Bravo David Clowney.
Wow, never thought you’d see that sentence in print, did ya? Ya, me either, especially not after Clowney landed in hot water for tweeting “kill yourself dude” to an online heckler.
But we are a nation of forgiveness and second (okay, third, fourth and maybe fifth) chances, right? Right!
I think the Buffalo Bills wide receiver deserves a gold star or two for tweeting a photo of his test results.
Nope, not a driving test, or an old Wunderlic test, but an HIV test.
The wideout blasted the following tweet to his +9,000 followers on Tuesday, showing the lab results of test for multiple sexual transmitted diseases, including the most feared of them all, HIV:
Responses on twitter were all across the board as Clowney received support, congratulations and well wishes, from some, while others took the sarcastic, rude and judgmental route. Various blogs teased Clowney, one of which wrote, “Ladies, I’m sure you probably didn’t know who he was before the tweet, so no need to jump on the David Clowney groupie wagon now.”
I won’t dignify the negative stuff with a response.
Instead, I applaud the Florida native and Virginia Tech standout for not only doing something that most would never think to do, but for using the opportunity (and negative feedback) to speak about the importance of getting tested:
As an athlete who likely has plenty of opportunity in the “romance” department, I think it’s great that Clowney chooses the road of responsibility for himself as well as consideration of potential partners. Often times athletes, or others with high-profile occupations can develop a sense of invincibility that comes along with the spotlight and the “yes-men.” Clearly, Clowney is no fool.
I bet Clowney knows the numbers, which prove that he, as an African-American male, is a prime target for HIV. The following is from the Center For Disease Control website:
• Blacks continue to experience the most severe burden of HIV, compared to other races and ethnicities. Blacks represent approximately 14% of the U.S. population, but accounted for an estimated 44% of new HIV infections in 2009. Blacks accounted for 46% of people living with HIV infection in 2008.
• Since the epidemic began, more than 250,000 blacks with AIDS have died , including 8,782 in 2009.
• At some point in their life, approximately 1 in 16 black men will be diagnosed with HIV infection, as will 1 in 32 black women.
• In 2009, the estimated rate of new HIV infections among black men was six and a half times as high as that of white men, and more than two and a half times as high as that of Hispanic/Latino men and of black women. In the same year, the estimated rate of new HIV infections among black women was 15 times that of white women and over three times that of Hispanic/ Latina women.
While HIV is a problem for EVERYONE, regardless of race or ethnicity, the disease is striking the African Americans community at levels completely disproportionate to the population.
Whether we like it or not, people in the public eye are role models by default and they can impact the opinions and decisions of total strangers. It’s nice that Clowney is setting a good example by getting tested and preaching awareness.
Despite his sometimes-questionable twitter judgement and lack of eloquence, Clowney must be a fairly bright guy. The 26-year-old earned a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the College of Saint Elizabeth (NJ) back in 2011 after majoring in Real Estate/Residential Property Management as an undergraduate at VaTech.
How many active professional athletes have a Master’s Degrees?
There’s much more to life than being book smart, but based on Tuesday’s tweet, I would say David Clowney is pretty street smart too.
Update - 5:30 p.m. EST: To tweet, or not to tweet? That is now the question surrounding Urban Meyer. As I, and several other media outlets reported Tuesday morning, word spread that the new Ohio State football coach had banned his players from using twitter (read the original post below). But now the tune has suddenly changed as Buckeye players are once again taking to their still-existing twitter accounts in attempts to set the record straight.
Original Post: In one of his first moves as the head football coach at Ohio State, Urban Meyer has done the unthinkable in the age of social media; he has banned twitter.
A few Buckeye players broke the news Tuesday through their twitter accounts, of course:
(Tight End Reid Fragel) @Fragel88: New staff new rules. No more twitter, not a big deal and probably for the better. Love our fans, love this place. Go Bucks #2012
(Tight End Jake Stoneburner) @STONEYeleven: Twitter=Done. Me=back for senior year, leading this team, and shocking the world!! #gobucks #12-0
Stoneburner made it a 2-for-1 in what is likely his final tweet, announcing he will return to OSU for his senior season. As for the 12-0 prediction tacked on at the end there… if a New England Patriot tweeted such obvious bulletin board material, he would certainly receive a Bill Belichick tongue-lashing in return.
Speaking of Belichick, even the ultimate gatekeeper in professional football doesn’t prohibit his players from using twitter.
For several reasons, I don’t like this move by Meyer but I completely understand it at the same time.
Twitter has become the ultimate, universal news outlet helping to break stories and dispense information in the fastest way technology has ever seen. On a less important level, the social media tool has, in itself, become a newsmaker thanks to people who mistakenly tweet out private messages, tweet while intoxicated, impulse tweet or say things that should probably be kept private in general.
A few examples of #TwitterFails from the sports world in 2011 were Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall’s tweets about Osama bin Laden and 9/11, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard tweeting that the Orlando Sentinel has “dumb articles,” and of course, former L.A. Lakers guard Shannon Brown’s attempt at shutting down the rumor mill by tweeting that no, he did not sleep with teammate Pau Gasol’s “woman.”
#smh on that last one.
Then there’s the trash talk, colorful language, twitpics of a porn star wearing your jersey, etc.
Given the OSU football program’s tattooed record, I suppose its better to play it safe wherever you can. Does this mean Facebook (aka: place for a prospective employer to look up all of your drunk party pictures from college) is out at OSU too? What about MySpace? Okay, I know, nobody uses MySpace anymore.
But in reality, how much tangible harm does twitter really cause in the college football arena? Surely, the 27 Gator football players arrested during Meyer’s tenure at Florida were not twitter-related. In fact, I would argue that twitter is a great way for an athletic department to keep track of its athletes as so many people seemingly tweet their every move.
It’s too late to weigh the pros and cons as Meyer has already made his ruling, but how much do you want to bet that plenty of Buckeye players will continue to tweet. just with a new account under a different name? Over or under 30 players? I’ll also take submissions for best OSU player alias twitter handles. Tweet them to me @jackie_pepper
Under normal circumstances, who outside of Colorado or Minnesota would want to watch Sunday’s Broncos vs. Vikings game? Who would want to see a two-win team without its star running back and a rookie QB take on a middle-of-the-road team that has let go of Jay Cutler, Tony Scheffler, Peyton Hillis, Brandon Marshall and Brandon Llyod in the last few years?
According to my twitter feed, EVERYONE was watching the Broncos/Vikings game on Sunday, myself included.
Just like he has over the last several weeks, the Broncos controversial quarterback entertained, thus watching the Tim Tebow Show today made NFL Sunday Ticket worth the money.
To briefly recap, Tebow and the Broncos dug themselves another first half hole yet managed to claw their way out of it in the second half resulting in a 35-32 victory over the Vikings via a game-winning field goal.
Here are a few essential facts when examining the Tim Tebow Experiment:
-The Broncos are 6-1 this season with Tebow as their starting QB. Denver was 1-4 with Kyle Orton starting under center.
-Tebow led fourth quarter comebacks in five of his ten career starts.
-The Broncos have won five straight games and are now tied with the Oakland Raiders atop the AFC West with a 7-5 record, also tying Denver with the Cincinnati Bengals for the AFC wild-card. The Broncos own the tiebreakers against both teams.
As Tebow himself might say, this is a blessing. People love Tebow because of his winning ways as a Florida Gator while others hate him because they say he can’t throw. Many adore him because he wears his religion on his sleeve (and jersey and everywhere else) while others resent him for the exact same reason.
This is the best kind of “controversy” any professional sports league could ask for. It’s not about players being arrested for DUI or assault, or being suspended, or coaches driving naked through the Wendy’s drive-thru. It’s not about the referees blowing calls, or the lack of instant replay wrongly deciding a game.
