Twitter and the NFL shared a lot of news headlines this week. It was inevitable; things like Twitter and Facebook updates, bring the world to Joe Q. Public in almost real time. There’s good and there’s bad with that.
This week the NFL was put on the defensive by three separate Twitter occurrences. Both the Washington Redskins and Arizona Cardinals, were scrambling to come up with damage control; all because somebody typed messages hastily into their phone. There was also an incident with NBC analyst Rodney Harrison.
In Washington, rookie Robert Henson twittered some thoughts after the St. Louis game that were the subject of much scrutiny:
“All you fake half hearted Skins fan can .. I won’t go there but I dislike you very strongly, don’t come to Fed Ex to boo dim wits!!”
Since those thoughts were expressed, I’m pretty sure that Robert Henson wishes that he was Jim Henson so that he could make himself a puppet to hide behind.
Henson has taken down his Twitter page now.
Defensive end Phillip Daniels offered some great thoughts on the subject this week in his weekly blog for THN:
“I know he made a young mistake but I ask you to have forgiveness in your heart.”
Daniels went on to add that, “One thing that you might not know is that Robert had bottle tops thrown at him, and had fans spit on him as he was leaving to field to get to the locker room.” Read Phillip’s entire blog here.
Great insight and advice from a senior player. The entire situation has been completely blown out of proportion – this IS a guy that has never seen an NFL game yet; and yet the magnitude of the response would indicate that this was somehow one of the Redskins star players going off on the Redskin fan base. That isn’t to say that a lesser contributing player gets a pass because of their position; but come on… the kid made a mistake in the heat of the moment… do you think that hasn’t happened a thousand times to young NFL players?
Oh wait, that brings me to my actual point – Joe Q. Public wouldn’t have any idea how many times it might have happened in the past, because they didn’t have Twitter to tell them.
You see in the past, there just wasn’t a way for a player to interact with the fan base so directly, so quickly, and so easily. There was a ‘gap’ between a player and a fan – a gap that no longer exists. A gap that was probably responsible for hundreds of examples of players having enough time to blow off steam about something, without it ever making it to the pages of a newspaper.
In Arizona this week, Larry Fitzgerald and Kurt Warner also had to answer for a Twitter occurrence; it seems that Larry’s younger brother Marcus thought that it would be harmless to tweet his thoughts about Warner being an ‘old man,’ and about his older brother being irritated that he didn’t get the ball enough. Fitzgerald and Warner have since assured the media that there is no riff between them, but the point here is that they actually were forced to address it. Marcus’ tweets will require some restitution, “I told Kurt today that Marcus is now going to be one of his volunteers for his (football) camp this year,” Larry said. “He’s going to be taking out the garbage, whatever else Kurt needs.”
Good to see that the damage control for something so inoccuous was minimal and light-hearted; but it was still damage control.
Then there was the incident with Rodney Harrison this week. After allegedly calling Michael Crabtree the ‘biggest idiot’ in the NFL on Twitter, it was revealed by Adam Schefter (on Twitter) that the account was actually that of an impostor.
So that’s three separate, seemingly unrelated incidents that happened this week – but they’re not unrelated, they all happened on that great new social community Twitter.
So what do you think about Twitter, and its impact on the sports world? Is it good or bad?
I think that Twitter is evil.
By the way, make sure you check out this blog and any others on THN’s Twitter account.