Tag Archives: Twitter

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

David Griffin ushers in a Lue era in Cleveland

The Cleveland Cavaliers have set another record this week, though it remains to be seen whether it is one to be proud of or sorry for.

David Blatt celebrates with LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half at Quicken Loans Arena on November 8, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Pacers 101-97. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
David Blatt celebrates with LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half at Quicken Loans Arena on November 8, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Pacers 101-97. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Around 3:55pm on Friday, the Cleveland sports world let out a collective gasp when it was broken by Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the sports world’s premier NBA insider, that the Cavaliers organization had terminated Head Coach David Blatt. Not only was this news shocking and puzzling but it was simultaneously reported that Assistant Coach Tyronn Lue was being promoted to the position of Head Coach.

Lue would not assume the title of Interim Coach as is the traditional procedure when a coach is unexpectedly fired. He was immediately given the moniker of Head Coach with even some rumors of a two to three year deal already having been negotiated.

The aforementioned record that was set, is that Blatt is the first coach, since the league separated into two conferences, to ever be terminated when his team had the best win/loss record in their conference. That is not exactly what I would have hoped for in terms of a ground breaking statement, but the effectiveness of this strategy is yet to be determined.

Cavs General Manager David Griffin held a press conference Friday and alluded to the team not showing an inability to “galvanize” under Blatt’s leadership. He felt that the team was at a crossroads in terms of fixing this problem and a change needed to be made in order to continue moving towards their common goal of bringing an NBA championship to the City of Cleveland.

The primary and obvious speculation is that the decision, as many have been in the past two seasons, was influenced directly by Lebron James. Both Griffin and James have denied publicly that James had any say or that he was consulted on the final decision.

Do I think James went to Griffin and “suggested” that Lue be promoted and Blatt let go? No, I do not.

Do I think that James has had ups and downs with Blatt in terms of their coach/player relationship and that he may have known in the back of his head that this would be the end result someday? Absolutely, 100%.

It is important to note that the decision of who to name as the head coach of the Cavaliers was made BEFORE James announced his intent to return to Cleveland in July of 2014, and that while Griffin favored Lue to receive the position, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert preferred Blatt. This must have spawned an interesting conversation over at Quicken Loans Arena when the Sports Illustrated cover was revealed.

OK, Blatt is out and Lue is now the head coach of our team. The next question is, how will the team’s strategy and performance change with a coach that is rumored to be more “in touch” with the players?

Our first test of Lue’s coaching prowess would be against our Eastern Conference rival, the Chicago Bulls, on our home court. The team can only improve if Blatt was such a hinderance to their success, correct?

The final score from our matchup against the Bulls at home? A 96-83 loss where the Cavaliers looked listless and unable to execute.

Now this could be explained by the suddenness of the coaching change or from some apparent shifts in substitution patterns that Lue put into place. Whatever the reason, this team should never lose on their home court when they hold their opponent under 100 points.

All they could muster on the offensive end over 4 quarters was 83 points?!? In this particular game the lack of offense was the fault of several factors.

As a collective group, our bench players shot 3/14 for 8 points. Obviously, that is not a typical set of stats for Dellavedova, Shumpert and Tristan Thompson but this certainly contributed to the lack of scoring overall.

The second factor was that we shot just under 41% (9 for 22) from the free throw line. Essentially, the Cavaliers contracted out all of their free throw shooting for the night to Clippers forward Deandre Jordan; quite an embarrassment in my eyes.

The last factor, in my estimation, relates to offensive strategy. The Cavs took 24 three point shots against Chicago and were only able to make four.

This abysmal 16.7% from downtown means that even though we were showing that the long range shots were not going down, we still continued to take them. Is this just an example of the new coaching staff urging the players to “shoot through” their cold streak?

Listen, I was as shocked as anyone to hear of Blatt’s firing. Too often, there is a Twitter explosion (which I engaged in on a small scale right as it happened) and a rush to be the first to write an opinion piece on whether Griffin is a hero or a zero for this.

I knew that I needed time to process everything, hear all sides of the story, and even see our newly appointed coach in action for the first time before I could give my honest opinion on the matter. Now that most of that has occurred I am ready to levy a judgment!

My feeling is that the Cleveland Cavaliers, while possessing the title of best team in the East, showed that under David Blatt’s coaching, that they could not compete consistently against the best teams in the West. Seeing as the goal of management is acquiring a championship, a change needed to be made.

I applaud our GM as he has put himself into the position of being called either a genius or a goat when it is all said and done. He has certainly volunteered to put this team on the back of his decisions, as great leaders should.

Griffin’s legacy in this city is at stake now more than ever. To me, that is the very definition of ALL IN.

Cleveland Indians Weekly: A Lot of talk, not a lot of movement

 

It’s been a pretty big week for player movement in the MLB thus far

The deal involving the Oakland A’s and Toronto Blue Jays was the centerpiece of this week’s marketplace.

In exchange for 3B Josh Donaldson, the A’s received 2B/3B Brett Lawrie and three minor-leaguers (High-A Pitchers Sean Nolin and Kendall Graveman & teenage shortstop Franklin Barreto).

In my opinion, this signals that the A’s are entering a period of rebuilding even though Billy Beane hasn’t overtly made that decision known to the general public. Donaldson has a WAR north of 7.4 the past two seasons and is one of the best players in the game today. In a world where he has to compete with the likes of Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera, his true influence is left nearly unnoticed.

