I gotta chime in on this one, Dave.
Certainly, those of us who have played the game understand more about jai-alai than those who have not, and those who have played at the pro level understand more than those of us who play at an amateur level. That would be true in any sport. Nevertheless, if someone watches a lot of jai-alai, and does so with attention to the sport as opposed to just which numbers are coming out, he can develop a reasonably good understanding of the game. He can come to know which players have which talents, and what each player normally looks like on the court, and he can recognize when a player isn't playing like his normal self.
Jim may not have ever played jai-alai (although I don't know that for a fact), but he is certainly a dedicated fan. His opinions are just that, opinions. He has painted some detailed pictures of the action at Orlando for those of us who read this board, and I, for one, appreciate it, especially since I can't watch Orlando on the web. Might I sometimes use different verbiage than Jim does? Yes. (For example, I wouldn't use the phrase "tipping nothing balls".....but that's MY opinion.) Has he written some things that players probably would rather not see in print? Yes. But that happens to athletes in all sports. Fans talk about the games, and about how players have performed. Heck, in major sports, if a player performs poorly, it's all over tv and in the newspapers. Baseball fans talk about how the closer blew the save. Have they all been on the mound? Of course not. But they know a hanging curve when they see one. I'm a hockey fan. I've never played ice hockey, but when I'm watching a game, I can tell when a defenseman is out of position, and I can appreciate the beauty of a head man pass threaded between two defenders, or a defenseman subtly lifting an opponent's stick with his own to prevent a scoring chance.
My points are:
(1) While players know the game better than fans, that doesn't mean that fans don't know anything, and it certainly doesn't mean that fans shouldn't express their opinions.
(2) Athletes will be talked about. It comes with the territory. And that's okay, as long as it doesn't get personal. Part of being a professional athlete is being able to deal with that.