Spanning the Twitterverse: Hoge, Tebow & ESPN

Spanning the Twitterverse to bring you the constant variety of tweets
The thrill of the retweet and the agony of the unfollow
The human drama of the twitter timeline
This is CadChica’s Wide World of Tworts

Today would have been a great day to have a podcast. Sadly, I don’t have one……yet. So my post for today will have to do.

I say it would be a great day because I’m not sure if my intention will come through in written form. I suppose the same could be said for Merril Hoge. The ESPN football analyst had some interesting things to say about Denver Broncos’ quarterback, Tim Tebow. Well, maybe he didn’t “say” it so much as he tweeted it.

It was yesterday when I came across some tweets by him that were not very “kind” in his analysis of Tim Tebow as the Broncos’ #1 quarterback. From what I know of Hoge, he studies/watches film of the NFL so he bases his opinion on what he sees on film. He will get no argument from me there because he sees things I don’t. He’s paid to be an analyst. For the record, here are the series of tweets as to what he said:

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Well. That could be taken a couple of different ways. Hoge is an analyst and that’s what he does; gives an opinion. As I have heard him speak before, he can come across as pretty gruff in his commentary. If you had never heard him before though, those comments can be taken as mean-spirited and vindictive. Let me repeat that: If you had never heard him before though, those comments can be taken as mean-spirited and vindictive.

Later, Tim Tebow sent out this tweet:

Which was followed by this show of support from none other than LeBron James:

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Al-righty then! I guess it was ON after that. Of course there was a response from Merril Hoge to Tim Tebow today, which is why I say it was ON:

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There you go. A Twitter tussle. It’s happened before and it will happen again in the sports world.

Here is the only thing I have issue with. I was listening to ESPN radio this afternoon. The hosts were discussing this issue and having a pleasant exchange of opinion; no big deal. Another well-known ESPN television host decided he had to call in to defend Merril Hoge. RED FLAG FOR ME RIGHT THERE!

The point of the defense? To paraphrase: ‘Merril is an analyst & he’s PAID TO GIVE HIS OPINION. He was asked and he gave it.’. 

Hmm…..in looking at the tweets on Hoge’s timeline, I do not see that Merril was “ASKED” to give his opinion. And unless there’s something in his contract I don’t know about, I didn’t think he was PAID to tweet his opinion. Maybe he is and I don’t know about it. But, he most certainly was not asked to give it on Twitter based on his timeline. 

Media blast athletes for some of the things they say on Twitter all the time. Many of them blasted LeBron James for tweeting what he did about Tebow. So when people (both fans and media) blast Hoge for what he said or how he said it, it suddenly requires defending? Really? Really?

Now, as for the tweets themselves, Hoge probably isn’t off base. I’m not a Tebow supporter or detractor. I respect him and what he stands for. Will he succeed in the NFL? He has a huge amount of work to do in order to succeed as an NFL quarterback. Only God knows the outcome. I do wish him the best.

That being said, maybe ESPN should do some social media training for their employees. If their employees are going to blast athletes about what they tweet or what they say verbally, then those same folks had better expect it in return. Because on Twitter, what their employees tweet will be magnified even more. Twitter levels the playing field, somewhat, for fans/non-media regarding commentary. ESPN, or any other major sports media outlet, cannot control backlash like before. Twitter isn’t controlled by them, whereas on radio and tv they can control the commentary you hear.

Did Hoge need defending? Of course not. He knew what he was doing when he tweeted it, unsolicited. As he said in one of his tweets above, he’s a “straight shooter”. No problem with that. Usually though, those straight shooters come across like a bull in a china shop. No tact. No grace. Just rushing right on through because it’s all about them.

As I said in the beginning, what I said may not come across the same way as if you heard me say it. Or….maybe it did?

CadChica Sports

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