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The Dichotomy of Social Media in the Ever-Changing NFL

January 27th, 2013 at 6:30 AM
By Jen Polashock

It is 2013 and these aren’t Bill ParcellsNew 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.

'Social_Media_DimSum --Social Media Small Plate Style' photo (c) 2010, Gwyneth Anne Bronwynne Jones - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

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.

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Tags: Bill Parcells, Football, Martellus Bennett, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Osi Umenyiora

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6 Responses to “The Dichotomy of Social Media in the Ever-Changing NFL”

  1.  G-MenFan says:

    My hat goes off to any pro athlete that abstains from social media. IMO it’s a bad idea. “Familiarity breeds contempt”. They shouldn’t be conversing with fans on a regular basis. Nobody is paying them for their thoughts, opinions, or musings. Shut up and play.

    • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

      Some use it properly. Look at Domenik Hixon or even Chad Ochocinco (prior to his divorce). They used it meet with fans, bring them out to movies, dinners, etc. They are generally very positive (see also: David Tyree, Corey Webster, etc.). Unfortunately, most don’t use it properly.

      • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

        Of course, “properly” is a matter of interpretation.

        •  sonnymooks says:

          “Properly” should be code for have someone else tweet for you and pretend its you.

          Hell, even Charlie Sheens crazy tweets weren’t even all him (most of them came from a writer that was hired just for this).

          Social media is important to players in terms of marketability and brand building so as to maximize value and leverage that for both contract purposes and endorsement deals…..I honestly hate myself for having just typed that, because I still remember when players “maximized” their “values” by simply working hard and playing better.

          I do however understand their reasoning, but I think their agents need to take a more active role in controlling their clients social media exploits, and filtering them.

  2.  kujo says:

    Seems like there’s an early consensus that the 3 areas of need this offseason are the interior OL and DL, as well as the secondary–specifically cornerback–with middle linebacker and right tackle coming next on that list.

    So, given that assessment, I don’t think there’s any doubt that we draft the best available corner or tackle at #19. Relative to value, the type players we need at DT and OG are typically found aplenty in the 3rd and 4th round. Similarly, the value at middle linebacker will be around in the 2nd and 3rd round, unless you think Te’o and Ogletree are worth a top 20 pick. On the other hand, the quality at corner diminishes rapidly after the first 75 picks or so. At that point, you’re getting a project guy, or someone with “character concerns.” This doesn’t mean that the picks won’t work out–see Hosley, Jayron– but that they are more risky and have a larger margin of error. And given the way our current depth chart looks, I see the pain threshold for error as being razor thin.

    The caveats that I would make are that free agency will have a huge impact on how Reese assigns value and need to different positions. While you and I might favor youth over experience, it could be that it would be better, longterm, to sign a veteran corner, defensive tackle, interior lineman or linebacker to plug these holes. Further, if we were to loose Beatty, Boothe or Bennett, their positions might shoot up the list of needs and tip the scales considerably. I’d also point out that Cruz remains unsigned to longterm deal, Nicks is a year behind him, Randle is still very much a work in progress, Jernigan hasn’t shown anything, and Hixon is clearly not much more than excellent depth. Much like corner, the type of player you have available to you as a top 20 pick at WR is day-and-night better than what you have later on in the draft. Until we see some contracts being inked for our top 2, you shouldn’t remove WR off the table as potential value-based picks in the 1st or 2nd round.

    •  G-MenFan says:

      I agree that we may take an OT at 19, but I don’t think we’ll take a corner unless one of the highest rated corners in the draft drops to 19 like Amukamara did, and that’s not impossible. There are more first-round-worthy O-linemen than there are CBs. At least as of now. There are always changes in value at the combine.

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