From the Blue Jays side of the equation, there are a few things that are clear:

1. They think they have what it takes to compete AND win the A.L. East in 2015

2. The power moves by the Boston Red Sox (signing Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez) signaled a “Power” arms race in the N.L. and the other four teams had a very short time to decide if they wanted to jump in. Clearly New York is nowhere near the point where it can hope to compete  in 2015. Their superstar hung up his cleats for good, it’s rotation is unproven and its infield is decimated from just a few years ago. The Orioles are seeing some of their rising stars hit free agency and take the opportunity to test the market (See: Nick Markakis), but they retain many of the pieces that helped them win the division by 10+ games in 2014. Finally, the Rays have lost skipper Joe Maddon to Chicago and unless everything comes together in 2015, I just don’t see them even competing through the All-Star break.

Some minor rumblings…

There were some other smaller moves around the league and the Indians have been linked to the likes of free agent and former SEA 1B/DH Kendrys Morales and NYY 3B Chase Headley. Whether anything happens with those players, it’s too early to know. Considering we already have Carlos Santana, I guess I don’t see the point in being linked to Morales unless the thinking is that he and Carlos would split 1B/DH duties. As for Headley, we’ve basically moved away from that deal, but it’s interesting that were looking at a 3B when we have Lonnie Chisenhall. While some people think Chisenhall had this crazy good season, he honestly didn’t. He came out smoking into June and then just deflated. His slash line at the end of the season was .280/.343/.427. Above average, but nothing to write extensively about, in my opinion. If that slugging percentage goes up by oh, I don’t know, 50-60 points and his SO/W ration comes down from 3, then we can talk.

In the same breath, we can also say that FA and former Tribe ace Justin Masterson is garnering interest from every team in the AL Central in addition to a handful of other teams in the AL and NL East & NL Central. Again, WAY to early to tell, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a team pull the trigger on him around the time of the winter meetings or a little before.

The real talk…

Has been around what to do with Nick Swisher. Nick’s contract has about $30 million left on it and, after last year, many are speculating that the Indians front office is shopping his contract around to see what they can get for him. I’ve never been a “fan” of Swisher per se. Last year was definitely a blip on the radar. Swisher has never played as badly (or as few games) as he did last season. The front office must see it as the beginning of his post-prime regression. I would give him one more year. If he had played a full season, I guarantee his numbers would have rebounded somewhat.

If the Indians are looking to unload a contract…

They should look at Michael Bourn. Bourn is in the middle of his 4 year/$48 Million contract and he still has upside that may be appealing to some teams. If the front office could package Bourn and a few prospects (that are not off the table (See: Lindor, Frazier, Naquin, etc) for PHI P Cole Hamels, that could be a smart move. Hamels is owed $90 million through ’18, but he is going to be cheaper than many of the current FA P on the market. The problem with this deal is: The Phillies are an old team. When I say old, I mean OLD. The Phillies want one thing and one thing only: Young talent. We have young talent. We have a lot of it. But the Phillies are going to want our best and brightest, especially after Cole Hamels finished 6th in the NL Cy Young race and delivered a a 3.07 FIP, 3.37 SO/W and 5.0 WAR. I’m thinking they’ll request Lindor and/or Naquin and our front office will laugh all of the way out of their offices and make a joke about old age, dinosaurs, etc (at least I would).

You may have heard…

That the Indians and Red Sox are poking around the idea of a trade involving Yoenis Cespedes for a few of our major-league tested young pitchers (Bauer and Salazar). Don’t believe it for a second. Carrasco, Bauer and Salazar are propped up for Big seasons this year, and the front office is not going to damage what could be the best young rotation in the majors for a 1 year rental on a guy who regressed on a really bad Red Sox team. Mark my words: Cespedes will be dealt by the All-Star Break this year (or earlier). He’s goign to be dealt to a dumb team on the cusp of playoff-relevancy with a lot of young talent to unload. I’m thinking Brewers.

Interested in meeting AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber?

Or MVP finalist Michael Brantley? Check out Tribefest, held January 24th and 25th at Progressive Field. I’ve included the link here. Last year, the area got hammered with bad winter weather and I was unfortunately unable to go, but from what I heard from my friends on Twitter, it was the greatest thing next to opening day. I highly recommend going if you’d like a chance to take a picture with one of your favorite players or get an autograph. Tickets are on sale now and are going quick!

As the weeks progress, I’ll be sure to cover any deals or signings by the Indians. Because this is the downtime for the MLB, I’m going to be doing in-depth profiles of the players who I believe will get the starting nod on Opening Day 2015. I’d like to include snippets of conversations with fans, so, if you have an opinion about starters in 2015, make sure you leave a comment and let’s talk!

I love ya Cleveland. Roll Tribe!

Thanksgiving Playoffs: CFB Style

Applying the new college football playoff to Thanksgiving sides and desserts is not just fun, but delicious.
Applying the new college football playoff to Thanksgiving sides and desserts is not just fun, but delicious.

This year marks the first edition of the NCAA playoffs in which four teams will battle for the national championship. Since Thanksgiving is here, why not adapt the college football playoffs to Thanksgiving? That’s right, the top four side dishes and desserts will battle it out to see which dish is the Thanksgiving favorite.

I think you can tell a lot about a person by which side dishes they put on their plate at Thanksgiving. I particularly watch out for the people who only eat fruit salads or those traitors that fix ham instead of turkey. No doubt this column will elicit heated debate around the Thanksgiving table as you analyze your brother-in-law’s plate. Maybe this finally explains the behavior of your crazy uncle or cousin? Let’s find out who wins the Thanksgiving championship.

Championship Sides

Everyone knows the turkey is king of Thanksgiving (no questions). But you can’t have the star of the show all by his lonesome, the bird has to have some sides to keep it company. Here are the seeds for the sides bracket:

1)   Sweet Potato Casserole

2)   Stuffing (Stove Top)

3)   Macaroni and Cheese

4)   Green Bean Casserole

For those crying fowl (get it?), sweet potato casserole beat out mashed potatos in the regular season finale in the Potato Bowl. In the first round we have sweet potato casserole vs. green bean casserole in the battle of the casseroles. Green bean casserole is the underdog for sure in this matchup. Everyone loves the fried onion thingies that go on top but can that put it over the sweet potato? Green bean casserole puts up a spirited fight, but sweet potato casserole prevails to move on.

In the second semifinal, stuffing takes on its long time carb rival macaroni and cheese. Imagine Michigan vs. Ohio State or Alabama vs. Auburn. Stuffing is the all time favorite side. Whenever you see a picture of a turkey, stuffing is always there. Some people even stuff it inside the bird! Macaroni and cheese is the carb heavyweight. Our family recipe calls for almost a whole stick of Velveeta. Anything with that much Velveeta has to be awesome. Fighting down to the wire, late in the fourth quarter Stuffing rallies to secure their spot in the championship game.

In the carb national championship, sweet potato casserole takes on the traditional favorite, stuffing. Personally, this is a tough decision because I love both. This is one of those national championship games that go into overtime. It’s the sweet potato vs. tradition. In the greatest game to never be played, sweet potato casserole takes the championship.

Just Dessert

So you ate your fill of turkey and sides, now what? Perhaps after that carb coma wears off, the desserts take center stage. A meal as great as Thanksgiving has to go out with a bang. Here are the seeds for the desserts bracket:

1)   Pumpkin Pie

2)   Apple Pie

3)   Pecan Pie

4)   Sweet Potato Pie

In the first semifinal, the traditional favorite pumpkin pie faces its traditional rival, sweet potato pie. Although both pies are old time favorites and similar in most ways make no mistake, sweet potato pie is out for revenge. However, some things are just not meant to be and the pumpkin tradition wins out in the end as the national favorite takes its rightful place in the national championship.

The second semifinal pits a long-standing American icon against a southern favorite. Apple pie is as synonymous with America as Notre Dame football (see what I did there?) and is built into our identity (Forgive me but I had to throw in the Fighting Irish at some point). I mean apple pie is always paired with Mom so how can you pick against Mom? Like this. Pecan pie takes a back seat to no one. Pecan pie shows up at Thanksgiving and demands a place right next to pumpkin and forces you to choose. That’s why I love Pecan pie, it’s bold (also, that filling is pretty good too). Pecan pie shows up for the game and takes out apple pie in an upset and sets up a huge championship game against Pumpkin pie.

Some people live for dessert and this national championship is for you. Pumpkin takes center place in the American consciousness during the fall season. No matter where you go, you cannot escape it. I don’t see that kind of attention paid to Pecan pie. I don’t see pecan pie spice flavored drinks at my local Starbucks. Pecan pie laughs at the pumpkin. Pecans are kind of nutty anyway. That’s how they do things. Thanksgiving is like a business trip for Pecan pie. With that attitude, in the greatest culinary upset ever, Pecan pie takes down pumpkin pie in the greatest dessert showdown of all time.

Final Thoughts

Hope you enjoyed this fun look at Thanksgiving. In all seriousness, everyone here at College Football Roundtable wishes you and your family a great Thanksgiving. Take in some great football and go ahead and indulge in some additional sweet potato casserole and pecan pie. It’s ok because they are the champions. Have a great day and as always, Go Irish!

Don’t agree with my rankings? Send me your rankings and champions for sides and desserts on Twitter @Ir1shJedi

Photo Credit: Tim Sackton (Flickr) via Creative Commons (original image). License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

The One Where LeBron James Serves Crow

14-examples-of-lebron-james-incredible-work-ethic

We were in all in limbo, just waiting on LeBron James. More importantly, I was at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, much more anxiously awaiting my wife’s return from a business trip. If you’re familiar with the words I’ve offered regarding James in the last four years, you probably know that I haven’t been on board with this idea of a return, redemption, whatever we were going to call it. It would actually be fair to say I opposed this reunion. However, as desperation lurked and it felt like Cleveland was about to strike out once again, somehow it felt like it could be worse than four years ago, I couldn’t root for the city to fail again.

That’s what anything not involving an immediate future in Cavaliers uniform for the Akron native would have amounted to, a failure. Landing LeBron was what they were trying to do, whatever level of satisfaction I’d have gotten out of that would have been canceled out by what would sure feel like a repeat of 2010; that goes without saying. I decided, just hours before the big reveal, it’s time to come around. When it doesn’t happen, I have to go down with the ship. Now, my genuine opinion was then, and is now, that I still don’t want to join him (or have him join “Us”, I mean the Cavs), I want to beat him. It’s funny, because for so long I was convinced there was no way. While we waited, me for my wife’s flight from Dallas and the rest of the world for LeBron’s second decision in four years and two days, I began to scratch out a Facebook post.

I used phrases like “walking into a buzzsaw”, “boarding the Titanic”, and “turning into the skid”, but before I could finish the thought and hit post, the phone rang. She was here, she was ready to come home. Though I’d held down the fort at the ranch for three days, I needed her for our house to be a home. I know there’s an obvious tie to LeBron and Savannah to be made, but not at 10:30 PM, and not at Terminal 4, the Barry Goldwater terminal. My latest commentary on NBA Free Agency would have to wait; I had my better half back, with better being the understatement of the century.

butchmarsellus
Once upon a time, I’d hoped to revoke LeBron’s Cleveland privileges, to deny him a chance to come home. It turns out, that’s a foolish way of thinking about this.

Since the prospect of a return could almost be heard in the very echoes of “taking my talents to South Beach”, I put my foot down. No. As many ways as I could say it, it wasn’t an option. In the immediate aftermath, I recall commenting on a Cleveland Frowns post, as if I was Marcellus telling Butch he lost his L.A. privileges at the end of Pulp Fiction. I wasn’t quite as stung by “The Decision” as Cavs fans that actually live Northeast Ohio probably were, but you know I didn’t appreciate him stepping on my former community, and you’ve all heard it a thousand times; it wasn’t that he left, but how.

