Wondering About NFL's Social Media Trolling Of Pats? Jets Fan Likely Behind It
BOSTON (CBS) -- There are silly stories, and then there are silly stories. And this, my friends, is one silly story.
In case you missed it, last week, back when Bob Kraft still had the tip of his forehead pressed squarely against Roger Goodell's hairline, the Patriots changed their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram photos to Tom Brady's jersey. It was a show of support for the face of the franchise amid a firestorm of accusations -- which the team felt at the time were false and unfair.
No harm, no foul, right? We're talking about Twitter avatars here.
Well, in response to that, the NFL answered with a brand new hashtag: #WildPlayWednesdays. They trotted it out on Twitter and Instagram.
They then came back with #SuperSaturday.
And then #MiracleMondays.
(This one didn't make a ton of sense, because the Patriots won this Super Bowl, but you know. Stay with me.)
And you'll remember (actually, if you live a gratifying life, you won't remember) that back in January, in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, the NFL Instagram account posted consecutive pictures of footballs in varied levels of inflation.
This all brings us to today, when the official NFL Twitter account sent out some praise for Andrew Luck:
Precision. Strength. Intelligence.
This obviously caught the attention of a lot of folks in New England, who feel like maybe the official social media accounts of the world's most powerful sports league shouldn't resort to the tactics of an anonymous message board troll.
So what's going on here? Is Roger Goodell calling the shots from the mountaintop? Is he Dorito Dinking around on his cell phone, applying the Mayfair filter on a classic pic of the Pats losing, snickering to himself all the while? By God! How deep does this rabbit hole go?
Eh, well, not very deep.
If you utilize the advanced investigative tools available to us here at CBSBoston.com (Internet access, Google, keyboard), you can find that the NFL's social media manager is a fella named Duane Munn.
"Munn is the sole manager of all accounts, which includes a healthy following of about 12 million people," Mashable reported back in April 2013. "While many major brands have a team of social media experts working to get out news and interact with fans, Munn is a one-man show."
Perhaps in the two years that have passed since that profile was written, Munn has delegated some of his duties. But he still runs the account, as far as his LinkedIn and Twitter accounts are concerned.
And, wouldn't ya know it, Munn is a ... Jets fan!
So, the guy who runs the accounts is a Jets fan ... not that there's anything WRONG with that. But it explains the playful posts, wouldn't you say?
All told, I think Patriots fans need not freak out about seeing some shots taken at their favorite team via the NFL's social media accounts. None have been out of bounds or over the line, plus they play pretty well to the other 31 NFL cities who don't so much care for Mr. Brady and the Pats. The goal of running social media accounts is to increase engagements and follower counts. These posts might lose a few followers from New England, but they certainly succeed in that goal from a national standpoint. If you're reacting, then the social media account is succeeding.
Plus, if the guy's a Jets fan ... give him this. Offseason Twitter trolling might be the highlight of the year. He just had to deal with hearing that Geno "25 TD/34 INT" Smith has already been named the starting QB for the 2015 season. Give the man his outlet to lash out, you monsters!
And, if a couple of pictures and some wordplay really get your goat, just take the advice of Michael Felger: "Get off Twitter! Turn it off! And the problem is over! ... Get off of social media! ... Get off the Internet!"
UPDATE: The NFL has contacted me to emphatically state that Duane Munn had "nothing to do" with the PSI tweet. That tweet has since been deleted by the NFL. The NFL did not seek to clarify any of the earlier tweets or Instagram posts.
Read more from Michael Hurley by clicking here. You can email him or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.
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