What is it about sports and Internet anonymity that brings out people's pathetic side, especially in relation to the males of the species? Granted, this is something that's been inherit with the Internet probably since the days of the ARPANET. It's funny to think of Vint Cerf trolling Ray Tomlinson via fake emails.
But for some reason, when you add sports to the mix, the trolling gets taken up a notch, producing the infamous "Internet Tough Guy" behavior. Normally, that kind of chatter was reserved for various sports forums around the web, but now that Twitter gives a direct conduit to many of the superstar athletes. Yes, this conduit is oftentimes one-way, but still, even if they don't reply, there's a good chance the athlete you're targeting will at least see whatever tweet you send them, allowing for the birth of the Twitter tough guy.
These are folks who, after hearing something they disagree with--in this case, the New Orleans Saints bounty program--decide to share their feelings with anyone related to the topic at hand; and because Twitter gives us access to some of the athletes who make a living playing for the New Orleans Saints, many times, these players are the intended targets.
Now, voicing your displeasure with a particular player over something like a bounty program is understandable. Where the disconnect begins is when these unhappy tweets turn into pathetic attempts to show the world just how much of a badass you really are. Take these three Twitter-using gems and the "wanna be" tough guy/racist chatter they posted to Jonathan Vilma's Twitter account.
In case you aren't aware, Vilma is a member of the New Orleans Saints, and because he's considered one of their top defensive players, some knee-jerk reactionary simpletons decided to air their grievances in that direction, which is fine. However, the tone and content of their tweets reveals something else. First, the tweets in question:
@JonVilma51 You and all your teamates who took part in the Favre bounty are punks, if I ever see you upclose I will take leadpipe 2 ur knee
@JonVilma51 was still in the league, I thought he spent all his money on drugs? Wasn't he a crack head!I didn't even think
This last one was echoed by by his kin, demonstrating the entire family is apparently a bunch of shit-talkers who hide behind the comfort of their keyboard:
@DanielWaldronJr is fighting with all of new Orleans ... Fake champsGotta love that my brother
No, Jillian, your brother is the definition of an Internet tough guy, someone who, if confronted by Vilma in real life, would wither up like a flower in the dark, but when he's in the comfort of his living room, safe from the kind of ass-whipping a 6-1, 230 pound (of muscle) professional linebacker could unleash, he turns into Ivan Drago.
The sad thing, people being upset at Saints players, especially in light of Bountygate, is understandable. Furthermore, going to Twitter to voice these feelings are understandable too, as long as it's within reason. It should be noted the guy responsible for a the last tweet is a Minnesota Vikings fan, the same team that lost to the Saints when they made their Super Bowl run in 2009. So not only is his trash talk the kind that's reserved for cowards, his motivations are disingenious, too.
The apple of Jillian's eye is just butthurt over the Vikings (still) not winning the Super Bowl.
As for Vilma, according to the USAToday, apparently his Twitter was overrun with this kind of Twitter trash talk. The ones this article features were retweeted by Vilma himself. Apparently, they stood out to him because of their well-spoken, articulated content.