I don’t know how many times I wrote about James after he joined the Heat, probably few enough to count on one hand. I guess I had plenty to write, but there would have been a certain irony to constantly writing 2500 words that basically said, “who cares about LeBron James?” would be ironic, hypocritical, or both. I was forever disappointed that he remained a part of the Cleveland news cycle, and some of the ways they tied him to whatever it was didn’t just reach ridiculous speed, but it was plaid levels of ludicrous, minus the Southern Hospitality of course.

As a matter of fact, my final straw with ESPN came a year later on Labor Day when LeBron’s tweet about Maryland’s new outrageous Under Armour look made Sportscenter. I mean, it’s the new age of media and it was more about my lack of fascination with LeBron James, the small forward for the Miami Heat, than it was about Sportscenter giving him air-time on a tangent like that. The truth is, as much as we shake our heads at ESPN and other outlets from a Cleveland perspective, many viewers want that superfluous news about their almighty king.

I don’t know how well I speak for Cleveland and Cavs fans in general, but I don’t like being the target of the jokes. The jokes are nothing new, from Johnny Carson to Conan O’Brien, right on up to Dan LeBatard and Bomani Jones. People like the Cleveland jokes, as evidenced by comment sections and social media, but we do our best to debunk the stereotype and dismiss the brash commentary for the satire that it often is. Of all the emotion and anger I inadvertently experienced over these last four years, two things stick out.

Too big a deal was made of this. It wasn’t the writing on the wall.

I never wanted to be Knick fan, circa 2007-2010. James wore a New York Yankees cap to a playoff game in Cleveland, a game where the Bronx Bomber populated the visitor’s dugout. It was in poor taste to be sure, but we don’t even have the bandwidth here for me to list everything I did in poor taste at the age of 22, so I don’t dwell on it. In the aftermath of that, around the time of hosting gig on New York-based Saturday Night Live, it was revealed that the Big Apple was among his favorite cities on a list that included Akron, but not Cleveland. That began the speculation.

“In two years, LeBron is going to leave Cleveland; how do you feel about that, Jeff?”

I didn’t feel it was true, so I didn’t feel anything. It’s the same way I feel about ManBearPig and the Succubus. I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about things that probably don’t exit. It was all a creation of the New York media. The best thing about the words “South Beach” is that they weren’t “Times Square” or “The City That Never Sleeps”. There was no reward for being obnoxious about courting the guy when the Cavs visited Madison Square, and to search for a silver lining to the events of July 8, 2010, one might have found it in the fact that the Knicks cleared cap space for Amare Stoudemire and little else.

I don’t particularly have anything against New York, but I found their fans to be out of line for such an extended period of time, multiple seasons. I thought it foolish of Cavs fans to act in the same manner, to pine for the summer of 2014, stating in 2012 that we wear egg on our faces if we subscribe to “The Return” for two seasons. When the kid ran on the floor with the Heat in town last year, I think I found myself to be in the minority. While I felt like this behavior shouldn’t be rewarded, this guy was made to be a celebrity. I was more about letting burnt bridges remain burnt.

Speaking of burning…

“You’re from Cleveland? So, you hate Art Modell and burned your LeBron jersey?”

I didn’t participate in any LeBron-fires and I’ll take the fifth on whether or not “hate” is the right word for Modell and the bomb he dropped on us in 1995. I threw everything away, not necessarily to be spiteful, but because I was never going to wear any of it again. Looking back, it was spiteful not to donate them and there was an admitted level of satisfaction that ran through me as I dropped them in a trash can soiled with cat litter and the excrement of three cats. We definitely try to deny spite as a motivating factor for actions, and even if you try to take it back, it’s too late, because you already said spite.

Daily Seinfeld
“Well you already said spite so…”

Spite is a real thing, but I found it difficult to believe it was a factor in any of this. A lot of mistakes were made, with ego playing a role in the case of both LeBron James and Dan Gilbert, but you absolutely expected more out of the banking billionaire. Well, some of the fans, the ones that would be stuck with a 19-win team the next season, did not see it as anything more than one voice representing the feelings of many. Of course, if either side still held a grudge, we probably wouldn’t have been hearing the Cavs were really the contenders to yell it out, “Winner, winner. Chicken dinner.”

Beating him ceased to be an option when Sports Illustrated published an essay called “I’m Coming Home” on Friday morning. It was a first-hand account to Lee Jenkins at the magazine, and it covered everything. To say that it was well done, be it the words in the message or the method with which the big news was delivered, would have been an understatement. He covered everything, leaving the naysayers with just about nothing to say nay about. This young man, who we believe to be a good father and husband, claims to have a lot of respect for the history of the game, but forget about the game. How about just plain old history?

You see, there’s this font called “Comic Sans”, and one night Dan Gilbert wrote a letter that said…

Being well-versed in history won’t help the average person land a job, but the reason history is important is that we are supposed to learn from our mistakes. Those days in July of 2010 were full of mistakes. You could have blamed Maverick Carter, Rich Paul or LeBron. Many opted to blame Dan Gilbert, but regardless of the direction fingers were being pointed, The Decision lent itself to teachable moments. Four years later, i’s were dotted and t’s were crossed; communication was good. Outlandish promises weren’t made and the Man of the Hour paid homage to what he’d soon lose in the rear-view mirror as South Florida starts to become memory, as well as what lies ahead as he looks through the windshield on the trip north on I-77. He wants to be a leader, instead of just saying the words. What he wants, is to be home.

We should all want it too, as much as some of us want to be stubborn and proud. Being belligerent, as much as it might validate one’s desire to stick to his or her convictions, doesn’t do the type of things for your area that 41 sold out games can do. These words seem like they’d have been difficult to produce just a few days ago, because still, to hell with LeBron James and winning games, or so I thought. Now, I can’t believe I’ve come around. Just days ago, the blood boiled over generalizations that you’re an idiot not to want the best player in the game; I even saw it suggested that said “idiots” should be beaten with a bag of scorpions. Look, I respect everyone’s right to an opinion, but there might be a right and a wrong on this subject.

Being happy, thrilled even, seems like the right call. I am just left with one question; when forced to eat this crow, may I season it with black pepper? I just can’t bring myself to be salty. To use the words of James, who am I to hold a grudge?

At the airport, you hear it a lot, welcome home; I think you can always go back.  There’s no place like it.

***

[yop_poll id=”38″]

Postscript: I didn’t really feel this properly fit the context of this post, but I felt it should be included as a footnote.  About a year ago, I had the misfortune of attending the memorial service of a friend taken from us far too early.  I remember looking around the room, identifying his closest friends in various places, knowing that I honestly wasn’t among that group.  We’d reached the point in the service where it was time to volunteer to share, and it was nothing but crickets and tumbleweeds.  It was uncomfortable; a room full of people that couldn’t hide their tears had nothing to say.

My hand went up.  I don’t remember what I said, as it wasn’t anything rehearsed, but just genuine thoughts and memories from the heart.  I wrapped it up and anxiously awaited another volunteer to eulogize this friend.  At the repast, or post-funeral reception, an acquaintance I hadn’t seen in some time approached me to thank me for speaking.  He qualified the compliment with a plain declaration that he never liked me, but saw something in me at that mortuary that he found admirable.  He told me that he never thought I’d be capable of maturing into the man that I was that day, in a time of grief.

You walk away from a moment like that, both ashamed and proud.  As long as the shamed part of you is in the past and the prideful part remains in the present, you’re doing alright.  Having gone down this road, a sometimes difficult path, I believe that others are capable of growing.  I, at the very least, owe some people the benefit of the doubt.

Creepy or Relevant?

I figure it’s about time for me to stop by and say hello. If you haven’t noticed, we are trying to do something extraordinary here, and that starts with well-versed writers with a working knowledge of the sport of which they’re opining. The game is College Football, and it’s become a weekly rite of passage on Saturdays in the season of Autumn, only I don’t have the personality-type to call the months that bring us from summer to winter anything but Fall.

What takes place in the Fall is what it’s all about for me; everything else is tertiary, from recruiting, to the Spring Games, and including most of the off-field stuff. I don’t follow the student-athletes on Twitter, because I did when I first began to Tweet and found it to be ultra awkward. It sometimes felt like being parked in a window-less van across the street from a high school, and that was with literal adults, albeit 18-to-22 year olds.

20140523-081121-29481232.jpg

At 35, I may have reached “get off my lawn” status a little earlier in life than normal, but I’m at peace with that. I call those young adults, the ones old enough to vote and die for their country, kids, though they are anything but children. What I’m not at peace with, or haven’t been okay with, is the overly transparent view into the lives of actual juveniles, specifically the ones who play football well enough to be rewarded with higher education in exchange for the services of their athletic prowess.

20140523-081502-29702908.jpg

I’ve never cared for the coverage of high school sports on a national level, though I really appreciate how much local papers and TV news outlets dedicate to their area athletes. Rewarding the hard work of high school athletes with regional publicity is a good thing, but the hype has to come in moderation, if you ask me. The spectacle of a very serious life decision becoming a made-for-TV moment with a selection school hats disappoints me, but I will survive by not watching these televised high school All-Star games.

My feelings aside, these aren’t major things. The media is a business, and businesses exist to be profitable, so why begrudge networks and publications the opportunity to do that with these participants, who seem okay with being exploited at 17 or 18. The real problem I have tends to be with society, or at least its snapshot I can see on Twitter.

I’d rather not offer screenshots of the ugliness that exists there, especially when it comes to the communication of random fans, many of them not alumni. Once again, choosing a school is a life decision and should be done of the best interest of the person who has to live that life; God forbid that decision doesn’t benefit your favorite team on Saturdays in the Fall.

So, one would think I’d want to make an argument to cease the coverage and let the kids have the room to breathe and enjoy what’s left of their youth before they are swallowed up by the hype machine that comes with playing big-time College Football. However, I can’t make a logical argument to ignore these guys before they get to campus, given what’s taken place in recent years, an aspect of college sports that carries over to the hardwood.

20140523-081631-29791493.jpg

With all due respect to Eric Fischer, I think there’s little doubt that Jadaveon Clowney would have been the first overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, had he been eligible. Of course, as a sophomore, he was not and had to wait for 2014 to hear Roger Goodell call his name first overall. The NBA has less strict guidelines, as far as age and time in campus are concerned, and I cannot tell you the last time a first overall pick in their draft had spent more than a single year on campus. This tells us that the professional organizations are anxious to bring the extreme youth into the fold, and they’re obviously now worthy of the coverage.

It wasn’t that long ago that I heard Archie Griffin tell Jim Rome that Rex Grossman wouldn’t get strong Heisman consideration, solely based on the fact he was a sophomore. And, it wasn’t too many years later that I was preaching that another quarterback in Gainesville, one that came with a lot more fanfare, should be denied consideration for the coveted statue as a sophomore in 2007. I was wrong, and should have realized as much when, five years after Tim Tebow became the first sophomore to be recognized as the game’s most outstanding player, a freshman quarterback in College Station had a very realistic chance at the award.

