so much for that
This Week in the Twitterverse
Meijer can make advanced analysis Michigan jokes, a made up Les Miles rumor, and what happens when you add Dakich to Jose Canseco...
Meijer Plus All the Points. Plus three. Twitter is like an echo chamber from Jerry Seinfeld's fondest dream. People make pithy, somewhat amusing observations about the news of the moment, and others respond in kind. If you follow the right people, it's worth a few chuckles every day, but rarely much more. But every now and then someone ties together the disparate strands of your universe and reminds you why you got into the game in the first place.
First, a little back-story. I was at Meijer this week, and when I reached into the dairy cooler, my hand made contact with the hand of a Meijer employee who was restocking the cooler. [Side note: I learned in that moment that I would not survive a horror movie. The hero who survives in a slasher flick is the one with the steely nerves and the cat-like reflexes. A masked psychopath bursts out of the Christmas tree, and our hero is setting him ablaze with a homemade flamethrower within a few seconds. I brushed another human being unexpectedly and it nearly cost me a pair of boxers.] I mentioned this encounter on Twitter, and had a couple of exchanges with people about the horror of this incident (insert #FirstWorldProblems here).
Now, to the main event. I was having a conversation with @cjane87 (who, FWIW, is a highly recommended follow for Michigan fans) about the generally terrifying nature of Jadeveon Clowney, when this happened:
That is Meijer's official Twitter account. That is Meijer's official Twitter account making a Michigan football reference. That is Meijer's official Twitter account making a Michigan football reference that accurately recounts the details of a SPECIFIC LINE CALL FROM TWO MONTHS AGO. It continues, because somewhere in a past life I held the door open for someone or something.
A little birdie informs me that the individual who runs the @Meijer feed is a former writer from a well-known Michigan athletics blog (not this one), which makes sense, because (a) Meijer is a Michigan-based company, and (b) holy crap read that thing, that HAS to be a Michigan blogger.
ATTENTION CORPORATE TYPES: THIS is how you do "that viral social media relations thing the kids are talking about." Meijer's handle wasn't linked in any of these tweets, yet within five minutes they had responded in the most amazing and appropriate way imaginable. We don't need Harlem Shake videos. Your jingles are annoying. No one cares about your hashtag. Just find this dude and hire him. Unless you're Meijer, in which case you already hired him, but probably for way too little money. PAY THIS MAN.
[JUMP here. But not early Taylor Lewan vs. Iowa in 2010 --@Meijer]
BONUS: Elsewhere in the world of "This is how you social media":
I KNOW IT SAYS HARLEM SHAKE BUT TRUST ME
Wisdom of picking a fight with Lebron & Co. when you are 17 games under .500 notwithstanding, bravo T-Wolves.
Just the Rumors, Ma'am
Ridiculous sports message board rumors have been around since approximately the four-minute anniversary of the creation of the sports message board. The one saving grace was that these rumors were isolated on their own little website islands; no matter how elaborate a rumor may have grown on, for example, the RCMB, there was no way to transmit the rumor to the population writ large in a way that the average consumer would believe it. The stigma of the 'internet rumor' was too large. Only when the "real media" reported something did the larger world consider it to be a thing. Social media has changed that dynamic.
Case in point: the internet was abuzz this week with rumors that Les Miles' was going to be quitting as LSU head coach because he has declared a love of Nickelback and Michael Bay movies. Or something. To the extent these rumors were sourced, they traced back to a tweet from a student reporter from Western Kentucky.
When pressed on HIS source, his answer was pretty much, "the internet told me so." But it's okay, because he wasn't reporting that the rumor was TRUE. He was merely reporting that the rumor EXISTED.
Internet Rule 35 clearly states that if a set of facts can be theorized, those sets of facts have been put forth on the internet in the form of a rumor or conspiracy theory (there is some overlap between this and Rule 34). Of COURSE a thread existed on a school-specific message board that a disliked rival coach had committed egregious errors. And of COURSE those rumors were bullshit. There is plenty of blame here, but let's focus on the three primary entities to blame:
- Random Internet Message Board Troll - Stop it.
- WKU "Reporter" - look dude, I'm not the king of journalistic purity. I wrote an entire column on dong punching like two weeks ago. But if you're gonna put yourself out as a member of the media, at least observe some of the basic tenets of journalistic ethics. Reporting a rumor, but doing so without providing a source, and then saying that you don't know it its true? That's worse than the ESPN First Take "Embrace Debate" schtick, and that's saying something. At least First Take starts with a ridiculous OPINION that no one could realistically believe, and then when people call the theory ridiculous, they debate it as a plausible theory because 'people are talking about it' ("We got a lot of responses to our 'Is Lebron better than Tim Tebow because Jeremy Lin?' segment. Obviously this is a hot-button topic among sports fans"). You started with a ridiculous FACTUAL ASSERTION. Not cool, man. Not cool.
- You - Just because someone is a "reporter" doesn't mean everything they say has been vetted by an editorial board. Or by logic. Even reliable reporters duff things from time to time. Herbstreit dropped a Les Miles knowledge-fail on us once upon a time. CNN announced the individual health care mandate had been struck down. Brian has front-paged stuff that later required retraction. But GOOD GOD man, if you think a student reporter at WKU with 238 followers has the inside dirt on LSU just because he has call letters in his Twitter profile, go to bed. You get no dinner.
Taste the Creepy, Michael
One of the primary themes behind the "don't tweet recruits" campaign is that there is a limit to how much contact grown men should have with kids they don't really know. Well, we're about to test that line in new ways, thanks to some of the NCAA's new recruiting deregulation:
I don't think this is going to be as dire as some people are predicting, but it’ll definitely be interesting. Are some kids going to get turned off of a school because they get too many texts? Are some kids going to feel slighted because they didn’t get 100 texts per day? That sounds stupid, but then again sometimes high school kids like attention. Are the rich schools going to be able to afford to hire these extra employees whose sole jobs will be to send countless texts to recruits? And will that be the least respected position in those athletic departments?
Early Returns Indicate that Water Remains Wet
According to Pew Research, there is a notable difference between how people react to events on Twitter and how the public at large reacts. Now, this might seem obvious, but when you think about it… yeah, it’s still really flipping obvious. Anyone who thinks that (a) the Twitter population is a fair representation of the public at large, (b) all people react to events with equal interest. This is why those BTN Twitter polls are always so pointless; if you ask the audience of Wisconsin/Nebraska, “Who is the best big man in the Big Ten?” the results will be like 45% Jared Berggren, 45% Andre Almeida, and 10% Cody Zeller. You can’t add a selection bias to an estimation bias and come up with SCIENCE.
Let’s Check in on Jose Canseco
A picture is worth a thousand words, and a thousand words from Jose Canseco are worth like a billion words. But then there were more words:
…moving right along…
Jose Canseco is worried about Dan Dakich
Just get him da damn ball, which, obviously.