Why so Serious?

Earlier this week, Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee  jokingly challenged Tiger Woods to a round of golf for betting $100,000 per hole. Woods, who has just recently come off his career worst round of 82 and withdrawing from an event has decided to take some time off from golf because he feels that his game isn’t where it should be.

Scobee attempted to qualify for the US Open in 2010 but failed to make it. Many on Twitter began to fire back at Scobee for the challenge.

Scobee replied to these tweets with some witty comebacks and make more jokes about the people who were attacking him over social media.

The issue here is that there are no clear ways to show sarcasm over the internet. When people go to social media to post a joke some take what they say at face value. This leads to people blowing things out of proportion and making something as simple as a joke go viral and turn into a bigger story.

Woods hasn’t replied to Scobee. So will we see this round of golf ever occur? Probably not but if we do Scobee better hope he brings his A-game or he will be going home with a lot less money in his bank account then when he got there.

Maybe Silence Really is Golden

The circus known as Super Bowl Media Day occurred earlier this week. Every year, thousands of reporters flood the players with questions about their preparation, mental state, physical health, and countless other questions leading up to the big game. However, Marshawn Lynch stole the show with one simple answer. “I’m just here so I don’t get fined.”

The Seattle Seahawks are known for many things: having the loudest fans, the legion of boom, and beast mode. They are also known for having the most interesting player interviews. After last year’s NFC Championship game we saw Richard Sherman sound off about Michael Crabtree in one of the most….”spirited” interviews of all time.

Sherman is known around the league as one of the best shutdown cornerbacks as well as not being a player to hold his tongue on any subject matter. He is also known as one of the league’s biggest trash talkers. Fans and media alike are drawn to this because he will say what is on his mind.

On the other side of the ball is Marshawn Lynch who is known for his powerful long-yardage runs and entering “Beast Mode.” But what seems to draw more attention from the media is his unwillingness to talk to them.

NFL players are required to “make themselves available to the media.” Lynch has already been fined 100k due to not following this policy. Coming into media day, Lynch was threatened to be fined 500K if he did not make himself available to answer questions. So that is exactly what he did and here is what happened.

Marshawn Lynch was still fined 20K for wearing that hat which wasn’t  approved by the NFL.

But does this really hurt Lynch?

During media day reporters swarmed his booth to see what response they would get this week. Lynch has also received two endorsement deals with Skittles and Progressive. Both commercials focus on his reactions with the media.

Marshawn Lynch also made a lot of noise over social media with many posts about his interview.

While there were many other players interviewed during media day, Lynch was the most talked about over social media. #MarshawnLynch was started and began to trend during media day.

So here’s where we begin to see that silence has been paying off for Lynch. His silence is helping build his brand. He may be an outstanding athlete but its his media presence that gets talked about the most. By getting more and more media attention, companies who are looking for a spokesman can use him for advertising. These companies can play this game with consumers: Marshawn won’t talk to the media, but he’ll talk to us! Making them seem like a great company. These endorsement deals are also fattening up Lynch’s wallet (which he might need to pay off those fines),

So to answer the question is silence really golden? If you play your cards right it looks like it can be.

Swish Swish but no Tweet Tweet

On January 13, Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Mo Williams reminded NBA fans that he is still in the league after scoring an impressive 52 points against the Indiana Pacers. Twitter was soon flooded with tweets about Mo and how many people had forgot that he still played professional basketball. Many of these tweets came from fans and fellow NBA players. The tones of these tweets were very different between the two groups. Many fans posted memes or made jokes about Williams. Some of the posts included clips from the video sharing app, Vine. Other fan tweets made references to the movie Space Jam, asking “Which MonStar took over Mo Williams’ body” and alluding to “Michael’s Secret Stuff.” On the other hand, fellow players congratulated Williams and began using the hashtag #50pointclub.
What caught my attention most about the social media coverage of this record-setting performance was that the bulk of information about the game did not come from popular sports outlets such as ESPN or NBA.com. Many informational tweets came from independent sports writers and smaller websites. While ESPN and NBA.com did have a few posts they were for the most part lacking in information. The best article to be posted on twitter came from CBS sports
ESPN and NBA.com gave more Twitter coverage to sporting news that felt were less newsworthy than Mo’s performance. NBA.com posted tweets about the scores of ongoing games at a faster rate than any commentary on the 52 point outing. ESPN dedicated most of their Tweets to Duke losing to Miami, which is an impressive defeat but still doesn’t compare to when an athlete, especially one who has all but disappeared from the league makes a statement like Mo did that night. I feel that these bigger outlets should have dedicated more time into this story. It was something no one would have expected and from some of the first tweets about it, almost seemed to be a joke. Nevertheless, congrats Mo Williams, you made a statement to reaffirm you are still a member of the NBA and apparently still have some fuel left in the tank. Hopefully the next time an athlete who isn’t considered a superstar puts on a performance like that, the large sports news outlets will dedicate more time and share the news over social media.