This Week in the Twitterverse Comment Count

BiSB June 20th, 2013 at 10:08 AM

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.

So… how’s things?

It finally happened. We ran out of things to talk about.

I'm not saying we've covered most of the ground worth covering. Or that we've discussed all the interesting topics of the day. I'm saying that we have literally exhausted all topics of rational communication. You want proof? This was the national media on Tuesday:





We've crossed the Rubicon into the land of blather. What’s worse, we've still got ten weeks to go before the season kicks off, and six weeks before we even get to fall camp. Even pro basketball and hockey will be over in a matter of days, and we'll be left all alone with baseball and our thoughts. This is gonna suck.

This is also a very dangerous time for student athletes; screw something up, and it'll be talked about for weeks. Case in point, Johnny Manziel. Senor Juanito del Futbol lashed out publicly and viciously against his adopted town of College Station, and basically threatened to bail.

Manziel College Station

Manziel obviously had some kind of blowout with the coaching staff, or a teammate, or the A&M administration, or a roving band of Vikings or something. 

Or he was pissed about a parking ticket. Yep, Johnny was nailed for parking the wrong way on the street in front of his house and having overly tinted windows. If everyone had known this from the beginning, we would have responded with the far more appropriate "MANZEEL BREAKS LAWS AND DOESN'T RESPECT AUTHORITAH" outrage, instead of the “OMG MANZEEL IS A CANCER TO TEH TEAM” outrage. But you have to feel a little bad for Manziel; everything the kid does is scrutinized so closely, and people assume the most outlandish interpretation of everything he does unless otherwise noted. If Twitter had been around when I was in college, I would probably have been investigated by Homeland Security for my threats to “blow Ann Arbor off the face of the planet, you meter-hawking bastards.”

[After the jump, another recruit does a Treadwell.]

Let me guess: she left her briefcase at the airport?

Four-star receiver KD Cannon (to my knowledge, no relation to Nick Cannon. Or KD Lang) recently came into some money. We know this because he tweeted this picture:

KD Cannon

If you’re feeling a little déjà vu, it’s probably because LaQuon Treadwell did something very similar in January. The biggest difference is that Treadwell flashed like $600, while Cannon seems to have about $4,000. We had a pretty substantial discussion in this thread, and I think we reached two conclusions about this kind of stuff:

  1. You can’t assume that these kids did anything unsavory. There are some legitimate reasons a kid might have a bunch of cash, so accusing the kid of impropriety probably isn’t cool.
  2. Sweet tapdancing hell that is a stupid thing to do. Your tweet is dumb and you should feel dumb. This should be a red flag for schools, not because of the money, but because of the thought process that says “yep, I should send this.”

I won't even tell you what they said San Diego was German for...

One of two things is true: either the San Diego Union-Tribune and ESPN have fallen prey to the same summer topiclessness that plagues our fair realm, or (b) no one from the San Diego Union-Tribune or ESPN had ever visited the Internet until last week, ESPN really ran with a story entitled, "Ryan Mathews of San Diego Chargers gets cruel messages on Twitter," in which they reported the shocking new development that a professional athlete received unflattering comments from individuals over social media. The example they gave?

"I've had people say they hope me and my mom get AIDS and die," Mathews told the newspaper, offering an example of the multitude of hateful messages he has received via Twitter.

I'm not condoning this behavior of course, but this isn't really ‘news,’ is it? There are portions of the internet in which "I hope your mom gets AIDS" is basically a greeting among friends.* It's like the internet version of a Japanese person answering the phone "moshi moshi." Hell, I’VE gotten worse stuff than that; people have requested that I perish, and at least Mathews’ trolls aren’t suggesting that he perish with something, shall we say, lodged forcefully in an orifice. Beyond that, going public with something like this is like having your mom tell the neighbor kids to stop being so mean to you. It's the Streisand Effect with a Quit-Hitting-Yourself Amplifier.

