Jewish World Review Jan. 31, 2011 / 26 Shevat, 5771
Yo, athletes: Twitter!truly can b bad 4 u!
By Mitch Albom
Not their Twitter accounts.
The new rage among athletes seems to be typing their macho on small gadgets. Who knew fingertips would replace the bicep?
Take last weekend, in the
Nevertheless, before the team had even cleaned out its lockers, Twitter messages began to fly -- from current and former players! -- accusing Cutler of a lack of toughness.
Well. He's right about BS.
ACTING JUST LIKE THOSE THEY CRITICIZE
Since when did this become the rage -- athletes racing to express their thoughts? Was a time you had to drag a player from the back of the locker room just to get a mumbled quote about "gotta stay focused … 110 percent … one game at a time."
Who knew there were so many closet Shakespeares in there? All they needed, apparently, was a writing tool that fit in their pockets.
They've got 'em now -- iPhones, BlackBerrys, Droids -- and here is where the Twitter/
And never have to look a man in the eye.
How cowardly for these athletes to take apart one of their own from the comfort of their living rooms. The very thing they always whine about the media -- "You're not there on the field!" -- they now violate with fast-typing thumbs.
At least the media do interviews, go to locker rooms, attempt to talk to the principals involved. Apparently people like Jones-Drew and Sanders feel just because they once held a football, everything they say about the game or its players must be accurate.
Even from 1,000 miles away.
A CASE OF EATING THEIR OWN
This past week,
That prompted a tweet from
That prompted Cromartie to tweet to Hasslebeck: "I will smash ur face in."
That prompted Hasselbeck to tweet: "Sorry for the joke man. No hard feelings."
Apparently, "smash ur face in" has the same meaning on Twitter as it does in person.
But this is just another chit in the endless pile of the new sports communication. Athletes want to control their messages, their images and their "brands" by having constant access to the world stage, which many egotistically feel is nearly a birthright.
Well, here's a flash for the jocks. They soon may yearn for the day when they only had to talk to sportswriters. There was at least a sense of decorum in that dynamic, and the team's public relations staff often herded off controversy.
Now that players can go right to the public to craft their image, many will find that they're not very good at it. Shooting your mouth off doesn't make you popular, just boorish.
And turning on your own -- as Cromartie and Hasselbeck have done, and as so many have done on Cutler -- only proves this noble brotherhood among athletes idea is largely a myth.
Probably created by the media.
You know. The old kind. Before the thumb became mightier than the sword.
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