When following the Twitter account of any NFL team, the follower expects a lot of cheerleading for that respective team. Teams typically garnish control of their twitter feeds to corporate communications specialists who keep regular posts during the season, off-season, and even at game time. These posts can range from information on injured players to special events the team is sponsoring, both charity and promotional.
For any fan, following their team on twitter and keeping up to date on the latest happenings within the organization makes the experience that much more enjoyable. However, what happens when these accounts start using their reach to start a rivalry off the field? That seems to be happening more and more in the NFL, as well as many other sports.
The most recent example of these rivalries is between the Denver Broncos and the Jacksonville Jaguars. These two teams met last week in a game that was predicted in the gambling world to be the biggest blowout in the history of professional football. In a tweet posted by the Denver Broncos a week before the game, the team stated something along the lines of “The 50 points the Broncos scored last week are equal to the total the Jaguars have scored all season.” This prompted a response from the Jaguars twitter account simply stating, “Stay classy Denver.” After that the Twittersphere blew up with the rivalry and the respective accounts continued their battle.
The question this creates is, is this good for the NFL, or does it create a hostile and unprofessional state for the teams involved? Obviously attention to any team from outside fans is always going to be good, and rivalries draw fans to the stands and viewers to the television. But on the other hand, teams have a reputation to uphold, and Twitter is can either sustain that good reputation, or destroy it.
In my opinion the recent trend of Twitter rivalries is a good thing for the NFL and the individual teams. WIth seats being left empty at games, and viewers dropping in many markets, the NFL can use any help they can get to draw fans back into the stadiums. Not only that, but as the result of the game showed (Jacksonville lost, but beat the Vegas odds by a mile), it may help weaker teams find that inspiration they need to give their fans hope!
- Jacksonville Jaguars Embarrass Denver Broncos and Vegas, Lose 35-19 (blackandteal.com)
- Twitter Fight! Jaguars confronted Broncos on Twitter … and lost (milehighreport.com)