It is 2013 and these aren’t Bill Parcells’ New York Giants. The fear factor is no longer much of an influence anymore. The game is changing and along with that, so is the aspect of the players’ and their reach to their fans and the public.
Before proceeding, it will be stated that not all player-fan interaction is bad. That isn’t the premise here. Many NFL players have a positive effect on their followers and encourage affirmative effects on life – often in a humorous way. However, with most outlets available to voice opinion, abuse can take over – on both ends.
Having such virtual easy access to favorite players and their response is overwhelming for some that still cannot believe an NFL player “re-tweeted” or “talked” to them. This should be the beauty of social media: being able to obtain a type of contact that may never come to fruition any other way for many. As athletes open up their hearts and lives by sharing a large part of themselves, they also tend to open themselves up to a simulated world that is seemingly more evil and quite honestly, angry.
There have been times during this past 2012 NFL season where a few statements have come from the mouths of Giants regarding the negative comments passed regarding the team and how it seemingly affected some of these players. Some have even spoken out (and continue to) about the cyber actions of so-called fans on the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even Skype. For those of you that are a bit confused, the connections that are supposed to go down on these social sites can sometimes turn into confrontations (between followers) and even full typed-out assaults (on the players) – all on a post about an off day exploit or a picture of said players family or friends. So much for letting the fans get closer to who you are away from the field…
There is the flip side to these rants. Sharing is one aspect to being social. Experience has taught over the years is that there can and will be too much shared. This is where “retraction” comes in alongside “apology.” Eh, it happens. Blame it on a bad day or misdirected frustration. As long as a lesson is learned swiftly, there shouldn’t be any real harm inflicted (if that “lesson” is to refrain from being repeated). Unfortunately, there are times that it does recur and teams/associations can suffer because of it. Osi Umenyiora is a smaller example of why using social media to share every thought is not the way to go. Recently, tight end Martellus Bennett sounded off. Was it a huge possible Big Blue deal-breaker? Of course not, but behaviors send out red flags (even if small ones) to many fragile fans.
The future of communication (for now) remains social media and more importantly the mobile version of these social sites. This won’t change, but develop further. The New York Football Giants are a smart and ever-growing organization that utilizes mainstream and real-time computer-generated contact to keep the Big Blue Faithful continually feeling like a part of them. We all have to remain diligent and respectful in upholding that Giants Pride wherever we virtually are.
Also…Bill Parcells, Football, Martellus Bennett, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Osi Umenyiora