*NOTE: If you find yourself in one of these environments, and someone greets you with, “I hope your mom gets AIDS,” the proper response is “what, so you can try to create the master race again?” Or you can use a junior high school-level homophobic slur. If you do this properly, someone else will chime in with “^^^ LOL THIS ^^^,” indicating you have been accepted into the group.

Professor Joker Phillips, Ph.D.

Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications is offering a new master’s degree. They’re calling it a Master of Arts in Mass Communications - Social Media. That’s right; you can get an MA in Social Media. If you want to know exactly what that entails, they include this helpful graphic interpretation of “Social Media”:


You can learn such diverse topics as “online,” “Internet,” and “viral.” Whether that is actually true, or they just threw a bunch of words that sounded social media-ish together and called it good is unclear. However, I used my sources in the College of Journalism and Communications to get hold of the course list, and it is indeed comprehensive. Some highlights:

  • Biology 202: Cats and the Human Response
  • Flamebait 140: Referencing AIDS, Hitler, and Gay Slurs
  • English 305: Correcting Grammar with Incorrect Grammar
  • Law and Political Science 130: Misunderstanding the 1st Amendment
  • Trolling 101: Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself
  • Public Relations 202: Damage Control For When Your AIDS/Hitler/Gay Slur Reference Goes Viral (prereq: Flamebait 140)
  • Art 115: Photoshop Recruiting
  • Social Media 101: Online, Internet, Viral.

For those curious, the brochure can be found here. Rest assured that regular readership of this column will count towards your degree.

If you tweet the Konami Code, do you unlock secret recruits? ran a piece yesterday about coaches tweeting code words to confirm they had received a commitment without violating NCAA rules. A few examples included Mark Stoops:

Code Stoops

Kevin Sumlin:

Code Sumlin

And Steve Sarkisian:

Code Sark

Other than the fact that Sark basically stole his catchphrase from Ryan Howard from the Office, I think this is a great idea. More coaches should do this. I’ve even got a few suggestions for other coaches who haven’t yet followed suit:

  • Brady Hoke: “Welllllllllllll…”
  • Mark Dantonio: “k”
  • Tim Beckman:  “For real? Cool”
  • Bo Pelini: “NOT GOOD ENOUGH”
  • Nick Saban: “Warm up the Greyshirts!!!”
  • Les Miles: “I’m really excited about the thing what were we talking about again? Oh right we got a commitment but I can’t say that but you should know it.”

Florio. That is all.

This is a late update, so no snarky commentary, but Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio got in a Twitter fight yesterday. With a mascot. A sampling:


Mark Twain advised people to never argue with someone who buys ink by the barrel. He did NOT warn people not to argue with people who aren't real people but are instead fuzzy incarnations of sports fandom, because even in Twain's time, that would seem blitheringly obivous.

I think he’s got it…

Roy Manning is getting pretty good at Vine.

He should teach a course at Florida.


Shop Smart Sho…

June 20th, 2013 at 10:22 AM ^

"But you have to feel a little bad for Manziel"

Nope.  Not going to feel bad for a college kid who, even without all of the fame and attention that comes from winning the Heisman, would have had all of the advantages possible because he comes from a wealthy family.  Just can't do it.  


June 20th, 2013 at 10:46 AM ^

We Americans seem to have this idea that if someone is rich or famous we somehow gain the right to scrutinize every part of their life and invade their privacy.  

I assume that Manziel wanted to play football because he loves football, not simply because he wanted to be famous for it.  For us to put a 20 yr old under the microscope like this is utterly dehumanizing.  It's easy to forget that famous people like Amanda Bynes and Lindsay Lohan are still actual humans, but our inhumane treatment of celebrities often leads them to have these sorts of psychological breakdowns.

If we don't "feel sorry" for people that live under this constant media surveillance, we're contributing to the problem that leads many celebrities to essentially go crazy.

His Dudeness

June 20th, 2013 at 10:59 AM ^

RIP Gandolfini...


