Sunday brought one of the weirder Twitter battles in the history of social media. For whatever reason, comedian Norm Macdonald was live tweeting the Final Round of the WGC tournament at Doral. Norm Macdonald's style of comedy is certainly unique and isn't for everybody. He's crossed over into sports several times before, with his Sports Show on Comedy Central bringing a few laughs before meeting the chopping block. Before yesterday, Norm Macdonald had only tweeted a couple hundred times in over a year, and yet he had a few hundred thousand followers. Then, suddenly, Norm went balls to the wall in covering yesterday's golf action like he was Jason Sobel. Evidently, he has done something similar in the past, with an audio "Normcast" of The Masters, but his thorough live tweeting surprised people, and evidently miffed one fellow golf pundit in particular... Rick Reilly.
Reilly is another person that attempts to combine golf and humor, although it's tough to tell exactly how many people find Reilly's work funny. It's no secret that Rick Reilly has become an internet punching bag over the years, what with accusations of stealing other people's work, attacks on bloggers, and generally stealing millions of dollars from ESPN while mailing it in these last few years. Rick Reilly tweeted Norm that he didn't appreciate the excessive live tweeting of what everyone could theoretically see on television. Then came the dreaded unfollow hashtag. Unfortunately for Reilly, Norm noticed and retweeted it on his timeline...
With all the criticism that has been leveled at him in the past, Rick Reilly has never received a shellacking like the one Norm Macdonald delivered on Sunday. In one corner stands a dry, offbeat comedian, who was either furiously drunk tweeting or became very, very offended at being unfollowed by someone whose avatar is a hole in the ground with a stick stuck in it. In the other corner was a poor sportswriter caught in the crosshairs.
Be forewarned, this may be the most brutal Twitter beatdown ever recorded. And the following evidence is only part of the massacre...
This can't be ruled anything but a first round knockout in favor of Norm Macdonald. Reilly was either too intimidated, scared, or confused to even follow up his initial #unfollow tweet to Norm. I'm willing to place my money on confused. The intensity and fury of Macdonald's attacks were like a young Mike Tyson in his prime, before the face tattoos and bossa nova singing gigs. This was like feeding Don Zimmer to Ivan Drago. It's almost uncomfortable to analyze because of its savagery. Norm Macdonald pushed out FIFTY FIVE retweets of his followers bashing Rick Reilly. FIFTY FIVE!!
As for Reilly's initial criticism, live tweeting sports events are a strange animal. If you aren't able to watch or follow the event otherwise, then they can certainly be helpful. If you're already watching or following the event or just not interested, live tweeting can be rather pointless unless that person is adding insights or humor to what you are already observing. I probably wouldn't be too interested in Norm Macdonald live tweeting golf, but making it known and being cute with the #unfollow hashtag is rather pretentious.
I'm a fan of Norm Macdonald, and not so much one of Rick Reilly, but even I feel sympathy for Reilly in this case. Norm mixed in some of his trademark style of comedy, and a few of those tweets were laugh out loud funny with the simple "HAHAHAHA, what?" after a bad Reilly joke being my favorite. But tweeting the guy tens of times and pushing 55 retweets bashing him? That's what we call a little bit of overkill. Sure, the wide majority of Rick Reilly's material is about as funny as Tim Duncan doing standup, but I doubt the "Rick Reilly is a racist" tag is going to stick, Norm Macdonald's insane Twitter rants aside.
Lesson learned though, never publicly unfollow Norm Macdonald when he's tweeting about golf. Ever.
One must realize that association football is one of the, if not, most hated sport in the USA. It's not easy to convince someone to take in a typical soccer match, let alone MLS. Things are going about slowly but there are signs that it's starting to resonate among the general public.
I would look to the ratings from the Survival Sunday slate to see if I'm right on this.
Just to pile on more, playing in winter means MLS is competing with all those European leagues. That means no David Beckham playing in MLS during the summer. I might be open to moving the season back a month so it starts in February, ending in September or October before the NFL and college football season picks up and potentially before the baseball playoffs.