It’s about a high profile college player who is now a “non-traditional” quarterback in the NFL. It’s about a player who millions of fans can flock to while simultaneously compelling the non-believers to watch him, in hopes seeing their criticisms justified. Love him or hate him, football fans can’t take their eyes off Tim Tebow.
"I’m enjoying this guy play football, win games, and i’m watching him improve," said former head coach and current analyst Steve Mariucci on the NFL Network’s program NFL GameDay Highlights. “The things we criticized him for early, that he cant throw foam the pocket, he’s doing that more often now in games, from the pocket. Mike McCoy is doing a great job as his offensive coordinator calling plays and bringing him along as a professional quarterback. I’m having a ball watching him.”
That comment is coming from guy who is admittedly in love with Brett Favre, the ultimate quarterback’s quarterback, a future hall of famer. The truth is that Mooch is right. Check out this table I saw on ESPN.com which tracks Tebow’s progress through the air during Denver’s five-game winning streak:
Of course, every Broncos victory was a total team effort with the defense bailing Tebow and the offense out plenty of times. But the fact that Tebow has only one interception in seven starts this season is remarkable, especially considering the hoopla over his passing ability, or lack thereof.
"The dude lit us up. I guess we didn’t let him run, so that’s a plus," said Vikings defensive end Jared Allen after the game. "I would have bet my paycheck he would not have beat us passing the ball. Hats off to him. … Kudos, I guess." Good thing players betting on games is illegal. :)
The telecast showed Allen and Tebow chatting on the field in the final minute of the game as an injured player was being tended to. The exchange seemed friendly and lighthearted. I wonder if Allen gave Tebow props right then and there. After completing 10 of 15 passes for 202 yards and a career-high passer rating of 149.3, it is time to give credit where credit is due.
Deion Sanders did just that on NFL GameDay Highlights. “We need to stop measuring him in normal terms, because he’s a winner. Lets just measure him in that aspect… John Elway has a real problem on his hands,” Sanders said.
Baby steps Elway, baby steps. Based on his improvements each week, it would be unfair to write off Tebow as the future of your franchise just yet. Yes, John Fox has incorporated a college-like spread offense with options up the wazoo, but Tebow’s arm and accuracy are still managing to get better within that system. Who knew?
Could I do without Tebow’s obligatory Jesus shout out after every win? Yes. Would more than ten complete passes make a game more enjoyable to watch in it’s entirety? Certainly. But the uncertainty surrounding an underdog and all around genuine guy makes Tim Tebow the most intriguing storyline of the year and Broncos games must-watch for casual and die-hard fans alike.
For a good game recap from the Denver Post, click here: http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_19469264
If you find yourself complaining about the weekend being over, going back to work, or your fantasy football team getting crushed, quit your whining and take a moment to consider the legitimate struggles of Bree McMahon.
A high school senior in September 2009, McMahon was the victim of a freak accident while working a fundraiser for her club soccer team at a local car wash. A teammate was driving a car when her foot slipped off the break and hit the gas, pinning Bree against a brick wall and crushing her lower body.
Bree’s right leg had to be rebuilt while her left leg was beyond repair, thus amputated.
Two arduous years later, the Orlando, Florida native has made the soccer team at Brevard College in North Carolina with the help of a prosthetic leg.
Bree is training with the team and has yet to play in a game but hopes to do so soon. The sophomore told reporter Lauren Rowe, “I don’t want to stop, but my coach is like, ‘Bree you’re done for the day’ and I’m like, ‘Ugh,’ because I want to keep going.”
Only a few months after her injury, still wheelchair bound, McMahon said, “Watch me come back from this! And I will come back from this.”
And that she did. Good for her!
Check out Lauren Rowe’s interview with Bree here. http://www.clickorlando.com/news/29396712/detail.html