Tag Archives: Clay Travis

How Twitter Has Changed the College Football World

Throughout this season I’ve noticed how intertwined college football has been with Twitter. Any given day of the week, I can get on Twitter and see multiple tweets about college football. And this isn’t to complain. To me, it’s just really interesting how Twitter has come to interact with college football.

When you think about it, Twitter has really transformed so many aspects of college football. Coaches tweet now. Players tweet. Analysts tweet. Fans tweet. We all tweet, often interacting with each other. The interactive aspect of Twitter has really made college football more fun in countless ways.

Coaches can tweet random facts that let people into their lives, or they can (with restrictions) use Twitter as a recruiting tool. One of the most prominent college football coaches as far as Twitter goes is Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. He uses his account for all sorts of different things, and it’s clear that fans eat it up.

I mean, I don’t even like Michigan football at all, but those tweets make me like Harbaugh a little more. He is clearly a Twitter master.

Players being on Twitter is a whole different animal. Being a Florida fan, obviously the most interesting player to follow is Teez Tabor. Though some of his tweets have been deleted, his Twitter has always been a goldmine. College ball players often just shut up and play, but having Twitter and thousands of followers on Twitter gives them the chance to actually talk.

Talking is definitely something Tabor has proven to be great at. He compared college football to slavery once. He also called out Florida’s UAA for being bogus after he was suspended for refusing to take a drug test. But in a totally different light, he’s tried to set a good example for younger fans. This summer he actually live streamed himself giving to a homeless man in Gainesville.

Say what you want about the first couple tweets I mentioned, but Tabor is clearly a Twitter master, too. He uses it not only to express himself and support his teammates, but also to try to inspire his followers to do better.

Analysts have also become increasingly active on Twitter. Even bloggers like myself use Twitter to interact with fans of the teams we write about. We also can use Twitter to promote our work and get precious views.

One very recent example of analysts using Twitter was with the postponement of the LSU-Florida game at the beginning of the month. Many major analysts immediately jumped on Twitter to give their commentary on this news.

LSU got its narrative out first, causing the majority of analysts to pick up its version of the events. Analysts were bashing the Florida team, Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley, Coach McElwain and even the SEC Commissioner, who ultimately made the call to postpone the game.

Clay Travis was one of the most overwhelmingly loud voices speaking out against the Gators. I’m sure he gained thousands of LSU and Tennessee fan followers that weekend. And kudos to him for exploiting a sensitive topic to get more clicks. It’s the smart thing to do.

On the other side of things was one of my favorite Twitter presences as far as analysts go, Barrett Sallee. Sallee, for anybody who understood why the game was postponed, was the voice of reason. He even went so far as to say exactly why the theory that Florida was scared of playing LSU that weekend was ridiculous.

Sallee obviously received a lot of criticism and insults for being one of the few analysts to publicly defend the Gators. But, as always, he handled his critics very well. And in this case, both Clay Travis and Barrett Sallee proved that they are masters of college football talk on Twitter.

The last aspect of how Twitter has changed college football has to do with the fans. The fan experience is entirely different now that there’s Twitter. There are really three major ways Twitter changed college football for the fans: fans interacting with other fans of the same teams, fans interacting with fans of other teams and fans interacting with and/or criticizing the players.

Fans interacting within the same fan base has become incredibly popular. Vol Twitter, Gator Twitter and so many other Twitter worlds exist out there because of college football. Having other fans to commiserate with or celebrate with, without ever leaving your house, is really awesome.

But what happens when the good people of Gator Twitter and Vol Twitter clash? Well, if you’re sensitive then you should probably stay out of it. During #FloridaHateWeek/#TennesseeHateWeek leading up to the September 24th game in Knoxville, these fans really went at each other. I got to see both sides of it, which was honestly incredibly amusing.

Having Twitter to talk crap with fans of opposing teams can be really fun. But like I said, keep your feelings out of it. It’s not that serious, bro.

This last part of things can be great when used correctly. But when abused, it really irks me. Fans have the ability to criticize and/or interact with the players via Twitter now. In theory, this is great. In practice, it’s not always so great.

If you know me, you know I defend athletes whenever my writing allows. I defended Josh Dobbs and all other college athletes earlier this season after a student wrote a really nasty article about “whiny” football players. Here’s my chance to defend players in another way.

