In today’s media world, never overlook the power of the “retweet,” or the “RT.” It’s today’s online journalistic currency because it serves as a cosign statement or endorsement of what you just tweeted.
And I get my highest number of RTs whenever I tweet things like:
“BREAKING NEWS: Jared Sullinger gets away with changing his pivot foot.”
“BREAKING UPDATE: Jared Sullinger to receive numerous favorable calls tonight.”
THIS JUST IN: a questionable call/non-call goes Jared Sullinger’s way.
The fact that these tweets are so popular proves I’ve tapped into a populist sentiment. Ohio State star forward Jared Sullinger gets A LOT of favorable calls, and many people out there agree with me.
Sure, he’s everybody’s All-American, and deservedly so. And he had a great Big Ten Tournament, so he’s getting hot at the right time, but that doesn’t mean he still isn’t getting the NBA style “star calls” treatment.
And don’t think the NBA thing doesn’t exist either, I’ve had off-the-record conversations with ex-NBA referees who told me the star treatment is a long established practice that starts at the top and works its way down through the chain of command.
However, just a couple weeks ago, Sullinger voiced his concern about the refs.
“I’m always thinking about how can I play, is the ref going to call this foul or that foul? So I’m constantly worried about the refs instead of how I was supposed to play.”
And according to his assistant coach Jeff Boals, it’s shown in his play, as Sullinger is less physical.
“He said I haven’t been playing the same since. I haven’t been as physical. I’m trying to not foul instead of playing defense, and on the offensive end I’m not being as physical as I used to be posting up because I’m scared of what the refs were going to call. He said I was playing timid.”
Wow. It sounds like the zebras got in his head. Sullinger also said he had been distracted by Twitter, but he stopped interacting with tweeters seven weeks ago (perhaps someone sent him my tweets?), and by what has been written about him in the media. (Perhaps someone will send/tweet him this article?)
“It’s strictly mental. I’ve got to get my mind back on winning basketball games…I know I’ve probably been dogged by a lot of people who are saying I’m not as good as I used to be,” Sullinger said. (source of quotes Cleveland.com)
Now at the Big Ten Tournament a couple days ago, Sullinger was asked about worrying about the refs and the media, and this time he gave the PR-Dept approved, tested-well-on-focus-groups answer:
“You just gotta play basketball. I’m not always worried about what the refs is calling or looking for a foul or give you a hit, and you stop playing through the contact, and I just refocused on that and just played my game.”
So if he’s telling it like it is, it’s good good news for Buckeyes fans and bad news for Ohio State opponents.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports