Spanning the Twitterverse: Yahoo! Forde

Spanning the Twitterverse to bring you the constant variety of tweets
The thrill of the retweet and the agony of the unfollow
The human drama of the twitter timeline
This is CadChica’s Wide World of Tworts

Have I mentioned before how much I love Twitter? I have? I’m sorry. Really, I am. But I do love it. I just find it so fascinating the things you can find out as a sports fan, that you really never could before. Today…..was another one of those days.

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To some, just reading that may not seem like much but to the sports fan, it’s HUGE. College football and basketball writer, Pat Forde, to me is synonymous with ESPN. He was one of their mainstays, their ‘permanent’ fixtures, if you will. You say the name ‘Pat Forde’, you just knew he was an ESPN guy. It wasn’t that long ago that another ESPN fixture was unceremoniously fired/let go/relieved of his duties/had a mutual parting of the ways; Bruce Feldman. That was quite the Twitter-storm that I touched on in this post.

“Forde Yard Dash” (NCAA football) & “Forde Minutes” (NCAA basketball) have become must-reads for readers of ESPN.com. To most fans, obviously NOT ALL, he is a well-respected voice in college sports. From the tweets below, it seems as though he was respected in media circles too.

As of posting time, nothing has been confirmed by either Mr. Forde or ESPN so keep that in mind as you read what the Twitterverse had to say (if there’s a link in a tweet, click it):

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CadChica Sports

Spanning the Twitterverse: #BruceFreed

Spanning the Twitterverse to bring you the constant variety of tweets
The thrill of the retweet and the agony of the unfollow
The human drama of the twitter timeline
This is CadChica’s Wide World of Tworts

#FreeBruce

A hashtag that has lived since July 14, 2011.

And today, it died a quick death.

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Just like that the sports Twitterverse exploded.

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http://twitter.com/#!/TheBigLead/status/109280330632019968

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The whole #FreeBruce saga is one that is probably confusing to most people; fans mostly. Unless you were on Twitter on July 14th, you probably had no idea what was going on. I touched on it in my post the very next day. To get the full gist of it though, I would recommend reading this story by the website that broke the news on Twitter that day.

Feldman did something that his then employer, ESPN, didn’t like; apparently with their full knowledge and approval. When that ‘something’ became a “problem”, ESPN allegedly lowered the boom and ‘suspended’ him. Twitter blew-up that day which I addressed in my post. Based on what I read, reaction thereafter, and Feldman’s near-silence since that day, it’s kind of hard to discount the story. Here was the SportsbyBrooks reaction:

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Here’s some reaction from folks at ESPN:

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I feel like sometimes I wish a story would end sooner rather than later. This one definitely didn’t end quickly. Bruce Feldman went on a “semi”-media blitz this morning. I think only one show is worth mentioning here and that is The Dan Patrick Show. Patrick, himself a former ESPN-er, asked all the right questions; you can listen to it here. Feldman came out on fire toward his former employer. He also touched on the subject in his first article on cbssports.com.

One of the things he said was regarding ESPN’s ombudsman, The Poynter Institute. The Poynter Institute, aka Kelly McBride, wrote about the Feldman firestorm in July. Feldman, to paraphrase what he said on Patrick’s show, said the Poynter response was filled with inaccuracies.

Okay, fine. Here is what I find interesting: ESPN’s Mike Soltys said they’d have no further comment. ESPN’s ombudsman from The Poynter Institute, Kelly McBride, couldn’t leave well enough alone. She wrote the ESPN ombudsman article on Feldman. Naturally, since Feldman said her article was “filled with inaccuracies”, she wants to set things right from her perspective. I get it.

But she takes to Twitter to confront Feldman about his comments. Think about that for a minute.

This is something that would never have come to light were it not for Twitter. That said, who in their right mind as someone in her position, calls someone out using social media. She’s not just a writer or reporter. She represents The Poynter Institute whose mission statement is:

The Poynter Institute is a school dedicated to teaching and inspiring journalists and media leaders. It promotes excellence and integrity in the practice of craft and in the practical leadership of successful businesses. It stands for a journalism that informs citizens and enlightens public discourse. It carries forward Nelson Poynter’s belief in the value of independent journalism in the public interest.

Where exactly does calling someone out on Twitter fit in that mission statement? Maybe it’s the “enlightens public discourse” part. Other than that, what could she gain by tweeting that? As the “ombudsman” for one of the most recognizable sports media companies, shouldn’t one have a better understanding of ‘think before you tweet’? From a sports fan’s perspective, I should hope so.

I can honestly say that I am learning more and more about the media business every day. Some days, are not very pretty. Nevertheless, this story is done. Bruce is “free” to write for CBS. The saga is over. Maybe. We can only hope right?  

