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Twitter. It is officially the great flattener.

In a response to a tweet where we questioned Baltimore Raven Donté Stallworth’s tweet that the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) will need some time before passing judgment on a new collective bargaining agreement that would effectively end the NFL’s lockout and ensure a 2011-2012 season, Stallworth claimed that we were just falling for the owners’ “propaganda.”

Here is the original tweet sent to him:

Ok, even though we can’t type, within a few minutes, Stallworth posted this to us and our friend @JaimieField:

Ok, first of all, thank you, Donté, for ACTUALLY RESPONDING TO US ON TWITTER. We will give you that.

As for the fact that me and Jaimie are just blind propaganda followers of the NFL owners, we are going to pass on that one.

The fact is the the owners won the PR battle on this one. They went on the attack quickly by announcing that a deal was made (smart move, by the way) and the NFLPA is now backtracking and a bit confused. Your player egos are a bit bruised, and we have no sympathy for it.

This is the problem with the court of public opinion here. THE FANS DON’T CARE ABOUT THE PLAYERS’ INDECISION. THEY WANT FOOTBALL. AND THEY WANT IT NOW.

At a time when people are losing their jobs, having problems paying their mortgage, and trying to stretch their budgets, football gives people comfort and hope.

Instead of sympathizing with your fans — the people who pay the tickets, but the jerseys, buy the concessions, play the fantasy games, and in essence, GIVE NFL PLAYERS THE PRIVILEGE TO PLAY FOR MILLIONS AND MILLIONS — the NFLPA and the player reps like you are trying to equate this labor struggle with any other labor struggle.

Sorry, we aren’t buying it.

You guys are talking about sharing billions and billions of dollars, so you can live in your nicer homes, drive your nicer cars, and live a nicer lifestyle than, say, 99% of the US population.

Charges of “propaganda” won’t fly, Donte. Sorry.

Just say yes and let’s get ready for some football!!!!

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Dear Comissioner Selig and Major League Baseball:

Your social media policy is dumb. Instead of understanding the true power of social media—a place where you could actually GAIN more fans and interest—you hide behind a prehistoric, traditional social media policy takes the fun out of the game.

Before we chastise you for the recent suspension of White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen for tweeting after being ejected from a baseball game in New York, let’s take a moment and understand the logic on your policy. According to the Associated Press, your policy is as follows:

Baseball has a social media policy covering employees that applies to managers and coaches and prevents them from disparaging umpires.

There also are guidelines that basically prohibit players, managers and coaches from communicating by electronic equipment from 30 minutes before a game until it ends.

True, you are following the same policy as the NFL, the NBA, and the EPL. But guess what? YOU ARE ALL DOING IT WRONG. You are missing a major opportunity to generate more interest, more loyalty, more engagement with the very same fans who are already complaining about juiced-up players, astronomical ticket prices, and declining attendance.

Ok, again, before we get to Ozzie, we have a few questions and comments for you:

  • As much as you don’t want managers to disparage umpires, deep down inside you love it. You loved Earl Weaver. you loved Billy Martin. You loved Lou Piniella. And yes, as much as he drives you crazy, you love Ozzie Guillen. You see, sport is all about passion and competition. It’s about trash talking and getting people into the game. So, if a manager or anyone tweets out: “That umpire sucked,” that is disparaging? We say that is FUN, that is INTERESTING, that will make us WANT TO SEE THAT SAME MANAGER IN ANOTHER GAME.
  • Just to clarify, say Guillen said something like, “Wow, that game was interesting. Still wondering what happened,” 31 minutes AFTER the game (not the 30 as you state), would he not be suspended? Why 30? Why not 34? How about 44? How about 30 minutes and 2 seconds? Would he still be in trouble?
  • Why try to control social media? What is the purpose? Are you afraid of “diluting” your brand? Here’s the rub: OPEN UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY and YOU WILL CREATE MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF LOYAL AND MORE PASSIONATE FANS. Consider the possibilities: have players use FourSquare to check into stadiums and innings from live games, have players and managers post in-game photos to Flickr accounts, add a YouTube channel with REAL content from the benches and the fields, hold contests, ask fans to second guess managers, HAVE FUN.
  • You guys are too corporate and too serious. Stop listening to your lawyers and start engaging your fan base. Because we guarantee you that is you do, PEOPLE WILL COME. If you don’t, PEOPLE WILL LEAVE. We think that is called supply and demand.
Which leads us to Ozzie Guillen and his “controversial” tweets this week. Let’s look at the evidence. Here is Tweet 1:
And here is Tweet 2:
Ok, MLB, go right ahead and punish Guillen for his spelling and texting errors. But these two tweets are causing a suspension?
Come on, you are the same league that mandates managers to speak on-air during a game to TV, but once you hear TWEET, you are quicker to enforce “justice” over that instead of suspending actual players who were on the juice?
You are sad, MLB. Trust us, continue this traditional media policy concocted by a bunch of lawyers who probably think FACEBOOK is a NY Times Best Seller about cosmetic surgery and TWITTER is what you get when you hang out with too many twits, and people (especially those damn young, social savvy kids) will TUNE YOU OUT.
And when that happens, you will be begging for Ozzie to start tweeting after every pitch.
Take a chance, MLB, open up your social media policy and become the first league in the world to actually think sports can be fun again.
In the meantime, we say: #FREEOZZIE
With love,

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Well, here it is, people. Here is the video I had to make by losing my Patriots-Jets bet to Emmy-winning comedian Mike Robles.

 

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