I think people on this board take the opinions of people who disagree with them far too seriously. The word "fact" is thrown around on here far too often. A fact is something that can be proven right or wrong. That's it. That's the only thing that can be considered a fact. The Chemical formula for water is H2O, that's a fact. The Chemical formula for water is H2SO4 is *also* a "fact." It's just wrong. We know that because we can prove it wrong by looking it up. "Fact" doesn't mean "correct" it means a "provable or disprovable statement."
In contrast, an opinion is a statement that *can't* be proven right or wrong. It can be supported by facts, or countered with facts that don't support the opinion, but it can never actually be proven either way. If it could be, it would be a "fact." "The Sun is Hot" is not actually a fact, it's an opinion. I can support my opinion that the sun is hot by citing the fact that the surface temperature of the sun is over 5,000 Celsius. That doesn't actually make my "the sun is hot" statement a "fact," it just makes it a well-supported opinion.
What is a fact and what is an opinion will never change, no matter how someone phrases it. When someone says "We plateaued under Greenberg" it's an opinion. You can cite facts like NCAA tournament appearances, record, whatever you want to support that statement, it will never change that it is still an opinion. It also doesn't matter how you phrase it "I think we plateaued under Greenberg," "IMHO we plateaued under Greenberg," "It's my opinion that we plateaued under Greenberg" and "We plateaued under Greenberg" are all the exact same statement, and they are all opinions even if they are worded differently.
You're going to be hard pressed to get me to qualify every one of my opinons with an (In my opinion) meaningless statement identifying my opinion as an opinion. From elementary school, it was drilled into my head when writing opinion papers you *never* make that qualifying statement, because the statement itself is sufficient identification as an opinion. We would get marked off on anything I ever wrote from grades 4 through 12 if I actually wrong the words "In My Opinion, Oedipus had mommy issues."
People need to stop taking differing opinions so personally. Someone disagrees with you, so what? Is their opinion not well supported? Then state you opinion, and support it (with facts) better than they did. That's how debates/conversations/discussions work. But, don't get all mad because they didn't qualify their opinion as such, they shouldn't have to. An opinion will always be an opinion and a fact will always be a fact by nature of the statement itself, not by the words surrounding it.
Sorry, Steve, this isn't really directed at you...it's just a pet peeve of mine and something that had been bothering me for a while and your post just kind of inspired me to actually write down my thoughts on this...