Tucker's Tales


What Did You REALLY Mean By That?

Posted by Ally Tucker on January 8, 2012 at 1:20 PM

When you decide to play basketball for the University of Kentucky, your life becomes totally different from anyone else's. The spotlight is constantly on you. I'm not speaking from experience, of course. But I am speaking as someone who follows every Kentucky basketball player on Twitter, hoping to somehow get that extra ounce of insight as to what's going on in their lives, how they feel about the team, what kind of personality they have, what kind of J's they prefer to wear and whether or not they prefer the musical stylings of Wale or Drake. 

When I send a tweet out into the Tworld, approximately 200 people have the opportunity to see it and dissect it. To be fair, at least 50 of my followers are Twitter-bots, so let's shrink that number down to 150. Anyway, 150 people having access to my daily thoughts and musings feels like a lot. Then I think about the Kentucky basketball players and how they all have literally thousands of followers. Jon Hood, who has a torn ACL, poor taste in facial hair and hasn't ever been considered a "star" for Kentucky, recently reached the 10,000 follower mark (I know this because he tweeted a picture of the screenshot on his phone #HumbleBrag). Other more heralded players, such as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, have over 40,000 followers. That means that every time they pick up their phone and send a tweet, that many people are exposed to whatever they type. 

Now, Kentucky basketball fans are some of the greatest and most passionate in the world. Along with that though, comes a level of interest and curiosity unlike any other fan base. When Kentucky walk-on Sam Malone tweets about liking Taylor Swift, the Big Blue Nation takes note. Sometimes this amount of exposure and access can cause some problems though. 

For example, this morning Darius Miller tweeted "Pocket full of money, parkin lot full of them haters."

Among other things, he should have spelled haters with a "z" instead of an "s" for more emphasis, but he also clearly worried some Kentucky fans into believing that he was unhappy and more than aware of the fan base's growing contempt with his average play on the basketball court. An hour after that first tweet, he sent out another:

"Haha, ya'll that's a song... I didn't mean anything by it."

Chances are that poor Darius was hounded by tons of his twitter followers asking him if he was okay or unhappy at Kentucky. I see this kind of twitter action from UK basketball players all the time. They have to send out reassuring tweets to fans to make sure they understand that the sky is not in fact falling. 

I would be lying if I didn't admit that when I saw Darius' tweet this morning, I thought for a moment that he might be alluding to the reaction of fans on radio shows and internet message boards across the state. I certainly didn't feel the need to check in with him about it though. I got to wondering though if these poor players receive that kind of worried response to every single thing they say. Perhaps people are over-analyzing their every move. 

I went back and looked at a few of the most recent tweets from our current Kentucky basketball players and tried to read them through 3 goggles the lens of an overly nervous fan.

(Editor's Note: All player's tweets are REAL. All worried fan response's are...more than likely real, but not proven as fact, yet). 

11:40 a.m. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist tweets TO Anthony Davis: "Love u bro"
11:45 a.m.  Anthony Davis responds to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist "love you too my SON"

**Worried fan response: "OMG, does Anthony Davis have a kid out of wedlock?"

January 3rd Doron Lamb tweets: "Goin to Freedom Hall now in Louisville"

**Worried fan response: "Doron Lamb is transferring to U of L"

January 3rd Anthony Davis retweets Doron Lamb's tweet

**Worried fan response: "Doron Lamb & Anthony Davis are offering themselves as a package deal to U of L."

December 11th Terrence Jones tweets: "Let my haters have they night last night buts still a lot of games my bros know that's all that matters I don't forget nothing"

**Worried fan response #1: Terrence Jones hates the fans
**Worried fan response #2: Terrence Jones is failing is English class & will be ineligible 
**Worried fan response #3: Terrence Jones seems to be in denial/worried he might have early onset Alzheimer's 


January 6th  Ryan Harrow tweets: "Catch me at the STOOP"
5 minutes later Ryan Harrow tweets: "Not guilty until proved"

**Worried fan response: Ryan Harrow does drugs. At the Stoop. That must be what the kid's are calling it these days


December 27th Sam Malone tweets: "Out of breath from stomping my foot on the ground trying to get my heal in the shoes without untying them."

**Worried fan response: Coach Cal isn't doing enough conditioning for the boys in practice. He needs to run em' all practice long. They also need to practice free throws more. 


December 24th  Sam Malone tweets: "#ThatAwkwardMomentWhen Your Jewish on Christmas."

**Worried fan response: Sam Malone supports Hitler. 


December 25h  Darius Miller tweets: "If the Heat keep playin like this it's over..."

**Worried fan response: Someone please go check on Darius Miller. He is suicidal. 


The moral of the story? Most of these players are 18-22 years old, although I think Eloy Vargas is old enough to be Brian Long's father (and he called him son once in a tweet, so....). These guys are going to say all kinds of things on their personal Twitter accounts. Clicking that follow button and being exposed to their thoughts is a choice. Obviously they are opening themselves up to some scrutiny and an audience by Tweeting things, but let's all remember that these players are probably NOT thinking about you and how Joe in Pikeville might interpret a song lyric that they like as a threat to quit the team. 

Relax people. Relax. 

Categories: Sports, Ally's Blog Entries

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