I have been drowning in my addiction to that nifty little social networking app-Twitter. On the bright side, it is a fast and entertaining way to talk to friends while working, get news (depending on who you follow) and laugh at the exploits of your favorite celebrities and athletes.
There has been an alarming trend however, with how some of these athletes (and sports entities) have been using Twitter. Have you watched SportsCenter lately? Evidently they’re paying someone to follow athletes and parse out a “tweet of the day.” What this has to do with actual news is beyond me, but it certainly has become a part of the show.
Then you have the athletes tweeting…about life, teams, games, and all sorts of subjects in between. This is where things have gotten a bit dicey.
The NFL and NBA have banned tweeting during games (what player in his right mind has time for such malarkey anydamnway?) ESPN has prohibited employees (on air talent and otherwise) from tweeting unless it serves ESPN in some way, and most recently, players have been losing playing time for tweets that coaches didn’t appreciate.
While I can understand protecting ones corporate image, it seems to have gotten to the point where people are trying to somehow stifle the truth and disguising it as “detremental to team policy.”
Was the young Texas Tech player wrong for pointing out Mike Leach’s lateness? Not really. We’ve all been in situations with people who have some sort of authority over us, and would prefer us to do as they say and not as they do. If he wanted to avoid being talked about (on Twitter or among the troops), wouldn’t the easy way be to just show up on time for a meeting? Banning the entire team from tweeting doesn’t change the fact that he was late. Or are we supposed to just ignore it and pretend it’s the players who are wrong? An indefinite suspension certainly makes him look more like a bully than an effective head coach. Did complaining about playing time on Twitter really need to happen David Clowney? Probably not, but being benched for it doesn’t exactly send a positive message even when your team is undefeated.
It does make for some interesting catfights between athletes (Chad Ocho Cinco and Shawne Merriman for example) and some players have logged off for good after public reaction to things they have posted, but it does make one wonder-what lessons don’t these guys learn that the rest of us take for granted?
It just seems like common sense that one wouldn’t discuss their day job on Twitter. Isn’t it meant to be a distraction from what’s sitting on your desk or in your email box? It also seems like common sense that you wouldn’t go after fans, but-let’s keep it 100, some of these fans (probably myself included-sorry Nick Swisher) say some things that aren’t exactly in good taste and may set players off. While a cooler head would probably step away from the machine, or block this person from following them, or retweet to embarrass the person doing the talking, these folks pitch a tizzy and log off for good. Depriving me of much needed entertainment throughout my day.
In the end, it’s starting to look like there will be two types of athletes posting on twitter-those with do-boys posting for fans, and those who have an account but don’t post at all. I’ll stick to following the retirees-at least they have something entertaining to say and won’t be penalized for it.