Because Twitter is Twitter and it creates a mob mentality in a lot of ways, fan bases often find scapegoats to take out all their frustration on. Sometimes the scapegoats kind of deserve it. But in other cases, it just gets to a point that is completely ridiculous.

For example, earlier this season Florida safety Nick Washington had a game-sealing interception off a Jarrad Davis tipped ball. A play like that shows great awareness and athleticism. But, since he’s a Gator Twitter scapegoat, he got virtually no credit for it.

LOL. You have to be kidding me. A) I assure you that it was not “shitty” play that got him to the University of Florida. B) Random Twitter troll, do you start for a top 25 college football program? C) Who hurt you? D) Aren’t you a Gator fan? What are you doing??

Now, most college football players would never lash out in response to something like this. As someone told me a while ago, “There’s a reason we’re on that field and they’re just watching.” But at the end of the day, fans need to realize that the players do see these tweets. These guys are devoting countless hours, their bodies and so much else to try to generate income for the universities and entertain the fans.

Being ungrateful just because Twitter gives you a place to do so is just plain dumb. Is it really worth the RTs and likes? Is it really worth the players thinking their own fan base is ridiculous?

As we Gators would say, “In all kinds of weather, we all stick together.” Now, if college football fans on Twitter (including Gator fans) could actually take that to heart, college football Twitter would be a much happier place.

At the end of the day, Twitter has changed college football for everyone involved. I really do think it’s mostly a good thing, too. Sometimes it’s even a great thing. But as evidenced by my last point, it clearly isn’t always a good thing.

As technology changes and platforms like Twitter become even more popular, it’ll be interesting to watch how it continues to affect college football and all of us that are so invested in the game.

You can email Kristen at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @OGKristenB.

Photo: Pixabay

Clay Travis Has No Use for Your Marching Band

I bet you remember listening to your favorite college football podcast debate the top teams from the BCS era and how those teams would stack up to the top teams in the College Football Playoff era. Listening to the host and guest debate the topic probably even pushed you to tweet your own opinion to those know-it-all talking heads.

If this was you, join the club!

And if this was you, I bet you also remember those same college football experts breaking down the top college marching bands of the BCS and College Football Playoff eras. Amirite?

That last thought even made me laugh, and I wrote it! Even though I wrote it, even I couldn’t take it seriously.

And after Clay Travis threw shade at every college marching band in the country, this is where we find ourselves: debating the importance of the college marching band.

Before I proceed, I’ll give you some background information on myself. You know, full disclosure and all that stuff.

I was once in marching band to the tune of two tours of duty. One tour was a two-year stint and one was a one-year farewell tour. You see, I thought I missed it, so I re-enlisted. Nope. I had fooled myself. It wasn’t artistically fulfilling but it was a whole helluva lot of fun.

Here’s the thing. Marching band is fun but serves no real purpose at a football game. I marched because it was fun, which meant it got me into the games for free and gave me easy access to parties. Chug it, baby!

If marching bands only played some pregame and postgame music nobody would really miss the halftime shows that these kids practice to perfection. I mean, think about it. With five minutes left in the first half, what are you thinking? If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking that halftime will give you just enough time to hit the bathroom, refresh the drink and get back to your seat in time for the second half kickoff.

You aren’t thinking that you better do all of that during the last five minutes of first half action so you can get back to your seat in time to see the marching band play their tribute to the 1980s.

As much as marchers everywhere want to deny this, it is the truth. But it hasn’t stopped these gridiron musicians from banding together and issuing a manifesto against Travis. The manifesto is courtesy of collegemarching.com.

Here are some of the tweets that were used to support this manifesto.

 

Chris Davis should be proud of his “damn band.” But if he thinks the arts are devalued when college marching bands are devalued, he has an over-inflated opinion about the repertoire a marching band plays. Great. The marching band may play portions of Gustov Holst’s, The Planets, but the band isn’t really performing The Planets. As it’s played on a football field, it is merely a simplified arrangement of the real thing. No, Travis did not devalue the arts.

The Music Master suggests that college marching bands “marched on” Jim Rome and that Travis would get the same treatment. I’ll be honest. I don’t remember the onslaught of fury that this shako wearing army unleashed on Rome. And I bet Rome doesn’t remember it either. But sure. Travis better watch his back.

