You know that filter you have in your mind? The one that keeps you from blurting out every stupid thing that pops into your head? Maybe your wife/girlfriend is trying on a new pair of pants and wants to know if they make her look fat. Of course they do, but you don't actually say that unless you've been curious what a night spent on the couch would feel like. So instead you say, "No, they show off your curves."
Maybe your boss is sharing his theory that Bin Laden wasn't just killed, but rather has been dead for several years, his body's been kept on ice, and they've just been waiting for a good political time to make the announcement. You want to ask him if his mom dropped him on his head one too many times as a baby but instead you simply say, "That's really interesting, I never thought of that."
That filter in your mind is a good thing. It protects you from putting your foot in your mouth. Professional athletes also have filters. They're called agents and PR reps. But what if the filter's gone? Alcohol is great for giving people diarrhea of the mouth, and now we have something to remove the filter from the pros. Say hello to Twitter, the social media for people with really short attention spans. No handlers telling the athletes what to say, simply their inner thoughts and feelings in 140 characters or less.
We always get to hear players thanking God for their success on the field. Now we got to hear the other side when Bills WR Stevie Johnson Tweeted after dropping a TD pass, "I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS???? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO..." I didn't realize God had a Twitter account.
More unfiltered Tweets after the jump.
We know the lockout has been hard for fans, but it's been a boon to players. At least according to this Tweet from Saints RB Reggie Bush, "Right about now we would be slaving in 100 degree heat, practicing twice a day, while putting our bodies at risk for nothing." After receiving several angry replies, Bush felt the need to clarify, "FYI last tweet was a joke!"
But that's the problem isn't it? We're not standing there talking to you or listening as you give an interview. We can't hear your tone of voice, if you're bing sarcastic or serious. What's more, since it's a limited number of characters, we can't hear your fully formulated thought.
Nowhere was that more apparent then when Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall tweeted after the death of Bin Laden, "What kind of person celebrates death? It's amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We've only heard one side..." He then went on to theorize that Bin Laden may not have been the only one involved on 9/11, "We'll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style." And I have a hard time believing Geico can really save me %15 or more on car insurance both they keep insisting they can.
People are free to believe whatever they want. In fact, if we all believed the same thing this world would be a really boring place. But if I mention to my wife I think she could stand to lose a few pounds, or I tell my boss that he's nuttier than a squirrel's turd, I need to be prepared to face the consequences, even if I limited my feelings to 140 characters or less.