Mike Lantry, 1972
This Week in the Twitterverse takes a look at the social media happenings of the previous week, or whatever else I feel like talking about. Mostly I make fun of people who are better at things than I am. No purchase necessary, void where prohibited. Consult your doctor if this column lasts more than four hours. If you come across anything you think should be in next week's column, send it to @Bry_Mac.
I should be down as “@Bry_Mac plus 148,000”
Yesterday saw quite the interesting Twitter event. Michigan football's official Twitter account, @umichfootball, went private. Like a bouncer at the club, @umichfootball clicked the velvet rope tight, and they only allowed you in if you were on the uber-exclusive list of 148,600 followers of the account.
Seventeen minutes later, things were going pretty well.
And 13 minutes after that?
C’mon Twitter, you know I don’t speak Spanish
Talk about a failure. Something called #TUMHAYRANGRUPLARISALITAKIBI was trending ahead of #GoBlueVIP (Michigan football's chosen hashtag of the day). I Googled that phrase, and all it returned was, "the fingers you are using to type are too fat. Did you mean to search Special typing wand?" STEP UP YOUR GAME, super special @umichfootball follower people.
Still, for a college team to be trending worldwide on a Tuesday morning is pretty impressive, so you're probably wondering what they did to generate that kind of interest. Fear not, intrepid reader, for I have chosen to break all manner of local ordinance, state and federal law, Twitter mandate, and mattress tag proscription to bring you a minute by minute accounting of this private event. I may have to go Snowden for sharing this information, but that’s how I roll. Among the high points:
10:05 AM: Peewee Pipkins did his Hoke impression.
10:07 AM: Peewee Pipkins ran the stadium stairs for the remainder of the event
10:20 AM: A question-and-non-committal-answer session with Brady Hoke. A short sampling:
Q: What are the strengths of the team you have coming back?
HOKE: Welllllllll, we had several areas in which we executed pretty well, so we need to build on those. Beyond that, it's about performing and playing Michigan football in all phases of the game. Effort. Intensity. Gumption. Verve.
Q: What does the team need to do to improve over last season?
HOKE: Welllllllll, we had some areas in which we didn't execute, so we need to shore those up. Beyond that, it's about performing and playing Michigan football in all phases of the game. Effort. Intensity. Gumption. Verve.
Q: Coach, how's the team's health?
HOKE: We've got some boo-boos, a couple of ouchies, two recurring walk-it-offs, and a particularly nasty rub-some-dirt-on-it. We'll be fine. Next man up. Chick dig scars
Q: Can you give us an idea of how the depth chart will pan out?
HOKE: We've got a few guys, so we'll really know once we get the pads on in August. It's an open competition. The best player will play, regardless of age or experience.
Q: But surely you know a few positions already. Quarterback?
HOKE: Wait until fall. Open competition. Best man.
Q: C'mon, man. Left Tackle?
HOKE: Did I stutter? WAIT UNTIL FALL OPEN COMPETITION BEST MAN.
Q: Any update on Will Hagerup?
/Twitter shuts down
10:45 AM: Roy Manning posted a series of Instagram photos of Brady Hoke pointing at stuff.
11:20 AM: Greg Mattison gave a podcast lecture on the finer points of defending 4-verts out of a 4-3 under set. Don't even pretend you understood what he was saying. The takeaway seemed to be "to defend 4-verts out of a 4-3 under, be Greg Mattison or hire someone who is Greg Mattison."
12:00 PM: One randomly selected person won the chance to hold Brady Hoke's headset cord during an upcoming game (granted, this probably would have been a cooler giveaway under prior regimes)
1:20 PM: We saw a series of Vines of Taylor Lewan battling assorted animals. He took it to the black bear, but the moose fought him to a stalemate. Needless to say the donkey reps were pretty one-sided.
2:30 PM: We heard the debut performance by the OMG Shirtless Michigan Bell Choir. They played Carol of the Bells by Leontovych and Keep Their Heads Ringin' by Dre.
3:15 PM: Coach Hecklinski crank called Mark Dantonio pretending to be an elite recruit interested in committing to Michigan State, but only if Dantonio would sing The Victors while hopping on one foot. Sure it was mean, but Dantonio should have seen through this ruse. After all... elite recruit.
Good times, man. Goooooood times.
