Cautionary Tales from Twitter and Message Boards

I think everyone has said something they regret.  If you're like me, your friends and family don't let the transgressions die very quickly.  BUT, even when you spout off, unless your mistake was video taped, the accounts of your stupidity can be ruled as conjecture or exaggeration.

That is not the case when you type something stupid...and there's something much worse and tougher to explain away about the permanency of the written word.  Following Purdue's win over Michigan, some IU fans began showing themselves for what they are.

I have some good friends who are IU fans.  And it seems that each time I start thinking that the IU fanbase isn't so bad, as I look through the prism of my friends, I'm reminded that those people are the exception, not the rule.

J and I like a good discussion or debate.  But, we try to keep things from getting personal as much as possible during these exchanges.  That doesn't seem to be the case for the IU fans we interact with via Twitter.

Twitter tough guy

We have been called "A*swipes, f*gs and f*cks"...and maybe hardest to swallow, members of the traditional media...and that was in a mere hour on Saturday night.  The thing that some of these people might not get is a ton of people see what's being said, and words do matter.  The other thing that they might not get is that when they spew this excrement in the name of IU, they hurt their school's or the fanbase's reputation.  Many Purdue fans might argue that the Hoosier fanbase has already done enough damage to itself...but on behalf of my friends Mark, Nick, Matt and others, I'll ask you guys to stop; but not for me, but for yourselves.

Internet stupidity isn't limited to just IU fans though.

On the Knucklehead board, on Twitter and even on this site, Purdue fans have said their share of regrettable things...and most can be found with just a few minutes of research. Here are some of them that revolve around The Forces of Good, from just the last few months:

"Matt Painter should be fired." "Terone Johnson stinks." "Ryne Smith wouldn't start in the MAC." "Robbie Hummel will never be able to play at a high level again." "Anthony Johnson can't shoot." "DJ Byrd is a wasted scholarship." "Travis Carroll is a D-II player."

Some guys don't pan out or ever reach their full potential...there's no doubt about that.  But judging a well-respected coach by just a ten-game stretch is pretty ignorant.  Furthermore, saying a player isn't worth his scholarship after less than half of a career is silliness.  Also, if a guy is playing 25+minutes a game, wouldn't it be fair to reason that he's probably not the bum that you think he is?  No matter, I guess.

Opinions are good...and differing, diverse, well-thought opinions make discussions and life at large interesting.  But conversely, flippant and impassioned opinions that are typed when you're angry, drunk, drunk and angry or permanently stupid, might come back to haunt you...and they don't die quickly.

So whether you think we're overly-biased, gold glasses-wearing Purdue shills, or overly-negative pseudo Boiler Backers who don't understand what being a Purdue fan is about (we've been accused of both in the last two weeks), please heed our request to be as tactful as possible- not for us, but for your own reputation. Even in this thoughtless, no-accountability electronic counter culture, you might have to deal with the fallout of your foolish keystrokes in three dimensions, for weeks or years to come. It's up to you.

As you were, a*swipes.

Ryne Smith

Boilers Make Michigan Go Blue On Senior Night; Win 75-61

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