I chose to follow the live tweets for the Monday Night Football (#MNF) game between the Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . One reason was because of the fact that the Buccaneers were a team without any wins this year and I was hoping to see them turn things around. Another reason was because of the fact that it was Veterans Day and I had a feeling that the NFL “Definitely” wasn’t going to incorporate anything special into the game because we all know that sports and politics don’t mix. I saw many things that were very interesting. Some things I agreed with and others that I felt strongly opposed to. Here’s what I decided to share; based on my particular interests during the time of the game.
This tweet was the first one to catch my attention. The guy who tweeted it, Trevor, is making a very interesting distinction between the N word and how it is still being used. The NFL PA director decided to discuss issues about the use of the word, yet ironically, while he was voicing his opinion, and also the opinion of the NFL in general, a song was playing throughout the stadium with the following lyrics “Niggas ain’t worried bout nothing.” This really speaks to the listeners, I bet. They can surely understand the consequences of using the N word, while there’s a catchy song playing with a hip beat that’s in the form of a chant in the background. This shows how the media’s exploitation of music lyrics and videos allows us to forget the true meaning of things and their consequences.
This next tweet was done by Military dot com. It is a picture of the fans in the crowd showing their patriotism by giving thanks to the veterans that served our country. If that isn’t an example of sports mixing with politics I don’t know what is. On the surface it seems like the right thing to do, but because of the holiday, people lose sight of what the real message behind acts like these are. I learned from the video in class that sports, particularly football has tried to find a way to draw parallels to the military for as long as we can remember. From the fighter jet planes to the smoke and loud explosions and rallying of the troops or in other words the players. By doing things like this, and showing very emotional clips and commercials about families reuniting, the NFL was able to properly market the military to their intended audience across the nation. This audience is composed of mothers who are sympathetic, fathers who seem to have a sense of pride for their country and young people, boys and girls who dream of doing something purposeful in life. The NFL advertises the Military, like anything else we see in the media, in a false way; allowing people to think that it is okay to mix sports and politics and pretending that they really aren’t.
Another topic that I noticed as a recurring theme was something known as “Martin-Incognito.” This referred to an earlier incident that just occurred in the NFL, pertaining to two teammates involved in an harassment case. One of the individuals was a white guy and the other a black guy. The alleged harassment took place via texts, phone calls and racial slurs in the players locker room. The thing that strikes me as odd from this tweet is how the guy, “Bill” makes it seem like bullying is a joke. He is not seeing the severity in the matter, nor is he taking into account that race is a serious subject in America. What saddens me is the fact that the media tends to lose sight of what’s happening by not taking an intersectional approach and keeping their aim simply constrained to the black and white lens. Here’s what I mean. Below is another tweet that shows how something so serious didn’t get real media coverage for some time because an incident such as bullying isn’t as important as race. Things lose power when they are isolated and for that reason, many people only see this as a misunderstanding between two team mates in the locker room. https://twitter.com/EricStangel/status/400092189075595265
Here’s another example of the “Martin-Incognito” incident.
In this example, “Mike” the author of the tweet is practically making fun of a guy who came out and asked for help because he felt threatened. I honestly think that the stereotype of football players being tough at all times and not ever supposed to show weakness is overrated. I played football almost my entire life and I can say that because of this idea that you have to play through anything, many people actually hurt themselves far worst than they have to. The media shows us that boys are rough and tough and girls are soft and cuddly, and it carries over. For instance, in the movie about sports and politics that we watched in class, they said that the worst thing for a guy to be called is plain and simply a girl. This is because a girl is supposed to be soft and emotional and this plays into our minds, reinforcing the idea that if you want to be a man you have to be tough. Men can’t show emotion. This is something that is causing a man to literally become a joke, all because he decided to show emotion and stand up for what’s right.
This last tweet that I selected was one a bit more easy going. It was one that showed how in touch people are with the things they watch. This guy, “Paul” tweeted about a defensive back named Revis, who is pretty good at defending. He’s so good one on one, they say that his area is like coming to a deserted island because you won’t catch any passes in his area. The author of the tweet is embracing the nickname and connecting with the athlete, using it as if he knows the guy personally. This was particularly interesting for me because I got a chance to see how much more exciting it can be to actually get into the game from a different aspect; as opposed to just watching the T.V, like I’m generally accustomed to.
After live-tweeting this event, I must say that I really took something from it. I learned that there is a world that you can be yourself and actually meet people that are like you or maybe even at the complete other end of the spectrum on view points and ideas. The fun thing with it all is that, you get the chance to hear people voice those opinions while you watch. One thing that I noticed that made it interesting for me is that usually, people would tweet during commercials. So, for someone like myself, this was a way to escape those dreadful, false advertisements that the media constantly show us; from the cosmetic tools to “fix your life” to the “pizza with better ingredients,” live tweeting gave me an outlet. I really didn’t find anything pertaining to race, class or socioeconomic standing. However, it was quite clear that gender was explicitly expressed in regards to the whole “Martin-Incognito” debate. Other than that, I must say that I enjoyed this experience and for what it was worth, can definitely see myself live tweeting along to one of my favorite shows, sometime in the near future.