- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Maryland not fearing the Twitter
Question of the Day
The idea popped up about a week before camp started. Around the same time, Maryland’s Adrian Moten and Demetrius Hartsfield, linebackers so close they often call each other “Big Brother” and “Little Brother,” picked up on the Twitter phenomenon.
They swap run-of-the-mill comments, motivational messages and, naturally, some smack talk. And not unlike their professional counterparts, they have adapted to the latest Internet social networking craze to reflect their personalities to the public - 140 characters or fewer at a time.
“We use it as [if we’re] fake celebrities,” Hartsfield said. “We’re not really [Chad] Ochocinco or Shawne Merriman. We just do it just because it’s something fun to do.”
Moten (@motenlive) and Hartsfield (@Carolinaboy59) are among the handful of Terrapins dabbling in Twitter. So, too, are coach Ralph Friedgen (@CoachFridge) and a couple of assistants.
Nearly all have limited followings - for now, anyway. Which means that unlike some other facets of their life, players are very much like normal college students in their Twitter usage.
“Out of the 38 people on there, probably five of them are porn spammers,” nose tackle A.J. Francis (@JackDiamond96) said of his online followers. “On a day-to-day basis, if I update my Twitter, seven or eight people will see it. Whatever I say, it’s not going to affect anything with those seven or eight people.”
Francis has other uses for the medium, anyway. He’s released several mix tapes under the name Jack Diamond - in homage to the Prohibition-era bootlegger, not a D.C.-area radio personality - and views Twitter as another way to market his alter ego.
Yet it’s also a way to get news. Earlier this month, Francis discovered Jay-Z’s latest album was released three days early through a tweet (a post on the Twitter site) from Shaquille O’Neal; unsurprisingly, the music aficionado rushed to a store to buy it.
Such personality traits aren’t usually on display on Saturdays, when touchdowns and tackles are noticed more than personal likes and dislikes.
“It is a way to let people know we do things other than play football,” Francis said.
But it also opens the door for additional scrutiny - something Friedgen warned his team about during camp. Maryland provides players some squeaky-clean outlets to demonstrate who they are beyond a name and a number, such as the “Terrapins Rising” reality show each summer. Friedgen, though, recalled a conversation he had in the last few years after researching his players’ online lives.
“I went on there and got some pictures and said, ‘Want me to show these to your mother?’ ” Friedgen said of visits to Facebook. “I said, ‘Yeah, employers look at this.’ You need to be smart.”
Such warnings become more valuable in the wake of this week’s furor over Washington Redskins linebacker Robert Henson’s tweets criticizing fans for booing the team in Sunday’s 9-7 victory over the St. Louis Rams at FedEx Field.
In a college venue, where a coach flexes far greater control, the enmity of fans isn’t the biggest reason to maintain caution in posting thoughts.
“I don’t want to get myself in trouble,” Moten said. “Coach Friedgen’s going to be on my back for it. And I’m a leader of this team. With me being a captain, I don’t want the younger guys saying, ‘Moten’s doing it, so I can get on there and do it, too.’ You have to be careful of what you say and do on that thing.”
About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at email@example.com.
- George Mason's defense dissipates in 84-74 loss to Northeastern
- Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard willing to let others put ball in the basket
- At 7-5, George Mason looks on the bright side entering CAA play
- Terps beat IUPUI, set for ACC after final tuneup
- Maryland's Jake Layman shows signs of progress in freshman season
Latest Blog Entries
President wants everyone but himself to pay more
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Afghan who killed three U.S. Marines in 2012 to serve over 7-year prison sentence
- EDITORIAL: Obama's 'economic patriotism' means higher taxes
- HUSAIN: Fleeing Iraqi Christians find safe haven at the Shrine of Imam Ali
- Brian Kelly, Notre Dame ready for different route to title
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq