South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier delighted sports fans everywhere on Monday when he decided to join Twitter. And yet, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the Head Ball Coach didn’t get what all the fuss was about. When discussing this choice with ESPN‘s Chris Low, Spurrier said, “I didn’t know that it was that big a deal.”
“Some of the assistant coaches here had been telling me I needed to do it and put some things out there like everybody else does. I’ll put little messages out here and there. I guess people watch that Twitter all day. Some people do anyway. How could you have the patience to do that? I’m not going to be on it every day. I can promise you that.”
Classic Spurrier. It’s stuff like this that makes the unfiltered coach perfect for this kind of social platform. The days of the flip phone are behind him, and Spurrier is ready to embrace the present. It’s time for him to bring his famous quotes to the masses. However, like many coaches before him, Spurrier has already managed a Twitter blunder – which occurred during his first-ever tweet. This sort of faux pas was bound to happen; it’s become somewhat of a right of passage for the college coach. At least this incident was fairly minor. Spurrier just didn’t know he was tagging the USC Trojans twitter handle; that’s small potatoes. However, the same can’t be said for other coaches. And with that, we wonder, “Is it time to provide college coaches with a Twitter tutorial?”
Social media is an amazing way to get your voice out there. It’s also the best way to form connections in today’s society. However, the greatest benefit of this medium is also potentially it’s greatest downside. The more popular you are, the more likely that people are going to follow you. As a result, there is more opportunity for people to be aware of your mishaps. Did you know that Kentucky coach John Calipari knew Jay Z’s birthday, but not his own daughter’s? It’s true. Here’s the proof. Now clearly this was a minor mistake. But Calipari, like most college coaches, are public figures, and therefore are going to be under a lot more scrutiny. So it’s important to make choices that won’t tarnish your image. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.
Not only does Twitter allow you to express opinions, follow people that interest you, and retweet others’ thoughts, it also provides you the opportunity to “favorite” things. And there are plenty of coaches out there who have misused that feature. And misused it badly. It’s safe to say that Miami coach Al Golden made a mistake when he liked that particular page, and Bobby Petrino should know better than to have images like that on his page. Former Florida coach Will Muschamp also showed odd judgment when he favorited a page that read, “My superpower is not getting texted back.” Was he being self-deprecating by referring to the time when he clearly didn’t use a direct message on Twitter? Or was he just being careless? We don’t know. And that’s the point. It’s easy to make an error on Twitter, and it’s harder to recover if you’re a public figure. It’s time for some of these coaches to exercise good judgment.
We’re actually excited that Steve Spurrier is on Twitter. He speaks his mind and is known to give quality sound bites. But this is clearly a big step for the old school coach, and there’s bound to be some blunders along the way. With the flip phone out of the way and a twitter account at the ready, Spurrier has stepped into the modern age of technology. Hopefully he’s got someone around to show him the ropes. We’d hate to see a few characters mess up his character.