Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Iron Bowl, Monterey Jack And How To Silence The Haters

I was sitting watching college football and going through a list of potential blog topics I could write about...and then this year's 'Bama/Auburn Iron Bowl happened...

And coaches everywhere made a note to practice special teams more.

At the end of the game, everybody turned and looked at who? The kicker. I should say kicker(s), plural. Because the 'Bama starting kicker had missed 3 important field goals, so when the big moment came at the end of the game, Saban benched him and put in the red shirt freshman kicker for the 57 yard attempt. Well, the rest is history. Two sacrificial lambs sacrificed to the kicking Gods. And now, Twitter and Facebook are flooded with death threats (what the?!) and horrendous "statuses" aimed at the starting kicker. And I read them all. Pretty horrible.

The cheese stands alone.

I know that kid is hurtin' something crazy. We've all been there. But maybe not on such a huge national platform with America watching and an entire fan base blaming you for ruining their shot at another National Championship to brag about. People forget that that lonely cheese is a human being. He's someone's kid...someone's brother...someone who doesn't deserve friggin' death threats or verbal attacks via social media. So think about that before dishing it out if you're guilty of it.

But, more importantly, how does he get through this? What kind of damage control can be done in that brain of his swirling with all kinds of crappy thoughts? How do all of the lonely cheeses left on the field, gazing at their wide left, failed game winning attempts get through it?

I have a friend who's an actress and I asked her once if she read the reviews after her shows. She said, "No. If you believe the good ones, you've gotta believe the bad ones." I thought that was interesting. And I thought, "Huh. Now that's some good advice for football players everywhere." It's one thing to read the newspaper the day after your game. But do yourself a favor, and don't rush to Twitter to read what every single stranger who's been watching the game from the couch, or the stands, has to say about your performance.

For example, check out some of these gems I found on the Twitter after the Iron Bowl. (The Twitter handle below is not the real one, I didn't feel right using the actual handle).'ve got the guys who think they're really clever: "Breaking news: Alabama's kicker attempts to shoot himself. Misses wide left"

The guys who couldn't wait to use one of their "go to" lines that always gets them laughs in the office: "Time for this line again.....Kickers are like lawyers; no one appreciates them until they need a good one." See what he did there...

The guys who read what they think is hysterical and then tweet it themselves, trying to make it seem like it was their brilliant mind that came up with it: "@Kickerguy just tried to commit suicide but he couldn't kick the chair out from under him!"

The guys who think that snark makes them smarter than everyone and also like to reference movies: "Saban's post-game meal will consist of his kicker's liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti. Probably."

And the ever so classy... : "Your life is pointless. I truly hope you are defiled and murdered @Kickerguy. You don't deserve to live f@@"
Wow. So ugly right? That one really blows my media has made everyone a little too accessible...which has some really great pro's that go along with it, BUT it also gives stupid people access to people they never before had access to.

SO, the first step in damage control - Set. Your. Boundaries. And that begins with adjusting the settings on your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Keep the vampires out. Protect yourself. Preserve your mental toughness. If you've had a bad game and you feel you MUST, because curiosity is getting the best of you, and you need a "pick-me-up", have someone you know and trust filter through the crap and read you the positive supportive ones. And then let it go. Don't believe the crap, and on the other end of the spectrum, don't believe the hype either. Trust me on this one.

And when all is said and done, the ONLY status I want you lonely cheeses to believe and know is this:

It's always about the next kick.

Train With The Best...To Be The Best.

PS. This guy also has a solid handle on damage control...I recommend doing what he does here...

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