Of course, we wouldn’t have to wait long after Johnny Manziel became the first Frosh to bring a jacket and tie to New York in December, and then leave the city that never sleeps with the hardware. Just one year later, as most us can recall, Jameis Winston won in a landslide. And look, there’s a lot more factors to consider when determining what makes for a good football player than the Heisman, but I believe it speaks to the trend we have seen in major college sports over the last decade, that the game is no longer dominated by the upper classmen. Just ask yourself, when is the last time the first pick in the NBA Draft spent more than a single season on campus.

The point is, we no longer have the luxury of learning about these student-athletes as up-and-comers, fighting and clawing their way up the depth chart, and then getting their first crack as starters when they’re juniors or seniors. So now, that recruiting coverage and high school film comes into play, leaving me to compromise, no matter how much reluctance I feel to do that. While I still don’t want Tom Luginbill and ESPNU at Chandler, Arizona’s Hamilton High School on a Friday, and I’ll always despise the narcissism of the hat selection ceremony, maybe it’s time to accept this coverage for what it is, relevant and not creepy.

That’s going to require me to let go of the fact that it is creepy, especially given some of the cyber-assaults my eyes have had the displeasure of viewing on social media, because they are still just kids. At the end of the day, fans, and usually ones who have no claim to being alumni, spew angry garbage at adolescents over a critical life decision. I say we let them make that decision on their own, with the guidance of their loved ones and not Rivals or any other respectable news outlet, and then all bets are off when they set foot on campus.

I don’t know whether or not I consider this a slippery slope or not, given the evolution of the media and the sudden existence of the 24-hour news cycle. Forty years ago, college freshmen couldn’t get on the field by rule. Even ten years ago, it was strange to see any tape of a prospect on television and YouTube wasn’t a thing yet. Now, I see links to stories of John Calipari and Nick Saban offering eighth graders, and I end up disappointed that they aren’t coming from satirical sites like The Onion.

One thing that worries me is treating highly-rated prospects who don’t pan out as busts. It’s not fair, and it’s more about accepting that these scouting reports, no matter how copious they are in detail, will forever be a less exact science than player evaluation for the NFL Draft, where everyone in the talent pool played with and against players who were elite in high school. Sometimes, like in the case with Clowney, those reports truly hit the nail on the head. Other times, like a year before South Carolina landed the top rated prospect, an offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson held the distinction, and after four underwhelming years at Miami, he was barely drafted.

Two players recruited to Columbus by Jim Tressel come to mind in the realm of this discussion, as it pertains to the problem with hype. Few would argue that Ohio State could have sniffed a National Championship without the services of Maurice Clarett. His story was a sad one, before, during, and after Ohio State’s title run in 2002, the only season the Youngstown phenom ever played College Football. One quip that resides with me, even after all these years, was that he was treated like the next Jim Brown since eighth grade. Sure, Clarett eventually would learn important life lessons, but he’d learn them without football and under the strict supervision of Ohio’s Department of Corrections.

While Clarett played second fiddle in the consensus of recruiting ratings, both at Ohio State (Justin Zwick) and nationally at his position (Lorenzo Booker), Terrelle Pryor was a quarterback and hoops phenom from Pennsylvania that played second fiddle to no one in his recruiting class. After some wildly successful years in Columbus, Pryor ended up with the Raiders, and not in prison (the joke here is too easy, right?), but only after he, his head coach, and his school were shamed and his scholastic career were abruptly cut short.

20140523-093325-34405500.jpg

While I believe that everyone is ultimately responsible for their own actions, can we at least make mention of the fact that the new school attention we give these young men as high school students mitigates their sense of entitlement just a tad? It feels so mean to put those words on the screen, especially coming from someone that was never blessed with their talent, someone who never dealt with that celebrity status at such a young age. I do feel that it wasn’t fair, even if you blame Terrelle for dragging the process on for so long, that he was mocked for referring to his new learnatorium as “The University of Ohio State” before receiving his high school diploma.

It is simply too much coverage, and we don’t need it. We don’t need the charade with the school hats or Friday Night Lights on national TV, and we don’t need @PrepSuperstar’s Twitter handle. We are going to get it though, and it’s only going to be taken to new extremes that I’m not ready to embrace. Despite my reservations, the world has made this transparency to the lives of teenagers less creepy and more about potentially relevant breaking news. So, I think the time to begrudgingly accept what we’re currently given, mostly so I can gripe about how tame the hype machine was back in 2014, comparatively speaking to the situation in the future.

That’s just my opinion, and that’s all it is. Now, if you would all kindly stay off my lawn, it would be appreciated.

Why I Don’t Follow Athletes on Twitter

Yesterday, More Than a Fan’s @DamienBowman wrote a great piece on athletes and their right to be stupid and our right not to care.  It’s a great read and you should definitely check it out.  After reading, it made me think about a personal policy I have on Twitter and there is no better time to share it than now.

I do not follow a single athlete on Twitter.  I take that back, I follow one: Greg Hardy, a defensive end of the Carolina Panthers.  I worked with Greg’s childhood best friend. He has come to visit Maryland a few times and we have all gotten together… this name drop is now complete.  I follow him due to the personal relationship, not an admiration of his talent.

I first joined Twitter in the summer of 2010.  After purchasing my first smart phone, I downloaded the app.  I have always viewed social media as more of a mobile thing and enjoy it that way much more over the desktop version.  I had heard of twitter, but wasn’t really sure what it was all about.  Quickly, I found some of my favorite Buckeyes’ “handles” and began “following.”  As I would read some of my favorite writers on various websites (I do my best to not read ESPN, there are so many better outlets out there, and with that, I only follow a small small number of ESPN employees, only ones whose work I truly respect) I would begin to follow them.  As the number of people I followed grew, the things I wanted to read were delivered directly to me rather than needing to peruse numerous sites.  Other than posting their stories, my favorite columnists would be providing insight and opinion (opinion I actually cared about) on various items in the sports world.  

