Tuesday's news that the NLL's Philadelphia Wings will use players' Twitter handles on jerseys instead of last names when the Wings host the Buffalo Bandits Feb. 12 made Lacrosse Magazine editor Matt DaSilva's "From the Editor" column in December's issue that much more timely. It appears below.
I've been on Twitter (@mdasilva15) for about a year, but only recently caved to the peer pressure to express myself regularly in 140 characters or less. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, a former lacrosse player, would be ashamed. When this issue of Lacrosse Magazine went to press, I had 48 followers (it's up to 91 now) — not exactly Ashton Kutcher territory. Contrary to the purpose of this space, I've never been much of a self-promoter, and my particular brand of self-deprecating humor doesn't seem to fly as well in the Twitter clouds.
Don't get me wrong, I believe in the power of social media. Look at what it did for Arab Spring and the Occupy movement. (It's fun seeing LM right-wingers Jac Coyne and Paul Krome seethe at the mere mention of the latter.) I'm just not sure the people tweeting about lacrosse are the people we want touting our sport to the masses.
For every @John_Danowski, named "Best Tweeter" in LM's Best of Lacrosse 2011 edition, there's an @LaxBroProblems or #laxtitutes making us all look stupid. They represent lacrosse the way MTV's "Jersey Shore" represents Italians. Too many lacrosse people use Twitter to tell us who their "homeys" are, what "sick gear" their sponsors want them to hawk, when they plan to "rip the duck" and where they're working off their hangovers.
On the flip side, Twitter does provide a platform for personal correspondence with the game's biggest stars and personalities. It's a place where @grahamallison2 can name his dog Rabil after @PaulRabil, tag him and get a real reply tweeted back to him, "Who has longer hair?" That exchange occurred Oct. 30, the same day Hawaii Lacrosse Invitational MVP @JohnGalloway15 posted a photo of a Honolulu sunset and tweeted, "The things lax has done for me," and when @ChazzWoodson (a self-described "professional lacrosse player, entrepreneur, educator, mentor and coach") pondered the disproportionate amount of crime in the United States compared to other developed nations.
These Twitter feeds remind us that lacrosse produces intelligent and worldly individuals who appreciate the opportunities the sport has given them. For everyone else, rest assured that much like our friends on "Jersey Shore," we're laughing at you, not with you.