And Darth Praedth has no clue what he really said. At no point in time have I ever heard someone say they preferred college football over the NFL because of the marching band. Praedth then believes he took an additional jab at Travis by referencing the “dried out” recordings that are blasted at NFL games. I’ve got news for Praedth. This is happening at college football games as well. Times are changing.

It’s not that I’m anti-band. Quite the contrary, actually. College marching bands give kids who aren’t music majors the opportunity to play some music, watch some football and have a good time. There are even some music majors who enjoy having the marching band as an outlet to just blow off some steam if they’re performance majors, or to gain valuable developmental experience if they’re music education majors.

College football would be just fine without the marching band.

I believe that Travis’ point was that nobody is purchasing a ticket to watch the band. Sure, there may be a parent or two who do so, but the vast majority of ticket holders are in the stadium to watch the football team.
Congratulations band geeks. Travis made a simple statement, you took the statement as a slap in the face and have now turned it into something that it was never intended to be. Simply put, the college marching band world lived up to the stereotype of what band geeks are. An overly sensitive group of individuals who desperately want to be the legends that they’ve built themselves up to be. I should know. I was once a band geek.

E-mail Seth at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @SethMerenbloom.

Photo: en.wikipedia.org

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Criticizing Women in Sports Media is not Always Misogynistic

Do you want to know what I’m sick and tired of? Social Justice Warriors (SJW) and anyone else who is wanting to create moral outrage. So if you’re easily offended, that statement should be enough to make you close this webpage. But before you leave, I’ll say “thank you.” You already gave me the page click.

Women in sports media has been an on-going topic for years. We’re told about the systemic misogyny that has penetrated a sports culture that is judged by beer drinking, mustache wearing, farting, burping, crack peeking out of their pants cavemen. Just ignore that growing list of highly qualified women who are doing excellent jobs within the industry.

Earlier in the week, Just Not Seen Sports published a video titled, #MoreThanMean. Vice Sports picked this story up and used it as a means of attacking Clay Travis. Were they trolling Travis? Sure, and I have no problem with that.

As was expected, Vice Sports is getting a crazy amount of clicks. This is in part to the topic of their article and partially because they singled Travis out as the king of misogyny. It’s usually good to be the king. Not so much in this case.

The popularity of the article was beneficial to Vice Sports and sent all of the SJW to Travis’ twitter feed like flies to sugar.

Here is Travis’ tweet that sums up the reaction that the Vice Sports article created:

Like it or not, everybody receives hateful comments on social media. Travis and his family have received death threats in the past. As for me? I was once called a “bald headed bastard.” Hey, tweeter peeps? Why so hateful to the follically challenged?

Here’s the thing. People say mean, nasty and hurtful things on twitter. People say these things to both male and female, young and old. Social media is a wonderful thing, but extreme anonymity has it drawbacks.

I have no problem with women in sports. Women can be excellent athletes. Hell, they’re better athletes than me and that’s just fine. There are also women who do excellent jobs in sports media. And like the female athletes, they’re doing a better job than I am. Again, that’s just fine.

Now here’s the other thing. Like men, women can also do a poor job in sports media and that has nothing to do with their gender. But I’m a white, middle-aged man, so people will naturally chalk my comment up to my misogynistic nature. If I wanted to turn the tables on you, I’d grasp my Jewish heritage and claim that you’re simply anti-semitic.

See? We all have something to play this game with.

Each time a male or female SJW witnesses a woman in sports being criticized, they yell, “misogyny!” This isn’t fair to the women who are doing quality jobs in the industry.

If you are female and claim to be a sports personality, please write and tweet about sports. At least every once in awhile. Hell, I’ll say the same thing about men. Be who you claim to be.

Have opinions on sports and tweet them and write about them. And please, please! Do this in a coherent manner.

When a female sports personality does nothing but talk about how to put makeup on and how to drink champagne without smudging their lipstick, guess what? They’re criticized and it has nothing to do with misogyny. It has to do with that person needing to do a better job.

And another thing. If you’re strong enough to dish out a bunch of hateful rhetoric then you should also be strong enough to take it in return.

People are hateful, shitty individuals. Especially when they’re online.

Get over it. It’s not always about misogyny.

E-mail Seth at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @SethMerenbloom.

*Featured image courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

Top-10 List of Things That Will Happen Before Lane Kiffin Leaves Alabama for UCLA

Do you know who has it easy right now? Lane Kiffin, that’s who. As Alabama’s offensive coordinator Kiffin has coached in two national championship games and won one of them. Not bad for a coach who has the reputation of “falling up.”

Kiffin arguably has the best job in the history of sports. As Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator Kiffin has to orchestrate just enough points to win games and, with the Alabama defense, not many points are needed. He has also had the luxury of coaching Derrick Henry, Amari Cooper and a laundry list of other high caliber offensive weapons. Talent like this is not going to dry up any time soon at Alabama.

So here’s the question: Why would he even think about leaving Tuscaloosa?

That is the question that UCLA should have asked themselves prior to making their offer to Kiffin. UCLA really thought that Kiffin would leave Alabama to be the offensive coordinator for UCLA?

Again, Kiffin has the easiest job in sports right now.

I guess UCLA thought that Kiffin couldn’t say “yes” unless he was at least offered the job. This was a completely far fetched idea on the part of UCLA.

Here’s my Top-10 list of far fetched things that could have happened before Lane Kiffin left Alabama for UCLA.

  1. Clay Travis leaves Fox Sports after accepting an offer from Campus Pressbox. Our benefit package isn’t much, but we make up for it with a kick-ass slack.com app.
  2. I, Seth Merenbloom, will grow a full, luxurious head of hair so I am no longer Campus Pressbox’s “Bald Headed Bastard.”
  3. Donald Trump gets elected President. He names only his kids as cabinet members.
  4. Stan Kroenke updates his last will and testament and leaves his toupe to the city of St. Louis.
  5. Mike Wilson, Campus Pressbox Sr. Pac-12 Writer, starts drinking his scotch the right way. Neat.
  6. Oklahoma leaves the Big 12 and becomes a member of the SEC. Bob Stoops publicly admits that the SEC is the best conference in college football.
  7. Rick Pitino holds a press conference from the bathroom of a Louisville restaurant where he admits to running The Best Little Whore House In Louisville.
  8. Roy Williams’ entire North Carolina basketball team not only makes the Dean’s List, but are in a 16 student tie for Valedictorian.
  9. Jameis Winston retires from the NFL to pursue his true passion which is being an Alaskan king crab fisherman.
  10. Urban Meyer is found to be in perfect health and remains at Ohio State for the remainder of his coaching career.
E-mail Seth at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @SMerenbloom.

Feature image courtesy of pixabay.com

Can the Journalists and Bloggers Just Get Along?

Us versus them. The little brother versus big brother. David versus Goliath. These battles have become synonymous with the traditional media versus bloggers. The reality of this scenario is that it doesn’t have to be this way.

The newspaper industry began going into a recession years ago. Truth be told, when I was contemplating a career change, I was interested in going back to school for a journalism degree. This was 9 years ago. The reason that I chose an MBA over a journalism degree was because I believed that the industry was changing at a rate that was quicker than their decision makers wanted to keep pace with.

I’m not here to argue that one group of writers is superior to the other. Each group has their place in the market but there are differences. Those differences are both real and perceived.

As is the case in any industry, there are both quality and lousy writers that the reader can choose to read. Being a member of a traditional media outlet does not guarantee that you are producing quality work just as being a blogger doesn’t guarantee that you are writing irresponsibly.

Clay Travis recently wrote an article on Outkick The Coverage that resonated with me. He provides an opinion on the topic of traditional media versus bloggers based on his first hand experience.

The purpose of my writing this article is not as a take down of traditional journalists. There are many traditional journalists who I not only enjoy reading but also admire. However, based on recent observations, I get the feeling that many, but not all, traditional journalists want to toss the bloggers aside and consider bloggers to offer nothing of value.

Something that Clay Travis suggested was that traditional journalists believe that they are defined by their byline first and foremost. The mindset being, if you have a byline, you are superior to the blogger. That mindset also includes the notion that your writing contains superior substance.

Of Travis’ 10 thoughts, thought number 2 jumped off the page to me. Please go back and read thought 2 again. Here is the portion that rang loud and clear to me:

Here’s the deal: if you can’t write more interesting stories actually being there than the people are writing watching my Periscope feed can write, why are you traveling and writing at all? Why not just watch my Periscope feed too? Why should your company be paying to put you up in a hotel and pay for you to travel and pay for you to write what others are writing from their couches?

There are journalists out there that are doing incredible work. They are identifying stories and digging into the topic in order to write a story that is not only accurate but also captivating to their audience. Offering these elements does not require that the journalist be on the scene. If they aren’t on the scene and are still able to write content that is more marketable than those who were actually there, that’s not the blogger’s fault. That is the fault of a journalist who is getting by on their byline and nothing else.

There is something else that a byline does not entitle a journalist to and that is the right to trample on bloggers. There are times that a blogger or podcaster receives credible information on a story. Yes, bloggers can indeed have sources. I understand the need to verify sources, however, when the blogger breaks a story, they should be given the appropriate credit for the story. Having a byline does not entitle a journalist to pass breaking news off as their own.

There is room within the industry for both traditional journalists and bloggers. The journalists who are the most successful are those who have embraced the changing landscape of their industry and have embraced what readers gravitate towards while still exhibiting ethical standards.

For my commentary on specific examples of this, please read my previous opinions on the subject as it relates to the University of Missouri Tigers and their local media.

Snarky Tweets from the Closet: Missouri Tiger Fans and Their Inferiority Complex

Gary Pinkel and His Missouri Tiger Football Program: Keeping the Hounds of Hell at Arms Length

E-mail Seth at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @SMerenbloom.

The College Quickie: The Eyes of Us Are Not Upon Texas

Here’s something that happens to me, all too often, when I pull up the guide as I surf for some sporting event on ESPN. Ok, let’s see here, ESPN… soccer, no. ESPNU… I’ve already seen the Manning thing a couple of times. How about ESPN2? Sports Center, hmmmm, nah. Ok ok! College Football! YES! And then my eyes will drift to the left and I note the network . It’s LSN, the Longhorn Sports Network, and I, typically, curse under my breath and flip through the guide as quickly as I can, in search of something else. Anything else!

It’s like when I search radio stations and I hear a snippet from a song that I haven’t heard before but is sounds like a possibility. And then I hear words something to this effect, ” I love you, I want you in my heart, I need you… Jesus.” No no no!!! Keep tuning! Keep tuning! Quickly! Get far away from here.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Jesus, but I cannot allow my ears to be infiltrated by the innocuous, pop lite ripoff sounds of Contemporary Christian radio. It leaves a bad aftertaste my mouth and I immediately want to find some Deep Purple, Black Sabbath or, God rest his soul, George Jones.

But if I’m deeply immersed in one of the “Possum’s” ballads, please do not hand me a pint of cheap whiskey and a gun. That could turn ugly. “He stopped loving her today, they put a wreath upon his door, and soon they’ll carry him away, he stopped loving heeeeeerrrrrrr… todayay, heyheeeeeyyyyy, heeeeeeyyyyyyyy.”

Ok, the LHN. EEEEEEEWWWWWW is America’s response to said network. What if they created a television network and no one watched? They did, and they don’t.

People are NOT watching the Longhorn Network by the millions.

I just took a look over there before sitting down to compose this piece. You know what was on? Softball vs. UTSA. After that? Yet another showing of softball vs. UTSA (that’s the University Texas at San Antonio for you neophytes). After that? The 1994 Texas vs. Oklahoma “Red River Classic”.

I mean, I’ll watch a replay the 1994 Iron Bowl, maybe, because I bleed the burnt orange and navy blue of Auburn University, and I cross myself and mutter “War Eagle” every morning when I awaken.

Come to think of it, I will NOT watch a replay of the 1994 Iron Bowl because Alabama won that game, 21-14, as the Tigers came up an inch or two short on fourth down in Tide territory, on a controversial call by the zebras.

Pat Dye once said, “If you need a yard, on third or fourth down, when you’re playing Alabama, you’d better get three.” Amen!

But I digress. Where was I? Oh! The 1994 Texas-Oklahoma game. Really? Need I say more?

The Longhorn Network is a miserable failure. It is, “the worst television programming in ESPN history…”

That quote is from a piece entitled, “The Longhorn Network Is All Hat, No Cattle.”

Mash below and be prepared. It was written by Clay Travis for his college football blog, “Outkick the Coverage”. All I can say is, wow! Just WOW!!!

http://www.foxsports.com/college-football/outkick-the-coverage/the-longhorn-network-is-all-hat-no-cattle-051115