Modern technology and information has changed a number of things about sports. However one of the biggest in my view is the way that fans have the ability to interact with players like never before. And in my mind, this isnt a good thing. Case in point, last night after the game, a number of fans apparently had some commentary or interaction with Derrick Locke via Facebook. It isnt clear what was said or implied, but it led to this message from Locke to the fans late last night:
How would anyone know how we prac? Everyone keep there f***n comments to urself or n ur head!
Now I will leave it to old-time media folk to make judgments about the comment (its not that big a deal people), but what it represents is something that fans should really stay away from. In my mind, if you dont know the player personally, dont talk to him online. Leaving aside all other potential issues, most of the comments come off as either creepy or worse at times, outright criticism of the player. What posseses a person to go on a player’s Facebook, Myspace, etc site after a game and send him a bad message? What are you trying to accomplish with that? Do you really think Derrick Locke needs or wants your commentary on the game? Similarly, I am continually amazed that UK allows the players to keep these pages. They often make comments that if the media knew what Facebook was, would often make some news and they set the players up for these type of interactions. I know that we want the players to be normal college students, but the reality is that they arent…so these forums are just trouble waiting to happen….ask the basketball player at Kansas who punched the football team what it can do.
So remember kids, Locke, Cobb, Hartline, etc are the great players on your favorite team. Root them on hard and cheer for them like none other. But they arent your friends and while you might want to communicate back and forth with them, call your actual friends innstead….they would like to hear from you more anyway.