A Twitter fight that features two sportswriters trading haymakers in 140 characters is one of our favorite recurring features here at Awful Announcing. Social media scraps are traditionally limited to two pugilists, but on rare occasion one person can become so empowered in a Twitter fight that they choose a larger opponent.
Like Planet Earth.
Enter Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated, one of the leading soccer voices in this country. Wahl decided to go all "Al Pacino in the closing scene of Scarface" on whoever entered his mentions tab on Wednesday night targeting soccer bloggers, all of SB Nation, and innocent passers by in an epic struggle. Here's the blow-by-blow account in all its bloody glory...
Whew, that was a lot to get through. I need a drink.
The most confounding thing about this whole Twitter War to End All Twitter Wars is Wahl coming to defense of online writers by saying bloggers and journalists are a part of the same class. That's a reasonable, progressive stance. He then spends several rounds of ammunition trying to destroy all bloggers by using the famous "internet tough guy" line and saying SB Nation is an "unprofessional disaster." I have to say I'm a little confused by his tactics.
Wahl did get in his shots throughout the fracas and didn't back down from the challenge of trying to fight a multi-front offensive against several different Twitter users. You have to admire his sense of bravado and bravery in battle. If he was going down, he was taking half the soccer bloggers in America with him.
The World more than held their own. Of course, they had a pretty large numbers advantage at 7.3 billion to 1. Matt Montgomery of RSL Soapbox did well in representing SB Nation in such a high profile showdown by derisively mocking Wahl's thumbs up once things turned nasty and trading snark for snark. The best blow of the entire fight may have been early on as Hickey landed a straight right hand by mocking Wahl's campaign for FIFA's presidency. Some hard feelings from SB Nation may exist from that episode as the outlet was critical of Wahl for the publicity stunt.
The best part in all of this? Wahl's on vacation.
Getting some vacation time off the grid for the next week & won't be on Twitter. See you on the other side.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) December 14, 2013
Just when you think you're out, they pull you back in.
For the judges' decision, you decide who wins this Twitter War...
@WalksWithLenny Yeah, he's not very well-liked.
Wahl is so sensitive he searches for himself and responds to tweets where his handle isn't mentioned.
@LaDiavolina I can't believe I read all those tweets
@AldoStrada lol wtf. Wahl usually gets agitated easily but lol
@AldoStrada lol wtf. Wall usually gets agitated easily but lol
And mocking the FIFA candidacy? Child, please. That was a fantastic effort, even if it was flawed and doomed to fail from the start. Christ, how can anyone not applaud someone for trying to change the awfulness of FIFA, even if their effort winds up as a longform? If anything, that "blow" was the biggest flop of this whole thing.
I kinda agree on SBN. Sadly, it seems to be littered with people who are trying to be EDSBS circa 2007. Even EDSBS itself has become a caricature of itself at this point. Spencer Hall can write really excellent things, but he's trapped in a persona that has gotten stale. Honestly, if b/r wasn't around with its terrible slideshows, SBN would be the one we all make jokes about.
@ArchLobster Wow! That escalated quickly.
Why are SI writers so thinned skinned? I criticized Deitsch for going after that long hanging fruit named Skip Bayless regularly and he blocked me.
@LaDiavolina he's on my 'Guys I Wanna Punch in the Face' list! Right next to Alexi BALL-LESS!
@EddieSPN I wish i saw this so I could just constantly tweet him…"you mad"
@DRobertsonFCD You'd expect more from someone having the job so many of us wished we did huh?
@KSJ49 if you don't think that there needs to be a loud, vocal opposition to Bayless, regardless of how low he hangs (eww), I can't help you. I'm glad he does it. ESPN is great at creating echo chambers. People like Deitsch are necessary voices to remind others there are other sides.
@AldoStrada lol or be an annoying "you mad bruh"
@ArchLobster Things always seem worse on the internet.
@ArchLobster I'm now doubly excited to go to draft this year to hopefully have front row tickets to the smackdown.
@DRobertsonFCD True though, lol. Things get so out of hand because twitter lacks ability to convey tone. Dangerous.
@DRobertsonFCD That's far too reasonable for twitter, Daniel. Instead say "What do you know anyway?"