Provide that the original poster of a thread can ban any poster they deem undesirable from that thread they created after the offending entity has posted once to the thread. Real mods still retain the powers to delete inappropriate comments of course.
That goes far in providing self-moderation and can dramatically reduce the number of ornery comments and fosters a greater respect for the originator of the thread as the boot button is just a click away.
So for example, a jets troll can be exculded from threads started by Pats' fans if the OP so desires after a percieved transgression. The banned jets fan is free to make their own thread and control that, but if nobody participates - oh well.
I think you will find a system like that would greatly reduce the angst many persons express about the current board with much less work needed from the real mods.