Social media sites like Twitter, or whatever it’s called today, have given fans unprecedented access to professional athletes.
It doesn’t mean fans have to share every thought with their favorite player.
This is particularly true when it comes to commenting on their contract situations, something that has happened far too often with Raiders running back Josh Jacobs.
Look, I get it. His absence from training camp is a very hot topic among fans, and with good reason. The league’s leading rusher and one of the most popular players on the team not being on the field as the season is approaching has to be a frustrating experience for supporters of a franchise desperate for something to cheer about.
By all means, opine away about whether you support the player in his efforts to pursue fair compensation and long-term security, or if you believe the position has become so interchangeable and running backs wear down so fast that no NFL team should make a long-term commitment to a ball carrier.
Both are valid and defensible points, worthy of discussion.
Don’t engage directly
But why would there be a need to include a player’s handle to notify him when making those arguments on social media? Even worse, what is the thought process behind sliding into a player’s mentions or direct messages to tell him to shut up about money and just do his job?
I love social media and the world being so connected more than anyone, but people who engage in these activities are far too entitled.
And don’t even get started about fantasy football nerds, a group of which I am a proud card-carrying member, who feel so emboldened by rostering an athlete that they feel it’s appropriate to complain about said player’s efforts on the field.
Go ahead and rant about it if you want, but why tag the person so they see it? What do you get from that?
Back to Jacobs. One particular post was the inflection point for my irritation on this matter.
Someone had the nerve to tell Josh Jacobs that if he just went out, kept his mouth shut and did his job, the Raiders would reward him with a huge contract.
No, they won’t. That’s literally what’s happening now. His fifth-year option wasn’t picked up last year, so Jacobs went out and got in the best shape of his career and absolutely crushed it on the field and in the locker room during the season.
Then he got franchise-tagged and was unable to get the guaranteed long-term deal he desires. This isn’t to say the Raiders are in the wrong. Most NFL teams that sign running backs to those types of massive contracts end up regretting it.
Or, as some of you might like to say, sit on your couch, stop complaining and just watch the game.
I know most of us locals loathe going down to the Strip.
Especially with the dreaded construction project on Tropicana, Koval, Spring Mountain and seemingly every other thoroughfare. (Hope those Formula One guys enjoy the finally smooth roads for the 90 minutes or so that they use them.)
But those who did venture out this week may have been provided a reminder of how special a big fight week can be in Las Vegas.
Granted, those are way too few and far between when it comes to boxing these days. It seems like years go by between truly special matchups in the sport, leaving it up to the UFC to generate such excitement.
This week has been an exception, however. Anyone who has been down around the MGM Grand, T-Mobile Arena or really anywhere in the resort corridor has felt that energy and buzz that only happens when there is a truly special matchup.
Let’s hope it starts to happen again more often for boxing.