USC Football Gamecocks Block Social Media Noise in 2021

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The noise is there.

Shane Beamer knows it. Its staff know it. His players know it.

In a modern society filled with 24-hour news cycles and the relentless nature of social media, “blocking” stories beyond the Long Family Football Operations Center is not so much a wild ride as it is a task. harder than it was decades ago.

Any hint of frustration today is given a platform. The keyboard cowboys attack mercilessly. Videos are going viral. Everyone is connected, for better or for worse.

No matter how much one tries to distance oneself completely from the general venom in the public sphere, it appears even at the smallest of doses.

“I think the most important thing for us is that only we know what’s going on inside this building – only the coaches know what’s going on,” quarterback Luke Doty said Tuesday. “I think the most important thing is to get rid of all that outside noise and focus on what we have inside this building as far as the players and the coaches are concerned because at the end of the day it it’s about us. “

College football teams are constantly grappling with external narratives. Journalists are blamed for creating them. The fans play a role. It’s all part of a lingering resentment that swirls around America’s biggest shows in good times and bad.

In South Carolina, Doty and tight end Nick Muse ditched social media for six months from the spring and encouraged their teammates to follow suit. A handful of gamers have kept that promise, Doty added, and still aren’t tweeting, Facebook, Instagramming, or whatever kids are doing these days.

But even those who do their best to live away from the pressures and criticisms of people outside the walls of the building still feel the weight of the world in times of apparent crisis.

Security Jahmar Brown was the most recent target. On Saturday, in the same game where he blocked a punt and nearly intercepted a pass, Brown recovered a stray fumble and rushed to the end zone for a touchdown. Upon closer examination, the referees determined that he dropped the ball before the goal line, resulting in a touchdown and costing the Gamecocks a touchdown against Troy.

The column inches were dedicated to the room. Internet memes and videos of the gaffe circulated across the country. Facebook pages attributed to the Gamecocks fandom have burned with disdain at the trial and error and posed viciously if anyone on the program that only has five games in a new training regime is held accountable.

The play even drew the “C’mon man!” Treatment of ESPN’s Monday Night Football show two days later.

Brown faced criticism on Tuesday. He stood behind the lectern in the defensive boardroom of the South Carolina operations building, blaming the chin, and addressing the masses in a somber but insightful tone.

“I know what I signed up for, specifically to play SEC football at the top (level),” Brown said. “I take it with a grain of salt, read a few (the comments), put it aside, keep moving forward and keep growing.”

That Brown was skewered on social media isn’t fair. No one deserves the vitriol the 20-year-old defensive back has received over the past few days for something as simple as a game.

But for sophomore safety, and even for Beamer, it’s part of what comes with Southeastern Conference football – for better or for worse.

Passion fuels on the surface in the Deep South over college football. At best, it brings the romance and pageantry we crave every Saturday fall. At worst, it manifests itself in the social media attacks Brown received for a simple mistake.

Beamer spent months preaching about the inevitable end of his ‘honeymoon phase’ and how the fervor and excitement of a new coach would eventually turn into annoyance and questioning of his decisions. .

Combine a pair of losses against Georgia and Kentucky with an attack that broke out and Beamer, his staff and players have certainly felt the wrath of bulletin board posters and internet trolls in recent times. Brown was simply the last subject of contempt.

But in an age when acrimony towards coaches and players is spreading across social media forums, South Carolina – and Brown in particular – are doing the only thing they can do: move on.

“Like I told him, I know he feels bad about it,” Beamer said in a nearly three-minute response Tuesday. ” We do not agree. It is not ok. He knows it. But let’s learn it, correct it, and don’t lose sight of what else he has done. He’s not going to let a game define it and we’re not going to let him define it for us either.

Ben Portnoy is the author of football beats for the South Carolina State Gamecocks. He is a five-time Associated Press Sports Editors award winner and has been recognized by the Mississippi Press Association and the National Sports Media Association. Portnoy previously covered the State of Mississippi for the Columbus Commercial Dispatch and Indiana football for the Journal Gazette at Fort. Wayne, Indiana.


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