A Cautionary Tale from Twitter:  Unnecessary Roughness

New England Patriots Key Contributor
New England Patriots Key Contributor

By Pat Colpitts @pcolpitts11

Thursday night’s great game between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills had just wrapped up.  I checked Twitter updates for the last time.  Saw a non-descript tweet about the matchup next Thursday:  Houston Texans at New England Patriots.  There’s no hiding the fact where my loyalties reside.  I tweeted, “Pats. At home. Bring it. Patriots.”

Within seconds, I see a retweet and asking what position I had played.  Assuming it was a harmless comment, I cleverly replied “Monday-morning quarterback.  What else?” And I thought that would be the end of it – maybe a goofy emoticon as a reply.

The guy’s handle meant nothing to me.  Even if it did, I would have still believed the tweets to be banter, nothing more.  A few more seconds pass; the thread lights up.  Apparently, the comment to me was not just one sports fan to another, but a member of the working sports media calling me out.  Trolling.  How do I know?  Because of the many retweets calling HIM out, for what is apparently his pattern of diatribe demonstrated through the years at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports and now, NFL.com.  Most amusing – he clearly thought I was male.  Because who else would be paying attention to his tweets?

I’ve worked in the newsroom of a major metropolitan daily newspaper.  Had I behaved badly with a reader in print, my career swiftly would have been cut short. 

I understand that social media channels are the wild, wild west of communications.  Plenty of nasty stuff out there, and you don’t have to look very far.  Sadly, zealous sports fans often ‘ready/post/aim’.  But I will always hold the sports media (all media) to a higher standard.  There is no excuse for the ugly stream of tweets this reporter triggered that night.  He has one of the best jobs in the world.  He should behave accordingly.

Follow and chat Patriots with me (unless you’re him): @pcolpitts11

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