Schaub Shuns The Twitterverse
By Emin Avakian
Matt Schaub is not having a stellar week. In the aftermath of throwing a costly interception to Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks, the Pro Bowl quarterback has faced scrutiny from the media and fans, otherwise known as two groups of people who really don't matter in the grand scheme.
...shouldn't matter, I should say. Undoubtedly, Schaub has the support and trust of his teammates and coaches--both of whom believe their leader will put the 'roughest moment of his career' behind him and play well at San Francisco this Sunday night.
Five years ago, this would suffice. Back then, commonfolk interacted with an athlete such as Schaub--for better or worse--solely during games if they were fortunate enough to buy a ticket and attend. Even then, the heckling never reached the athlete's eardrums. On the heels of a subpar performance, fans could call sports talk radio shows and vent with no guarantee their unwarranted opinions stayed relevant past the phone call.
Of course, there were other mediums that allowed the die hards to publish their thoughts: blog sites, letters to the town newspaper, social media, etc.
And then came Twitter. You all know Twitter. The platforms that allows Joe Fan to sit on his couch and create the handle F*** Matt Schaub !! (look it up at your own discretion).
Twitter, the online social networking and microblogging service, that grants John 'Houston' Texan to tweet WHAT. THE. HELL. WAS. THAT? Talk about one of the DUMBEST throws by Matt Schaub EVER!
You get the point. Although the passion has never wavered, the difference between then and now is simply @MattSchaub. For those unfamiliar with Twitter, @MattSchaub is a notch below sending a text to Schaub's personal cell phone. In other words, let's bid farewell to the days when there was separation between the professionals and the fanatics.
The unfiltered, no consequence verbage has come to a head in our current NFL season. Well, two heads: Colin Kaepernick's and Schaub's. The two have taken different approaches, with Kaepernick letting the hate mail serve as a motivation and fuel his anger. Schaub, meanwhile, just deleted his account.
Schaub cutting off communication didn't go over well with his agents, err, followers. 'What do you mean I can't tell Matt Schaub how I feel on an hourly basis?!' @IshouldbeGaryKubiak said. (made that one up)
Joking aside, the outrage over the fact that an athlete has the right to end the cursing, the threats and overall hate is telling of the times. People feel like they have earned the impartiality to criticize Schaub and other athletes, no matter the quality.
140 characters of hate.
It's the same group of people who use the word 'we' when talking about their favorite sports team. I digress.
To be fair, it goes both ways. For one Matt Schaub who deletes his account, there are a thousand athletes who are active on Twitter and welcome the instant interaction with those who are invested in their playing careers. Pros and cons aside, this is the world we live in. Those in the public eye are ALWAYS in the public eye. A Matt Schaub may take off his jersey on Sunday night, but it doesn't matter, street clothes don't signify anything.
Fortunately for Schaub, his name starts with an M and not an @.