There was just one problem, as I would scroll through my timeline and read and interact I would ever so often have to come across a tweet about some 19 year-olds swag or where they went to dinner that night.  As time went on I realized nothing useful ever came out of me following these athletes.  They provided zero insight into team activities or anything of that nature.  I was actually learning more about them personally and it was causing me to like them less and less when they came on the field.  Now, I’m sure that there are plenty of athletes worth a follow that would have the opposite effect, but the damage has been done.

I realized I could care less about who you are or what you do off the field.  As long as you play hard and give it 100% on the field, I’m happy.  I have always been careful to focus my fandom to the team and not the individual.  As an adult, I have a far better understanding of the business and money side of the games these athletes play.  I no longer view athletes as heroes or people that I want/need to emulate.  As my professional life has matured, great military and national leaders have moved into that role for me.  Not some 23 year-old draft pick. 

At this point, I purged my “following” list.  I unfollowed every athlete on there.  I don’t miss them one bit.  I follow enough fans and team focused media members that if a player “tweets” something worth reading, it will be retweeted plenty of times.

Twitter is at its best during live sporting events, when fans all across the world are interacting about the actions on the field.  I don’t have any interest in the players live tweeting the game then, so why do I need them when they are posting self portraits in the workout room mirror the next day?

I know many fans love the interaction they have with the players of their favorite teams.  I am not knocking a single person for that.  It’s your twitter and everyone is different in how they get the most of what they want out of it.  Since my twitter has been fan and media driven, and has removed the “athlete” out of it, it has been a beautiful thing.  There is rarely a tweet that I get annoyed about or scroll over just because it’s coming from a certain person.

For every athlete (or celebrity for that matter) that is worth a follow there are 20 that will just annoy and irritate me with their posts. As I mentioned before, athletes have enough followers so if they say something worth reading, it WILL be retweeted over and over again.

Twitter has been an amazing addition to the sports fans arsenal.  To me, it’s the king of social media.  The way it explodes over major events is a thing of beauty.  I don’t know where I would be as a sports fan without it.  It reminds me of growing up and watching games with my brother and dad.  Now when I sit at home and watch a game, there are thousands of people with which I can share my joys and frustrations.  I hope Twitter doesn’t go the Facebook route and try to continually add things that no one really wants.  Stay how you are Twitter.  Deliver me the stories and opinions I care about and make it easy for me to filter out the things I don’t want.

Do you find joy in following athletes or do you keep your “lists” like I do mine?  Let me know on your own personal Twitter machine: @kylecedwards

Browns Quarterback Brandon Weeden Needs Thicker Skin

by Ryan Isley

The worst thing an NFL quarterback can have is rabbit-ears when it comes to hearing what is being said about him or reading what is being written about him. Apparently Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden has a set. If this is true, he may not want to read this.

Last Friday, I saw a tweet from @ccgamesceo that Weeden had blocked him for simply mentioning on Twitter to a friend that he would trade Weeden for Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Upon reading this, I thought maybe it was a bit unfair to Weeden. So on Saturday morning I checked Weeden’s Twitter account and tried to follow him.

First, I tried to follow him on my phone. I got an error message that I was unable to follow the user at that time and to try back later. Thinking maybe it was an error with the app, I tried to follow from my computer when I got home. That is when I got this message:

Block message

Immediately I tried to rack my brain for any tweets that I might have sent that would lead Weeden to block me. Of course I knew that I had never tweeted anything negative at Weeden, nor had I tagged him in any negative tweets. The only thing I could come up with was a tweet I sent during the NFL Draft.

Browns Offense Tweet

Of course, Weeden doesn’t follow me, so he would not have seen the tweet unless he did a Twitter search for his name. Believe me – it wouldn’t be the first time someone saw something I tweeted about them by searching for themselves on Twitter. Just ask ESPN’s LZ Granderson. Even if Weeden did search for his name and find that tweet, is that really an offense worthy of being blocked? Not even close. If anything, most people saw the humor in my tweet.

So I went back even more on my Twitter account to see what may have gotten Weeden up in arms enough to decide I should be blocked. That’s when I came up with this:

Weeden Campbell

Again, not really a tweet that I would think Weeden would take as a negative one – at least not enough to block someone. If you actually read the tweet, it is more of an indictment of Jason Campbell than it is of Weeden.

The part that gets me is that I have not been overly critical of Weeden. Hell, I have written exactly ONE column about him for More Than A Fan. And it was a positive one – BEFORE he was a Cleveland Brown. In fact, I even joked that Weeden should start for the Cleveland Indians over Ubaldo Jimenez based on Weeden’s former career in pro baseball.

Weeden Ubaldo

And so what if I would have been critical of Weeden on Twitter? Would it not have been warranted?

In 2012, Weeden completed 297-of-517 passes for 3,385 yards and threw 14 touchdowns with 17 interceptions and finished his rookie campaign with a quarterback rating of 72.6. Of all the starting quarterbacks in the NFL, Weeden was just 19th in yards passing, 27th in completion percentage and 29th in quarterback rating. He was also just one of four quarterbacks who threw more interceptions than touchdowns – joined on the list by Ryan Tannehill, Mark Sanchez and Jake Locker.

And in the most important stat of them all, Weeden was 5-10 as a starting quarterback. So yeah – there is going to be criticism. And it is understandable.

Maybe this is why Weeden’s baseball career didn’t pan out – he couldn’t handle the criticism and the hard times.

After being selected in the second round of the MLB Draft in 2002 by the New York Yankees, Weeden spent two season in the Yankees organization, two seasons in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and one season in the Kansas City Royals organization where he compiled a record of 19-29 and an ERA of 5.02. He never made it out of high Class-A with any organization.

If Weeden thinks the criticism in Cleveland is bad, could you imagine how he would have responded if he would have made it to the majors with the Yankees and failed? It might be to his benefit that he never made it out of Class-A. So maybe I was overly optimistic that Weeden would have been an upgrade over Ubaldo.

What Weeden needs to do is learn to ignore the criticism and focus on improving his game and in the process, his team. As a quarterback, you are going to get more blame than you deserve when the team struggles and more praise than you deserve when the team wins.

If Weeden can’t understand that, he has a couple of options. He can quit football and try another sport – there just aren’t a lot left for him to try. Or he can ignore the newspapers, blogs, social media, etc. and concern himself with playing football and only playing football. That is the best way to get rid of the criticism and start turning it into praise.

If he decides to continue worrying himself with what everyone is saying on social media or blogs, his progress will be stunted and the Browns will be looking to take a quarterback with one of their first picks in the 2014 NFL Draft. And there will be a few from which to choose.

So now it is up to Weeden. The ball is in his court – just hope he doesn’t throw an interception.

Comments? Questions? You can leave them here or email Ryan at [email protected]

Writer’s Note: If there was a miscommunication or just a mishap and Brandon Weeden didn’t mean to block me, I will be more than willing to write a complete retraction and offer an apology to the Browns quarterback. That being said, it still won’t mean that I think he needs to be less sensitive.

The PGA Tour Needs to Remove Their Head From Their Ass

by Ryan Isley

While most sports are trying to embrace social media, the PGA Tour is trying to prove once again that they are stuck in the past.

This past week, the PGA sent an email to reporters and media outlets reminding them of the tour’s policy about tweeting during an event and threatened to revoke the credentials of any reporter who is caught tweeting “real-time, play-by-play transmissions” during the event. They also said that it didn’t matter if the tweets came from the golf course or not, meaning that they were threatening to revoke the credentials of reporters even if they were sitting at home watching the tournament.

After hearing complaints about the policy, the PGA has now decided to allow reporters to send two tweets per hole. While that is progress, it is hardly acceptable. What is the PGA worried about – getting too popular? Because God forbid it would happen that someone starts watching golf or follows the tournament by keeping an eye on Twitter.

The first reason I have a problem with any policy from the PGA Tour banning or limiting tweets from reporters is that not all of the action is televised. The PGA doesn’t show every shot from every player on every hole on television and often doesn’t even start their television coverage until after half of the field has already played several holes. So the PGA Tour doesn’t want anybody to find out from Twitter how players are doing when the coverage isn’t on television? How are we supposed to follow the tournament – watch the live scoreboard on the PGA’s website that just shows scores and not details of the action?

Another reason with this policy ties directly into what is and what isn’t shown on television. When Tiger Woods is in a tournament, the television coverage shows at least 90% of the shots that he takes, whether he is in serious contention or not. Meanwhile, players who are within striking distance of the lead have many of their shots not shown at all or shown on delay. Having reporters who are at the event live-tweet those shots does not hurt the tour’s coverage of the event and in fact it probably enhances it for most fans. I know it does for me.

Speaking of reporters and tweets, are we really going to revoke the credentials of a reporter who is sitting at home watching the event like the rest of us who decides to send out tweets about the tournament? Forget all of the national reporters who cover the majority of the events but miss out on a few – what about the local reporters who cover tournaments when they come to their area? For example, the World Series of Golf Bridgestone Invitational is held here in Akron every summer. Is the PGA really prepared to decline credentials for the writers of the Akron Beacon Journal or the Cleveland Plain Dealer or any other outlets in the Akron and Cleveland area because that reporter is tweeting during The Masters?

Along those same line of tweeting from home, what about the players who are not in the tournament who are watching on television and are tweeting about the event? Would the PGA Tour be willing to reprimand Bubba Watson or Ricky Fowler if they were tweeting about a tournament that they decided to skip? Of course they wouldn’t. Then why is it acceptable to pull credentials from media members who do the same thing?

Even if the PGA Tour wants to stick to some sort of a stringent social media policy, how exactly do they expect to be able to uphold it when it happens? Will they employ people whose only job is to watch Twitter and see who is tweeting about the event? That would be the only way they would be able to come close to making sure this policy would be enforced. And even then, there is no way they would be able to catch every tweet that comes in about the tournament.

The PGA Tour needs to get with the times and realize that Twitter can be a powerful tool and could help the tour if used properly. If they keep up this charade, they will find out the power of social media anyway – only it won’t be beneficial to them.

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go work on my credential application for the Bridgestone Invitational. Wonder if that will be approved?

Comments? Questions? You can leave them here or email Ryan at [email protected]

Watching the Cavaliers in the NBA Draft… with Twitter

There is undoubtedly strong sentiment that Twitter ruins televised drafts. There are always on site reporters – and sometimes even just guys who overhear things that they shouldn’t – who run to Twitter and break draft picks or trades minutes before the pick is actually announced.

That sentiment is pretty spot on, but Twitter can also be pretty fun to have around during a draft. I watch most big games, national or Cleveland, with my time line by my side. I’ve got legitimate friends, respected sports people, and some plain old goofballs that float around my while I’m cheering on my teams, and this year’s NBA Draft was no different.

I decided to favorite a bunch of tweets and show them off to the world as an example of why I love Twitter during sporting events. These are all either folks I enjoy, folks retweeted by folks I enjoy, or news outlet folks. Sometimes they’re all three. There won’t be anything fantastically inappropriate or dirty, this is a family establishment after all, but merely a snap shot into my life as a twitter addicted Cleveland sports guy.  Continue reading Watching the Cavaliers in the NBA Draft… with Twitter