feeling this, but I don't really care if bridge disappears from the public eye. I don't feel the seemingly universal human need for my thing to be the popular thing that everyone else participates in. The game is still interesting to me, but my ACBL membership lapses in two days, and I'm not renewing it and don't know when I will. And it has NOTHING to do with the ACBL or it's operations or it's policies (it has everything to do with bridge players no longer being enjoyable for me to be around.) I'm not saying don't try to improve things, and by all means share your personal love of the game with others.

TL;DR, you're all wrong and I'm right.

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