Inspired by our friends at Vice Sports, we wanted to write paeans to our favorite sports-adjacent tweets. These are not necessarily the best tweets, but they are the tweets that, for one reason or another, have always stuck with us.
Ken Rosenthal Meets Mr. Sugar Penis
This isn’t about Ken Rosenthal, or MrSugarPenis. Or at least, it’s not just about them. It’s about Buster Olney teaching geography to MassiveDumps4U, and Tom E. Curran disagreeing with BigFootsDick69, and Stephen A. Smith blocking BiblesNBlowjobs, and Pedro Gomez giving the kiss-off to YoungHorsecock, and Peter King and Jon Heyman thanking, respectively, TurdGuy and DaddyDickBagel. It’s about the undeniably pleasurable immaturity of seeing suited avatars of respected media members interact with potty-named Twitter randos.
For hundreds of years, mass media was a one way street. Your columnist bloviated at you in the paper. Your talking head blathered at you on the TV. Your hot taker hot took without consequence. Then Twitter happened, and those with a platform had to learn to share it with, well, everyone. Use it for discussion, for refutation, for flat-out trolling, or just to make Buster Olney write “Well, SexCauldron,” it’s all good because it’s all level.
I can’t underemphasize how amazing this is. Those people you see on TV or online every day, dispensing their wisdom and opinions? Now you can say whatever you want, directly to them. And they will hear you. We live in a time of miracles. — Barry Petchesky
Will Middlebrooks Is A Butthole
I love this tweet, and not only because it includes butthole—although a large part of its appeal is the perfect deployment of the underused, underappreciated term butthole. Because this is the whole point of watching sports. You root for your player, your team, and when they win it feels like you’ve just won the Powerball, cracked the human genome, and had the best sex of your life at the same time. And when they lose, or in this case when your husband—Angels starter Matt Shoemaker—gets his no-hitter gets broken up by stupid Will Middlebrooks, dammit, you feel like crap. Maybe you wanna call some people buttholes. Because isn’t the opposing team just a pile of buttholes? Yeah! Yeah they are!
(It should be noted that in this case the opposing team was the Boston Red Sox, so it’s a verifiable fact that they are buttholes.) — Diana Moskovitz
Warren Sapp Tells A Story
Sometimes, when I’m feeling down, I just look at these tweets. I then like to imagine Warren Sapp telling me this story in person. Perhaps we’re at some sort of party together, standing in a circle of shared friends and acquaintances, all of us talking back and forth in that light and easy way people talk at parties. Someone mentions something about flying, and Sapp breaks in “I have the best flight stories...”
We all turn toward Sapp, who starts in, “The flight attendants was about to do the safety video...” here I imagine Sapp reaching that point of no return that we’ve all come up against while telling a story, the point at which you realize that this particular story is not in fact funny, that it does not have a proper punchline, and that it will only be met with awkward silence. Sapp continues, “...and it stopped, then they couldn’t find the equipment to do it manually.” We all take awkward sips from our drinks, waiting desperately for the subject to change.
But Sapp didn’t tell this story in real life, which makes it that much more hilarious. Note the time difference between the first and second tweets—our man had 41 minutes to think over the worthiness of this anecdote, and he somehow still went through with it. We’ve all lived out the imaginary scene described above, and we’ve all wished we could go back in time and stuff the first words of that Very Bad And Uninteresting Story back into our mouths. Not Warren Sapp, though. Warren Sapp sat there for 41 minutes and said, “Hell yeah, man, time for the grand finale. I’m great at stories.” — Tom Ley
Russell Wilson Suffers The Rawest Burn
It is time to grapple with the fact that Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is a phony human being who represents the best possible outcome for someone who spent high school juggling football, baseball, student government, drama, debate club, men’s a cappella, and Young Republicans meetings. He almost definitely has a dungeon concealed behind a false wall in the cellar of his home, within which he hangs the hides of lone hitchhikers he kills and skins and dries and wears in the offseason. He is somehow dating the incredibly talented, enormously successful, blindingly beautiful, enragingly rich singer Ciara, yet claims he is not having sex with Ciara, and proffers by way of explanation that an invisible, sexist, all-powerful warlock spoke to Wilson directly and said to him: “I need you to lead her.” Wilson sucks and is corny, and I still can’t believe he didn’t give the shit to Marshawn.