They sign up for that. The reason they are "celebrity" is because of the privacy invasion. Not saying it is moral, but if the wives stop buying the mags and the bros stop lining up for the blockbuster movies the "celebrity" will go away and they will be back to being starving actors.


June 20th, 2013 at 11:10 AM ^

There are people that are "famous for being famous" and there are people that are famous for being artists.  If someone truly love acting or making music or playing a sport they shouldn't have to choose between having their privacy invaded or giving up on their dreams.  

For people like Kim Kardashian, they've obviously signed up for this.  For people like Lebron James, you can tell they've grown tired of being in the limelight and just want to do what they love without constant scrutiny.

We place the economic value on these roles by cooperating in the system, so acting like their fame gives us the right to do this to them is self-justifying.  Basically saying that we get to invade the privacy of whomever we choose to by valuing what they do.

Shop Smart Sho…

June 20th, 2013 at 11:17 AM ^

You can't be serious with your Lebron point, right?  That guy lives to be in the spotlight.  Athletes and actresses make a choice about how much media coverage they want, and how much they choose to share with the public.  None of us should feel bad for the media coverage they get.  

Stuff from fans that goes overboard is obviously completely different.  But if these people are giving access to the media, and then bitch about it, I'm not going shed a tear for them.


June 20th, 2013 at 11:27 AM ^

Obviously neither of us personally know him, so this is all speculation, but I think that since "THE DECISION" there's been a clear shift in how he relates to the media.  Much more adversarial and careful now than he was before he left Cleveland.

In regards to your comment about not feeling bad for the medai attention, these papparzzi photographers in LA would be considered stalkers if they didn't sell their photos to the press.  I'm all for the First Amendment, but I think it's a travesty that we allow photographers to stalk celebrities when there's obviously laws against stalking for a reason, it's psychologically damaging to the victim.  

Shop Smart Sho…

June 20th, 2013 at 11:31 AM ^

This particular event has nothing to do with photographers hounding him.  He gave this information out freely.  And the pictures he posts on instagram and the like come from him, not someone else.  That is a completely different animal.

If a celebrity really doesn't like the attention from the photographers, they don't have to live in LA.  They also don't have to have their publicist announce their every movement to TMZ. 

Look, I get where you are coming from, but what you are arguing is not related to this particular event.  He did this of his own volition.  He has no one to blame but himself the for the media and public reaction.


June 20th, 2013 at 8:34 PM ^

If you act, doing local theater, or act on Broadway. You can be in a Touring Company and do great acting and no one will care who you are. Write a novel under a pen name. Go to a small college to play your ball. Coach high school instead of the NFL. Hoke may want to teach kids and mold men, but if he wasn't also super competitive and wanted to win big he'd be doing it somewhere else other than Michigan.

People want the fame and acclaim that go along with these things, that's why they go to the big time. Or they want what only that fame and acclaim can bring; the money that fans fund to make a sport or movie big time. And even if you're famous you can control how much attention you get by how you act. Don't tweet for one if you don't want attention. Harrison Ford lived in Montana or somewhere, and you don't hear much about him except when he's promoting a movie. If you're coming out of clubs at 4 am on Hollywood Boulevard you're not doing it for your "craft." And no one was ever a better football player by making it rain.

Shop Smart Sho…

June 20th, 2013 at 11:03 AM ^

We aren't forcing him to post on facebook/twitter/instagram.  He could have won the Heisman and then not made his private life public.  Or, if he did choose to make his life public, he could have acted graciously, as many others have done before him.  Essentially, he put himself under that "microscope".  


June 20th, 2013 at 11:04 AM ^

If he just wanted to "play football" and avoid fame he could've gone to some place like USC where celebrities grow on effin' trees and football games are largely "something to do".  He chose a school in a state that worships football.

But while we're at it, let's ask folks like Jabrill Peppers (brother shot and killed), Amara Darboh (parents killed in a civil war) or the victims of the PSU rape scandal what they think of Manziel's "inhuman" treatment.

