Mind Your Words
By Ashley Y.
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Alabama QB AJ McCarron and LSU CB Tyrann Mathieu were recently involved in an interesting exchange of words on Twitter.
This week, Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu got in a tizzy via Twitter. What is so interesting is the extent to which these college students are now getting publicity.
Getting pumped up for a game (albeit months away) is as old as the game itself. The vast majority of college athletes “trash talk” to some degree before every event.
The playful banter between McCarron and Mathieu is entertaining. It sheds light into a world that is otherwise viewed on a pedestal at all times. It is great to get a look into something that fans would not normally hear.
The athletes’ individual pages look rather tame. However, when you match up the time frames between the two players, you’ll realize that they were playing off each other’s words.
Mathieu says “try throwing a corner route or a cross country on me this year!!! i'll be waiting!!!” This quote is what started a string of indirect replies.
What is upsetting about this is that, in all likelihood, both student-athletes will get a “talking to” about their personal reputation and the representation of their respective universities. In today’s society, image is everything.
This small Twitter war could be the beginning of a larger image problem for either athlete, which could snowball in the coming year and lead to trouble come draft time.
There is something very fascinating about this entire situation. The amount of media attention that it has already received for two “regular” college kids is baffling. The power of social media allows stories to gain popularity and interest in just a matter of minutes. This is exactly what player personnel are afraid of.
College athletes, especially football players, especially in the SEC, live in a limelight unlike any other. These are scholarship students, who are not making a formal paycheck, yet they have more fame in their states than most people ever will. Alabama and LSU have two of the most fanatical fan bases you’ll ever come across. Their fans will do anything to get their hands on the latest and greatest information about their schools.
Twitter and Facebook can be the best thing and worst thing for fans and players alike. For fans, it gives them an inside look into a world that is everything to them. However, it can crush their fantasies, if they think their favorite athlete is different than how they come across in 140 characters.
For athletes, social media is incredibly powerful. It can set up a persona, possibly completely unlike their own, and can greatly boost (or crash) their fan base. Most of America does not always recognize the power of social media. This small event makes it glaringly obvious how important just a few words can be.
To view AJ McCarron’s Twitter page, go to www.twitter.com/10AJMcCarron.
To view Tyrann Mathieu’s Twitter page, go to http://www.twittter.com/TM7_Era.