I may have a low post count but I have read these forums habitually, my join date isn't a fluke, even though it is really only since last year that I have even moderately posted. The opinions, and debates were just as intense in older years as they are now, the only difference is that the rhetoric has greatly escalated. Still, back in the "old days" opinions were thought "dumb", "stupid", or wrong and even said to be so.
To claim all the animosity on the boards needs to be owned by the "football experts", or the mods because they let things get out of hand is short-sighted at best. There is just as much animosity being directed back at those people as the opposite. When you have posters addressing people as "son", that is just as much of a show of disrespect as calling someone's opinion dumb; so is hurling other personal "non-forum" related insults, or making threats.
You said that everyone's opinions were respected and heard, well some, myself included enjoy having more nuanced discussions. When I was younger I used to watch a ton of pro basketball (before I realized I didn't really enjoy the type of league they were becoming). Being from Chicago I was a huge Bulls fan, but I'm just as much a sports fan. I stopped being a Bulls fan after the 3rd championship because you could no longer even have a rational discussion on how the Bulls "might" lose to Utah. "We have Jordan". That was it, nothing more....."We have Jordan". This turned out to be true, but there are those of us who enjoy digging deeper. Not only to debate but to understand the game, but the game within the game because for some of us that is enjoyable. If you don't want to participate in those nuanced conversations then don't. If you can't physically ignore reading what someone you don't like posts, then use the ignore feature. If you think you shouldn't have too, then that means you enjoy participating in that debate or reading the viewpoint of another; it doesn't mean that you like to get called names, or told your own opinion is dumb, but that you wanted to see what was said. If you want to complain to a mod, do so, you have every right to. If you feel you don't receive justice, get over it or move on.
As you put often many get "butt-hurt" around here when someone disagrees with their perception of the team, a player, coach, etc. but they're still here, still reading, still posting. People are still here because we're grown men and women, it's just a forum, it's not life and death. There are other forums, if you're looking for a utopian posting situation, good luck.