Also, don't believe the hype about MLS attendances, MLS venues are by necessity bigger than NBA/NHL venues, and in fact <a href="/http://sports.morganwick.com/2011/11/why-mls-may-be-making-a-huge-mistake/">might be too small</a>. That doesn't mean MLS is anywhere near as popular as the NBA or even NHL - the TV ratings are the only apples-to-apples comparisons there.
@markcadwaladr thanks - will read!
Couldn't disagree with the article more. Why butt the entire regular season against the NFL, NBA, NHL and EPL when you can do the vast majority of it against regular season baseball?
Taking a break in the middle of the season because of winter? Any idea how unpredictable winters are? We had our first legit snowfall here in Chicago last week after having a mild December. No one predicted that. So asking schedule makers to predict when to take a break is a terrible idea.
The hope isn't to have people tune in to the playoffs yet. People need to tune into the regular season games first, develop ties and fandoms to teams throughout the season, then follow it into the postseason. Their contract with NBCSN is about growing the league as a whole, not making people tune in to the gimmick at the end of the year. That's one of the biggest problems with college basketball. No one gives a crap about the season, just the tournament. That's not what the MLS needs.
MLS chose a smaller offer from NBC over a larger one from FOX due to the broadcasting options with each. This is as close to useless as an article gets. At least the "Awful" in the blog name is correct.
Schedules are easy to theorize about, yet if MLS was playing now, there would be at least one inch of snow on 8 of the teams' fields, and 4 of those teams with much more. Right now MLS would be competing with the television giant known as the NFL play-offs, something that is very difficult for people to tear there eyes from. I would rather compete against the conference title games.
@sportzak I think I just answered your question.
@bpatrickh19 great article- no need to convince the fans - it the owners who invested millions who need convinced
@piersmorgan. I'm glad Fox isn't electing to 'dumb this down' for the American audience. They have done so with CL final in the past.
@davisjsn When it comes down to it, it's perfect Piers Morgan-style argumentation and it makes me depressed.
@davisjsn Nice argument this guy used. Ratings are bad, so... change everything. Of course the network is to be held blameless!
@davisjsn It's as though the NBC deal, and FOX reportedly offering more money to keep MLS, never happened.
@davisjsn Also, is it a subliminal message that Eric is being quoted by a site called Awful Announcing? Should we be offended on his behalf?
@davisjsn "We have top men working on it right now. Top. Men." #thingsneversaidaboutEricFuckingWynalda
@davisjsn "#MLS & commish Don Garber have resisted calls from EVERYONE to align the leagues schedule w/ the intl calendar..." EVERYONE, YO!
@piersmorgan fuck u! U support arsenal u slack cunt! Who is piers Morgan a dweeb! It a skid mark on the underpants of society!
@piersmorgan shut up u fat prick. U kno fuck all about football. U probably already call in soccer in your OTT english accent. #tears4Piers
@piersmorgan Despite being an avid UTD fan,I look forward 2 hearing your thoughts on the game.Solid interviewer,can't be that bad!@FoxSoccer
@piersmorgan your a douchebag.. Can I get an rt please? U tend to retweet any1 who slags u
@piersmorgan No offence but are you really the best Fox can do? Paul Merson & Gazza after a night out would give better insight on a game.
Also, the author seems to have neglected that getting on network at 1030AM is a lot easier than doing it at a time where fans would actually show up for the game.
This would be a great theory if soccer were a game played in TV studios. Unfortunately, it isn't.
Yeah, it is kind of a lose-lose situation. What's worse, a more weather-friendly schedule that's not conducive to TV ratings and thus growth for the league, or some teams having to play 5-10 games during the middle of the season in really cold weather? I think they're not quite ready yet to compete with the other four major sports on the tubes (Wynalda thinks they are ready to beat out basketball and hockey, I don't think they're there yet), so they might as well stick with a schedule that's more conducive to attending a game for the time being.
@cboehm There irony is so thick I need a machete.