Dan Dakich has been known to be a little headstrong on Twitter, and this week was no exception. If you follow Dakich, you probably know that he enjoys a role as something of a media-critic-in-media, which is pretty fertile ground these days (if you don’t believe me, do a news search for ‘Aaron Hernandez and Urban Meyer’ or ‘Aaron Hernandez and Bill Belichick’). However, a recent Indiana University Sports Communication grad named Tony Adragna noticed the somewhat odd dichotomy that Dakich attacked “the Media” while being very much a part of “the Media,” and made a rather innocuous comment to that effect.
Notice the guy didn’t use Dakich’s Twitter handle, so he wasn’t actively trying to engage him in a fight. However, being a noted own-name-searcher, Dakich found the comment and responded on air. Awful Announcing has a nice summary of how things escalated, but the bottom line is that Dakich sorta threatened to blackball this poor kid from IU broadcast media:
And in fact, if you do something stupid enough I know the head of NBC, I know the head of ESPN, I know the head of CBS Sports. You want to get into that, all I gotta do is make one phone call and you're done.
And then, for some unknown reason, Dakich invited Adragna to co-host a radio show with him on his Indianapolis-based radio show. The kid accepted the offer and co-hosted yesterday, and Dakich gave him high marks:
I’ll let everyone draw his or her own conclusion about who acted well and who acted dickishly in this whole ordeal, but I think we can agree that if Dakich’s intention was really to discourage Twitter sniping of his character, holly hell did he do a terrible job of it. In fact, if you’re an IU grad looking to get into broadcasting, the best advice I can give you right now is to try to tweak Dakich. It seems to have given one kid’s career a nice little bump.
Honor among thieves
Not much is sacred in the rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State. The schools don't even refer to each other by their actual names. But some things have always been over the line, such as this guy, who has been retweeting stuff from Steve Lorenz that Steve obviously never said. Like this:
"@TremendousUM: Hearing Artavis Scott was arrested for dealing drugs yesterday, which is the reason Michigan pulled his offer"
— AthletesInSpace (@AthletesInSpace) July 3, 2013
"@TremendousUM: Hearing Hoke cooled and actually pulled Jones' scholarship offer due to off the field/academic concerns"
— AthletesInSpace (@AthletesInSpace) June 27, 2013
There's trolling, then there's libel. This, folks, is the latter. I encourage thee to report this gentleman for spam. I also congratulate him, @AthletesInSpace, on being named the TWITTER CREEPER OF THE YEAR OF THE WEEK. May your account be suspended, may your dog poop in your shoes, and may you mistake the salt for the sugar the next time you bake a pie.
Nothing to see here folks. Also, don’t look over there.
For those who aren’t regular readers of this column, (a) WHY, and (b) you might not be familiar with the saga of Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze. Long story short, back in February he challenged people accusing his program of impropriety to provide evidence or shut their yaps. Predictably, people emailed alleged proof, and a reporter FOIAed those emails. Yesterday Ole Miss told the Clarion-Ledger (a Mississippi paper) that they had concluded their review of those emails, and had concluded that none of them pointed to any NCAA violations.
The only problem with this self-congratulatory declaration of victory: Ole Miss only disclosed about two thirds of the emails they received. One of the reasons they gave was that “the NCAA requires institutions to keep information confidential while the matters are being examined.” In other words, they found no NCAA violations in these things, but they are still being examined by the NCAA or the school for potential violations. Ooooookay.
They also refused to disclose the emails because doing so would have a “chilling effect on future sources of information, thus frustrating our compliance and enforcement efforts.” I’m a lawyer with a pretty solid handle on typical FOIA-type laws, and I have no idea what that means, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a thing. They’re refusing to disclose emails that were sent to you by someone who intended to expose behavior on the grounds that by making that information public they would disincentivize future whistleblowing? Looks like someone needs to retake Gordon Gee’s Claim Everything Is Covered By FERPA 101.
The derp will be televised
Storming the field is a dumbass idea. You WILL be caught, you WILL be arrested, and there’s a non-zero chance that you will get absolutely owned. But with that said, if you’re going to be stupid, at least be creative. For example, the three girls who so annoyingly rushed the field in the 8th inning of a College World Series game at least had the decency to create a (since deleted) Vine of the incident. All that remain in the public record are a couple of stills from their escapade:
Like that machine in Twister, perhaps we need data from INSIDE the field-storm to understand why people do this stupid crap. And only by learning can we hope to prevent. Also, you might get proof that you were tackled by one of the cops from Reno 911.
Decided wardrobe advantage
Charlie Weis sent out this Vine of the Jayhawks’ new uniforms for next season:
But it’s Kansas, so does it really matter? It’s just a question of what these guys are going to look like on Sportscenter trying unsuccessfully to chase down players from other, more talented teams.