Monday, July 18, 2011

Freeing Bruce

This is a testimony to the masses.

I have witnessed the power that is Twitter.

(Insert awesome drawing here from notthatkendall...I like to imagine it's a tweet holding a lightning bolt destroying all in its path).

You see, on Friday...I was perusing tweets on my account when I noticed the hashtag #freebruce trending.

I said to myself, "What is this about?"

Not aloud, mind you. I try to keep the talking to myself at a minimum during work. My co-workers still are under the impression I'm a relatively sane creature.

I turned to my trusty source to answer my burning question (because if you can't google it, it doesn't exist):

What happened to Bruce and why are we freeing him?

Turns out, the word quickly spreading on twitter via several sports outlets like sbnation and sportsbybrooks, as well as Sports Illustrated Stewart Mandel, was that beloved ESPN analyst and writer Bruce Feldman had been suspended indefinitely for his collaboration on the new Mike Leach biography Swing Your Sword.

Leach, as you may or may not know, gained infamy for refusing to apologize for his "suspect" behavior while serving as head football coach at Texas Tech (ie locking Craig James's son in an equipment shed).

This refusal ultimately led to Leach's dismissal. The biography, however, was in the works before the drama, and Feldman had explicit permission from ESPN to participate in the project.

When the book dropped this week, it seemed as if the network had a change of heart. Rumors swirled that ESPN's loyalty to Craig James trumped the journalistic professionalism for which Feldman is known.

So to the social media battleground college football fans went. Putting aside rivalries and old grudges, thousands united on twitter under the banner of #freebruce to protest the unfair suspension. I myself joined the ranks. I hadn't wanted to free someone as much since I wept for Willy to be released back into the wild.

Yes, that was a Free Willy reference, in case you missed it.

After hours upon hours of this madness, ESPN released a statement to this effect:

"We have not suspended Bruce Feldman. Stop making us look bad tweeters. We'll take away what little sports are still not locked out. Hugs!"

It's possible that there was some sort of crossed wires scenario. But I, like many others, believe that the powerful groundswell to "free Bruce" reached the ears of a head honcho somewhere. Social media is a thing that should not be taken lightly.

Now, if only we could free the NFL, NBA and the National Debt.

Maybe next week.

Let me know your thoughts on the matter. Do you think Feldman was really suspended? Do you think that the people helped to "free Bruce"? Hit me up!!!!

Image provided by nesn.


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