Usually these types of articles are better reserved for some of those leading up to the season type posts. But I saw this and in the moment it moved me so much that I had to write this article. Twitter is a phenomenal website. It breaks news, it provides updates, it gives bloggers a way to build their following (don’t forget to follow with that link on the right). It gives celebrities a way to interact with their fans…or more appropriately it gives fans a way to interact with celebrities.
But too often, Twitter is used like this. A way for a guy who had nothing better to do at that moment than to harass Arian Foster of the Houston Texans, has the chance to do just that. Also just while we’re talking about the tweet itself – Arian Foster didn’t have a bad fantasy year when he was healthy (8 games 542 yards 4.5 YPC). He was every bit the first round pick everyone drafted, then he got injured which can totally happen when 11 premier athletes are trying to tackle you as you run and cut.
It’s a pretty big thrill when someone famous you follow on Twitter responds to you. Even this guy responded back to Foster thanking him. I’ve had it happen a couple times. You look at your phone and you don’t quite recognize that this famous person responded to a random tweet you sent them. It’s a big deal for a bit and if any of your friends know about that person you tell them immediately. I sent a text to a buddy of mine solely because Pacman Jones followed The Fantasy Force on Twitter.
Responding to fans is a double edged sword. If fans know that you interact with them on social media it makes them more prone to complain when they do something you don’t like (ex. getting surgery for a bulging disc in your back). But it’s also this really cool and encouraging thing to see. It’s pretty dope knowing that you @ someone famous and they take a couple seconds out of their day to respond to you. It’s essentially like seeing Arian Foster in line at the bank and working up the stones to say something to him and you guys go on to actually exchange a couple words. That’d be a story you tell for years! And you’re lying if you say otherwise.
Which is why I hate seeing this. This isn’t just bad for that guy who had Foster RT his idiocy. It’s bad for fantasy football. When people ask me what my interests are I excitedly tell them I’m an avid fantasy football player. By now most people have at the very least heard the phrase so even if they aren’t quite sure what it is they knows it’s a thing. And that thing is beautiful.
Fantasy football is doing something amazing. It’s bringing a wide array of people together. There are office leagues which give workers a shot to beat their boss at something. There are family leagues which create new debates at dinner tables and holidays. And there are leagues that I’m in with people that I probably wouldn’t be talking to anymore in my life if it weren’t for our mutual love of fantasy football. And that guy is a black eye for us.
That guy makes us look like children and it’s just embarrassing. I don’t want to tell people I play fantasy football and have them come back with, “oh so you must tweet at athletes when they don’t do well enough for you” That would be mortifying! If you’re angry at a professional athlete for how he or she performed in a game trust me they’re angry at themselves. They don’t have a crucial week 4 matchup with Doug from accounting, or aunt Tina who stumbled into getting Josh Gordon, or Mark from college who has beat you the past 3 years. They have a check riding on it. That’s the money to provide for their family, keep a roof over their heads, and put food on the table.
I don’t want us to be normal. We’re nerdy (face it) we look at practice reports, we’ve Googled what an ACL is, and we know that if the coach would just call a sweep to the weak side the defense would stop clogging the running lanes on trap plays. I just don’t want us to be embarrassing, to have a bad reputation, to look uncouth. Some of you may disagree with me, and that’s fine. In fact I encourage you to tweet me whether or not you think I’m right and why, maybe get it in the comments section and we can all have a debate. But there’s just no way to put a good face on that. That guy wasn’t passionate about Foster’s performance, the Texans’ prospects for the upcoming season, or even fantasy football. He was a troll who could help but fanboy out when he got a response.
You can argue that athletes invite this when they sign up for Twitter, I think they signed up for the same reasons we did. Some will say that athletes need thicker skin. I say some people need less thick skulls.