But until then, we always have:

TWEET OF THE DAY

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CadChica Sports

Spanning the Twitterverse: Roger, The List & #FreeBruce

Spanning the Twitterverse to bring you the constant variety of tweets
The thrill of the retweet and the agony of the unfollow
The human drama of the twitter timeline
This is CadChica’s Wide World of Tworts

Today has been one of the craziest days I have ever seen on Twitter. It all started so innocently enough with what seemed like good news on the NFL labor dispute.

That makes it seem like it might be a good day right? It’s mid-July. Baseball is just coming off its All-Star break. The British Open began today but that was early morning of the first day so not much to tweet about there. Hmm. Might be a slow day I thought………….BOOM!!!!

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WOW! Roger Clemens, who was on trial for lying to Congress about using steroids, scored a HUGE victory today when the prosecution exposed the jury to testimony that the judge had previously said was inadmissible. BIG MISTAKE. The judge declared a mistrial. 

Needless to say Twitter went a little crazy. The tweet below about sums it up.

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Silly me. I had the nerve to think that was all that we were in for today. So much so that I tweeted THIS:

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A prognosticator I am not obviously. But I sincerely thought that would be THE story of the day. And then this little nugget came along:

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Have you ever heard the saying, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”? Whoa baby, substitute the word “sportswriter” for “woman” and you have a nice little Twitter story going on.

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This one, said it pretty well.

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The Football Girl makes a point, in asking, ‘Who cares’? I thought about the answer to that. I do not know if there is one right answer. My initial reaction is the ESPN effect. ESPN and its channels, with shows like Around the Horn, have turned many sportswriters into “stars”. Now I don’t know exactly how someone goes to work for ESPN. I’ve seen ESPN’ers post job openings on Twitter. ESPN, like most companies, has employment information on their website as well. But to become one of their select few on these reporter-centered shows is beyond my “fan” knowledge. 

Sports Illustrated is one of the ‘power-brokers’ if you will, in the sports media market (my opinion). SI used Twitter to announce their list. The convergence of two powerful mediums such as SI and Twitter for a sportswriter could potentially be a boon to a career. This list of their ‘must follows’ was, in essence, their seal of approval. A seal of approval from SI means they are someone in sports media that should be listened to. And that, means someone like ESPN might take notice and provide a larger platform from which they can speak.

That’s my theory. Right or wrong? I don’t know. It’s either that or the negative reaction is one of insecurity (i.e. ‘not being accepted into the cool kids group at school’). I don’t know any sportswriter on a personal basis so I can’t speak to the insecurity part. From what I read and hear, it is not an easy business to be in. To make it on a national stage, I believe you have to make a lot of sacrifices, both good and bad, and you have to work extremely long hours to do so. I’m just a fan, but that insecurity is a possibility, and it’s my opinion.

I thought the Twitter news was done…..

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until this BOMBSHELL came down this afternoon:

Picking up my mouth off the floor, I retweeted that right away. Bruce Feldman, who by all accounts seemed like a great college football sportswriter, was suspended by ESPN. The reason, according to the story from Sports by Brooks, was that he was suspended in relation to Mr. Feldman’s participation in Mike Leach’s new book; he had received approval from ESPN to do so. Mike Leach, the former Texas Tech head footbalI coach, was fired by the school. His new book, just recently out, blasts ESPN and, in particular, announcer Craig James. I wasn’t sure what the effect would be but it EXPLODED my Twitter timeline. It didn’t disappoint.

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That’s just a very small  sampling of what was tweeted on the Twitterverse today regarding Bruce Feldman. There was just so much outrage from both media and fans alike regarding this. I cannot possibly begin to do them all justice. I tried, I really tried hard to find a tweet in support of the suspension. Aside from the fans angry that Bruce Feldman said a negative (read: honest) comment about their team, there wasn’t one. Not one that I could find. I did find this:

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In the issue of fairness, I do not know all of the details; I’m just a sports fan. Who does know other than the key parties involved and the HR department at ESPN? The magnitude of this was amazing to me. Just a few short hours before, it seemed as though sniping was going on over a “stupid Twitter list” (another person’s tweet not mine). How quickly one tweet can change the dynamics of a timeline!

The reaction happened like an avalanche. In one moment it went from routine activity, to giant slabs of ice and snow barrelling down the mountain at breakneck speed….not stopping until all of its power and rage has been unleashed on the unsuspecting wilderness below it. In the context of Bruce Feldman’s suspension that’s how quickly the sports Twitterverse reacted. As of now, that avalanche has not stopped.

One story that is already out there is calling this action, ESPN’s Waterloo. Whether it will be or not remains to be seen. There could be more to this story we don’t know yet. However, the power of social media, in the hands of “the media”, could prove to be quite dramatic. Will it amount to anything in relation to Mr. Feldman? Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, the avalanche continues….

CadChica Sports