Look I get your point.  A friend of mine is about to debut as a celebrity and she's already got fans saying creepy things about her.  I'd be lying if I said that doesn't make me worried, but she's taking the pressure and not making excuses like an adult.  I'm not dismissing the scrutiny per se, and problems are problems.  I ain't say it's easy for him.  But before we start shedding tears for a rich superstar QB, we ALL got problems and unlike many of us, Manziel has some mothereffin' options.


June 20th, 2013 at 11:20 AM ^

I'm not saying that celebrities are free from any sort of agency or responsibility, but that if everyone remembered that famous people are still people, we might be more courteous in our interactions with them (not tweeting Ryan Matthews that we want his mother to get AIDS or taking pictures of celebrties inside their own homes).  This isn't to say that they have a hard life and our deserving of capturing our bleeding hearts, but we need to be careful to make sure that we're not contributing to a system that causes people to have psychological breakdowns.  

Just because someone has had an "easy life" by our standards doesn't mean they are somehow less deserving of "humane" treatment.  That is a sort of sociopathic self-justification that opens us up to complete moral relativism.  

When celebrities enter the public-sphere of twitter, they open themselves up to a certain level of scrutiny, that is their choice, but that doesn't make death threats and comments about people's mothers somehow justified.  

We need to have a clear line regarding proper interaction between us and celebrities, for too many people the line is "well they sign up for this so they should take it all with a smile".  We essentially take all culpability away from the mass of consumers and say that the masses can do whatever they want and if anything bad happens it's all on the celebrity.

The fact is that there is an entire industry in this country built around watching celebrities implode and too many people take joy in watching rich and famous people self-destruct.  It's barbaric.  

Shop Smart Sho…

June 20th, 2013 at 11:27 AM ^

I don't believe anyone here is arguing that celebrities should have to take all of the abuse of privacy that comes from obsessed fans and assholes on twitter.  However, if they put content out for public consumption, as Manziel did, then they have chosen to allow the public into that part of their life, so for us to feel a sense of responsibilty or empathy for them is a bit much.  This kid bitched about getting a ticket, on twitter.  The monetary fine obviously isn't an issue for him.  So it should come as no surpise when the public reaction to his hissy fit isn't supportive of him.  I think most of us are assuming that he was bitching that he, Johnny Football, got a ticket.  At that point, he is going to get ridiculed by a lot of people that read the story.  Especially when he is bitching about a town and university that dropped a year long suspension when he threatened to transfer to a JUCO.


June 20th, 2013 at 4:47 PM ^

Come on.  People complain about getting parking tickets on social media everyday.  That's not inviting abuse.  That's hardly a hissy fit.

I bitch about Ann Arbor being anal about parking all the time.  That doesn't mean I'm ungrateful to the city and my employers and friends and everything about the area that is important to me.

I'm not defending his past actions, but this is totally harmless and should not be a reason to bitch about the guy.


June 20th, 2013 at 8:24 PM ^

And even if you are, do you say you can't wait to leave Ann Arbor every time you get a ticket? Or just say "man these meter maids need to find something better to do?" If Johnny Football had said something similar to the latter no one would be on him for it. They're giving him a hard time for being a drama queen.


June 20th, 2013 at 10:47 AM ^

Not to mention it's College Station FFS.  If you're the QB you're going to be the entire town's single hobby, double if you're successful.  Beware the Red Carpet.

But yeah, I'll use up all my sympathy for people who are genuinely struggling before I'll have any left to even blip my Give-a-Crap-o-Meter on Manziel's first world problems.


June 20th, 2013 at 11:12 AM ^

I can empathize, but I also know the following:

1) One of my friends committed suicide after being sexually assaulted

2) Another was thrown out of her house at age 16.  Oh, and her mom raided her savings just before doing that.

