Twitter is one of the best things to happen in the world of sports this century. News has never been so easy to locate and so fast to hit the internet, and you can get all of the latest news in just 180 characters or less, allowing you to get right to the meat of the story. When writers get the scoop; the first place they post it is twitter. Checking the paper every morning a few years ago has become checking twitter every morning.
Twitter is also great because it allows fans the opportunity to easily chat with their favorite athletes. Gone are the days of fan mail, you can send a tweet directly to an athlete’s page with just a few strokes of the keyboard and a hit of the “send” button. As great as this is, it also has it’s flaws.
A few weeks ago, Ray Rice told reporters that he was harassed via twitter by his fantasy owners for having a down week. A while later, Chris Johnson made a similar statement. And, of course, this past week it has surfaced that Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees was the recipient of some venomous tweets after his rough outing against Oklahoma last Saturday. Out of curiousity I decided to take a look at some of these tweets, and I’m not appalled by much, but some of the tweets were so out of line that I couldn’t dare post them on this site.
All week I’ve been asking myself, what prompts a person to do this? Do they find it funny? I’m the first one to laugh at jokes at the expense of players, but these tweets certainly didn’t seem like jokes to me. Do they just want to bait the athlete into a back and forth twitter battle? This almost never works.
Is the person so mad about the outcome of the game that they feel the need to rant in the form of a hateful tweet? I love football as much as anybody I know, but if you’re getting that upset about a loss you should probably put the phone down and pick up a stress ball.
Or, of course, this person could just be genuinely trying to threaten and hurt an 18-22 year old kid whom he doesn’t even know. Not to be sappy, but these people suck and are the people that not only give football fans their barbaric image, but drag down society as a whole. I can’t fathom even taking to my keyboard to harass a quarterback after a loss, and that’s a good thing.
It’s easy to say that the athletes should grow up, have thicker skin, or just stay off twitter completely. But for every keyboard warrior out there, there are hundreds of fans who show support for these athletes via social media and are probably a pick me up after a tough game such as Oklahoma. To college athletes’ credit, they usually do their best at ignoring the hate spewed their way on twitter. These are 18-22 year old kids handling the situation like adults, and it’s a shame the people that send these tweets are often a decade older than them. It is true that somebody needs to grow up in this situation, but it’s clear that its’ not the athletes that need to do so.
Game Balls: Week 5
Aaron Murray, QB Georgia – Was 20-34 for 298 yards and 4 touchdowns, including the game winning score with under two minutes left, to defeat the LSU Tigers, 44-41. His second Donchez game ball.
Sean Mannion, QB Oregon State – Threw for 414 yards and 6 touchdowns in a 44-17 Pac 12 victory over Colorado.l
This week for the Irish
Notre Dame will travel to Texas this weekend for their fifth annual Shamrock Series game, this time against Arizona State. This is a bit of a revenge game in my mind, as the Sun Devils are at least partially responsible in the firing of Lane Kiffin, thus giving USC a shot at being competitive in the next few years. ASU is extremely explosive offensively, led by Taylor Kelly at QB. Kelly is one of three FBS quarterbacks to throw for 300 yards in every game this season, and also poses a threat with his legs. In a game with an unfamiliar opponent, there are a lot of questions. One thing that is clear is that if the Irish turn the ball over like they did last week, they WILL lose this game. ASU has probably the best offense the Irish will see all season and they are perfectly fine with taking ND’s charity points much like the Sooners did last week. The good news is that the Devils are not without their flaws. They are sub par in two of the biggest facets of the game; running the ball and stopping the ball. Defensively, if the Irish can stymie their ground attack and turn them into a one dimensional, basketball on grass team, I think their pass rush will eventually make plays happen and force Kelly into mistakes. On the other side of the ball, the Irish ground game looked rejuvenated last week against Oklahoma. ASU is in the bottom third of the nation stopping the run, so if the Irish backfield can grind down the subpar State front seven, it would not only keep Kelley and company off the field, but would take a lot of pressure off Tommy Rees to win the game with his arm. I’m 5-0 so far in picking ND games this season, and I don’t play favorites; I take pride in that. I’ve gone back and forth between who I liked in this game, and even though the Irish are underdogs, I think stylistically they match up well with the Sun Devils. I think they win this game in style, rocking the best Shamrock Series uniforms yet.
Prediction: Notre Dame 35 Arizona State 28
What Else I’m watching this week
TCU @ #11 Oklahoma
At the beginning of the year I said I thought TCU had a shot at taking the Big 12. Two losses later, and it’s desperation time for the Horned Frogs. They have a plethora of talent, but haven’t showed it so far this season. I think with their backs against the wall, they have a chance to go into Norman and shock the Sooners.
#4 Ohio State @ #16 Northwestern
Gameday will be in town and it should be an electric atmosphere. The Wildcats have been a nice program the past several years, but snapping the Buckeyes’ nation best 17 game winning streak at home on a national stage would be a program changing win.
WEEK 6 PICKS
Last week: 1-2 (Kentucky L, USC L, Cleveland Browns W)
This week: SMU +4.5, hosting Rutgers. May make other picks later in the week via twitter.
Any questions or feedback please contact me on Twitter (@tylerdonchez)