Last year, Wilson divorced his wife. That November, he visited Seattle Children’s Hospital, where he goes often, and often while announcing his presence through a series of tweets over the course of a day, like this one and this one and this one. It’s all heroic stuff, but it all feels shrewdly and crudely performative, and so there’s a path of logic an onlooker can follow that leads to unqualified admiration for Wilson’s actions coupled with genuine annoyance at the man behind them. But no one, not even aggressively swagless, Bible-humping try-hards like Wilson, deserve the above since-deleted tweet, which was written in response to one of Wilson’s tweets from Seattle Children’s. It’s from a Twitter troll who goes by @MakeMeABaloney, who appears to be one of the worst people on the whole, entire internet. Though the entire onslaught spans just 138 characters, it is the most relentlessly savage assault on a human life I have ever witnessed. @MakeMeABaloney sneers at Wilson’s earnestness, sneers at child terminal cancer patients, sneers at Wilson’s shambolic love life, and even sneers at the homie’s possibly suspect cunni game. Football is never mentioned. It is violent, and grotesque, and reprehensible, and it is almost enough to make you feel bad for Wilson. Almost. — Greg Howard
Jon Heyman Is On One
Jon Heyman’s got jokes. In 2009, eons ago in internet time, the CBS Sports baseball writer took a clever jab at the Red Sox fanbase. From time to time, Heyman can still get witty in his lowercase musings. Let’s talk about a different time, though.
A day after Ted Wells’s investigation into Ballghazi came out, people were losing their fucking minds. The news in January fueled the initial reaction, and this new report had plenty of fodder. Everyone felt obligated to weigh in with whatever hadn’t been said yet. Actually, it didn’t matter if it had been said already. Why not say it again?
It’s not unusual for Jon Heyman to veer out of his lane on Twitter. He’s not all MLB, all the time. That’s healthy. Spice things up. Jon wanted to capitalize on the big story of the week, and who could blame him? On May 7, at 3:42 p.m., Jon Heyman flexed his anagram skills, and tore something:
This tweet must be analyzed in three parts. The first word: AROD. Okay, that makes sense. Jon Heyman’s reference is understood. In an effort to sidestep the ethics of using steroids in baseball, indulge him. Alex Rodriguez also “cheated.” Great, got it. This tweet has a smooth start.
Wait. What does YTB mean? Yeah the boys? Yank that beast? Yell, “Those balls”? The only possibility that makes any shred of sense is “you’re the best,” but that’s still not satisfying. A-Rod, you’re the best. A-Rod, you’re the best? A-Rod, you’re the best. That’s a sentence, right? Does that work? To hell with it, fire off that tweet.
After a second look, it becomes clear that Jon Heyman forgot something; a letter, to be specific. Where’s the M? Jon, there’s no M. Jon. Are you okay?
To recap: Jon Heyman thought the best way to get in on this hot Ballghazi Twitter action was to create an anagram, reference A-Rod, not really try to do anything with the remaining four letters, actually forget one of the other four letters, go with it anyway because it was too hot to store in drafts, and see what happened. I wish I had the confidence of Jon Heyman. — Samer Kalaf
Bill Speaks For The True Celtics Fans
I love that he’s SUCH a good sports fan that he knows the date and recognizes it every year as a day of mourning, and of course assumes that all other “true” Boston fans do likewise. This tweet essentially puts a patent hold on grief.
I’m a Vikings fan, and I was saddened by Korey Stringer’s death. But I don’t remember the date he died, and I don’t sit around in a black shroud on the anniversary. — Drew Magary
Darren Rovell Snitches
Darren Rovell is earnest, that much is certain. He doesn’t rewrite press releases or hump brands or chronicle ballpark food abominations out of a cynical desire to get paid, but because he truly likes these things. Thus, for a while it was possible to think he was in on the joke, comprehending the hatred people have for his ethos but slowly shaking his head and going on with his job.
When he snitched on a guy who made a swastika joke is when it became clear that wasn’t the case. Because the thing is, the swastika logo was a really good way to build a brand, and if he’d been employed by Der Spiegel in 1934, Dieter Rövell would’ve written that. It’s the logical extension of his worldview, and a very funny illustration of that to boot. But Rovell doesn’t understand any of that, and instead tried to get a grown-ass man in trouble for a funny tweet. — Kevin Draper
Jim Abbott Makes A Funny
This is not, technically, a tweet. But that Jim Abbott, a man who has one hand, tweeted (okay, retweeted) a tweet about tweeting with one hand is so deliciously meta that even a complete cynic can appreciate it for a few seconds. — Tim Burke
John Calipari Makes U Think
Walking on the beach this morning, doing a little thinking when I saw a quick brown fox jumping over a lazy dog. Reminded me of the pangram “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”
Walking on the beach this morning, doing a little thinking when I saw cars. Reminded me of the movie Cars.
Walking on the beach this morning, doing a little thinking when I saw a cat in a hat. Reminded me of the book The Cat in the Hat.
Walking on the beach this morning, doing a little thinking when I saw a red flame. Reminded me of the mixtape Red Flame.
Walking on the beach this morning, doing a little thinking when I saw a rising tide lifting all boats. Reminded me of the proverb “A rising tide lifts all boats.” — Patrick Redford
Dan Snyder Has No Shame
This tweet from Redskins Salute, described as the “Official Military Appreciation Club of the Washington Redskins,” captures the crassness of the Dan Snyder regime.
Exploiting the goodwill of the troops for the good of a brand is everywhere these days. Earlier this year, NJ.com reporters broke the story that military appreciation displays at NFL games were often for-profit endeavors: 14 NFL teams had been paid a total of more than $5 million over the past four seasons through Department of Defense contracts to put on displays that “honor” the troops. But Snyder’s the godfather of this particular brand of shamelessness; nobody has been playing these pay-triot games as long or with as much aggression as he has.
During the 2006 season, for example, commercials ran on his D.C. sportsradio station imploring fans to “commemorate Sept. 11” by buying a “Pentagon Flag Hat” from Snyder’s team’s online store. The item was just a black ballcap with a curly “R” in gold in the front and a red-white-and-blue patch in the shape of the Pentagon stitched into its side, but Snyder was asking for $23.99 plus shipping for the hat, while telling fans identical garments were “expected to be worn by the Redskins coaches” during the season opener. There was no charity associated with the sales. Just Snyder’s wallet. No other team in the league sold five-year-anniversary trinkets for 9/11. He had a Military Appreciation Day at a home game in 2010 that was really just part of a huge push during that offseason to unload unsold season tickets as the bottom was dropping out of his fan base. (Also in 2010, Snyder put out a press release after the Haiti earthquake killed 230,000 people to announce that the Redskins were partnering with “the Diageo Disaster Team” on an aid mission. Diageo, described in the release as “the world’s premium drinks company,” was a major sponsor of Snyder’s football team at the time.) He offered military members and civilian Department of Defense employees a $100 discount off the price of season tickets, then charged ‘em a $100-per-ticket “account activation fee.”
As indicated by the tweet, the exploitation knows no bounds at this point. Redskins Salute exists to promote the team’s sponsors and sell stuff. Anybody who signs up with the group gets spammed with Redskins Salute Deal of the Day offers, with the special opportunity to buy overpriced crap in team colors. For this latest Military Appreciation Day Presented by Geico™, veterans could get a pair of Nike™ Redskins Vapor Fly receiver gloves for just $69.95. Thank you for your service. — Dave McKenna
Image by Jim Cooke