3) Another grew up in a bad neighborhood; mother was a druggie, father was a convict.  Getting a HS diploma was a minor miracle

4) Another was sexually abused from age 3 to 12, basically broken to this day

5) Relative died at the age of 14 in a baseball accident

6) Another friend died in an accident at 16

7) Another friend died in her mid-20s from an infection

8) Another friend got laid off shortly after having kids

. . . off the top of my head.

This isn't a competition; I count my blessings and I understand he's got a problem.  Somebody else here might have problems that make mine look like a skinned knee.  But you know, I'm not a rich superstar who has all the money and freedom to do what I want.  I really, REALLY don't give a shit about his problems.

Lucky Socks

June 20th, 2013 at 11:25 AM ^

Sorry to hear all that. Manziel also has a pretty easy solution to avoiding 75% of the abnormal attention and controversy. Be smarter on Twitter.

I don't emphasize with Manziel, Beiber, Lohan etc.. etc.. because for every young adult that gets eaten by the fame and attention monster there are 10 who handle it much better. It's a burden to bear, sure, but any of your friends and most of the world would trade places and handle it better.

Ron Utah

June 20th, 2013 at 12:49 PM ^

I don't feel bad for Manziel; the media (and people) are often idiots and the ridiculous scrutiny about a kid's tweets is to be expected.  Don't tweet if you don't like it.  By now, everyone should have figured out that "fairness" and "respect" just aren't coming from the media.

But what the hell does the kid's family or money have to do with this?

BTW...Shop S-Mart.


June 20th, 2013 at 10:43 AM ^

I think Hoke needs to make sure his staff doesn't become a collection of former M players, especially with Hart and/or Wheatley ticketed for arrival within the next several years, but Manning just seems a perfect complement to the rest of the staff.  If memory serves his scholie offer was viewed by some as a "down payment" on C. Rogers.  Whether that was the case or not, we sure wound up with a great M man.

Everyone Murders

June 20th, 2013 at 12:57 PM ^

So I see "Seaman Crunch" in Victor H's post, and immediately look it up on Urban Dictionary, thinking it must describe some comically disgusting act that hopefully people don't actually do.   

Good news, folks.  It's currently undefined.  Time to think of a definition for Seaman Crunch other than an alternate rank for the good Cap'n. 


June 20th, 2013 at 11:14 AM ^

...necessarily Captains in rank and Captains in rank are not necessarily ship captains. Not only is the topic a waste of time because the Cap'n is a breakfast cereal character, the "controversy" is based on faulty information. Imagine that.

kevin holt

June 20th, 2013 at 11:36 AM ^

I love that Law and Political Science class. I could teach that, I think.

"Okay class, first lesson is that you can say or do anything at all and no one can stop you or kick you out of a private establishment or censor you. Unit two will cover religion aka Christianity."


June 20th, 2013 at 11:50 AM ^

If you're asking me if I feel badly for Johnny Manziel because he got hassled for acting like a drama baby on twitter, the answer is a resounding no.

And it's not even close.


June 20th, 2013 at 12:38 PM ^

"I hope you get AIDS and die" = Hey man what's up?

"I hope a bus hits you" = Good to see you too.

"Die in a fire" = I didn't care for your comment but we are still friends.

etc, etc.



June 20th, 2013 at 1:54 PM ^

Actually had the balls to say, "walk a mile in my shoes."  Oh, you mean drive an $80,000 benz and go to school for free?  Shit, that does sound awful.

One of my good friends had CF, struggled every day of his life for 30 years, then died on the table during his lung transplant.  The dude never complained ONCE.  Walk a mile in his shoes Johnny Football, then go fist yourself.


June 20th, 2013 at 5:38 PM ^

  Manziel has done nothing but be a complete idiot since he won the heisman. Twitter pics of large sums of cash, underage drinking, attacking folks who asked about those same twitter pics. Tweeting about I cant wait to leave College station and walk a mile in my shoes among other things. Incorperating himself and copyrighting his nickname johnny football and sueing some guy selling tee shirts with Johnny football on them. I don't feel bad for him one bit, he is bringing all this bad press on himself.