For celebrities and athletes, Buffalo fans should be pretty simple to figure out. Love on us, and we’ll make you king of the city and name streets after you (see Tim Russert and Jim Kelly). Heck, if you’re a big enough name just sign with the team and the mayor will… Never mind, I’m not going there.
Go in the opposite direction and, well, miss out.
I started the 12 o’clock hour excited. I mentioned on Twitter that I was enjoying the fact that it was Friday, I was getting over having been sick all week, and the Patriots still lost Super Bowl XLVI.
So as I’m checking Twitter while enjoying lunch at my desk, I see this come across my timeline:
Yes, dear readers, in case you were unaware: David Clowney is currently employed by the Buffalo Bills. He signed a contract with them shortly after the conclusion of the regular season. Another “name” offseason WR signing, just like Chad Jackson in 2010 and Craig “Buster” Davis in 2011.
Anyway, back to the tweet. This came minutes after a previous one where he was asking for more followers, specifically calling on Bills fans. Perhaps he was joining in on making fun of the “small” fanbase, or possibly he was sheepishly laughing off being called out by a friend that those were his new fans. Now I know some might call me oversensitive and I’m not often one to stir the pot but either way, “It really was tho Lol” irked me.
Maybe it was because it always feels like Buffalo fans are getting teased in the national media and to see someone on the payroll actually laughing along with that perception was too much.
Maybe it was because the #BillsMafia movement has made me naive. For the past year we’ve been loving up on the players and they’ve pretty much all reciprocated. It’s made me forget Takeo Spikes telling WIP in Philadelphia that he left Buffalo at the “speed of light” and that there was nothing to do here but play video games. It’s made me forget Willis McGahee’s Playboy interview and Marshawn Lynch running over people on Chippewa…
Maybe it was because I’m just cranky that I can’t kick this ear infection.
Judging by other’s responses after it happened though, I wasn’t overreacting. Regardless, I retweeted it, with a subsequent tweet just saying “Unfollowed.” After several other fans also started getting after him, he and I soon had a quick exchange. Well, it was more of me ranting for a couple tweets and then him shooting off one reply. But it went like this:
As fellow Twitter user @polakojones noted..
I had to get one last dig in…
(For the record, that bit.ly link takes you to Alex Jankowski’s great article that was posted at Buffalowins.com earlier this week).
But to me, it doesn’t take much to read into what’s going on here. This is a borderline NFL player who didn’t even get a sniff from the rest of the league (as far as I can tell) since being released by the Panthers just prior to the 2011 season. Now, after having begun his career in what could probably be described as the NFL’s largest stage in New York for the Jets, he has been banished to what is often considered the league’s version of Siberia and he knows it. Heck, if you check his Twitter timeline it’s got friends saying they can’t even find pictures of Buffalo online and him responding he’ll need to go check out Toronto. (Quick tip, Mr. Clowney, in case you’re reading: ask Willis about publicly airing comparisons to Buffalo and Toronto — not the best way to endear yourself to the fanbase).
Now — according to the Tweetdeck app on my Droid — David Clowney tweets an average of 49 times per day. So there’s definitely opportunity for misfires, especially since his profile states that he “get(s) on twitter to strictly act a Clown.” But this isn’t the first time he’s run into trouble with fans on Twitter…
If you were around the #BillsMafia Twittersphere in early November, you’ll remember a (generally) friendly exchange Bills fans had with Jets fans the week leading up to the #Whiteout fiasco. There’s a lot of turds in “Jets Nation” but I happened across several reasonable, even dare I say cool ones. I threw a quick question to a couple of them just as this was wrapping up toward the end of my lunch break and here’s what I discovered.
Now read from bottom up…
Do a Google search, Clowney encouraging an angry Jets fan to off himself appears to have been pretty well documented in the media and blogosphere two and a half years ago when it happened.
This is obviously someone who doesn’t quite “get it” and not really worth getting upset about. As quickly as it happened, I got over it. I’m not calling for him to be cut (not that we fans have any say over those kinds of decisions anyway) or to be ostracized by fans, or really anything along those lines. To be honest, I hope he’s successful with the team because that will mean the team is in turn successful and in pro sports… that’s all that really matters.
I guess it just shows that the team still has a ways to go before the “loser” perception is shaken off, which we all kind of know anyway. The team is turning the corner — we’re just not there yet. Regardless, all fans ask of Joe Player is: While you’re here, be proud of the colors on the jersey and the charging buffalo on the helmet. This is a team with a storied tradition and a rich history. A team that, yes, has fallen on hard times but WILL once again reach the glory days. You’ve been asked to helped get us there. Consider it an honor.
But it sure made for an interesting lunch break, nonetheless.