I've written before about the polite offering of a simple "gf." Lately, I've come to appreciate that simple courtesy even more. You may assume that, if a foe does not transmit "gf" in a public channel after a fight, the most common alternative might be some smacktalk. And yet, while smack is directed my way on a regular basis (even from people whose ships I have killed), the most common alternative to a respectful "gf" is in fact an excuse.
Quite commonly the pilot claims to not have been paying attention: "Napping is bad." "That's what I get for watching TV." "Was AFK." "Eating and EVE don't mix." Normally, for my part I just leave it at "gf," but here I'll tell you what I'm thinking. Do they really think they would have beat me if they'd been right there, ready to go? Would I have attacked them with something I didn't think would beat them under most circumstances--certainly including a savvy and prepared pilot? I don't think so. And anyway, I don't buy this excuse much. It is certainly plausible for a pilot to park at a safespot while taking a quick break of some sort or while his attention is directed elsewhere; I've done it myself (and said "gf" when I've returned to a dead or dying ship). But when I am immediately locked back (competent PVP pilots don't have this done automatically), when their drones immediately deploy, or when their backup arrives while the fight is still on, I call "Shenanigans!" They were there, they were fighting, they were pwned.
"Lag =P" is another one I hear quite a bit. Plausible--I've died due to lag myself now and again. But often I experienced the same lag spike as my opponent during the fight, and still won. Or how about this excuse: "I would have had you except I was targeting an asteroid/the container/the beacon." That's right, a person so stupid as to fight a harmless object while I'm opening a can of whoopass on their sorry ship is coincidentally so uber they would beat me if, by some quirk of fate, they managed to target me? I don't think so. That's right up there with the pilots who discount my victory over them by claiming, "You're lucky I wasn't in [some other ship they can fly]." Why? Do they think I would have attacked their Nyx with my Thorax? And what does it matter? The fact is--now give me my due--I hunted them down and killed them in the ship they were actually flying. Come on, that's got to be worth something!
These excuses--excuses of any kind, even true ones--are lame. Win or lose, just say, "gf."
In the meantime, I will continue my search for a bona fide victory: An engagement with an opponent who is ready for me, confident in his ship's abilities, and one I can still win. Do such pilots exist?